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Using JR Pass in this Itinerary
about 5 years ago
15 responses

Would you please help me finding trains for this itinerary:

Day 1 (23th April) - Arriving Narita TK airport at 7:55 h, activate JR pass, make train reservations and take the train to Kyoto
Day 2 (24th April) - Spend all day in Kyoto
Day 3 (25th April) - Spend all day in Kyoto
Day 4 (26th April) - In the morning, take a train to Nara. On the way stop over at Inari to visit the Fushimi Inari's torii gates. Before 14:30 take JR train to go to Horyuji. Come back to Kyoto.
Day 5 (27th April) - In the morning take the train from Kyoto to Takayama.
Day 6 (28th April) - Spend all day around Takayama.
Day 7 (29th April) - Take the train to Tokyo (is it possible to see Fuji mountain on the way to Tokyo?)
Day 8 (30th April) - All day in Tokyo
Day 9 (1th May) - All day in Tokyo
Day 10 (2th May) - All day in Tokyo. Stay in a Hotel close to Narita TK Airport
Day 11 (3th May) - Departure early in the morning

Is this Itinerary feasible?
Am I using the JR well?
Two days in Kyoto, is it enough?
Which pass would be the best choice in Tokyo. I'm staying in Shinjuku.

Sorry for so many questions...
Thank you so much!

1951 posts
about 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there!

Here's a basic breakdown of your JR legs in the first 7 days:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Kyoto: ¥16,330 (238mins, 592km)
  2. Kyoto > Inari: ¥140 (5mins, 2km)
  3. Inari > Nara: ¥830 (50mins, 42km)
  4. Nara > Horyuji: ¥210 (11mins, 11km)
  5. Horyuji > Kyoto: ¥950 (64mins, 53km)
  6. Kyoto > Takayama: ¥9,380 (193mins, 314km)
  7. Takayama > Tokyo: ¥14,000 (273mins, 532km)

JR ticket cost: ¥41,840 for 7 legs

Note that to get a glimpse of Mt Fuji on a clear day you need to sit on the left hand side of the bullet train on the way back from Nagoya/Takayama to Tokyo.

In general I think your itinerary is good with excellent savings! If I could offer one though you may find that you're spending too long in Takayama (but it does depend on your goals). If you did save a night from Takayama you could spend it on another night in Kyoto and use it as a base to do longer day trips if you felt up to it (eg. Himeji, Kurashiki, Hiroshima & Kinosaki onsen are all within day trip territory). Alternatively you could spend the extra night staying in nearby Koyasan temple lodgings.

I think as you're staying in Tokyo for an extra 3 days, I recommend you purchase a Keisei Skyliner 1 way + 2 day metro pass when you arrive at Narita. This will give you good discounted travel around Tokyo on day 8 + 9 and also get you back to Narita Airport on the 10th. For your travel round Tokyo on the 10th, you could also purchase a further 1 day metro pass at Narita if you think you'll do over ¥600 of travel, or could take it easy and pay as you go for this day. Note that from Shinjuku for the Keisei Skyliner back to Narita you'll need to travel to Nippori station, which is easiest on the JR Yamanote line which will not be covered by the metro pass so you may be better off just paying as you go on the 10th.

Hope this helps!
15 posts
about 5 years ago

Thank you so much Mari, you are helping me a lot.

I'm asking a few more questions:

  • Between Takayama and another place where I can see Mt Fuji, which one would you chose?

  • Do you think I can go from Kyoto to Takayama, see something there and take the train to Tokyo?

  • If I save one day, as you suggest, which of these two places would you advise me, Nikko or Kinosaki onsen? I know, they are very different...

Thank you again Mari

1951 posts
about 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi Isabel,

Here are some answers:

  1. I think in spring both will be incredible places to visit. I love Takayama, as much for the train journey up through the alps as the place itself. For Mt Fuji, Hakone will also be incredibly pretty at that time of year if the Sakura is out, and offers a more 'touristy' but still great location. At Hakone you have access to many onsen hotsprings and other activities like lake cruises, ropeways and so on. Takayama will have much more of an 'operating town' feel to it, but offers a more real view of Japanese town life. I honestly don't think I can decide as it depends on many personal factors :)

  2. If you mean travel from Kyoto to Takayama to Tokyo in 1 day, then while it is technically possible, I don't recommend it. You'll need at least an overnight stay in Takayama or you will feel really rushed I think.

  3. Nikko or Kinosaki Onsen.... I think this really will depend on your outlook. Nikko is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a very easy day trip from Tokyo that would not need you to do much luggage carrying. On the other hand, Kinosaki is a wonderful place to spend the night and unwind. Personally, I'd go for Kinosaki Onsen because I love onsen so much, but if you are already visiting Hakone (which does have a lot of onsen), then you may get more out of Nikko.

Sorry I haven't been very decisive, but I hope I've laid out your options at least!

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