questions & answers: itinerary check

10 day itinerary (tokyo > kyoto > hiroshima > osaka)

10 day Itinerary (Tokyo > Kyoto > Hiroshima > Osaka)

Hi, I'll be going to Japan in mid/late May and had a question regarding the Japan Rail Pass. My itinerary is as follows:

Day 1 (Fri) - Tokyo (arrive in the afternoon)
Day 2 (Sat) - Tokyo
Day 3 (Sun) - Tokyo
Day 4 (Mon) - Day trip to Nikko/Kamakura (one of the two, haven't decided yet - is it possible to do both in one day?) - night in Tokyo
Day 5 (Tue) - Day trip to Hakone - night in Tokyo
Day 6 (Wed)- Train to Kyoto in the morning - Day in Kyoto
Day 7 (Thu) - Kyoto
Day 8 (Fri) - Day Trip to Nara - Night in Kyoto
Day 9 (Sat) - Day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima - Night in Kyoto (I know this is a long one, but I've heard it's possible in one day!)
Day 10 (Sun) - Train from Kyoto to Osaka - fly out from Osaka

How does this itinerary sound? I was wondering whether the best option would be to get a 3 day pass to get around the city in Tokyo for the first 3 days and then start the 7 day JR pass on Monday (Day 4) - is there an earliest starting time to 'activate' the JR Pass? (I think I read somewhere that it had to start after 11am on the day you start?) Would all the trains I would need for the itinerary above be covered by the JR Pass, including the Hakone area?

Thanks in advance! :)


Hi there,

The Itinerary looks great! I would recommend visiting Nikko on your day trip from Tokyo. Kamakura is also very nice but I found Nikko to be much more impressive overall. Both the temple complexes and surrounding nature are very beautiful.

The JR Pass can be activated the moment that JR offices open in the morning. This can be as early as 5:30, so you can start any day you like. It is even possible to activate the JR Pass a couple of days before and select your first day of use up to 30 days in the future.

The JR Pass can be used for nearly all your travels, only within Hakone is it that you will require other transport, sometimes you may require local transport in other places as well. Even so you will make very good savings over normal tickets with the JR Pass.

Hiroshima - Kyoto does take a good amount of time when you make the return on a single day. Even so there's more than enough time to visit Miyajima and walk around in Hiroshima if you leave early and take a train back to Kyoto in the evening.

Hope this helps,

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Hi Daniel,

Thanks a lot for the quick reply, this is very useful! I'll activate the JR pass to start as early as possible on day 4 and go to Nikko on that day. Could I activate the pass when I arrive at Narita Airport on Day 1 (so I don't have to worry about it after that)?

In terms of travel within Tokyo, can I get the 3-day pass when I arrive at Narita airport? (I'm guessing the train from Narita into the city would be considered as a separate journey too?)

Thanks again!



Hi again,

Yes you could, although Narita Airport is the busiest place to activate the JR Pass. If there's no queue do it, otherwise do it at a later time in Tokyo.

Yes you can purchase a 3 day metro pass at Narita Airport but this does not include travel from Narita Airport into Tokyo. It's still a good deal though.

Hope this helps too :)

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