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Subject : Green 1st class JR Pass Order number: Adult x3, Child x2

Details: family of five (x5) Important is whether to buy a 14 day, starting from Tokyo departure for Kyoto?


21 day JR pass starting from Narita_Tokyo_Nikko_Kyoto_Nara_Tokyo_Nagano_Tokyo_Narita (18days)?

Question #1_Very important please confirm - FEDEX expected delivery (x3 three days) JR Pass arrive no later than Thursday 11 Jan 15, as we depart Australia 0500 Mon 15 Jan 18!!

Question #2_ Confirmation - is the JR pass good for use to/from Tokyo-Nikko, Kyoto/Nara, Tokyo-Nagano-Narita?

Will a JR pass arrive before we depart 15 Jan 2018?

Please check and advise the below summary itinerary: Day 1 - 18:00pm Arr Narita International,
Day 1 - 19:30 Dept Narita for Tokyo (5ni/6 days) Taito-ku, Nishi-Asakusa
Day 2 - 0900_Japan Tokyo Tower Shibakoen, Minato Goji-ji Buddhist Temple, Tokyo Dome City etc
Day 3 - 0900_Full Day Trip, travel to Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture by Train (3hours), return to Tokyo 18:30pm
Day 4 - Tokyo local sites and visits in Tokyo
Day 5 - 0500am_ぷらっと築地 / 築地場外市場 Tsukiji Fish Market and other Tokyo local sites
Day 6 - 0900 Sat_Shinkansen Train (Bullet Train) Taito-ku, Asakusa Station to Kyoto Station (3 hours 21min)
Day 6 - AM Dept Tokyo - Arr Kyoto (3hours), Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto (01/20-01/24 Jan 18) 5 nights 5 days: Yasaka Shrine Maruyama Park Shijo Dori Nijō Castle Takotamago - Baby octopus on a stick with an egg in its head. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Day 9 - Full Day Trip_travel to Nara 奈良市, Nara Prefecture return to Kyoto by 18:30pm Nara Park
Day 10 - AM Wed 24 Shinkansen Train (Bullet Train) Dept Kyoto for Return to Tokyo (3 hours) OR Option Kyoto to Togakushi via Fukui,Ishikawa, Toyama to Togakushi
Day 10 - Arr Tokyo for transfer/change_Dept Tokyo for (Train JR East Pass?) Nagano (Rtn-Tokyo Day 18) (2 hours 30 min)
Day 10 - Arr Nagano approx 11:00pm; Dept Nagano 12:30-13:00pm by Local Bus? (1 hour) Arr 14:00pm Togakushi Nagano Prefecture (01/24- 02/01)
Day 16 - Full Day trip travel to Hakubar (2 hours)
Day 18 - Thur 01 Feb 10:30AM Dept Togakushi,
Day 18 - 11am Arr Nagano, Dept Nagano 12:00pm,
Day 18 - 14:30PM Arr Tokyo_Transfer/change for Narita
Day 18 - 15:30PM Dept Tokyo for Narita Int'l Airport
Day 18 - PM Arr Narita Airport Day 18 - 01 Feb_Dept Narita for Aust.

Lastly Question #3_Should we get a 14 Day JR Pass and activate for Nikko return then Tokyo to Kyoto return transfer to Nagano with return to Narita on day 14, 01 Feb2018?

Or Pay x5 single / return trips Tokyo-Nag-Tokyo-Narita 01 Feb 18?

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  • Hi,
    It looks like a close call either way. If you could bunch up your trip to Nikko along with the long distance travel, and do it all in 14 days, that would get you the best value.
    I will analyze your plans more a bit later since it's very late now, but regarding your first point, if you are concerned about delivery before your departure, you should immediately e-mail them and ask, or better, yet, call them up.

    For question #2, yes, yes, and yes. But for going to Nikko, there is another way that is much cheaper.

    A lot depends on what you want. You could use a JR Pass pretty much all the way if you want. But there are cheaper ways also, like the 1000 yen bus from Narita.
    There is a good subway pass for Tokyo as well, especially the 2-3 day one.

    For Nikko, The kids might like Edo-Mura for a real Japanese experience.

    I'll get back to you about a few other things later. In the mean time, you might look at this JR pass calculator to help you out:

    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 if you are using the JR pass.

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

    There are also loads of other tips on

    Remember also, worst case scenario, you can now buy the JR passes after you arrive in Japan, although at a higher price.
  • Hi again,
    OK, I've looked at your plans a bit more. In my view my first observation was correct. You'd get the best value with a 14 day pass for Days 5-18, as well as switching your plans for Days 3 & 5. Start using your pass from Day 5, going to Nikko, then use the pass for the rest of your trip all the way to leaving Narita for home.
    If you find it too hectic though, then just use the Tobu NIkko Free Pass
    for Nikko on Day 3. For landing at Narita, use the 1000 yen bus, or pay for the Narita Express (3000 yen each adult), or Keisei Skyliner, or orange limousine bus.

    For Tsukiji, if you really want the tour, you're going to have to be there even earlier - around 3:30-4 AM. There is no public transportation running at that hour, so unless you're close to the place, you'll need a taxi. Normally a taxi can take a max of 4 passengers, but maybe if one of your kids is small, s/he can sit on someone's lap. It will be cold and slippery there, so dress warmly and wear some good non-slip shoes.

    For your Day 6, the Sagano Bamboo Forest is in Arashiyama on the city's west side, completely opposite of everywhere else you are going. It is really pointless to go there just to see the bamboo grove, since you will be through it in about 20 minutes. There are many other places you could add to make it worthwhile. You might have a look at:

    You also might consider the Toei Eigamura and Kyoto Railway Museum for the kids. For Japan, undoubtedly some days the weather will stink, so have a back up plan of some indoor sights (museums, aquariums, etc).

    For Kyoto, you are missing some of the most famous and popular places - the Top 3 places are Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Kiyomizudera, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine - they are the icons of the city. It's up to your taste though.

    After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5 PM, if you have the energy, 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.

    Timewise, it's almost the same going from Kyoto to Nagano transferring either at Nagoya or Kanazawa. If you could spare some time in Kanazawa to see Kenrokuen (widely regarded as the nation's best historic landscape garden), it would be well worth it.
    You don't need to go all the way back to Tokyo to go to Nagano.

    Have a good trip.
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