Have a question ?
Use our forum

Best use of the 7 day pass for a 10 day stay in Japan

Hi! My family (me, husband and 2 young adult children) is traveling to Japan in June for 10 days. When can I use the 7 day rail pass and what other train tickets should I get to supplement it? How should I arrange my itinerary to make the best use of the pass? Reading from previous posts, I followed the following itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive in Narita, check in at hotel
Day 2 Tsukiji fish market, Hama Rikyu, Sensoji Temple
Day 3 Eco Tokyo Museum, Akihabara, Meiji shrine, Oriental Bazaar, Tokyo Metropolitan government office
Day 4 Mt Fuji/Hakone
Day 5 Hakone to Kyoto, Gion
Day 6 Hiroshima and Miyajima
Day 7 Fushimi Inari shrine, Nara
Day 8 Sanjusangendo Hall, Kiyomizu temple, Heian shrine, Kyoto handicraft center
Day 9 Nijo castle, Kyoto imperial palace, Ryoanji temple, golden pavilion
Day 10 Depart from Narita


  • edited April 2017
    You'd make both a 14 day and 7 day pass pay off for your plans, but you'd save more using the 7 day pass used for Days 4-10.
    To get into Tokyo cheaply on Day 1, there is the 1000 yen bus.
    You could also save some money on a 3 day subway pass.

    For Hakone, take the bullet train from Tokyo and get off at Odawara Stn., then to save money, buy a Hakone Free Pass:
    After seeing the area, return but go to Mishima Stn., then catch the next bullet train to Kyoto. The Hakone Loop Course
    is a common way to see the area.

    You can see both Hiroshima and Miyajima with an early morning start. You can cover the Peace Park/Museum, castle, Shukkeien Garden and Okonomiyaki-mura, and then go down to take the JR ferry to the island. You can use your pass for the JR ferry as well as the Hiroshima Loop Bus in Hiroshima City - a rare bonus.
    Aside from the Itsukushima Shrine with the giant "floating" torii, the Daishoin Temple is also a must-see place. There are several other pagodas and temples, and climbing Mt. Misen offers a fantastic view over the island and whole area. If you can see the Itsukushima Shrine at both high and low tides, you are in for a lucky windfall.
    If you still have time, just beyond Miyajima is Iwakuni, which is another picturesque place with its iconic bridge and mountaintop castle.

    The Fushimi Inari Shrine is open 24/7, so if you can go there in the early morning or evening, you can avoid a lot of the crowds. The Honganji Temples are open at the crack of dawn, and well worth adding if you can - they are within walking distance of Kyoto Station. If you don't mind getting up early, you could move Fushimi Inari to Day 8 - use your JR pass from Kyoto Stn down the Nara Line to the JR Inari Stn, then on the way out, use the Keihan Main Line (not covered by the pass, but inexpensive) from Fushimi Inari Stn (which is not the same as the JR Inari Stn) to Shichijo Stn to see Sanjusangendo, then afterwards go up one more station to Kiyomizu-Gojo for the Kiyomizu temple. That would free up more time for Nara or more for Kyoto.
    If you can fit it in, the Nanzenji Temple is also worth seeing, as well as the beautiful (and mostly unknown) Murin-an Garden between Nanzenji and Heian Shrine.

    I've been to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and it was frankly underwhelming. You might consider instead going to the Katsura Imperial Villa or Shugakuin Imperial Villa, All 3 are free, but the latter 2 require a sign up ahead of time.

    Also unless your travel pace is rather slow, you might find that your daily schedule is a bit lacking. Look at
    and have a few nearby interesting additions in case you have the time.

    Plus, have a backup plan in case the weather sucks - on some days it is almost guaranteed to. Consider some museums and aquariums.
    There is also free wi-fi in Kyoto at:
    If you have a tablet or smart phone with Google maps, you'll never get lost. Check to see the open days and hours of the places you'll go to. Some places are closed Mondays, and when open, don't let in more people 30 min. before closing.

    If you still have some energy, 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 stunning.
    On another evening, you could also go and see Kobe.

    Normally taxis are very quick and convenient, but expensive. That said, with 4 of you, it is indeed a viable option to get around some places the trains don't easily go to.

    Be aware that Kyoto to Narita will take a bit over 4 hours with the Pass.

    You can see previews of some of the best places to see in Japan on:

  • You've been very helpful. Thank you so much! I appreciate your help.
Sign In or Register to comment.