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15 nights Tokyo-Osaka-Takayama (Shirakawago-Matsumoto-Tokyo

Hi Everyone,
There are 8 of us (4 are our teenager kids) Its our first trip to Japan. Flying in Narita 16 Dec and flying out of Narita on 31 Dec (total 15 nights)
My above sector/destination is based on the fact that we want to spend Christmas with a friend who lives in Matsumoto.

How best should we travel and is it worth getting a JR pass knowing that places like Shirakawago and snow monkey is not accessible by JR pass.

Our tentative itinerary
3 nights Osaka (16-19 Dec)
2 nights Takayama/Shirakawago (19-21 Dec)
5 nights in Matsumoto (21-26 Dec)
5 nights Tokyo in and about (26-31 Dec) Son needs to attend Comiket.

Is this a workable itinerary? What are the challenges? Any recommendations and comments is greatly appreciated

Ps. 5 nights in Matsumoto is meant to spend time with friends plus doing many day trips out of Matsumoto (what are the other attractions) friend just moved there recently and not too familiar yet?


  • Hi,
    As is, you don't make a 14 day pass pay off. If you add a few day trips from Tokyo, such as to see Nikko, you could make it work, but it's up to you.
    Also from Takayama to Matsumoto by rail is a grueling 4+ hours - many just pay for a direct bus then take trains around a lot of mountain ranges. Again, it's up to you.
    You also might look at several regional rail passes that might be more convenient for you:
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