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Which JR Pass to get?

about 3 years ago
1 response


We're planning on spending a month in Japan, and this is the first version of the itinerary. (I looked closely at the suggested 21 day itinerary on :). I have tried not to backtrack too much!

1 Kyoto Arrive in Kyoto
2 Kyoto
3 Kyoto
4 Kyoto > Nara > Kyoto (daytrip to Nara, train 30min)
5 Kyoto
6 Kyoto > Mount Koya (morning train for 3 hours, overnight at a temple)
7 Mount Koya > Osaka (noon 2 hours)
8 Osaka
9 Osaka (daytrip to Kobe, train 20mins, Rokko mountain)
10 Osaka (daytrip to Tottori desert?)
11 Osaka (maybe a night at Kinosaki Onsen?)
12 Osaka > Hiroshima > Miyajima (morning 2 hour train, Hiroshima Peace Park, Tadanoumi, 40 minutes)
13 Miyajima > Nagasaki (train at noon 4.5 hours)
14 Nagasaki
15 Nagasaki > Himeji > Nagoya (morning train 4.5 hours, castle, 90min)
16 Nagoya > Ise > Takayama (90mins, ise shinto shrines, 4.5hours)
17 Takayama
18 Takayama > Kanazawa (noon train 2.5 hours)
19 Kanazawa
20 Kanazawa > Tokyo (morning train, 4 hours, 1 change)
21 Tokyo
22 Tokyo > Kamakura > Tokya (daytrip to Kamakura)
23 Tokyo
24 Tokyo
25 Tokyo > Nikko > Tokyo (daytrip to Nikko)
26 Tokyo
27 Tokyo
28 Tokyo > Bangkok

  1. Is there too much travelling in some parts? (especially the middle - day 12 to 16 to Nagasaki and back)
  2. Would you recommend a 21-day JR pass? (and which date would it be active from?)
  3. Or would a 14 day pass be more cost efficient (maybe from day 9 to day 22?)
  4. Or would it be better to get a combination of regional JR passes?
  5. Any observations/suggestions about the order in which towns are visited?
12228 posts
almost 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

It's a very nicely balanced itinerary, you've got both the city life of modern Japan and the more traditional in here. I see that you've got a couple of days where you will spend 4 or more hours on the train. This may sound a lot beforehand but trust me, time flies when enjoying the Japanese trains.

2 & 3 & 4.) I would advise a 14 day JR Pass for this itinerary. It would be put to best use from day 11 or 12 (depending if you visit Kinosaki-Onsen) and you could even include the daytrip to Nikko with it. Coming back to Kinosaki onsen, it's an amazing way to experience Japanese onsen and my suggestion would be to include it in your travels. This would mean activating the JR Pass on day 11, and it would expire on the 24th. This means that the day trip to Nikko would fall outside of the 14 day window, an easy solution would be to just make the trip to Nikko a day earlier :) There's no regional pass which would cover your itinerary, so the JR Pass is the best option!

5.) As suggested I'd recommend a visit to Kinosaki-onsen and would also advise leaving early when traveling to Takayama to make the most of your time there.

Hope this helps,

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