questions & answers: itinerary check

15 days trips

15 days trips

After scratching my head looking at Hyperdia & Japan's Map, finally I can come up with where we want to go on our 15 days tour in Japan.
Would you please check my itinerary and see if this trip is too hectic and ambitious? Please note, we're not planning to explore the big city at all (except Kyoto).
I'm planning to buy 14 days JR Pass, and I know my last day wouldn't be covered by the JR Pass, and I have to pay the fare. Am I right? or is cheaper if I pay the fare for my trip on the 30th January instead, and starting using JR Pass on the 31st (meaning the trip to Narita will be covered)

Fri, 30-Dec-16 Tokyo, 8:40 to Matshushima, 11:12 stay at Sendai

Sat, 31-Dec-16Sendai, 8:15 to Yamadera, 9:13 stay at Sendai

Fri, 1-Jan-16 Sendai, 6:50 to Nikko, 9:11 explore Nikko, stay at Nikko (enough time?)

Sat, 2-Jan-16 Nikko, 6:46 to Nagano, 9:30, then to Jigokudani

                    Stay at Nagano

Sun, 3-Jan-16 Nagano, 7:45 to Matsumoto 8:35 explore Matsumoto Castle (enough time?)

             Matsumoto, 12:18 to Tsumago 15:07, explore Tsumago, 
                     stay at Tsumago

Mon, 4-Jan-16 Do Tsumago-Magome walk explore Magome,

             back to Tsumago, then to Nagoya in the evening stay at Nagoya

Tue, 5-Jan-16 Nagoya, 07:45 to Takayama, 10:02, explore Takayama (enough time?)

            Takayama, 14:50 to Shirakawago, stay at Shirakawago

Wed, 6-Jan-16 Shirakawago, 13:15 to Kyoto stay at Kyoto

Thu, 7-Jan-16 Explore Kyoto (no Fushimi Inari)

Fri, 8-Jan-16 Kyoto, 5:54 to Hiroshima, 8:21 Explore Hiroshima (enough time?)

            Hiroshima, 14:40 to Miyajima, 14:50 stay at Miyajima

Sat, 9-Jan-16 Miyajima, 10:40 to Himeji, 12:54 explore Himeji then to Osaka in the evening

            (enough time at Himeji?)

Sun, 10-Jan-16 Osaka, 8:15 to Koya, stay at Koya

Mon, 11-Jan-16 Koya, 7:38 to Nara, explore Nara. (enough time?)

                    Nara, 13:53 to Fushimi Inari (enough time at Fushimi Inari? or should I skip Nara)
                     Fushimi Inari, 18:09 to Kyoto, stay at Kyoto

Tue, 12-Jan-16 Kyoto, 8:33 to Hakone, stay at Hakone. My hotel will be at Mt. View

Wed, 13-Jan-16 Hakone 12:40 to Narita. Our Flight at 7:30 PM.

Thank you :-)


Hi there,

That's indeed an ambitious trip but I think it works. You've basically already done all the research for train timings.

There are a couple of places that could use a bit more time to explore, think of Takayama/Miyajima and Himeji. What you could do is make a list of things you wish to see and do in each of these places and then make a rough estimate of time you may need for it. Sometimes its also fine to pass up on visiting a place to explore somewhere else better.

I do think that using a 14 day JR Pass from day 1-14 would bring you the best savings.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thank you for your reply.
I have made a bit of adjustment on Takayama. Then go to Himeji on the 8th Jan, spend whole day there before heading to Miyajima in the evening. Explore Miyajima & Hiroshima the next day. All good.

Other question, I was reading some of the bus (for example Takayama-Shirakawago) will need seat reservation. My journey will start from Nagoya that day. Can I buy the ticket at Nagoya Station and make seat reservation? Will it still available? Or can I buy it at Tokyo Station when I start my 1st journey?
How about other passes? Tsumago bus, Nagaden Pass, Koyasan Pass, Kyoto Bus, and Nikko bus. Where can I buy them? It would be convenience if I can buy it at Tokyo before I start my trips. So it will save me looking around for the ticket counter, and save me some time.

Another questions: I know that luggage locker will be available at the big train station. Would they be available at small train station like Matsushima & Matsumoto. How about at Takayama? My husband and I will each have a carry on suitcase. We will not bring a big suitcase.

Thank you


Hi again!

In general you can only buy the bus tickets at any of the bus company office or in the bus. For instance you can buy a ticket to Shirakawago at Takayama, as the Nohi bus office is there, however there is no such office at Tokyo station.

Coin lockers are available at any station, even the most remote stations tend to have coin lockers, so do museums, castles and other attractions. Japan is really a land of convenience (and commercial oppertunity).

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

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