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6 weeks - what rail pass should I get?

about 2 years ago
1 response

We will be travelling around some of the main sites for 6 weeks in March - April 2016. I am thinking a 3 week rail pass? But when to start using it to get best use? Also is it possible to buy 2 rail passes each and start the second one when the first one runs out?

Our itinerary looks like this - (usual day trips from main cities intended)

March 16 Tokyo (arrival at Narita)
Mar 17 Fujikawaguchiko (by direct bus)
Mar 19 Osaka
Mar 22 Hiroshima
Mar 27 Kyoto city
April 1 Nara
Apr 4 Kyoto Arashiyama
Apr 7 Matsumoto
Apr 10 Yudanaka
Apr 12 Kanazawa
Apr 16 Takayama
Apr 18 Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route day trip (will it likely be open?)
Apr 18 overnight somewhere ? Omachi?
Apr 19 Tokyo
Apr 26 depart Narita

Does this sound easily doable? It all looked OK on web but We don't want to spend the whole trip lugging suitcases and running for/waiting for train connections etc. Right now everything is flexible so if anything is a horrendous complicated or long journey I can change it. Any advice or suggestions welcome. Many of your answers to other people have already been very helpful and have helped to create this plan.
Many thanks

12232 posts
about 2 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

I checked the route that you will be traveling and it looks good. The Japanese Alps especially can be hard to navigate but the route looks fine. There are two things I do suggest looking at, one is Fujikawaguchiko to Osaka, this is a pretty long trip with many transfers. It makes more sense to return to Tokyo or Yokohama and travel directly from there to Osaka by Shinkansen. The Alpine route generally does open in the first two weeks of April. This does depend a bit on the weather, so be sure to check this later on. However I do think you'll be good there. For sleeping, you can stay somewhere on the route, in Shinano-Omachi or travel on the Matsumoto/Nagoya.

In terms of rail passes, I am tempted to say go with a 21 day JR Pass and start using it when you travel to Osaka. This will cover a great part of your travel already. For there it is possible to buy a 2nd JR Pass or just normal train tickets for the rest.

Hope this helps,

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