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Help with first trip to Japan (Tokyo to Osaka)

almost 3 years ago
2 responses

We're a couple travelling for the first time to Japan, arriving on the 7th of April to Tokyo and departing on the morning of the 20th from Osaka.
We have the following itinerary planned with sleeping arrangements already placed, but still in doubt of what to see around the bigger stays (Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka) and if a 7 or 14 day JR Pass is the most useful to travel between and about these places.

7 - 9am - Arrival to Tokyo
8 - Tokyo
9 - Tokyo
10 - Tokyo
11 - Tokyo
12 - Tokyo -> Hakone
13 - Hakone -> Nagoya
14 - Nagoya -> Kyoto
15 - Kyoto
16 - Kyoto
17 - Kyoto -> Osaka
18 - Osaka
19 - Osaka
20 - 9am - Departure from Osaka

We are staying at an onsen in Hakone and visiting a friend in Nagoya. Other than that we have a list of some things to do but nothing set in stone yet.
In Tokyo we will be staying in Roppongi and were thinking of going to Disney and the Ghibli Museum as well as exploring the city.

Would it be worth getting just a 7 day JR Pass and use it for the longer travelling from Tokyo to Osaka, or would a 14 day one save us money and enable some more interesting visits?

Thanks for any help! :)

1318 posts
almost 3 years ago

Actually neither would be worth it. You'd have to extend your itinerary more, such as doing a trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima (which is well worth it). You could make your trip better by skipping Osaka - since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can skip it during the daytime. After the temples close in Kyoto around 5 PM, it is easy to zip over to Osaka to spend the evening. Dotonbori in Osaka is a must see place at night:

Seeing the city from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas Bldg are also spectacular:

I've noticed that you missed Nara, which is another must-see city next to Kyoto and worth a day. If you bought a 7 day pass and used it from the 12-18th, and included a place like Hiroshima, a 7 day pass would pay off. A 14 day would still not be worth it. You are also putting in a lot of time in Tokyo - a day trip to Nikko as well as Kamakura would be great too. You can use some regional passes for those:

2 posts
almost 3 years ago

Thank you so much for the reply(and so fast too)!

Your suggestions seem great. We have looked into visiting Nikko and Kamakura during the stay in Tokyo using the JR Kanto Area Pass, which looks like a good deal by including the Narita Express to Tokyo the day we arrive.

Also by looking at the regional passes we are now considering the Hakone Free Pass to make the trip from Tokyo to Yumotochaya where we are staying a night and also use it for the round trip to Lake Ashi.

Now we are unclear what would be the best way to get to Nagoya from here to resume the trip without wasting too much time, looking in Hyperdia the Shinkansen from Odawara to Nagoya seems like a good choice.

With this plan, including a day trip to Nara from Osaka, the 7 day JR Pass appears to be a worse deal than I initially thought. We already have a place to stay at in Osaka but we can base another day trip from there and still not come near to save any money with the pass by the looks of it. By my estimation the whole journey would be about 33000yen per person, the whole way from Narita to Kansai, probably only missing some urban transportation that would not be extremely relevant right?

Any other comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

1318 posts
almost 3 years ago

You can use regional passes around Tokyo and Kansai, and just buy regular tickets between them.

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