Have a question ?
Use our forum

Japan itinerary and which pass is recommended

Hi, I’m planning a 14D13N trip to japan ard end Nov.. arriving at Kansai airport in the morning and depart from Haneda/Narita airport.

My itinerary is as follows:

D1-6. Based either at Osaka or Kyoto, do day trips

D7-8. Kanazawa- Takayama - Shirakawago

D9-10. Kawaguichiko

D11-13. Tokyo

D14 Depart Haneda/ Narita

please advise which rail pass should I get? Thanks


  • There is simply no pass that can cover all the areas you plan to go to on a one way itinerary. At best you can cover part of it. You might consider getting a Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass.

    You can then pay for a regular ticket from Nagoya to Tokyo.
    You could do the Fuji 5 Lakes as a trip from Tokyo. The cheapest way is by highway bus.

    I highly suggest you take at least half a day and see Nara from Kyoto or Osaka.

    Another day trip could be Himeji - a Kansai Area Pass could work for you.

    For a cheap bus to Narita, there is the Access Narita bus.

    You can check on train info on Hyperdia - you can see regular fares, routes, and schedules.

    Also, you can look at some previews of some of the best places to see in Japan on:

    There are also loads of other tips on

    Best regards.
  • Thanks @Tenjin for the recommendation. I also googled n saw the Takayama-Hokuriku area tourist pass. There’s another Kansei-Hokuriku area pass which I wonder if it’s better.

    Actually we’ve yet to book air tickets and are playing ard with the arrival n departure airports 😬

    our initial itinerary is:

    D1. arrive tokyo

    D2-3. Hakone/ Kawaguichiko (Mt Fuji)

    D4-D5. Takayama, Shirakawago

    D7-D9. Kyoto, Osaka area (day trips)

    D10. Return to Tokyo from osaka/Kyoto

    D10-D13. Tokyo

    D14. Depart from Haneda/ Narita

    For this itinerary, we plan to get the 7 days JR pass and activate on D4 when we go to Takayama ..

    It’s our first time going to japan (2 adults 2 kids aged 13 & 10). I have searched online for info as well as reading others blogs on their japan travel. So trying to see which will be a better way. Hope I’m not too ambitious 😅

    So looking at both itineraries, which one would you recommend?

    Thank you 🙏

  • The Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass makes absolutely no sense for you - you have no plans to go to western Kansai or the Chugoku Region, and the pass doesn't cover Takayama or Shirakawago at all.
    You can see both the Fuji 5 Lakes and Hakone over 2 days (seeing the Lakes first would make a lot more sense logistically). Shirakawago only take a few hours to see - be sure to go up to the village overlook as well. But you'd be cheating yourself if you totally skipped Kanazawa. At the very least, between Days 5-7, go to the Kenrokuen Garden before going to Kansai - it is widely regarded as the finest tradtional garden in Japan.

    And as mentioned, fitting in half a day at least to see Nara is also very worthwhile. You can see Osaka in the evening, when it is the best time to see the city, after a day of sightseeing in Kyoto. It's only 30 minutes away by train.

    If you use a 7-day rail pass for Days 4-10, you would get some modest savings. You'd still need to pay for the bus to/from Shirakawago, however.

    Best regards.
  • thanks @Tenjin. I’ve decided to go with option one: Arrive Osaka and depart from Tokyo. With reference to your suggestions, I have made some changes.

    D1. Arrive Kansai airport in the morning. D1-5. Explore Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Himeji (stay 4 nights in Kyoto)

    D5. Kyoto --> Kanazawa (Stay one night)

    D6 Day trip to Shirakawago ----> Takayama (stay one night)

    D7. Explore Takayama --> Nagoya

    D8. Nagoya ->Kawaguchiko

    D9-10. Fuji 5 lakes, Gotemba outlet

    D10-13. Explore Tokyo city

    D14. Depart from Narita airport [take Access Narita bus]

    Some questions for the above plan:

    1) I am not very sure about D7-D9. On D7, should I stay at nagoya for one night or go straight to Kawaguchiko from Takayama? I read that one can take train from Nagoya to Mishima station and take express bus to Kawaguchiko.

    2) Can the Takayama-Hokuriku area pass be used for D1-D7?

    Any recommendation/suggestions are welcome as I am still exploring places to visit at these areas.

    Thank you.

  • Hi,
    Takayama to Nagoya is about 2½ hours by limited express train.
    Nagoya to Mishima is about 1 hour 45 minutes by bullet train. The bus from Mishima to the Fuji 5 Lakes is another 90 minutes or so.
    If you could cult that down by staying in Nagoya, it would be to your benefit, I think.
    For the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass, it is only good for 5 consecutive days, which is why I said there is no pass that covers your whole trip.
  • oh I got the number of days mixed up for the Takayama-Hokuriku pass 😅😅.. yes it’s only 5 days

  • We are interested to go to Rabbit island (Okunoshima island). Can I fit in this trip to my itinerary on days when we are in Kyoto area?

  • It's possible but very time consuming to get to - around 2½-3 hours one way. And not as great as all the videos online portray it. I went there just over a year ago, and at the ferry port found some rabbits here and there. You could feed them and they were cute, but you are not going to be mobbed by a thousand bunnies. Some people broght cabbage and carrots to eat, but they seemed to prefer the rabbit food a lot more (you can buy small bags of it at the ferry port before departing).
  • Hi, finally got my air tickets and instead of flying in Kansai & out Tokyo, we are flying in & out Tokyo Narita airport for our 14d13n trip ard end November.

    Tentative itinerary is:

    Day 1: Reach Narita in the morning.

    Day 1 to Day 3: Hakone/Fuji Five Lakes

    Day 3: Hakone -> Takayama

    Day 4: Day trip to Shirakawago. Go to Kanazawa

    Day 5 Kanazawa

    Day 6 Kanazawa -> Kyoto

    Day 6 to Day 9 Explore Kyoto and day trips to Nara, Arashimaya,

    Day 10 Kyoto -> Tokyo

    Day 10-13 Explore Tokyo city

    Day 14 Depart from Narita airport

    Need help with some questions abt the above itinerary.

    Q1. Is it possible to go straight to Hakone/Fuji Five lakes on the day of arrival? Thinking of getting the Hakone Fuji Pass (3days).

    Q2. From Hakone, I am not sure if I shd use the route shown above or shd I go to Osaka & Kyoto first, then to kanazawa -> Shirakawago -> Takayama, before returning to Tokyo for the last few days.

    Q3. I have used the JR pass calculator to calculate if the JR pass will pay off for the above itinerary and it shows that it pays off for both 7-days pass as well as 14-days pass. I am not sure if I have calculated correctly. I do understand that if I use the pass, there will be some areas where it cannot be used, such as the bus to Shirakawago. So I am abit confused and wonder if the pass will really pay off for the trip.

    Thank you for any suggestions. 😋

  • 1. Yes, though you might be very tired when you land, after a long international flight.
    2. It is up to you, but if you go from Takayama to Tokyo, it is 4½ hours by train, which is rather long. Hakone to Takayama is about 4 hours.
    3. Your new itinerary does not make a 14 day pass pay off. For the Fuji area I am not considering going from the Fuji Lakes area via Tokyo to Hakone by JR - it would be crazy. There are buses you can take directly, but not covered by the JR Pass.
  • Thanks for the suggestions. Still exploring my option

    Do you think a 14-day JR pass will worth this below itinerary or 7-day JR pass will do?

    Day 1 Arrive Narita in the morning. Go to Tokyo. Stay one night
    Day 2 - 6 Kyoto (Nara, Himeji, Okunoshima island, Kobe, Osaka) (stay Kyoto 4 nights)
    Day 6 - 8 Kanazawa, Shirakawago (day trip), Takayama
    Day 9 - 11 Fuji Five Lakes/Hakone (2 nights)
    Day 12-13 Tokyo
    Day 14 Narita Airport

  • Your new itinerary would make a 14 day pass pay off handsomely, although how you group things makes a difference. You are cramming in a lot for your Kyoto time, and not leaving much for Kyoto itself. If you have your heart set on all those places and you travel at a fairly brisk pace, you could see Himeji (the castle and Kokoen Garden) and Kobe (whatever you want through the evening) together as a day trip, see Osaka in the evening after a day of sightseeing in Kyoto, plus spend half a day to see Nara Park and 2½ days for Kyoto. Very busy, but doable. The hard part is Okunoshima - it will take you about 2¾-3 hours by train one way, which is pushing it.
    I have been there, and while the rabbits are cute, it was rather a letdown for me. If you really want to go, that is fine. Though I suggest you consider instead doing a day trip to see Hiroshima and Miyajima, if you have not seen them before.
    Either way, I suggest you get an early morning start on that day.
Sign In or Register to comment.