questions & answers: itinerary check

32 days in japan

32 days in Japan


I'm heading to Japan for 32 days and need a bit of advice on the JR pass. I have a loose itinerary - I start in Tokyo and will visit Kamakura & Nikko on day trips. I will then head to Kyoto where I will again do day trips to the surrounding area Arashiyama, Nara, Osaka. After this I will go to Hiroshima, Miyajima and make my way across to Nagasaki. I will spend some time in Kyushu before heading back to Matsuyama, through Shikoku towards Koya-san &
Kumano-Kodo, Fujigoko before heading back to Tokyo for my flight.

I'm sure a 21 day pass will save me alot of money, but as I will be in Japan for 32 days what would my best option be? I had thought of paying for my day trips whilst in Tokyo and activating the JR pass on leaving Tokyo for Kyoto. Would buying a 21 + 7 day pass be the best option?




Hi Mat,

Wow 32 days, thats great! I see that you've planned to visit many amazing places as well. The JR Pass works very well for this but let's see how to much one (or more) to your itinerary.

It's hard to say for sure without a final itinerary but here are a couple of option.s

One buy the 21 day JR Pass and 7 day JR Pass, this costs the least money in terms of combinations (for instance 2x14 day pass) and you could also plan a break between the 21 and 7 day JR Pass.

An other option is 2x14 day JR Passes this will cost a bit more than the previous option but you could plan in a break in between. For instance to use a 3 or 5 day Kyushu pass, this way you could cover all your days in Japan.

A last option would be to buy a 21 day JR Pass, use it to cover the major part of your travels (I would advise at least as far as Fujigoko) and buy local tickets for the rest.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thanks, that's really helpful. I suppose if I have 32 days I would be spending at least the first 4 in Tokyo & then at the end of my trip the same time in Fujigoko. If I bought a 21 day pass and activate on leaving tokyo it would take me quite close to the end of the trip - I could pay separately for a train to Tokyo.

I need to work out the prices on this and see which will be best for me - thanks again for the excellent help!




I have a better idea of the route I will take on this trip now. Please could you have a look and see if you agree?

If I activate a 21 day pass on the 3rd or 4th day of my 32 day trip it will take me right through to Wakayama. After trekking the Kumano Kodo I think it will work out cheaper for me to buy individual tickets from Shingu to Nagoya and finally Tokyo than to buy a 7 day pass.

I was Also considering taking the ferry from Kyushu to Shokoku and across to Wakayama from Tokushima which I will have to pay for separately. Do you think this is a practical way of doing it or is it easier to just take the longer route on the train?

Tokyo - Nikko
Nikko - Sendai
Sendai - Kawaguchiko
Kawaguchiko - Kyoto
Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto
Kyoto - Hiroshima
Hiroshima - Fukuoka
Fukuoka - Kagoshima
Kagoshima - Nagasaki
Nagasaki - Beppu
Beppu - Matsuyama (possibly on the ferry)
Matsuyama - Takamatsu
Takamatsu - Tokushima
Tokushima - Wakayama (possibly on the ferry)
Wakayama - Tanabe

4 day Kumano Kodo trek

Shingu - Nagoya
Nagoya - Tokyo


Hello Mat,

Sorry for the late replay, it's been very busy here the last couple of days and I did not yet have time to replay in detail.

I prefer to work in one topic, as it works well for reference.

Okay, without further a due let's get started. The route looks great! There are many highlights in here I would recommend to anyone. Kyushu, Shikoku and much of Kansai and Kanto, just wow! I also agree with buying normal tickets for the last part, Kumana Kodo - Nagoya - Tokyo, this will cost less than a 7 day JR Pass. You could even look at an express bus between Nagoya - Tokyo to keep costs low.

As for the ferry, this is something personal I guess. If you want the faster route and can spend the money and going by ferry makes most sense. If you don't mind a longer (but very nice) train ride and want to keep an eye on your budget, then taking the train makes more sense.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thats really helpful, I think I'm going to go with the 21 day pass and possibly take busses from Nagoya as you suggest.

Thankyou so much!



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