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20 days in Sep/Oct

over 4 years ago
1 response

My partner and I are really excited about our trip. we will be arriving mid September and will be in the country for 20 days and 19 nights. We have read a lot about the JR pass and are considering buying the 21 day pass but wonder if it will be more cost efficient to buy a shorter pass and supplement this with other tickets.

We plan to base ourselves out of Tokyo and Osaka and do day trips as this will allow us some flexibility around the order we do things and allows us to drop some things if we feel too busy. Our preliminary itinerary is as follows:

Narita to Tokyo (staying in Shinjuku)
Day 1 - Explore Tokyo
Day 2 - Fuji Five Lakes
Day 3 - Yokohama
Day 4 - Disney Land
Day 5 - Kusatsu Onsen (possibility to stay overnight)

Tokyo to Osaka (staying in Namba)
Day 6 - Explore Osaka
Day 7 - Nara
Day 8 - Osaka Castle/Aquarium
Day 9 - Mount Koya
Day 10 - Universal Studios
Day 11 - Kyoto (possibility to stay overnight)
Day 12 - Kyoto
Day 13 - Hiroshima
Day 14 - Kobe
Day 15 - Explore Osaka

Osaka to Tokyo (staying in Asakusa)
Day 16 - Explore Asakusa/Roppongi
Day 17 - Kamakura
Day 18 - Nikko
Day 19 - Explore Tokyo
Day 20 - Akihabara

Tokyo to Narita

Would a 21 day JR rail pass be a cost efficient option for us, or is there some other combination that might serve us better?

If you have any tips or suggestions for the above itinerary I would welcome your feedback :)

Thanks in anticipation!

12228 posts
over 4 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there!

I really love your trip! Almost 3 weeks Japan with an other great destination everyday.
Also love the idea of day trips, this way you have great flexibility to switch things around and even make changes if you wish.

Looking at possibilities, I think you have 2 that would make sense.

The first is the 14-day JR Pass + normal tickets. You could fit most of your long distance (expensive) travel in the validity period, with some switching around of days/plans. For instance, you can use the JR Pass from day 4-17, by moving Dinsey land to day 3 and Nikko to day 16. This way you would have most travel covered and you could supplement the rest with some local tickets.

The 2nd option is the 21-day JR Pass. This would allow for the most flexibility, you could go where you want every day and travel as the fancy takes you. The price difference would not be much with the 14-day JR Pass. The upgrade cost is 12,800 Yen. With the 21 day JR Pass the return to and from the Airport is also covered. For instance a return Tokyo - Narita Airport with the Narita Express is around 6,000Yen leaving just 6,800Yen for you to travel to make the upgrade worth it price wise.

As last advice, your time in Tokyo is somewhat limited, so I would make a list of things to visit and decide what you wish the see the most. My personal addition if you are new to Japan would be a visit to Shibuya it is a very interesting area with lots of things to see, the worlds most busy (and famous) crossing is there too.

Make the most of your trip and let me know if I can help with anything!

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