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new traveler to Japan

Hi there, I am new here. I am travelling to Japan from 8 November to 20 November 2017. No specific itinerary yet, need help and advice on that. I will be going in via Nagoya airport and leaving Japan from Kansai airport. Since i will arrived late on 8 Nov (9pm in airport with no flight delay) i am thinking of staying in Nagoya for 2 days (no specific sight to check on yet) and leave for Kyoto on 10 Nov (either early morning or during lunch time). I plan to stay couple of days 4-5 days in Kyoto and move on to Osaka for another 5-6 days or anywhere easy and convenient with the JR Pass. Any advice on how to maximize the use of JR Pass as in where can i go and when to activate it. Thanks.


  • By the way, i also heard about he Osaka Amazing Pass, I plan to buy and use the 2 days pass while in Osaka. Someone also recommended that i go to Nara and Hemiji, can you suggest some itinerary that i could use for Kyoto, Osaka (including all the above) from 10 Nov till 19 Nov? Thanks.
    Which are the route i can make use of JR Pass?
    Would travelling from Nagoya station to Kyoto be one of route that i can start using the JR pass?

  • Hi,
    You would not make a JR Pass pay off by simply going from Nagoya to the Kansai area. Within Kansai, Nara, Himeji and Kobe are all worth seeing. But you'd lose money on a JR pass.

    You need to fill out your itinerary more, then choose which pass (if any) is the best. If you take a trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima for a day, for example, that would change things around a lot.

    There is a simple calculator to use to see if a full JR Pass will pay off:

    If not, there are many regional passes that might help you instead:
  • hi tenjin,
    my itinerary for the entire trip will be as follow :
    8 Nov -arrive in Nagoya airport 9pm, check into hotel.
    9 Nov - one day sight seeing around Nagoya.
    10 Nov - leave for Kyoto. Can you advise the cheaper mode of transport instead the Shinkansen Nozomi line which is kind of pricey? Hyperdia provide only Shinkansen.
    10 Nov -arrived Kyoto check into hotel near Kyoto station.
    10-14 Nov - sight seeing to places like Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu dera temple, Golden Pavilian, Sanjusan Gendo, Gion Shijo etc. May i confirm for travelling to these places i will not use the JR pass but the subway train and the city buses, is this correct?
    15 Nov - leave from Kyoto to Osaka.
    At Osaka Station, buy the Osaka 2 day amazing pass to be use on 16-17 Nov. At Osaka station, Change the Kansai Reginal pass 1 day voucher at the station. Voucher to be used on 18 Nov.
    Sight seeing around Osaka area.
    16-17 Nov - 2 days amazing pass.
    18 Nov - use the 1 day Kansai Reginal pass for Nara, Hemeji, Kobe.
    19 Nov - sight seeing around Osaka.
    10 Nov - leaving Japan via Kansai International Airport.

    Thus, for the above itinerary, i would only need to get now the Kansai Reginal pass for 1 day via the JR Pass website.

    For travelling within the sight seeing places within Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, is there a special pass that i can buy to be use a convenient ticket rather than go to the ticket counter in every bus/train/subway station. I use to heard of ICOCA but i dont see it in the JR website. Can you tell me where can i get this?

    Please provide any other suggestion if any.


  • Thus, for the above itinerary, i would only need to get now the Kansai Reginal pass for 1 day via the JR Pass website. Is this correct?
  • From the JR page, I saw airport transfer from Kansai to Kyoto, is there one that i can use for Osaka to Kansai airport?
  • It seems you should forget about any passes. Just play with Google Maps and Jorudan for a while. Jorudan shows you the most expensive/fast route or the most economic/slow route in one setting, including some bus plans. Google Maps adopts Jorudan and also allows anywhere on the map for a departure and an arrival locations. If you are not decided hotel locations, use Sakae in Nagoya, Shijo in Kyoto, and Namba in Osaka. All these are the city centers for the three.


    Buying a ticket in Japan is rather easy, but you may think of an IC card to bypass the procedures.

    After all the above was done, then check a list of passes. I believe no passes should pay off in your case.
  • hi, thank you for all your advice.

    i reviewed the Kansai Regional pass and wonder if it is worth to buy the 2 days pass.
    19 Nov - Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Osaka (back to hotel)
    20 Nov - Osaka station to Kansai international airport (flight schedule to depart at 10.00am)
    Can you let me know if the 2 days pass at 4300(4500 if purchase inside Japan) will paid off the entire 2 days plan.
    If yes, can you please provide link to the route from Osaka Station.
    19 Nov - plan to start journey at 8.30am.
    20 Nov - which train should i be taking to go directly to Kansai airport.

    please confirm Kansai Regional pass can be purchase inside Japan? Is yes, is it at Osaka Station?

    Thank you in advance for your help.
  • i am trying to do if the 2 days Kansai Regional pass will paid off (just the same as you had copy the link for me for a JR Pass for 7 days, 14days and 21 days), but i dont know how to change the pass into Kansai Regional pass, please provide link for me to check this out as well.
    Below is the link that you had provided for the JR pass earlier.

  • Hi.
    You'd get great savings for 2 days (normal tickets would be in total about ¥7000) but your schedule for the 19th would be brutal. More than 4½ hours on trains, and daylight hours very short in November.
    You'd need to leave Osaka for Nara much earlier - around 6:30 to 7 AM - getting there in about an hour. You could see a few good places in Nara Park (the Todaiji Temple is a must) and then go to Kobe (about 90 minutes). I don't know what you have planned to see there. Then it would be another 50 minutes to Himeji (Note that you *cannot* take the bullet train nor the Ltd Express train to Himeji with the Kansai Area Pass). You could rush through seeing Himeji Castle and Kokoen Garden next door (both close at 5 PM), then return 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. This all assumes you have the energy.

    Honestly, if I were you, I'd drop Kobe and go there on a different day, in the evening after you are done seeing Kyoto.

    As for getting to KIX, you can take the Haruka Ltd Express train (unreserved seating only) and you can board it from Shin-Osaka (taking about 60 minutes) or Tennoji Stn, taking about 40 minutes. (I'm not sure which station is closer to your hotel).

    You can buy the Kansai Area Pass directly through this website, or contact your travel agent.

    Be sure to read the important info on
  • hi Tenjin,
    i could skip Kobe as there was no specific item in my mind.
    In Nara, is Nara Park and Todaiji temple close by? How long would be estimate that i could spend on these two places? 1 hours?

    If i skip Kobe, from Nara to Himeji, how long does the journey took me?
    for both Himeji castle and Kokoen garden how much time should i spend for each of them before they close by 5pm?

    the train ride from Himeji to Osaka station, how long will it take?

    I had not decided on the hotel location in Osaka, it could either be Chuo Ward or Namba.

    For the use of time table with Hyperdia, some time, I cannot get a search result if i only put Osaka, it ask to choose among Osakabe, osaka namba and few others...Please let me know which is the correct one if i stay in Chuo Ward area.

    for you recommendataion to Kix ariport.
    As for getting to KIX, you can take the Haruka Ltd Express train (unreserved seating only) and you can board it from Shin-Osaka (taking about 60 minutes) or Tennoji Stn, taking about 40 minutes. (I'm not sure which station is closer to your hotel).
    When i use the Hyperdia for osaka to Kansai airport for a log in time of 7am on Nov 20, there were 5 suggested route over 7.05am to 7.36am. can i know if with the Kansai Regional pass, i can used all the 5 route or is there only specific route that i can used with the Pass?


  • Hi,
    Todaiji is in Nara Park. To make it worth your time, I suggest you spend at least 2 hours there. Nara Park is about a 20 minute walk from the JR Nara Station, or if you want to hurry, a taxi is quick and not that expensive. Seeing Todaiji doesn't take that long. You also might feed the deer there, and see Kofukuji Temple and if you like, Kasuga Grand Shrine.
    You can see previews of some of the best places on:

    Nara to Himeji is about 2 hours on the train. As for how much time for Himeji castle and Kokoen garden, spend as much as interests you. But yes, they both close at 5 PM. If you see both, there is a cheaper combination ticket.
    Himeji to Osaka is about 1 hour.
    In Osaka there is more than one city center or 'downtown'. Both Osaka and Umeda in the north make one, and Namba & Tennoji make another. Chuo Ward sits in between them. So for the route, you'll likely have to pay for the subway at least part of the way. It depends where your hotel is. Their website or front desk should be able to help you.
  • thank you for the detail on nara and himeji.

    For the Kansai Area pass, i read in the website, it can be purchase outside Japan and within Japan. For a 2 days pass, if we purchase outside Japan it is 4300yen, and purchase in Japan it is 4500yen. If this is still valid, can i know where in Japan that i can purchase it? Will it be at the Osaka main station or Kyoto main station? If i want to use tomorrow, can i purchase it in Japan by today? Beside the different cost of ticket (purchase outside and within Japan), will there be other difference? Reason for not purchasing now is there may be change of itinerary while in Japan, thus, we may not get to use the Reginal pass should a condition arise. Thus, if there is no other difference than the cost, I would opt to buy when in Japan. Please advice.

    There were many other pass, such as Icoca, City passes, Area Pass, Thru pass etc.
    My travelling will be city centered, and one day outside of city area to Nara and Himeji, would it be correct to only consider :smile:
    1. City passes like Osama Amazing pass
    2. Osaka one day pass and Kyoto one day bus pass
    3. Kansai Area pass (either 1 or 2 days including Haruka airport train)
    4. Icoca (prepaid card use as cash for all transport fare including JR and non-JR line, subway and buses)

    Can all item 1-4 be possible to purchase inside Japan?


  • The only other big difference besides price for the Kansai Area pass is that in Japan you can only buy one pass per Japan visit. If you buy it outside Japan, there is no such restriction (although the periods of use cannot overlap).

    For where to buy and your other questions, look at their website:

    All the other passes you mention can be bought in Japan.

    Good luck.
  • 'in Japan you can only buy one pass per Japan visit. ', do you mean
    1. i can only buy one Area Pass but still can buy other pass? or,
    2. i cannot buy any other pass like Osaka Amazing pass, Osaka one day pass, kyoto buss pass if i buy the Kansai Area pass in Japan?

    Please let me know is 1 or 2 will be correct.

    This shall me my final question for the Kansai commuting. Thanks.
  • #1. You can buy other passes fine.
  • hi there, we plan to Japan this Dec, in and out Tokyo for 6 days. any suggest if take JR to Nagoya?
  • Hi,
    First, it's better to start a new thread and not piggyback your question on someone else's.
    Your question is unclear. Suggestions for what? And what are your entire plans? Only going from Tokyo to Nagoya does not make a 7 day rail pass pay off.
  • hi,
    Please advise going from Nagoya to Kyoto, is it only train is the Shinkansen, which cost about 5800 yen?
    If we find this costly, is there other option?
  • hi,
    Would JR train station accept credit card for train ticket and also ICoCA (In Kansai area) purchase. If yes, would there be added cost for using credit card?
  • Again, it's better to start a new thread and not piggyback your question on someone else's.

    You don't have to take the shinkansen - but it is the fastest and most convenient. You can take a limited express train also. Costs less, but takes longer. Kintetsu also goes from Nagoya to Kyoto, and there is the Kintetsu Rail Pass. It can save a lot of money, but it will take a couple hours longer than the shinkansen.

    For JR trains, you can use your credit card/Icoca at a JR office/station. There is no extra charge from JR for credit cards, but there might be from your bank.
  • hi Tenjin,
    Thanks for the reply. This is my forum since Oct 15 that i started it.
    I didn't piggyback on others, the other person 'Rebecca' piggy back on mine. I am the same person in this forum 'Bingomoi' that you had been consulting and provide a lot of usual information. I want to keep all your response in the same forum for easy reference, thus, i should not be starting a new thread.

    Thanks for the notes on Kintetsu Rail Pass, i will explore more.

    Noted that credit card is usable over JR office/station.

    Once again, thanks.

  • Sorry, my error.
    Have a great trip.
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