questions & answers: itinerary check

16 days itinerary i need help!

16 days itinerary I need help!

Hi any help with my JR pass purchase and itinerary would be very much appreciated!!!

I don't think the 14 day pass is financially advantageous but the JR East pass with some extra trains and buses may be? Or no pass at all?

Here is a rough itinerary:

Oct 9-Tokyo
Oct 10-Tokyo
Oct 11- Tokyo
Oct 12 - Tokyo
Oct 13 - Tokyo to Nagano
Oct 14 - Nagano
Oct 15 - Nagano with Day trip to Matsumoto (unless overnight is recommended?)
Oct 16- Nagano to Yudanaka for Shibu onsen (not included in JR pass)

Oct 17 - Yudanaka - Can I do the tateyama kurobe alpine route on this day somehow ie where from? or is there not enough time? I could maybe swap Nagano/Shibu onsen order? and travel tateyama kurobe alpine route from nagano? or is the matsumoto overnight useful as a base? and could I end up in Takayama for the night? This is the most confusing part of the trip....

Oct 18- takayama night 2
Oct 19 - takayama - kanazawa
Oct 20- Kanazawa
Oct 21 - Kanazawa - kyoto (but could potentially leave Kyoto off and focus on Izu peninsula instead of Hakone?)
Oct 22- kyoto (or two nights with more time in either Hakone or Izu peninsula?)
Oct 23 - kyoto - hakone (hoping to get some Mt. Fuji viewing in.... originally thought Izu peninsula but is it too tricky)
Oct 24 - hakone - tokyo
Oct 25 - tokyo - narita and back to melbourne

Sorry if there are too many questions, I will be grateful for any suggestions/tips :)


Hi there,

The JR Pass is the only pass which would cover the area you wish to travel in, so there's no need to look at other area passes, such as the JR East Pass. Given the itinerary takes more than 7 days I do think that ti would be best to stick to paying tickets as you go.

The Alpine route is pretty far from Nagano city and travel there takes at least 3-4 hours / one way. Therefor I would not recommend traveling there from Nagano. However Kanazawa makes a much better approach which you could consider. I would travel to Takayama after Nagano and maybe visit the Alpine route when you are in Kanazawa.

From Kyoto, Hakone would make for the most easy to visit place. As it is directly on the route between Kyoto - Tokyo.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel-san,

Thank you very much for replying. All right paying as we go and swapping between buses and trains seems to work out cheapest and quickest. Also, I found an express bus from Nagano to Ogizawa that takes about just under 2h for 2600 yen Do you think if I could have the overnight in nagano on the16/17th then catch this bus, I could do the alpine route and end up in takayama that evening? Or do you think it is still too tight?

And yes, Hakone does seem like a much easier option, I may have to give up on the Izu peninsula (this trip!).

Thanks again!


Hi Again!

You could do it I think, however it would still be a busy day and you'd need to hurry on the trail.

Izu is one of those places I haven't seem much from either and it's still high on my to-do list. Next summer it's certainly going to happen for me!

Expert button 2

Thanks again Daniel-san!
Oh yes, I will have to put Izu back on my to-do list too! It looks lovely! I'm sure next summer feels too far away!

I have changed the order slightly to make the alpine route less tight, now we will head to Kanazawa after arriving in toyama. There seems to be many more trains on offer for that route compared to Takayama. I am thinking of taking Kyoto off (I have been there previously) and adding time in Kanazawa and Hakone. May make for a slightly cheaper and relaxing trip. Here's the new one:

Oct 9-Tokyo
Oct 10-Tokyo
Oct 11- Tokyo
Oct 12 - Tokyo
Oct 13 – Nagano with maybe a Sake brewery tour in Obuse?
Oct 14 – Nagano with Day trip to Matsumoto
Oct 15 - Nagano to Yudanaka for Shibu onsen (leave suitcase at hotel for storage)
Oct 16- Yudanaka (Jigokudani Monkey park?) then back to Nagano for overnight
Oct 17 – Nagano express bus to Ogizawa for Tateyama kurobe alpine route overnight in Kanazawa
Oct 18- Kanazawa
Oct 19 - Kanazawa
Oct 20 - Shirakawa-go
Oct 21 - Takayama
Oct 22 - Hakone
Oct 23 - Hakone
Oct 24 - Tokyo
Oct 25 - Back to melbourne

Please let me know if you think the number of nights in certain places should be changed...or if there is any other must-see's in the area?

Also I hope you don't mind me asking a few extra questions on buying train tickets?

1) Hyper Dia shows reserved and non-reserved seating and sometimes for low season. Just wondering if we are buying as we go, do you think I should purchase reserved seating? and when is low season?

2) Can you pre-purchase train tickets or reserve seating online?

Thank you soooo much!



Hi Mel,

Nice call, I love the two days in Kanazawa. It's a great way to get a feel for the city. It resembles Kyoto but feels much more authentic in a way.

1.) I prefer to travel using reserved seats, however it does add up if you travel a lot. I'd advise traveling using reserved seats in the weekend for sure and try out non-reserved seats during week days. You can always buy seat reservations later if you feel it's too much hassle. Low season basically is outside of school holidays.

2.) Tickets can only be purchased at a station or JR Travel center, there are websites where tickets can be reserved in advance but you need to speak Japanese and have a Japanese credit-card.

I also did a quick check on ticket prices.

Tokyo - Nagano ¥ 8,000
Nagano - Kanazawa ¥ 7,230
Takayama - Hakone (Odawara) ¥ 12,460
Odawara - Tokyo ¥ 3,540


Expert button 2

Thank you Daniel-san, that really helps! I can't wait! Now the hotel research/booking begins....



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