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Japan Multi-City Holiday - Feb 2013

about 5 years ago
1 response

Hi there,
I will be traveling to Japan with my girlfriend from Jan 28th till the 12th of Feb. We will be traveling across a number of cities throughout Japan during our stay. I am aware there is a large number of previous post relating to mine. However, I was hoping to post my travel plans and intensions and hopefully seek some confirmation or advice from people with experience in traveling Japan.

Our trip is as follows:

Day 1 – 5: Tokyo City (Airport to hotel transfer incl.)
Day 5-7: Osaka Sightseeing (Hikari Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka station) (Activate 7 day JR Rail pass on Day 5)
Day 7-9: Hiroshima (Sakura Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima Station)
Day 9-11: Kyoto (Sakura Shinkansen from Hiroshima Station to Shin-Osaka, Kodama Bullet Rain to Kyoto Station)
Day 11-14: Furano Ski resort (Fly from Kansai Airport to New Chitose Airport. Shuttle transfer to accomadation)
Day 14-16: Sapporo (Shuttle transfer to Sapporo incl.)
Day 16: Fly back to Tokyo (Haneda) from Sapporo early morning, head to the city for the day and return to the airport for 23:00 departure to Singapore.

In all cities we will be regularly utilising local transport to ferry to/from the Shinkansen to accommodation and for sightseeing purposes.

At this stage I am pretty happy with what I have organized as for transportation and itinerary. However, ANY advice from people with experience in traveling cross-country of Japan would be greatly appreciated.

My other pressing question relates to the IC cards used on local trains. I am interested in a simple way to travel on all/most trains, bus or other public transport in the cities I will be traveling to. I am aware of the suica, pasmo and other various cards available. Would I be correct in assuming the Suica card would have the most coverage across all these cities? If not what would be my best option? I am also interest in finding out the cheapest option from Haneda Airport to Tokyo city (and return in the evening on my final day).

Thank you in advance for any assistance,


1951 posts
about 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi Breton!

This looks like a great trip with good planning. Honestly, it looks like you've got all your travel plans covered - just make sure you leave a lot of time for the trip to Kansai Airport as this can take upwards of 1.5 hours from Kyoto. Also, I recommend staying on Miyajima island if possible while you are in Hiroshima as it is a fantastic experience, especially once all the day trippers go home.

Regarding IC cards, you have several options, however there are currently non that work on all transport (municipal and JR) across all cities. After March 2013 there will be some unification of these IC cards, however this is not that useful to you I'm afraid! Currently, if you purchase a SUICA card you can use it throughout the Tokyo area on all transport (JR + non-JR), but can only use it on JR transport outside of the Tokyo area. The other major cities you plan on visiting all have their own local IC cards, but as you'll be in Tokyo for the longest the SUICA makes the most sense. For the other cities you visit I think carrying some spare change will be the best option. The IC cards don't offer discounts and are a pure convenience so you would not lose money this way.

From Haneda to Tokyo you're best option is to use the Tokyo Monorail and JR connecting lines. It is a very simple trip. Here's a sample itinerary for you from Tokyo to Haneda for reference.

Hope this helps!

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