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almost 3 years ago
5 responses

Hi there,

I am planning a trip to Japan in April 2015. I will be travelling with an elderly (60yrs old) so I don't want a trip that's too fast paced. We are interested in seeing a combination of historic sites and urban communities. We want to visit the highlights and tourist spots but also spend time trying local food and enjoy street adventures. We won't be out too late so night life isn't a big deal.

I am planning to land in Osaka and fly out from Tokyo. I am trying to squeeze in an itinerary for 7 day JR Pass although, please provide advice if my itinerary is too rushed or if I should purchase a 14 day JR pass instead.

Day 1 land in Osaka in the afternoon, explore Osaka
Day 2 Osaka full day
Day 3 Osaka to Nara and back to Osaka at night
Day 4 Osaka to Kobe and back to Osaka at night ( should I stay in Kobe instead?)
Day 5 Osaka to Kyoto and back to Osaka at night - is half day in Kyoto enough?
Day 6 Osaka to Nagoya - stay in Nagoya
Day 7 Nagoya- day trip to Kiso Valley (I heard it's worth a visit) and back in Nagoya at night
Day 8 Nagoya to Nikko ( Stay in Nikko)*
Day 9 Nikko to Tokyo
Day 10-13 Stay in Tokyo

A few questions:
1) Is it the best way to activate the JR pass by day 3?
2) Is it enough time to stay in Kyoto for half day, or should I spend another day there, or possibly stay for a night?
3) Should i stay in Nikko for the night in day 8? I was originally thinking about visiting Yokohama but I don't think I have enough time on my JR pass to do so before heading to Tokyo
4) In general, how do I get in and around the local areas? Will I be buying local train passes or still be able to use JR pass to get around?

I am planning this trip early April and leaving by around 17th. Will this be considered prime travel for Golden Week in Japan?

Thank you so much for your help.


12232 posts
almost 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

1.) Yes you can make the best savings by using the 7 day JR Pass from day 3-9. This allows you to cover nearly all rail travel.

2.) Half a day in Kyoto is not a lot of time, personally I'd advise a little more than that but at the same time it would mean not being able to visit something else. My advise would be to make a list of what you want to see most and make an itinerary around that. Kansai is not too big and you could make your base at any city and make day trips to the others.

3.) Nikko works both as a day trip of a single nights stay. So you could do either, however coming from Nagoya, I think it would be nice to stay at Nikko and travel on the following morning, you could even swing by Yokohama then if you like.

4.) The JR Pass will cover rail travel between all the places you wish to visit and also local travel on JR lines, at time though, you may need to use additional transport. This won't be much though and buying normal tickets is the best way to go about it.

Golden Week is at the end of April, so no worries there :)

Hope this helps,

5 posts
almost 3 years ago

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply.

1)Can you give me some advice on how to stretch my time in Kyoto to have maybe 1/2 night stay while using the pass?

2) I was reading about the JR West Kansai pass - would it be cheaper to use that in the beginning of my trip to travel around Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto?

3) Can you also talk about how I travel after landing at my destination? I am assuming I still have to buy local railway passes - like Osaka train pass, Kyoto bus pass and so on.

4) Can you also suggest some side trips from Tokyo on my last stretch of the trip?


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