questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

hokkaido, takayama, tokyo - 19 days

Hokkaido, Takayama, Tokyo - 19 days

Hi Daniel,

Thank you very much for your help in my previous trip to Japan. Here I am again planning for another trip! We plan to visit at the end of the year and below is my tentative itinerary. Can you please help me with the following:

a) Is it worth getting a 21 day JR pass based on my itinerary below?
b) Should i fly to Toyama from Chitose and then go down to Takayama via the new Hokuriku Shinkansen or as per my itinerary below which is to fly to Nagoya and then go up to Takayama.

Thank you very much for your help.


15-Dec Flight to Tokyo - Narita
16-Dec Narita to Haneda to (Domestic flight to Hakodate)
17-Dec Hakodate
18-Dec Hakodate to Noboribetsu
19-Dec Noboribetsu
20-Dec Noboribetsu to Lake Toya
21-Dec Lake Toya
22-Dec Lake Toya to Niseko
23-Dec Niseko
24-Dec Niseko to Sapporo
25-Dec Sapporo - Otaru (day trip)
26-Dec Sapporo - Asahiyama Zoo (day trip)
27-Dec Sapporo to Hoshimo Resort
28-Dec Hoshimo resort
29-Dec Hoshimo to Chitose to Nagoya to Takayama
30-Dec Takayama - Shirakawa-go (day trip)
31-Dec Takayama
1-Jan Takayama to Tokyo
2-Jan Tokyo
3-Jan Tokyo
4-Jan Flight home


Hi Gladys,

Interesting itinerary! Will you be enjoying the winter sports in Niseko?

In terms of a JR Pass, a 21 day JR Pass would not be the best option as you also cover much distance flying. I also looked at other options such as a 7 day JR Pass for 14 day JR Pass but must conclude that buying normal train tickets is the better way to go. Within Hokkaido there's a good amount of rail travel - so you could look at a JR Hokkaido Pass.

As for the Hokuriku Shinkansen, why not take them back from Takayama (via Toyama) back to Tokyo. This way you really get to experience the train.

Hope this helps,

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