Back to Itinerary check

Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka

over 1 year ago
2 responses


I'm planning to travel to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka between Dec 25 to Jan. 5. I heard that around the Christmas/New Year season the trains get busy. I will be departing from Tokyo on Jan. 5 back to Canada. I have a few questions:

  1. When is the best time to travel to Kyoto and Osaka?
  2. Should I go to Kyoto first and then Osaka or vice versa?
  3. Should I get a JR Pass for my travel or should I just buy single journey tickets? some options I considered were:
                     a. Buy a round trip from Tokyo to Kyoto and a side ticket to Osaka 
                     b. Buy single journal tickets from Tokyo to Kyoto and then Kyoto to Osaka and Osaka back to Tokyo 
                     c. Buy a 7 day unlimited JR pass and use this to travel to Kyoto and Osaka. Buy a Narita airport express                    pass that includes travel to and from the airport. 
  4. I have a total of 11 nights in Japan. Is there a recommended number of nights I should spend for each of the cities?
  5. Are there any interesting cities I can consider visiting along my trip to Kyoto and Osaka?


12232 posts
over 1 year ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

1.) There are a lot of trains between Tokyo and Kyoto, there is a service at least every 10 minutes and most Shinkansen trains carry over a thousand seats. It does not really better when you go. However I would avoid old and new years day, as it gets really busy..

2.) It does not matter what order, both are only 30minutes apart by train. You could also make your base in one and make day trips.

3.) I recommend a 7 day JR Pass if you can make the return Tokyo - Kyoto with it. The cost of a 7 day JR Pass is about the same as a normal return ticket, now you get 7 days of unlimited travel for the same price.

4.) It really depends on what you wish to see and do. My advise would be to make a list of things you want to do in each city and then try to make an estimation of how much time you would require.

5.) If you have the chance, at in a visit to Hiroshima. The peace memorial park and museum are something everyone should see at least once. Also the close-by Miyajima is a good fit.

Hope this helps,

2 posts
over 1 year ago

Hi Daniel,

Which dates exactly should I avoid traveling?

Right now we are planning to go to Kyoto from Tokyo on Dec 25 and come back to Toyko on Dec.29. Do you think it be a problem that we might not get a seat or ticket back to Tokyo on Dec.29?


Looking for more information? Search the forum

Instant Quote

Starting from $259.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Can’t find the answer?

Learn from over 10946 questions about the Japan Rail Pass, or ask our Japan Rail travel experts

Ask Question

Get pocket Wifi in Japan

Get pocket Wifi in Japan

Visit us on Facebook

Get inspired for your visit to Japan by following us on Instagram and don't forget your own shots once you are there.

Order your JRPass Now!

We have special prices for children and great first class options. See all tickets.
Or see our range of Regional Passes