questions & answers: itinerary check

what kind of pass should i buy?

What kind of pass should I buy?


My family of 2 adults and 2 children (12 and 9 years old) is planning a trip to Japan for 14 days from 2 to 16 Nov.

Here is our itinerary:

2 Sat: Arrive Narita airport and check in hotel in Tokyo

3 Sun: Travel to Matsumoto

4 Mon: Travel to Kamikochi

5 Tue: Travel to Toyama

6 Wed: Visit Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Kurobe Dam and overnight at either Matsumoto or Shiojiri

7 Thu: Travel to Magome and then do the hike to Tsumago and overnight at Nagiso?

8 Fri: Travel to Nagoya and take bullet train to Tokyo

9 Sat: Sightsee Tokyo

10 Sun: Visit Yokohama? and back at Tokyo

11 Mon: Disneyland (any cheap hotel to recommend that is a few stations away from Maihama?)

12 Tue: Disneysea

13 Wed: Hakone

14 Thu: Fuji Q Highland and stay at Kawaguchiko

15 Fri: Sightsee 5 lakes and back to Tokyo

16 Sat: Depart from Tokyo to Narita

What do you think of our itinerary and what is covered from the JR pass? Can you advise the my entire transport cost for my family for the different legs and your suggestions (if any). Thank you for your kind assistance!


Hi there,

I love your plan! There's a lot of beautiful areas that you plan to see as well as a good amount of modern entertainment which will be great for the kids.
This is a pretty advanced itinerary so let's see what would be covered by the JR Pass and if a JR Pass would benefit your plans. I made a little list below of ticket prices that are covered by the JR Pass.

Narita Airport - Tokyo ¥ 3,140
Tokyo - Matsumoto ¥ 6,910 (Via Shinjuku)
Kamikochi - Toyama (I have left this part out as I assume you will use the bus, which is much faster than the train and you would have to travel back to Matsumoto).
Matsumoto - Magome ¥ 4,700 (covered to nagiso)
Nagiso - Nagoya ¥ 3,480
Nagoya - Tokyo ¥ 10,780
Tokyo - Yokoyama ¥ 900 (return)
Tokyo - Maihama (for Disney area, return) ¥ 420

I don't think a JR Pass work out very well here for two reasons.
First, most of your travel will be done in areas rich of nature (Kamikochi, Hakone etc) where trains are less common and it is better to travel by bus or alternative transport methods, this means a JR Pass won't help you much savings wise and buying normal tickets as you go will be the best way to get around, because of different transport companies involved. Secondly, most of your train travel is relatively short and inexpensive (as you can see in the list above).
Your plan is pretty complicated and (may) require a lot of planning in advance, it would be too much to write it all out here but I would be more than willing to help if you get stuck in some particular area.

Expert button 2

Hey Daniel!

Thanks for your valuable advice and for availing your help!

Let's do this step by step.

Should I get this for my round trip to and fro Narita Airport?

The round trip is for 2 weeks validity. For my itinerary, it should be fine?

My son will only turn 12 this October. Will he be considered as an adult or child in Japan?



Hi Again,

Yes getting a Suica card for you and your children is a great idea! This will make travel much more easy in Tokyo and surrounding area. However I would just buy a one way package as the return ticket is valid for two weeks after purchase (16 Sat would be 15 days).

Child fares are available for children age 5-11, so your son would be considered an adult.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel

It's me again. Thank you so much for your kind advice previously. It has been v helpful.

After doing the Magome/Tsumago trail, we will be staying overnight at Nakatsugawa. We would like to make our way back to Tokyo using the Shinkansen the next day.

Question: In terms of cost and time, should we travel to Nagano or Nagoya to take the Shinkansen? Also considering the scenery along the way back to Tokyo :) Thank you!


Hi Again,

The Shinkansen will set you back around ¥ 12,000yen per person and takes about 3 hours.

The limited express to Shinjuku JR option is around ¥ 9,730 and takes about 4 hours. I actually think that the view from the Shinkansen can be a little boring (there's a lot of tunnels), so the limited express is probably the best option in terms of scenery.

Lastly you could also travel to Tokyo with just local trains, which is 415 Minutes ¥ 5,250 but involves 3 transfers.

Enjoy the ride!

Expert button 2

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