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Should I get a 14 or 21 day jr pass? Or other options?

We leave on 20 March our itinerary is
7 nights Tokyo
2 nights Hakone
8 nights Kyoto
2 nights Miyajima
1 night Koyasan, Koyacho
6 nights Osaka
2 nights Tokyo
Could you please help are wasting our money if we buy a 21 day pass and can you give advice getting to Koyasan. Thanks

Comments

  • Hi,
    You would make a 14 day pass pay off if you did all your long distance travel within 14 days - which currently you don't. If you don't want to change your time allotments, then you'd need to add some more side trips to break even on a 21 day pass. Fortunately the price difference between the 14 day and 21 day pass is not that much, so it is possible.
    You could for example add in a day trip to Himeji - it has Japan's finest castle and the Kokoen Garden next door is very good as well. Another possibility is adding in a day trip or overnight from Kyoto to Kanazawa,
    which is a charming and appealing place, especially to see Japan's most highly regarded traditional garden, Kenrokuen.
    It's unclear why you choose 8 nights in Kyoto (which is fine - it would take you months to see it all) and then 6 days in Osaka, which is just a clone of Tokyo.

    Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5 PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
    On another evening, you could also go and see Kobe.

    Instead, I suggest you take at least half a day and see Nara - it was also a former capital and has some of Japan's best sights. Missing the Todaiji Great Buddha would be a tragedy. Nara Park has a lot of other great places, such as Kasuga Shrine, Kofukuji Temple, the Isuien and Yoshikien Gardens, and feeding the many deer in the area.
    It's up to your interests of course.
    There are many other possibilities - Kinosaki is a popular hot spring resort and no visit to Japan is complete without going to a hot spring (onsen) at least once.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3525.html
    Amanohashidate is also very nice and called one of Japan's Top 3 views.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3990.html
    There is also Miyama for a look at a Japan from centuries ago.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3985.html
    You could allocate some time for some day trips from Tokyo as well - Nikko, Kamakura/Enoshima, Kusatsu, the Hitachi Seaside Park, Karuizawa, Mt Takao, Izu, the Fuji 5 Lakes, and more. Your timing might be good to still see the plum blossoms at Kairakuen.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6201.html

    For Hakone, take the bullet train from Tokyo and get off at Odawara Stn., then to save money, buy a Hakone Free Pass
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html
    After seeing the area, return but go to Mishima Stn., then catch the next bullet train to Kyoto.
    The Hakone Loop Course
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html
    is a common way to see the area and takes a full day.

    Just like Hakone, you can't use your JR Pass for Koyasan. To save money though, you can get a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_012.html

    If you want to use a Tokyo subway, you might consider a 2 or 3 day subway pass.
    http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel/index.html#anc03

    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
    http://www.hyperdia.com
    Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box if on a JR Pass 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:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/thejapanfaq/videos

    There are also loads of other tips on
    http://www.thejapanfaq.com/the-best-japan-travel-tips/

    Best wishes.

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