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14 Days JR pass purchase

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your tips are very helpful for us. Thank you very much for your advice. We are planning to buy full Japan Rail Pass from overseas for our trip to Japan (April 20 to May 4).

We are wondering what places would you recommend for us to visit to make our 14 days pass worthwhile? We have never been to Japan and it is our first time visiting there. What would be an optimal route for us to visit Japan using JR Rail pass in 14 days?

We are also planning to purchase SIM card + Wifi to use in Japan. Do you sell them also? What would make the suitable purchase for our trip? If you dont' sell them, where do you recommend that we get them for our trip. Thank you very much for your time and advice in advance.


  • Hi,
    A lot depends on your interests of course. And most people go to see the Tokyo and Kansai (Kyoto, Nara, Osaka) areas, as you can see a sample itinerary at:

    But of course you should not feel chained down to the same old beaten path. There are many good places outside, particularly south of Kansai. And if you want to see the cherry blossoms, you could still catch some if you go to the far north.
    South of Kansai, Okayama is not far and it is famous for its castle, plus Korakuen Garden which is one of Japan's Top 3, and also the Handayama Garden is beautiful:

    The half day hike up to Konpirasan in Kotohira, Kagawa
    is stunning. Going to Takamatsu is also nice - it has one of Japan's finest gardens also, called Ritsurin.

    Hiroshima also has a number of good places. Miyajima is the most famous, and aside from Hiroshima itself, Onomichi with its temple tour and Kosanji Temple is spectacular. Just beyond Miyajima also lies Iwakuni with its historical bridge and castle on top of the mountain.

    And if you really want something mind blowing, go see the Akiyoshido Limestone Cave in Yamaguchi - a 300 million year old marvel with an underground river going through.

    Hagi is also charming and very relaxing - with a lot of history and largely ignored by the tourist crowds. Hagi Castle was actually delightful, and the preserved samurai district and Mori related temples a rarity.
    You are also in season to see the shibazakura:
    Also in the first week of May the wisteria comes into full bloom and it is absolutely breathtaking.
    The best place to see it is the Ashikaga Flower Park north of Tokyo.

    You should also be aware that you'll be traveling during Golden Week which is a peak holiday season. Popular places can get very crowded, and getting seats on some trains may be hard. With the JR Pass though advanced seat reservations are free and can be done in any JR office - you should definitely take advantage of it.
    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 on:

    Hopefully you can see a lot that few others go and see.
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