questions & answers: itinerary check

family's first trip to japan, will a 21+7 day jr rail pass cover our itinerary?

Family's first trip to Japan, will a 21+7 day JR rail pass cover our itinerary?

My family & I (2 adults, 2 children-12 & 8) will be visiting Japan from 17-31 July 2014. Our itinerary so far is as follows:
1) 17Jul: Arrive Narita to Okubo station
2) 18-20Jul: Explore Shinjuku-Harajuku-Shibuya-Ueno-Asakusa-Akihabara, etc
3) 20-24Jul: Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Hiroshima
4) 24-27Jul: Kyoto
5) 27-28Jul: Takayama, Shirakawa, and hopefully an onsen
6) 28-29Jul: Kanazawa
7) 29-30Jul: Togakushi (ninja experience), Matsumoto
8) 30-31Jul: Tokyo (maybe visit Kamakura on the way)
9) 31Jul: Husband flies out of Narita
10) 31Jul-14Aug: Me & my kids will be based mainly in Tokyo (with several day trips to other places like Hakone)
11) 14Aug: Fly out of Narita

Not sure how to determine the cheapest transportation to get through all this, so hopefully any veteran traveler out there may have some suggestions. I realize the last leg of the trip is a bit vague, but my kids want to explore every anime/manga places in Tokyo. But I also figured, they may want to go back to other sites or explore new ones outside of Tokyo. Hopefully, I can have that flexibility. I tried researching on my own, but it’s all so confusing. I would be most grateful for any help anyone can extend. Thank you.


Hi there!

Looks like a great itinerary, I think your kids will love it too! Now for the best transportation mode and tickets. I'd probably just use a 21 day JR Pass and buy normal tickets for side trips around Tokyo.

You may also like the Iga Ueno Ninja Museum which can be visited as a day trip from Osaka / Kyoto.

Here's an other great website for what to do and see in Tokyo with kids.

For your later travel in Tokyo, I'd suggest buying a IC card such as Suica for everyone in the family to make travel a lot easier.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hi, Daniel-san. Thank you for all your suggestions and insight. I have an additional question if you don't mind. Will the JR rail pass also work within those various cities we're visiting? Or do they have their own system that I need to purchase additional types of passes?

Thank you,


Hi Again :)

The JR Pass can be used on the local train networks in Tokyo, Osaka and to some extend in Tokyo. You may however have to use local transport methods such as the metro or the bus to reach certain areas. The JR Pass in not accepted on other transport methods so you may have to buy extra tickets.

Hope this helps too!

Expert button 2

Hi, Daniel-san. I'm truly grateful for all the information you've given me. Thank you so much for your help :) --Honey


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