questions & answers: itinerary check

2 week trip - tokyo - kyoto - osaka

2 week trip - Tokyo - Kyoto - Osaka


I'll be vacationing in Japan around the end of October into November. Here are my current plans:

Day 1: Arrive at NRT, travel into Tokyo
Days 2-7: Tokyo (Day trips to Nikko + maybe 1 more)
Day 8: Travel to Kyoto
Days 9-11: Kyoto (Day trip to Nara)
Day 12: Travel to Osaka
Day 13: Osaka (Day trip to Hiroshima?)
Day 14: Osaka -> NRT -> leaving :(

So given this schedule, would the 7-day or 14-day be beneficial? Would the day trips be better just paying directly instead of using the pass, and saving the 7 day for the last part of the trip? How would local transportation within Tokyo work with the pass?

If we do get a pass, when can I book the individual seats for each journey?

How much time should I allow for getting back to NRT from Osaka for a 3:00 pm fight?

Thanks a lot!



Hi Ed!

I like your plan! Both Nikko and Hiroshima are just great and not to be missed. I looked at ticket prices to see what would make more sense a 7 day JR Pass + separate tickets or a 14 day JR Pass with all long distance travel covered.

Right now I would go for the first option, simply because you don't be doing that much travel around Tokyo in week 1. The cost for the upgrade from the 7 day JR Pass to the 14 day JR Pass is ¥ 16,800 (¥ 45,100 - ¥ 28,300) which could become worth it depending on what day trips you would make. A return Tokyo - Nikko is already around ¥ 10,500 on normal JR tickets and you one way NRT - TYO with the Narita Express will set you back around an other ¥ 3,000. To answer your question about local travel with the JR Pass in Tokyo: you can use the JR Pass on all local JR lines throughout Tokyo, which will get you to all major stations (here is a map will all that is covered. So you could get there pretty quickly.

As for booking tickets, you can start making seat reservation the moment that you activate your JR Pass, even if you pick a first day of use in the future. Simply tell the JR Staff where you wish to go, show the JR Pass and the Staff will print the tickets for you.

As for your last question: to reach Narita on time for a 3 p.m. flight. Allow for 2 hours check-in time at Narita, so you would want to arrive before 1 p.m. The travel time from Osaka station to Narita Airport is approximately 274 Minutes (almost 5 hours) so leave Osaka around 08:00. Here is an example route in Hyperdia.

I hope this helps!

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Hi Daniel

Thanks for the quick reply.

A little off topic in terms of rail pass, do you have any suggestions regarding length of stay for Kyoto and Osaka?

We currently have the following:

Tokyo (6 nights) - day trip to Nikko
Kyoto (4 nights) - day trip to Nara
Osaka (2 nights) - day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima? (Can you do both Hiroshima and Miyajima in one day? Will transportation be ok?)

Would it be better to do the following?
Tokyo (6 nights)
Kyoto (3 nights)
Osaka (3 nights)

Thanks again!



Hi Ed,

It would depend a little if you travel with a 7 day or 14 day JR Pass. Ideally I would recommend going for 6 night stay in Tokyo and 5 Nights in Kyoto and perhaps 1 in Hiroshima to make the most of your visit to both the city and Miyajima.

You could just stay in either Kyoto or Osaka and makes day trips between the cities as travel is only 29 minutes from Kyoto station - Osaka station, which sometimes is even less than travel within Osaka itself. This will also avoid having to carry your luggage around every time.

In case you do visit Hiroshima - Miyajima in a day trip, start early, the Shinkansen (bullet train) will get your there in less than 90 minutes but there's a lot to see! I would recommend stating with Miyajima and than moving on to Hiroshima, simply because travel around Hiroshima is a little less intense.

Hope this helps too!

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