Have a question ?
Use our forum

Help with right pass and buses

My husband and I will be traveling in Japan 8-Oct to 27-Oct. Our itinerary is below. Please advise if the 21-day pass is appropriate and where we will need to take a bus versus the train. Also please advise if the JR pass will cover the cost of the bus rides. Thank you!

8-11 Oct: Arrive Tokyo-Haneda; Visit Toyko
11-Oct: Day trip to Nikko
12 Oct: Hakone
13 Oct: Matusmoto
14-15 Oct: Kanazawa
16-18 Oct: Takayama, day trip to Shirakawa
19-22 Oct: Kyoto
23 Oct: Nara
24 Oct: Koyasan
25-26 Oct: Tokyo
27 Oct: Depart to LAX


  • Hi,
    A 21 day pass would pay off for you, but you'd get better value using a 14 day pass for Oct 13 onwards. For Nikko, you could get a Tobu Nikko Free Pass.
    And for Hakone, you could use the Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku.
    The Loop Course is a good way to see the area.

    For the bus, there is no rail access to get to/from Shirakawago - only bus. The JR Pass does not cover this. Also you can't get to Koyasan by JR. You can use a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket.

    Both Kyoto and Nara have a 500 yen bus pass you can use. JR trains are very limited in Kyoto - only going to Arashiyama and down the Nara Line.
    Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5PM, 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.

    In total, you're putting in about 6 days for Tokyo, which is really too much. If you want, you can go see Kamakura/Enoshima for a day, and there is a good regional pass for that too.
    You could also spend an afternoon in Yokohama and see some good sights there.

    Tokyo has a good 2 or 3 day subway pass that can help you too:
    and check the JNTO page for tickets to get from Haneda and use the subway, as well as for Yokohama:

    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on [Hyperdia](http://www.hyperdia.com "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:

  • edited August 2017
    Hello, Kodama.

    You will have expenses in addition to the JR Pass, specifically by getting to/from Shirakawago, Koyasan and for getting around in Hakone. The JR Pass does not fully cover access to these locations.

    Shirakawago is the only one of your locations that requires bus travel to access.

    With your current plans a 21-day pass certainly affords you some convenience with streamlining your access to the trains and using a couple of the faster alternatives, but keep in mind you will have additional transportation expenses.
  • Dear Tenjin and Faiyez,
    Thank you both for your input and advice. It is much appreciated!
Sign In or Register to comment.