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Itinerary check, 9 days on 7 day JR pass, Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo during New Year

about 3 years ago
1 response

Hi! We are travelling to japan for the first time on Dec 30-Jan7, and will be using the 7 day JR pass. Here's our itinerary:

Dec 30
Arrive Narita
Take Shinkansen to Osaka
Half day Osaka City tour
Dec 31
Universal Studios
Jan 1
Day trip to Nara
Jan 2
Arashiyama Half day tour (
Higashiyama Half day tour (
Jan 3
Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion
Day trip to Kurama Onsen
Jan 4
Day trip to Karuizawa for snow
Jan 5
Tsukiji fish market
Western Tokyo full day tour (Meiji shrine, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku)
Open Air Architecture Museum
Jan 6
Imperial Palace/Gardens
Tokyo Tower
Roppongi Hills
(Optional: After 6 pass, Disney Sea) Jan 7

1. Is the itinerary doable? If too packed, which do you recommend we skip?
2. I understand we'll be arriving at a busy travel time. What's the best way to secure seats on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka on Jan 30?
3. We'll be spending New Year's eve at Universal Studios. Will there be fireworks? Also, I checked the park hours on that day and it says the park is only open until 5 pm. if so, what are your suggestions on places to stay in Osaka for a festive New Year's eve?

Thank you so much!

12232 posts
about 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

1.) I checked your itinerary and it is doable for most of the way. The only part where I have some doubts is Kyoto - Karuizawa. This does add up quite some travel time if you travel from Kyoto - Tokyo - Karuizawa and later on the day back to Tokyo. Perhaps it would be better to do so on Jan 5th after the Tsukiji fish market and then do your plan for Tokyo ont he 4th.

2.) The only option you have is to reserve them right away once you land. This could be tricky but it won't be impossible to get tickets.

3.) I would head over to Namba/Shinsai, that's the common center of nightlight in Osaka and will be very busy with New Year, I don't know what Universal city will do around New Year and would advise asking your accommodation if they have more info.

Hope this helps and have a great time in Japan!

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