questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo - yamanouchi - takayama - kanazawa

Tokyo - Yamanouchi - Takayama - Kanazawa

Hi there,

I am going to be in Tokyo in Jan 2016 and wanted to try and take a trip to visit a few places.

I was thinking:
Tokyo - Yamanouchi (for Jigokudani Monkey Park) - visit for day and stay overnight
Yamanouchi - Takayama - travel to Takayama in morning, stay the night
Takayama - Kanazawa - travel morning to Kanazawa and just stay for the day
Kanazawa - Tokyo - leave in evening, bullet train to Tokyo

Travel and time wise is this the best order to visit these places in?

Also, I have been looking at buses vs trains - am I best to stick to trains and get a JR pass? Especially if I take the bullet train back to Tokyo. I was interested in going the more 'scenic' route back through the alps but I know this would take longer - also I couldn't find any information on this, how long it would take etc.

Any advice greatly appreciated!


Hi there,

The route can be traveled in different ways. One is the order you listed them in, this would work well. An other route that looks more like a circle would be to visit Nagano (Jigokudani) - Kanazawa - Takayama and return via Nagoya and the Tokaido Shinkansen to Tokyo.This way you can include the ride Takayama - Nagoya which is very scenic, one of the most scenic routes in Japan.

Yet an other alternative would be to take the limited express train via Matsumoto to Shinjuku (Tokyo). This route is also very pleasant to travel.

If you want to get the most scenic route, consider skipping the Shinkansen for the most part and use limited express trains. These generally give a very pleasant ride. For instance, you could do Shinjuku - Matsumoto - Matsumoto - Nagano - Takayama - Tokyo (via Nagoya). Limited express trains do take a bit more time though.

The JR Pass covers all these routes, I can tell you if you can make savings, once you have decided on what order/route you will travel in.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel, amazing information thank you!
I'm wondering what will be possible due to the time limit.
We definitely want to get to Jigokudani Monkey Park and stay in Shibu, definitely spend a day in Takayama, and a day in Kanazawa.
We will be leaving Tokyo on a Wednesday morning and returning on a Friday evening - so, not much time! Also, as it will be January, it will be dark very early morning and certainly the evening we come back so that rules out a scenic ride home!

With the limited time and the lack of daylight taken into account, is there any part of that trip that we could take with a scenic route or are we just going to have to go with the fast options?

Thanks again!


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