questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

18 days in japan with a 14 day rail pass

18 days in Japan with a 14 day rail pass

We have 18 full days in Japan in May this year. We fly into Osaka and fly out of Osaka. Our travelling party is six, with 3 adults and 3 boys aged 11 to 15. My question is which part of Japan would be worth staying for 4 days without the rail pass? At the present time we are thinking of validating as soon as we arrive and heading north, maybe as far as Hachinohe. We would then use up our 14 days all the way back down to Hiroshima, with extended stays in Tokyo, Kyoto. We thought we would finish in Osaka, and then spend the 4 remaining days there, seeing what else appeals and paying as we go. The problem is that Osaka and Kyoto are not very far apart. So if this sounds like a good plan, I guess what I am saying is there enough to see and do in Osaka with 4 days, considering that we plan to also stay in Kyoto? My other question is because of the Osaka fly in/fly out, we are going to be doubling up travel inbetween Osaka and Tokyo. Is there a loop that we could do, covered by the rail pass? Also do you recommend for our party of 6 that we all carry a good size backpack rather than a trolley suitcase, with the economy rail travel, due to restricted luggage room. Thanks!


Hi there,

I must say that I already really like this trip from what I read. So I hope I can help you bring it all together.
If you go all the way up to Hachinohe and then down to Hiroshima you will be sure to get a lot out of your JR-Pass.
The plan to spend your last days in Osaka is a very good idea as well. There is more enough to do and see in this area. Also if you plan on doing some shopping this is the time so you won't have to carry it with you all the time.

Here are some ideas to spend your days in Osaka:
-Universal city (great for the kids) -ShinsaiBashi, the heart of Osaka shopping with many small shops selling everything. -Den Den town, lots of electronics and Anime. -Day trip to either Nara or Kobe. -Osaka Castle -Osaka Aquarium (personal recommendation, it is very impressive). -The Umeda Skybuilding, for a great view over the city. Also walk to streets of Minami-Namba after sunset to get a real feel of the city.

There is only one Shinkansen line between Osaka Tokyo so there is not really a loop. What you could do is visit Nagoya in the middle, than move up north to Takayama from there go to Kanazawa and then on to Kyoto. All are places in top 10 visit list!

For luggage,
This mostly depends on personal preference I think. I usually carry my own bag back with me because it is easier if you have to walk a lot. Trolley suitcases are fine too however, most express trains have a special luggage compartment in each train car, so you won't experience space problems. Maybe you could combine then, the trolley suitcases for when you move from city to city and a bag pack or two to carry the necessaries for the day.

Hope this helps,

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