questions & answers: itinerary check

japan trip - dec/jan

Japan trip - Dec/Jan

Hi there,

We are planning our trip to Japan and could use your help. We have come up to the following itinerary arriving into Narita (with a trip to Sapporo to visit some friends):

24-Dec Arrive into Narita 1705, travel to Nagano via shinkansen
25-Dec Day trip to Jigokudani using Special Snow Monkey Pass then travel to Kanazawa via shinkansen
26-Dec Kanazawa
27-Dec Day trip to Shirakawago then to Takayama via Nohi bus
28-Dec Takayama
29-Dec Takayama
30-Dec Takayama to Kyoto via shinkansen
31-Dec Kyoto
1-Jan Kyoto to Osaka via shinkansen
2-Jan Osaka
3-Jan Osaka to Sapporo flight
4-Jan Sapporo
5-Jan Sapporo
6-Jan Sapporo to Tokyo flight
7-Jan Tokyo
8-Jan Depart

Looking for any suggestions or comments to the above itinerary and whether the days in both Kanazawa and Takayama would be suffice (these two places I haven't been before so just want to make sure I spend enough time in each).

Would a 7 day JR Pass be sufficient for the first leg of the trip ie Narita to Nagano; Nagano to Kanazawa; Takayama to Kyoto.

Also I'm a little confused on the travel from Takayama to Kyoto; would you be able to point me to which rail I should be taking and if this is covered by JR Pass?



Hi Sam,

Yes you can make savings using the 7 day JR Pass for the first week of your itinerary. Takayama and Kanazawa are some of my personal favorites as well and I am sure that you will enjoy them. In Kanazawa be sure to visit to local castle and Kenroku-en, one of the best gardens found in Japan.

Traveling from Takayama - Kyoto is also a pleasant route to make. While there are two routes you can take, I would recommend taking the Hida wide view express via Nagoya and the Shinkansen from Nagoya to Kyoto. This is a very scenic route to travel and covered by the JR Pass.

The alternative is to return to Kanazawa and take the Thunderbird express from there to Kyoto. This route is also covered by the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel-san,

Thank you so much for your reply.

I'm also looking at purchasing LCC flights from Osaka to Sapporo. Have you had any experience with this route and with the LCC airlines, particularly at the time is early January?



Hi Sam,

Not domestically within Japan (I prefer the Shinkansen 100%).

That said, I have used Peach airways to fly to countries such as Taiwan and that worked fine.

As always, it pays off to book far in advance.

Expert button 2

Thanks Daniel-san for your help.

I'm just rethinking of the option of travelling straight from Tokyo (Narita) through to Kanazawa on shinkansen (and miss the snow monkeys this visit). Do you think this is possible for an arrival into Narita at 1705 on 24/12?

Would like to cover Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Kyoto and then Osaka - not sure if this is the most direct route?



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