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Itinerary for 21 days, need advice.

over 4 years ago
3 responses

I actually need 2 advices:
1. Should we buy 2 weeks or 3 weeks JR pass
2. Could anyone review the itinerary and tell me what we can improve?

We are brothers (there are 2 of us) traveling to japan for the first time, we had this in mind:

September 19 - Akihabara
September 20 - Disney sea
September 21 - Tokyo game show
September 22 - Harajuku OR attend day 2 of tokyo game show too.
September 23 - South tokyo
September 24 - Nikko - Edo wonderland
September 25 - Nikko - Shrines and other sightseeing
September 26 - Kanazawa - Ninjadera and Nagamachi Samurai District (very close to each other)
September 27 - Shirakawa-go
September 28 - Kyoto - Fushimi Inari Shrine, gion
September 29 - Mount koya
September 30 - Koga village
October 1 - Universal studios osaka
October 2 - Osaka general travel day (If anyone got any ideas... this is a day we are struggling with)
October 3 - Osaka aquarium, Nara - nara park, todaiji temple , himeji castle (Some of this might be moved to October 2)
October 4 - Hiroshima: Abomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, HPM Museum, Shukkeien Garden, Hiroshima Castle, Fudoin Temple, Heiwa Dori
October 5 - Otorii Gate, Itsukushima Shrine, Daishoin Temple, Toyokuni Shrine, Five Storied Pagoda, Mt Misen
(We'll skip a few of those things, we just lazily listed hiroshima region) October 6 - fuji five lakes
October 7 - fuji-q theme park
October 8 - Hakone
October 9 - Reserved for anything we might have missed in Tokyo or want to visit again. (We actually have a long list of places we want to visit in tokyo, so it's fine if this line looks weird)
October 10 - Shopping in tokyo day, akihabara probably again.
Departing on October 11's morning.

Would it be smarter to just buy a full 21 days pass (Which isn't that much of a big jump from the 2 weeks pass price) or buy a 14 days one and start it on the day we move to nikko?
We'll have a lot of train movement inside tokyo but I imagine it would mostly require subway.

Also if anyone can give us an advice regarding any other places to visit in the osaka-kyoto-nara region, that would be great.

12223 posts
over 4 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

Looks like you have a very busy itinerary there but it does work out very well!
I have never been to the TGS myself but I would love to visit it! I hear it has changed a lot over the years though but I guess that it will be very exciting with all the new console announcements.

I would suggest going with the 14 day JR Pass as you can use it to pretty much cover all your long and pricy travel with it (given that you start using it on September 24th). Travel in Hakone is done by local privately owned companies, so a JR Pass won't be very helpful here in any event.

For Osaka, have you seen this website, its a really cool website with a lot of places listed. My personal favorite spots in Osaka include Shinsaibashi and dotonburi, these are some of the most busy shopping streets in Osaka but convey a great feeling that I don't really know how to describe but its a great experience to visit it. I see that you are interested in Technology and Gatgets (perhaps games and anime too?), if so - visit Den Den Town which is like the Akihabara district of Osaka but better in my option as it is less touristy and you can actually find some very cool stuff there.

If you have time left in Kansai (area around Kyoto/Nara/Osaka) visit Kobe too! This city is great and it has lots to offer in all kinds of small and different attractions that can easily fill up your day.

I hope this helps!

3 posts
over 4 years ago

Thanks a lot for the help, I'll check out the osaka site and kobe.
Regarding Hakone though, you said traveling is done by private companies, however according to google we can take a 300yen train to Odawara Station and then use JR Tokaido Main Line which I thought is covered by the pass.
Is that no accurate?
The Hakone trip as well as being able to cover one of the airport trips is a major factor in deciding between the 2 and 3 weeks passes.
So if the Hakone trip isn't covered then the choice is pretty much made but I want to reconfirm this with you.

Again, thanks for all the help.

12223 posts
over 4 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi Again,

Yes the Bullet train on the JR Tokaido is covered to Odawara. However travel within the Hakone area is not covered, this can be just 300 yen but depends on your destination within Hakone.

The shinkansen from Odawara - Tokyo is ¥ 3,840 by Shinkansen (38min) or ¥ 1,450 by local trains (79 Minutes) than travel to the Airport is about ¥ 3,000 with the Narita Express (56 Minutes) or ¥ 1,200Yen with local trains ( 89 Minutes). The costs won't pay for the 21-day JR Pass upgrade, even if you take the expansive options.

A 21 day JR Pass may be useful if you make the Hakone trip as a day trip from Tokyo but I would stick to the 14 day JR Pass + tickets for the rest if this is just one way.

3 posts
over 4 years ago

Yeah actually the hakone trip is a day trip from tokyo in the original plan as we found it easier to book a place in tokyo for the last few days rather than book a day in hakone and then the rest in tokyo.

It still isn't really the best cost-efficient way though it seems, I wasn't aware of the cheaper options (the extra time is pretty meaningless)
So we'll buy the 2 weeks pass after all.

Thanks a lot for helping again!

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