questions & answers: itinerary check

travels to japan on december

Travels to Japan on December


My family of 5 people (husband & I plus children ages 18, 12 & 9) is travelling to Japan from Dec. 23, 2014 to Jan 2, 2015. Kindly advise if we can use JR Passes on all these trips:

day 1: Arrival in Tokyo - from Narita Airport to Minami Otsuka, Toshima District

       go around Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku

day 2: Disneysea
day 3: Hakone for Mt. Fuji
day 4: Odaiba, Emperor's Garden
day 5: Tokyo Tower, Sensoji in Asakusa, Imperial Palace, Yoyogi Park, Meiji Shrine, Ueno Zoo, Shiba Park
day 6: Proceed to Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture
day 7: Proceed to Nishi-ku, Osaka
stay there until Jan. 2

We intend to buy 7-day JR Passes for day 1 to 7 and just buy Kansai Free Pass in going around Osaka and nearby places like Kyoto.

Kindly advise if this itinerary is efficient or you have better alternatives to suggest. Thank you very much.


Hello there,

The JR Pass will cover most of your major travel, though for some parts additional tickets will be required. I've made an overview below of places where you should expect this.

Hakone, the JR Pass covers travel to Hakone on the Shinkansen to Odawara station. For here non-JR transport runs throughout the Hakone area.

Odaiba, this part of Tokyo is reached using the Monorail service, called the Yurikamome. The Yurakimome is not covered by the JR Pass.

Travel around Tokyo is mostly covered by the JR Pass, however Asakusa can only be reached by the Tokyo Metro. You can use the JR Pass to travel to Ueno station and get on the Ginza metro line from there.

For the rest it is all covered, including the most expansive route Yuzawa - Osaka.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your very helpful reply.

How many hours will the train take using JR Pass from Yuzawa
to Osaka? Does such train travel back to Tokyo then to Osaka?

How many hours will it take to get to Echigo Yuzawa from Tokyo
using JR Pass train?

Thank you for your help in advance.


Hello again,

I takes about 485 Minutes from Yuzawa to Osaka. The route is indeed via Tokyo, so you could make a stop there.

Additionally Tokyo - Echigo-Yuzawa is about 70 Minutes.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi again Daniel,

That's quite a long travel time - 485 mins which means
about 8 hours.

I have read somewhere else that travel time from Tokyo
to Osaka takes about 4 hours using Kodama trains. Thus,
if Yuzawa-Tokyo takes 1 hour & 10 mins plus Tokyo to Osaka
of 4 hours, it isn't safe to assume the travel time from Yuzawa
to Osaka would take around 5 hours only? Or, did you include
train transfers and waiting time already?

Where can we find the shinkansen schedule using JR Pass
to know the departure time for:
-Tokyo to Yuzawa -Yuzawa to Tokyo -Tokyo to Osaka

Thanks so much, Daniel!


Hi again

Sorry I got the wrong time! It is only 309 Minutes (although still long) with the JR Pass from Gala Yuzawa - Osaka (inc. transfers).

The best way to look up travel information and time schedules is to use We also have a blog post, explaining all the details.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

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