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Proposed itinerary + 7 day rail pass?

Hi

I plan to travel in late February from
Nozawa Onsen to Iiyama station by taxi, Iiyama to Hiroshima by train
Hiroshima to Tahara Aichi Prefecture by train
Tahara Aichi Prefecture back to Tokyo by train
and then 3-4 days of city travel around Tokyo suburbs on trains/subway and then Narita Express train to Narita airport for flight home.

From my research the 7 day rail pass could be worth it but I have the following issues
- from Hyperdia some of the Shinkansen trains used between Iiyama - Hiroshima and Tokyo are not covered by the pass so I would need to spend extra money for these trips. Is this correct?
- Also I dont see that I could activate the JR pass at Iiyama station? So I would need to pay for some travel to get to a station like Nagano to activate the pass. Is this correct?
- Travelling to Tahara Aichi Prefecture will require a lot of out of pocket trips as most of the trains don't look to be JR trains/lines? Is this correct?

Finally, advice on whether I should buy a 7 day rail pass or not, thank you in advance.

Comments

  • Hi,
    It's impossible to advise about using a rail pass without knowing your full itinerary. Are you starting from Tokyo? Please list your whole itinerary and how long at each stop.
    Going from Iiyama to Nozawa Onsen by taxi would be *very* expensive. It is about 40 minutes and would cost you probably ¥10,000-15,000. I suggest you take a bus - it is only ¥700 yen. Departures are every 1-2 hours.

    Iiyama to Hiroshima will take you at least 6 hours 15 minutes. Very painful. The easiest lines are via Kanazawa and Osaka, and the whole way is covered by the JR pass. But you can't take the Nozomi shinkansen - you need to take the Hikari.
    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
    http://www.hyperdia.com
    Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train if you are using the JR pass.

    You can't activate the JR Pass at Iiyama. The list of offices is at:
    http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/exchange.html
    You can activate it at any of them and designate a future date as your first day, however.

    Hiroshima to Mikawatahara will be another crushing ride - at least 5 hours sitting on trains. I hope your destinations are truly worth it. You could not take JR the whole way as you mentioned, but almost. You can take JR to Toyohashi Stn, then walk 5 minutes to Shintoyohashi to catch the Toyohashi Tetsudo train the rest of the way (about 35 minutes, 520 yen).

    Happy New Year.
  • edited January 1
    thank you for the detail and your help!
    This is my full itinerary as I will be travelling from Narita to Nozawa Onsen by private transfer.
  • I still don't know your travel times, but if you do all your long distance travel within 7 days, you get some good savings from a 7 day pass.
  • Hi
    Sunday 25th February Leaving Nozawa Onsen and travel to Hiroshima
    Monday 26th Hiroshima sightseeing and leave for Tahara in the afternoon. Overnight in Tahara.
    Tuesday 27th Tahara until 12pm and then travel back to Tokyo in the afternoon.
    In Tokyo from night of the 27th and fly home Friday night 2nd March. While in Tokyo I will be needing to use trains and the subway to get around the city and areas. Possibly a day trip to Hakone or Fuji.
    thanks
  • Hi,
    Well that is some seriously painful time on trains for just half a day in Hiroshima. You couldn't add another day?
    For Tokyo, you could use the JR Pass on the Yamanote Line which goes to several popular areas with tourists, but the savings don't add up to much. You could save some more going to Odawara to see Hakone or to Otsuki if you go see the Fuji 5 Lakes. From Odawara you could save money on a Hakone Free Pass.
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5206.html
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html
    The Loop Course is a common way to see all the sights and takes a full day.
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html

    If you choose the Fuji 5 Lakes, then there are various tourist tickets you could get for there too.
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6900.html
    And if flying out of Narita, you could use the Narita Express to the airport, taking just under an hour.
  • Thank you Tenjin, I will have a rethink
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