questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

help re itinerary and transport options

Help re itinerary and transport options

Hi We are a family of 3 (teenage son) traveling first to Japan in January 2015 for 16 days for sightseeing and our son wants to ski at Hakuba for 5 days. A proposed itinerary as follow:
Day 1 - Arrive Osaka early morning. Plan to sightsee and visit Osaka castle and Sky building. If time permits may visit aquarium.
Day 2 - train to Kyoto and general sightsee such as fushimi Inari and nishiki market
Day 3 - full day sightsee Eastern Kyoto
Day 4 - half day Northern Kyoto and half day Arashiyama
Day 5 - full day to Nara
Day 6 - Kyoto to Hakone
Day 7 - Hakone to Tokyo and sightsee Tokyo
Day 8 - Tokyo
Day 9 - Tokyo or day trip to either Nikko or Yokohama? ?
Day 10 - Tokyo to Hakuba
Day 11-15 - Hakuba
Day 16 - Hakuba to Nagoya
Day 17 - fly home to Australia from Nagoya airport

Can you please advise if itinerary is doable and recommend any changes. What is the best travel option to use/buy for this trip? What are the best budget places to stay at?
Thanks for all advice.


Hi there!

Honestly it looks like a great itinerary and works very well! The first couple of days are especially planned well and include some of my personal favourites. Once you reach Tokyo, I'd recommend visiting Tokyo Tower and a visit to Akihabara even if it is only for an hour or two. As for a day trip, personally I would go for Nikko, the Toshogu Shrine and Taiyuinbyo are very impressive and visiting Nikko would also be nice since you are staying so much in the city (Yokohama is much like Tokyo and Osaka).

Now for transportation, I checked the route but have to conclude that buying normal tickets as you travel is probably the best way to go. By staying 5 days at Hakuba a JR Pass would not be put to good use and it simply would not be economical.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thanks Daniel. I will include Nikko and the Tokyo sights in our itinerary. Which region tickets should we buy? Can we buy the tickets once we arrive in Japan?

Thanks again


Honestly I think that buying normal tickets for your itinerary is the best option. In terms of expancive travel you are limited to a one way Kyoto - Hakone, which is not enough for an (area) pass to pay of.

Normal train tickets can be purchased at any station up to 5 minutes before departure!

Expert button 2

Thanks Daniel. We will go with this option.


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