questions & answers: itinerary check



We will be traveling for about 21 days as follows starting October 18:
We will be visiting gardens, museums, and historic sites, outdoor museums representing life in the past, etc.

  1. Tokyo--3 days--we already have too much to do in these three days!
    What is the most scenic route using the JR pass? Or is the bus more scenic? We are planning to see the Hida No Sato Folk Village near Takayama. Then go by the best route to Kanazawa.
    Or should we include a visit to Shirakawago as well? If you suggest this, what is the best and most scenic way to go?
    I know that using the JR pass would be free, and am not sure of the amount for the bus if that is the best way--or maybe combine bus and JR train?

  2. From Kanazawa we plan to use the JR pass to Hiroshima. We hope to take a very early train so we can arrive in Hiroshima around noon. Any suggestions? Of course we plan to visit Kenrokuen Gardens while there.

  3. While in Hiroshima for two days, we plan to go to Miyajima for part of a day. I think I can use the JR pass for this.

  4. HIroshima to Himeji. Stopping in Kurashiki on the way to Himeji. We probably should have booked a place in Okayama, but we already booked one in Himeji which may be possible to change. We want to go to Kurashiki near Okayama on the way so we can visit the canal district and to visit the beautiful Korakuen Gardens. Any suggestions?
    We visit Himeji castle the next day and then leave for Kyoto.

5.Kyoto for 5 nights. Already planned too much.

  1. Hakone on the lake, near the start of the ropeway. We thought we could take the Hakone Ropeway aerial lift to sightsee at higher elevations and also the boat ride on Lake Ashi. Any suggestions? We hope the train connection from Kyoto will connect to a bus to the hotel.

  2. Hakone to Tokyo for 5 more nights.

We will use all or mostly all JR trains. Just not sure what to do between Takayama and Kanazawa. I have read many of the posts on this site, but am unclear where the scenic train ride between Takayama and Kanazawa starts and ends.

Also, if there is another scenic train ride somewhere that I can fit into this itinerary, I would appreciate that information as well.

Thank you so very very much for your help. Domo arigato gozai mas.


Hello there,

Firstly, sorry for the delay in response. Your post is a bit long and I required a bit more time for it.

Travel to Takayama and Kanazawa is quite far from Tokyo and using the Shinkansen is the way to go. You can take a bus from either of these plaes to Shirakawago, although I am not sure how you'd fit it in. Do note that the bus to Shirakawa-go is not included in the JR Psas.

To get to Hiroshima from Kanazawa, take a Thunderbird express to Shin-Osaka and from there a Sakura Shinkansen to Hiroshima. Departing around 7 will let you arrive in time to have lunch in Hiroshima. The JR Pass includes the train and ferry to Miyajima.

Personally I did not really find Kurashiki interesting. I feel your time would be better spend elsewhere, such as Onomichi or even Naoshima.

For travel to Hakone, the most important to know is that the Shinkansen station is called Odawara. From there local transport runs into Hakone.

The most scenic route to Takayama from Tokyo would via Nagoya and use the Wide View Hida Express from there. This is one of the most scenic trips in Japan but takes longer compared to using the Hokuriku Shinkansen via Toyama.

Hope this helps,

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