questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

backpack 7 days in japan - april 2015

Backpack 7 days in Japan - April 2015

I am planning a 7 days trip in Japan using the 7 days JR pass.
The itinerary is as follow:
4/9- NRT T1 to Odawara or Yokohama
4/10- Mt. Fuji / Hakone (day trip); to Osaka
4/11- osaka 1 day pass
4/12- osaka, bus to Iga (day trip); osaka to Kyoto
4/13- Kyoto 1 day pass; to Kanazawa
4/14- bus via Shirakawago to Takayama; to Nagoya or Shinagawa
4/15- Nagoya to NRT T1

My questions are:
1) which place is better to overnite? Odawara or Yokohama? Also Nagoya or Shinagawa?
2) Should I buy the Hakone Free Pass or pay as I go around Hakone as it's a day trip.
3) is it possible to visit both Kanazawa & Takayama in 1 day?
4) is there a sleeper train that I can take in any part my trip?

Your reply is much anticipated and appreciated.

;) Pauline


Hello Pauline,

1.) You could stay at either at any of these places. Given that you will want to travel to Osaka after Hakone, Odawara would make for a great base. As it is very easy to access Hakone from there and is directly on the Shinkansen to Osaka.

2.) The Hakone Free Pass can be a good deal, especially if you travel the circle most people make within Hakone.

3.) Yes it is possible but it would not give you much time for sightseeing. Personally I would at least recommend a single night in each place.

4.) With a little bit of planning you could try the Sunrise Express between Tokyo (closest station it stops to Odawara is Atami) and Osaka. Be sure to get tickets as soon as you can though, the train sells out quickly.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thank you! Yes, I'll try to stay in Hakone. There are a few more questions.

1) when I check hyperdia, on my second last day, the nite train from Takayama, stops at Minoota for about 4 hrs if I want to get to Nagoya. So, I really don't know where is a good central station for me to overnite before I travel all the way back to NRT on my last day? My flight is 5pm. Will it be better for me to visit both Kanazawa and Takayama first, so I can travel from Kyoto to NRT?

2) are there lockers in all these stations? Odawara, Hakone-Yumoto, Osaka, Shin-Osaka, Osaka Namba, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Takayama?

3) can I purchase the jr pass the month I travel fm USA?

4) is there any wesite for backpackers inn/ryokan/capsule by major station that you can recommend?

Thank you,


Hi Pauline,

1.) I would aim to stay your last night in Nagoya or any Shinkansen station between Nagoya and Tokyo. See this map for details.

2.) Yes all stations are equipped with lockers.

3.) The JR Pass can only be purchased outside of Japan, so be sure to place an order before departure. The JR Pass can be purchased up to 90 days before you start using it.

4.) There are a couple, rakuten travel, japanican and hostel world are all good for booking accommodations and offer good prices.

Hope this helps too,

Expert button 2

Thank u, Daniel San.
U r perfect 4 this job. So knowledgable n helpful.
Makes my trip planning easy.

Hv a great day
;D Pauline


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