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Winter Osaka - Nagoya - Takayama - Kyoto - Osaka. What Pass?

about 5 years ago
1 response

This is my first Japan trip and I will be flying to Osaka during Mid of January.
There are total 4 of us travelling.

I had drafted my itinerary as below:

Day 1 (18th Jan)
Arrival at Kansai Airport (8am)
Proceed to Nagoya for leisure trip.
Stay Nagoya

Day 2 (19th Jan)
Join a local tour agency OR self travel for day tour to Takayama & Shirakawa-go. Online tour fares is about 11K Yen per person.
Stay: Nagoya

Day 3 (20th Jan)
Travel to Kyoto
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion)
Philosopher Path
Stay: Kyoto

Day 4 (21st Jan)
Kyoto Kanze Kaikan
Fushimi Inari
Nishiki Market
Stay: Kyoto

Day 5 (22nd Jan)
Day trip to Nara
Todai-ji Temple
Nara Park
Kasuga Jinjya
Stay: Kyoto

Day 6 (23rd Jan)
Osaka Castle
Umeda Tower
Stay: Osaka

Day 7 (24th Jan)
Universal Studio
Osaka Bay
Stay: Osaka

Day 8 (25th Jan)
Tsutenkaku Tower
Nippombashi Denden Town
America Town
Stay: Osaka

Day 9 (26th Jan)
Day trip to Miyajima/Hiroshima (optional)
or continue to shop around Osaka if day 8th is insufficient to cover all the destinations.
Stay: Osaka

Day 10 (27th Jan)
Day trip to Kobe
Mt Rokko
Stay: Osaka

Day 11 (28th Jan)
Proceed to Kansai airport to checkout.

Please suggest:
1) What passes are recommended?
2) Should i travel with agency in Day 2 to Takayama & Shirakawa-go? The reason i am staying in Nagoya is also partly because of the high fees involved if i travel to Takayama from Kyoto. I would actually opt to stay in Takayama if possible (not in Nagoya).

Million thank.

1951 posts
about 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there!

I think the first step is to work out what your JR travel costs could be. Here they are in as much detail as I think is needed:

  1. Kansai airport > Nagoya: ¥8,270 (137mins, 247km)
  2. Nagoya > Takayama: ¥6,070 (150mins, 166km)
  3. Takayama > Nagoya: ¥5,670 (145mins, 166km)
  4. Nagoya > Kyoto: ¥5,640 (37mins, 147km)
  5. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  6. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  7. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  8. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥10,150 (104mins, 345km)
  9. Hiroshima > Miyajimaguchi: ¥400 (26mins, 21km)
  10. Miyajimaguchi > Osaka: ¥10,540 (148mins, 367km)
  11. Osaka > Kobe(hyogo): ¥390 (24mins, 33km)
  12. Kobe(hyogo) > Osaka: ¥390 (25mins, 33km)
  13. Osaka > Kansai airport: ¥3,340 (57mins, 64km)

JR ticket cost: ¥52,780 for 13 legs

As you can see, you'd make good savings with a 14 day Japan Rail Pass (this is the only JR pass that will cover all of your legs), and would also have the flexibility to do any further JR travel for free. However, if you decide not to take the trip to Hiroshima, then I think you would be better off simply purchasing JR tickets as you go (and using the 1 day metro passes in Kyoto and Osaka).

For Takayama & Shirakawago, the JR Pass will get you to Takayama on the fantastic Wide-View train, however you will have to use the non-JR Nohi bus service from Takayama to Shirakawago (¥4300 round trip). It is very easy to travel to Takayama as it is not a big town, and Shirakawago is also very small. Personally I recommend saving money and doing it using the JR Pass + Nohi bus. You can also consult this great free guides from the Japanese National Tourism Organisation for more information on how to tour Takayama and Shirakawago effectively.

Hope this helps!

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