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Is the Takayama Hokuriku Pass the best option?


Thank you for reading this. We have a few questions.

1. We would like to do the following:

Kyoto -> Shin-onomichi -> Nagoya -> Shirakawa -> Iiyama (and then back to Tokyo)

Would the Takayama Hokuriku 5 day pass cover all those journeys (excluding the trip to Tokyo)?

2. At the start of our trip, we will travel Narita -> Tokyo -> Kyoto ( Kyoto used as a base for 9 days). Maybe day trips to Kinosaki, Nara and Osaka. Is it worth getting the 7 day JR pass for that plan?

3. If after #2, we visit Hiroshima, Should we buy the 14 day JR pass? Is there any regional pass that will cover Hiroshima as well?

Thank you for your help :)



  • Hi,
    It's hard to give anything specific since you giving a lot of maybe's. But the Takayama Hokuriku Pass doesn't cover Onomichi or Iiyama. And buying multiple full JR passes is hard to justify if you are not doing a lot of heavy travel.

    For the amount of travel you are doing, the 21 day JR Pass looks like the best way. It will cover everything except Shirakawago. There is no train there and you must pay for the bus. Unless you really want to see something in Nagoya and Takayama, you might consider skipping them and going by way of Kanazawa. It's a nice city to visit, and the bus ride to Shirakawago is a lot shorter. Plus, it is waaaaaaay easier to get to Iiyama from Kanazawa or Toyama than from Takayama or Nagoya.

    Nara is an excellent city to visit, and Kinosaki is one of Japan's top hot spring resorts. But it's far closer to go there from Kyoto than Hiroshima. If you have time, seeing Himeji is also well worth it, with Japan's finest castle and Kokoen Garden next door.
    Onomichi is an interesting choice - most people don't consider going there. The temple tour there only takes a couple of hours, and if you take the ferry to one of the smaller islands to see the Kosanji Temple, it is very worthwhile - it's one of Japan's wildest ornate temples; some call it a "Buddhist Disneyland".
    For Kinosaki, you might look into getting a hot spring pass:

    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
    Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train using the pass.

    You can see previews of some of the best places to see in Japan on:

    Hope that helps.

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