questions & answers: itinerary check

11 days in tokyo, osaka and kyoto itenerary and usd of jr pass

11 days in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto itenerary and usd of JR Pass

Two of us are first timer to Japan and will be travelling on 28 November, arriving at Kansai airport around 9am. Please comments on the planned itenerary and advise if the use of JR pass is ideal:

Activate 7 day JR Pass on first day of arrival at Kansai AIrport - plan to spend 5 days in Tokyo and 6 days at Osaka and Kyoto

Day 1 - travel from Kansai Airport to Tokyo using JR line Shinkansen
? Where should I catch the train and how often is the train to tokyo ? In Tokyo, the hotel is at kiyokawa, Taito-ku - how do we get there using JR Pass?

we will sight see around Tokyo for the remaining of Day 1 - what would be the ideal places to visit? We like cultural staff, not Soren on shopping

Day 2 - day trip to Nikko using JR Pass
? How to reach Nikko from where we are staying

Day 3 - day trip to Fuji five lake and Kawaguchi using JR Pass
? How to get to these places and possible to cover these two areas in one day? And if possible, what is the best itenerary door the day

Day 4 - day trip to Kamakura using JR Pass
? How together there ? Can we stop by at Yokohama on the way back?

Day 5 - half day sight seeing at Tokyo and by mid afternoon, will travel to Osaka using JR Pass which will be our base for the remaining 6 days

Day 6 - day trip to Nara using JR Pass
? How to get there from hotel at NIshinari, NIshinari -ku ? Can we stop by at Kyoto for the evening before travelling back to Osaka

Day 7 - day trip to HIroshima and Miyajima using JR Pass
? Best itenerary plan for the day and how to travel?

For day 8 to 11, please advice best pass to purchase - day pass or Kansai 3 day pass or ay other base on the plan below? Plan has not been finalized, so your advice is appreciated

Day 8 - day trip to Kobe and Kyoto ( not sure if Kobe is appropriate as we are not beef lover)

Day 9 - day trip to Kyoto

Day 10 - sight seeing at Osaka

Day 11 - half day sight seeing at Osaka and flight is in the evening from Kansai airport
? What is the best way to travel to airport? We may skip sight seeing at Osaka and visit the RInku outlet mall instead and go to airport from the mall

The itenerary in all places have not been confirmed, but they are the places that we would love to see. Not sure if doable.

Thank you for your advice

Tey Kim Kuan
Tey Kim Kuan

Hi there,

Its good to see that you plan ahead well and thank you for posting such a detailed itinerary, this makes giving advice a lot easier and I can tell you right away that you will be making some amazing savings with the JR Pass.

Once you arriva at Kansai Airport (KIX) take the Haruka Express to Shin-Osaka, this is the Shinkansen station for Osaka. From here you can take the bullet train directly to Tokyo station. From there take a local train to Ueno station, from here you can take the Tokyo Metro for the last part to Taito-ku. I could not find the exact area where you are staying so I would recommend asking your accommodation for the best route to get there from either Tokyo or Ueno station.

For your first day I would recommend a visit to Asakusa which located closely to Taito, here you can find many small traditional shops in addition to the famous Sensoji Temple.

On day 2 when you visit Nikko, return to Ueno station and take the bullet train from here to Utsunomiya, here transfer to the Nikko line and get out at Nikko station. You can reach all places around Nikko on foot from the station or take a bus.

On day 3 when you visit Kawaguchiko and the other Fuji lakes (Kawaguchiko is the most famous of the Fuji 5 lakes). Travel to Tokyo station, from here you can take a train to Otsuki station, at Otsuki transfer to the Fujikyu and get out at Kawaguchiko, note that the Fujikyu line is a private railway and does not accept the JR Pass, the charge is 1,100yen. From Kawaguchiko you can take a bus to any of the other lakes.

Day 4,
You can take a direct train from Tokyo station to Kamakura, you can also swing by Yokohama on the way back (there's a direct rail connection available) although Kamakura has enough to offer to keep you busy for the day.

Day 6. The closest JR station around Nishinari is Shin-Imamiya, this is one of the main stations in Osaka and it's easy to get around from. Again I would recommend asking your accommodation for the local route from Shin Imamiya station.

Day 7. Visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima is a great plan and one of the best ways to make use of your JR Pass. To get to Hiroshima take a local train from Shin-Imamiya to Shin-Osaka, from Shin-Osaka you can take the bullet train directly to Hiroshima station.

From day 8 I would recommend buying normal tickets (instead of traveling with a pass) because local travel around Kansai (the area where Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe are located) is not very expansive and the limitations that come with the local passes are not worth the effort. You could buy an ICOCA card which is a prepaid travel card which is can use to make your travel easier.

The best way to get back to Kansai Airport is to take the JR Airport express line, this is a direct line which is which is classified as a local line and only requires the basic fare. It also stops at Rinku town, so you can shop all you like before boarding your flight back. This is a great idea, especially since the tax free area after customs is small.

I hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the information. It is really helpful. Just a question, while in Tokyo, is the JR Pass sufficient for me to travel around the tourist spots within Tokyo, such as akasuka, shibuya, shinjuku, harajuku or do I need a separate pass such as the ICOCA that you have mentioned? Can I use ICOCA in kansai area as well as Tokyo if I need to get one. I did some research and it seems most of the tourist spots are accesible via JR line such as the Yamanote line.

Since our time in Tokyo is very much limited, apart from akasuka that you advised to visit on our first day to Tokyo, can you advice the itenerary for the remaining time that we have in the city - basically the last day before we travel to Osaka. I hope to arrive Osaka by around 7 pm .

Also there are many sites online that sell JR Pass. Are they all the same or they are certain appointed agents by the JR company that sell the pass?

Thank you for your advice.

Tey Kim Kuan
Tey Kim Kuan

Hi Again,

Yes the JR Pass will cover most of your travel in Tokyo (the Yamanote line is a great way to get around), the only place you can't reach directly with the JR is Asakusa. To get there, take the train to Ueno station where you can transfer to the Tokyo Metro to Asakusa.

The Icoca card is usable in Tokyo and you can use it for the Metro travel and or just to get around Tokyo if you don't have a JR Pass.

When you visit Asakusa, a visit to the Tokyo Sky Tree becomes a great option. Since it is not far away and you can even see Fuji from there on a clear day.

On the day when you travel to Osaka, you could make a visit to Ueno and walk Ueno park there are many interesting museums and historic buildings to be found. After Ueno, consider a visit to Akihabara also known as electric town, it is home of many shops selling all kinds of Otaku stuff, ranging from Hardware, Anime and Manga. It's not to be missed, even if you don't really have an interest in this kind of stuff.

After Akihabara head to Tokyo station, this way you are sure that you can reach your train on time. If you still have time you can walk to the Imperial Palace and walk the Gardens before heading to Osaka. The trip to Osaka takes about 180 minutes and I would try to arrive at Tokyo station before 3 a.m. so you have enough time to reserve seats and find your way to the Shinkansen. The station is very big and it's not uncommon for people to get lost.

You can buy the pass directly from us online here you can also find other websites on the internet but they are different companies / travel agencies.

I hope this helps too!

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,

That is invaluable advice.

I have tried to order the JRPass on line. There was stement mentioning the 'temporary visitor' on passports holders of certain countries, and Malaysia is not on the list of countries mentioned. So advice was to obtain visa in order to qualify for the pass.

My question, since July 2013, Malaysian are not required to obtain visa when visiting Japan. I am not sure if the JRPass website has yet to update the information to include Malaysia or I need to get. Visa, although it is now exempted in order to get the JRPass.

Appreciate your advice.

Thank you

Tey Kim Kuan
Tey Kim Kuan

Hi Tey Kim Kuan,

Sorry the website has not been updated yet, we are working a great update for the website and the country list will be updated as well.

As of July 1st 2013 Malaysians no longer require to apply for a visa for Japan if you have a ordinary biometric passports with embedded microchip that is compliant with ICAO standards(issued since February 2010). So if you have a passport like this than you don't have to worry about and you can buy the JR Pass without problems!

You can read more about Visa's for Japan here.

I hope this helps and sorry for the confusion!

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,

Thank you of the clarification. At least now I know my plan for the trip is on!

I have read about ICOCA card and there is one that cover one way from Kansai Airport to Osaka. Can It be the other round ie from Osaka to kansai airport? Since I will be using the JRPAss on my arrival from kansai to shin Osaka for Tokyo, i thought of buying the ICOCA card with a one way for Kansai ( not sure if can be for the last day to airport) so that I can use it for the metro while in Tokyo.

Thanks again for your help.


Tey Kim Kuan
Tey Kim Kuan

Hi Kim,

I think that you have to use the Icoca + Haruka package at least for your travel from the Airport, although I am not completely sure on this. The best thing would be to ask the JR Staff directly when you arrive. You can always purchase a normal ICOCA card without the Haruka ticket, the Icoca card is valid everywhere in Japan where IC cards are accepted. This included all major travel methods in Tokyo, including the metro.

All the best!

Expert button 2

Thank you Daniel.

I will certainly check it up on arrival.

Looking forward to my trip! I am sure it will be wonderful, especially with all your input and advice.


Tey Kim Kuan
Tey Kim Kuan

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