questions & answers: itinerary check

osaka to tokyo to hokaido to tokyo

Osaka to Tokyo to Hokaido to Tokyo

Below are my itinerary and hope to get your advice on whether worth to use JR Pass.

15/10, 3.45 pm Arrive Kansai Airport. Stay around Nippombashi.

16/10 Plan to visit Himeiji Castle, Tennoji ,Smiyoshi Taisha and Osaka Castle within one day. Not sure whether can covered all areas in one day. Please advise.
16/10 night Prefered plan is to take free JR overnight bus to Tokyo.Queries: 1. Is there any bus available? 2. Can book online? 3. If cannot book online and the the bus was fully booked, any alternative cheapest way to go to Tokyo (not restrict to overnight bus)?

17/10,11.45am Depart Narita Airport to New Chitosa Airport.
17/10, 1.20pm Arrived Hokaido. Stay in Sapporo and will visit Otaru

18/10 One day trip to Biei. Would appreciate your advice on cheapest way to enjoy autumn scenary in Biei. I've read nothing much to see in Furano in autumn, is it true?

19/10 One day trip to Noboribetsu and Toya

20/10 Trip to Jozankei and maybe Sapporo city trip.
20/10 6.35pm Depart CTS Airport to Narita Airport
20/10 8.10 pm Arrive Narita airport. Most likely stay around either Shinjuku or Tokyo station.

21/10 One day trip. Plan to visit Kawagoe, Asakusa, Ueno Park, Kichijoji and Meiji Jingu. Not sure whether can visit within one day. Please advise. If I visit these places, Shinjuku or Tokyo station more convenient for me?
21/10 11.30pm Depart Haneba Airport

Appreciate your advice. My objective is to save as much as possible on the transportation. Thank you.


Hi there,

I don't think a Rail Pass is suitable for a trip like this that is centered around internal flights. That said, here are some general thoughts:

  1. Re: Castles. As always, it very much depends on how much time you linger as to whether you can do all these castles in 1 day. I'd advise you pick 2 rather than 4.
  2. You can use the JR overnight dream buses from Osaka to Tokyo, and can find out more information here. An alternative to the night bus is to use the JR Sunrise Seto or Izumo sleeper services.
  3. For your travel around Tokyo, if you're leaving from Haneda and are on a budget I recommend you stay in Shinjuku, however if you want to be closest to the majority of the areas you list Tokyo station would be a little more convenient. In the end, provided you have a metro pass or JR Pass, you can get around Tokyo very easily so convenience shouldn't be a problem whichever you choose.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Looking at my itinerary in Hokaido. How much roughly the transportation cost?

Why I concern whether to buy JR Pass is that my roughly transportation cost (excluded Hokaido trip and assume I book online the Willer Express overnight bus) is 16000 yen. If Hokaido transportation cost more than 12300 yen, then it is definitely worth to buy JR Pass, and then I have to switch Willer Express to JR Highway bus. Am I right.


Hi there,

Just going by the basic locations you list in Hokkaido, your ticket costs will be:

  1. Sapporo(jr) > Otaru: ¥920, (45mins, 33km)
  2. Otaru > Sapporo(jr): ¥620, (46mins, 33km)
  3. Sapporo(jr) > Biei: ¥5410, (128mins, 160km)
  4. Biei > Sapporo(jr): ¥5410, (137mins, 160km)
  5. Sapporo(jr) > Noboribetsu: ¥4360, (66mins, 111km)
  6. Noboribetsu > Sapporo(jr): ¥4360, (65mins, 111km)
  7. Sapporo(jr) > Toya(jr-kushiro): ¥9120, (268mins, 358km)
  8. Toya(jr-kushiro) > Sapporo(jr): ¥9120, (320mins, 358km)

TOTAL: ¥39320 for 8 legs

Digging deeper into the Hokkaido costs (which I didn't do initially - apologies), you stand to make very big savings by opting for the JR Pass option as you will be doing so much travel in Hokkaido. Now I know more about your costs I have no hesitation in recommending the rail pass option.

You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia through our video blog.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

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