questions & answers: itinerary check

itinerary check and jr pass days

Itinerary check and JR pass days

Hi there :)

Just wondering if you could run your eyes over my draft itinerary and offer any alternative suggestions? If you could provide some advice on how many days of trave JR passl we would require that would be great?

27th August- Arrive in Tokyo @ 8:20am. Travel to Takayama. Stay in Takayama the night
28th August- Sight see and stay in Takayama the night.
29th August- Travel to Komikochi in the early morning and do some short walks. Leave late afternoon to travel to Matsumato. Stay in Matsumato for the night. (Is this possible?)
30th August- Take the Tateyama-Kurobe alpine route to Tateyama. Travel from Tateyama to Kanazawa. Spend the night in Tateyama. (**How do You travel between Tateyama and Kanazawa? I couldn't locate information on it)
31st August- Sight see and stay in Kanazawa
1st September- Travel to Kyoto & stay in Kyoto
2nd September- Stay in Kyoto
3rd September- Stay in Kyoto
4th September- travel from Kyoto to Noashima, spend night in Noashima
5th September- Noashima to Hiroshima- spend day in Hiroshima and stay in Miyajima
6th September- Day and night in Miyajima.
7th September- Travel to Tokyo.
7th September-14th September in Tokyo. (including a day trip to Nikko)
Depart Tokyo 14th September.

Thank you ever so much in advance for your assistance! :)

Kindest regards,


Hi Michaela,

Both Tokyo - Takayama (¥ 14,710) and Hiroshima - Tokyo (¥ 18,560) are both expansive trips, so it's best to cover them with the JR Pass. Right now this is 15 days apart, so my first advise would be to look at trying to get this into a 14 day period to match it to a 14 day JR Pass. An other alternative would be to travel from Tokyo - Matsumoto buying normal tickets (¥ 6,900) and travel to Takayama from there, then use the JR Pass from Matsumoto.

For access around the Japanese Alps, have a look at this map. It gives a great overview of how to access Takayama, Kurobe, Matsumoto and Kanazawa.

Finally you could also look at a 21 day JR Pass, this will give you more flexibility and also gives great flexibility if you wish to make day trips in Tokyo (to Nikko) and you could also use it to travel travel to and from the airport.

Hope this gives you some ideas :D

Expert button 2

Thanks a bunch for your response Daniel.
That map for the Japanese Alps is exactly what I have been after!
Travelling from Tokyo to Matsumato could be a great option, as it won't take as long as heading to Takayama after a 10 hour flight from Australia.
I am a little bit confused about how long the 14 day pass lasts?
With my calculations if we activate the pass on our day of arrival, Thursday 27th August, it should expire on Thursday 10th September.
If this is the case it would include our 2 major legs of JR travel. it would also include our first couple of days in Tokyo (where we could do our day trip to Nikko).
Please advise if this is not the case?

Looking forward to hearing back :)


Hi again,

The JR Pass is counted in days (not hours) and the first day is counted as a full day. So the pass would expire at the end of the 9th of September, when you start using it on the 27th. Also see our blog post for more details.

You could however also consider a 21 day JR Pass the difference in price is 12,960yen. A return Nikko using the JR alone is around 11,000yen and you could also then use the JR Pass for travel from the Airport and within Tokyo. Additionally, it would give more flexibility with planning.

Hope this help,

Expert button 2

Hi there Daniel,

Thank you again! We've decided to definitely go with the 21 day pass, as you said it will enable us flexibility and also day trips from Tokyo.

I'm having a bit of trouble with arranging our first 5-6days in the Japanese alps, I don't want to miss anything, but I also don't want to back track on ourselves and add additional time. Would you be ever so kind to offer some advice, as you've been most helpful!

Day 1- Arrive in Tokyo and travel to Matsumoto. See the Matsumoto Castle. Stay in Matsumoto.
Day 2- Travel on the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route. Finish in Toyama- Travel to Kanazawa and stay. Would this be too long of a day travelling?
Day 3- Day and night in Kanazawa.
Day 4- Travel to Takayama. *** Are there any direct trains to Takayama from Kanazawa? Or do we have to go via Toyama?
Day 5- Day and night in Takayma
Day 6- Day trip to Kamikochi and then travel to Kyoto to stay the evening.

Would it be better to travel to Takayama on Day 1 and do a circuit from there? As in my original post?
Are we missing any highlights in either 6 day itineraries?

Sorry to be a pain, but your advice is very much appreciated. :)

Kindest regards,



Hi Michaela,

Planning around the Alps always is a puzzle. Let's start in Matsumoto, day 2 is perfect. The Alpine route does take a full day to travel but it's only a short train ride to Kanazawa once you are in Toyama. Do look at luggage forwarding services such as the Ta-Q-Bin service from Yamamoto transport.

There is one transfer at Toyama if planned carefully. Here is the route, be sure to plan this ahead, as this one connection route is only available a couple of times per day.

One alternative you could consider would be visiting Kamikochi, this place is wonderful. It's a national park and no cars or other disturbing things are allowed inside. You could also visit Kamakochi from Matsumoto and then take a bus on to Takayama. Although this would put you upper side of the Kurobe Alpine route and near Matsumoto once finished. Or you could visit Kamikochi as a day trip from Matsumoto.

I guess all this shows that it's hard to adjust plans once made for the traveling around the alps. Better make a good itinerary and stick to it, so far, I do think it looks very good!

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

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