questions & answers: itinerary check

maximising a 7 day pass

Maximising a 7 day pass

Hi Mari my boyfriend and i are traveling to japan on the 3rd of February, and we are staying in japan till the 23rd of february. i've been to japan before through travel agent and i never had a trouble planning my itinerary coz they did it for me, and now i am traveling with my boyfriend and we are on a tight budget. I suggest my boyfriend to get a Rail Pass coz i think it will save us a lot,please i badly need your help to plan, this is our itinerary

We can only afford a 7 day rail pass due to a very tight budget and we mostly spend the rest of the day
in tokyo.

Feb 4 - arriving Narita-Tokyo staying in tokyo
Feb 7 - from Tokyo to Kyoto( leave A.M
Feb 9 - Kyoto to Osaka( staying overnight )
Feb 10- Osaka to Nara(day trip)
Feb 11-Osaka to Hiroshima ( if possible to make it to Kobe same day? )back to osaka
Feb 12- Nikko for a night
Feb 13- Nikko to Nagano for snowboarding ( Shiga-Kogen) staying for 4 nights
Feb 17- Nagano to Omagari ( Akita )
Feb 18-Akita to Tokyo

Really Appreciate your Help i been planning this for a long time and it feels like i can't get it right:( Badly need help to breakdown the Rail pass for me Thank you in advance.

my itinerary


Hi Wendy!

You're certainly packing in a lot! Lets take a look at your costs:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥3140, (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13420, (165mins, 513km)
  3. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  4. Osaka > Nara: ¥780, (62mins, 48km)
  5. Nara > Osaka: ¥780, (55mins, 48km)
  6. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥10150, (103mins, 345km)
  7. Hiroshima > Kobe: ¥10150, (103mins, 345km)
  8. Kobe > Osaka: ¥10150, (103mins, 345km)
  9. Osaka > Nikko: ¥18420, (318mins, 706km)
  10. Nikko > Nagano: ¥10980, (186mins, 311km)
  11. Nagano > Omagari(akita): ¥20370, (253mins, 772km)
  12. Omagari(akita) > Tokyo: ¥16510, (216mins, 610km)
  13. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3140, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥118530 for 13 legs

Well - there's no doubt that a rail pass will be good value here :)

Looking at recommendations, you have some pretty busy periods in there. Maybe I can suggest a slightly reduced itinerary?

For both financial and time reasons I would recommend you decide on either doing the trip to Omagari or the trip to Hiroshima and Nara. You have 9 days worth of specific travel days planned that needs to fit in a 7 day rail pass (excluding to/from the airport) - so no matter which way we cut it you're going to need to remove or compress some of your days. As your itinerary is pretty full already, I recommend removing rather than compressing further - you really don't want to spend all your time on the train!

Here is a suggested itinerary excluding Omagari with a few more days snowboarding in Shiga-kogen or in Tokyo, this itinerary also removes the Kobe stop from your plans. You have a few busy days of travel in here (Hiroshima day trip and Osaka to Nikko), but in general the spacing is pretty good. The 7 day rail pass starts from the 7th:

  1. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13420, (165mins, 513km)
  2. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  3. Osaka > Nara: ¥780, (62mins, 48km)
  4. Nara > Osaka: ¥780, (55mins, 48km)
  5. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥10150, (103mins, 345km)
  6. Hiroshima > Osaka: ¥10820, (109mins, 345km)
  7. Osaka > Nikko: ¥18420, (318mins, 706km)
  8. Nikko > Nagano: ¥10980, (186mins, 311km)

total: ¥65890 for 8 legs

This will all fit into a 7 day rail pass at ¥28,300 - a large saving of ¥37,590 over separate tickets

On top of this, you will need to purchase a return N'EX/suica travel ticket combo for your trip from and to the airport and some metro travel around Tokyo and the return bullet train from Nagano to Tokyo after snowboarding:

  1. Narita Express + metro card (N'EX+suica): ¥5,500 (this is by far the best deal for travel)
  2. Nagano > Tokyo: ¥8,170 (alternatively, you can get the bus from Nagano to Tokyo for around ¥4000)

extra tickets: ¥13,670

TOTAL SPEND ON TRAVEL: ¥28,300+¥13,670 = ¥41,970 per person

Phew! I know this isn't getting it all in to a 7 day pass, but I think this is about the best I can do without really limiting what you do on your trip.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thanks Mari,
it helps a lot, i know its a pretty hectic schedule.
it will change thanks for your help.


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