questions & answers: itinerary check

21 days in japan, during new year

21 days in Japan, during New Year

Please check if my itinerary is possible during New Year holiday.
Dec 16 Tokyo
Dec 17 Tokyo
Dec 18 Tokyo ( day trip to Nikko or Kanakura)
Dec 19 Tokyo
Dec 20 Takayama
Dec 21 Takayama
Dec 22 Kanazawa
Dec 23 Ainokura
Dec 24 Ainokura
Dec 25 Kyoto
Dec 26 Kyoto
Dec 27 Kyoto (day trip to Nara)
Dec 28 Kyoto
Dec 29 Kyoto
Dec 30 Kyoto
Dec 31 Kyoto
Jan 1 Kyoto
Jan 2 Miyajima
Jan 3 Miyajima
Jan 4 Tokyo
Jan 5 Tokyo
Jan 6 depart Tokyo to return home
Please advise if this itinerary makes sense. I am especially worried about how to get to Kyoto from Ainokura on Dec 25. Also, can I return from Miyajima back to Tokyo. Should I purchase 21 JR Pass? Thanks for any suggestions.


Hello there,

Travel on the 25th is still before a couple of really busy days before New Year. You should have no problems at all here, especially if you reserve your seats a couple of days in advance.

In terms of a JR Pass, I think a 14 day JR Pass would be the best from Dec 20th.

Kind regards,

Expert button 2

Your itinerary does not make a 21 day pass pay off. Getting a 14 day pass makes more sense, although you'd need to cut 2 days off of your plans. You really don't need 2 full days for Ainokura and Miyajima anyways.

I hope you also know that there is no rail access to Ainokura. You need to take a bus from Kanazawa via Shirakawago (which is worth a stop too). To go to Kyoto, reverse the route, or take another bus to Shin-Takaoka (1 hour), catch the bullet train to Kanazawa (15 min), then take the Thunderbird limited express to Kyoto (2 hours). Tokyo to Takayama is 4½ hours via Nagoya. You might consider rearranging your schedule and seeing Kanazawa first, then take a bus or train to Takayama.

You're giving quite a good amount of time for Kyoto. You could spend months there are not see it all. Even so, you might consider a day trip to Himeji or Hikone. And if you are spending 2 days at Miyajima, you could fit in Iwakuni too, which is a bit past it.

Good luck.


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