questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

help -.-

Help -.-

Dear Dani San:

This will be the first of many questions I have to ask you, I'm so confused with my itinerary, this trip to Japan was very unespected and I dont have that much time to plan, thank you in advance for your help. Also my trip will be in december so I dont know what to expect weather wise. I will use the JR rail pass for the last 21 days since I leave from Tokyo.

The first part of my trip will last one month in total the places I want to see are the following:

1 week Tokyo

The following two weeks I want to see the following:

  • Mt Fuji (I want to see it from a not so turistic place, Im thinking one of the five lakes, wich one do you recomend while using the JRpass taking in consideration the other locations I want to see?)

  • Nagano snow monkeys

  • Part of the Nakasendo trail, I'm thinking Narai, Tsumago-juku, Magome-juku (any direction its ok)

  • Kanazawa (I want to visit Shirakawago and Hida)

  • Go south to Hiroshima or beyond I dont know what places to see in a week in Hiroshima, I love nature and culture as well as wild life

  • Finish in Osaka by the 21day of the JRpass (Im not doing Osaka or Kyoto in this month, I will do them in my second month)

I know this question is all over the place, I'm so overwhelmed with so much information, just some guidance in what order or how to take advantage of the JR railpass will be great help. Thank you so much.

Regards from Argentina :)


Hello there,

Don't worry about travelling in Japan, it is an amazing experience once you are there. As you say, your questions are all over the place, so let's get some order in here.

Starting with the weather, December is pretty cold and there is a chance of snow in Tokyo and even in Osaka. My best advice would be to at least bring one set of warm cloths and also plan your itinerary with the winter season in mind. For instance, visiting Fuji. Fuji can be breathtaking in Winter, with a lot of snow and a white peak at the same time, it can be cloudy and the only thing you will see is grey clouds. The best advise I can give you here is to be flexible when it comes to visiting Fuji. You can check the view in the morning at many of these webcams and decide on whether you would make a day trip to Fuji from Tokyo or elsewhere. In general I advise visiting Hakone to view Fuji, for two reasons. 1.) There is plenty to do in case Fuji does decide to wrap itself in clouds. 2.) There is direct access from the JR Pass via the Shinkansen. You can take a bullet train directly from Tokyo to Odawara and access Hakone from there. Kawaguchiko and the Fuji-5-Lakes area is a good alternative as day trip but may be boring if Fuji is not visible.

Then to cover the other places you wish to visit. I think this order would make most sense. Travel to Matsumoto or surrounding area to walk the Nakasendo (I still want to do this myself), then take a ltd. expres train up to Nagano and visit Jigokudani. You can take a Shinkansen directly from Nagano to Kanazawa. From Kanazawa, take a ltd. express train to Shin-Osaka from where you can use the Sakura Shinkansen to travel to Hiroshima before going back to Osaka using the same Shinkansen line.

I think that this should be a good start and base to build your itinerary up on. Let me know what you think and if I can help in any way.


Expert button 2

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $257.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.