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request regarding itineraries

We have been having trouble trying to figure out a good way to realize our travel plans in Japan between the 29th of March and May the 3rd. We are not sure if it is wise to use a JR Rail Pass or not. We would like to ask for your assistance in deciding the best way to implement our plans. After spending time in Kyoto we would like to continue with the inineraries as follows:

Concerning the Sanyo San’In JR Pass
Date From To
Thursday 5th of April Kytoto Hiroshima
Sunday 8th of April Hiroshima Miyajima
Monday 9th of April Miyajima Hiroshima
Monday 9th of April Hiroshima Onomichi
Wednesday 11th of April Imabari Naoshima

We are planning on doing this itinerary from the 5th of April to the 12th of April 2018. Our question is: will the Sanyo San’In area pass cover this itinerary or should we consider other options?

Concerning the 14 day JR Pass
Starting on the 16th of April ending in Tokyo 30th of April in Tokyo
Date From To
Saturday April 14th Naoshima Kurashiki
Monday April 16th Kurashiki Osaka
Tuesday April 17th Osaka Himeji Osaka
Wednesday April 18th Osaka Nara Osaka
Thursday April 19th Osaka Kanazawa
Sunday April 22th Kanazawa Toyama
Tuesday April 24th Toyama Takayama Toki
Wednesday April 25th Toki Tsumago Toki
Saturday April 28th Toki Nagoya Tokyo

We would really appreciate your comments on our ideas and if you think there is a better way to follow this route.


  • The problem as you likely have discovered is that for people with very long itineraries or slow travel paces, it is often very hard to make a rail pass worthwhile.
    The next issue is how flexible you are with making a few changes in order to make something cheaper work out. It is your trip though, so spend as much time as you want, where you want - that is what you are going to Japan for, not just to make a rail pass pay off.

    You could for example save a good amount of money if you used the JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass for Apr 5-10.
    It is only a 5 day pass though, not 7, so you'd need to cut back on your plans for a day. It's also unclear about how you are going to Imabari (and back). It's very iffy that the Sanyo San’In pass would pay off.

    I don't see any problem with the routing. Although when I ran the numbers for Apr 16-29, you still come up a little short to make a 14 day pass pay off. You could go somewhere from Tokyo on your last day, Apr 29, to at least break even, or stay a bit short and just use the Pass for the convenience of it.
    I notice that you omit Kyoto from your plans - have you seen a lot of it already?

    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
    Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box if on a JR Pass since you can't ride that train 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

    Best wishes.
  • Hi Tenjin, thanks for the quick reply!
    You gave us something to think about!

    We do go to Kyoto, for 6 days!
    We arrive in Osaka on March 29 and stay in Kyoto until April 5th when we move to Hiroshima. In Kyoto we plan biking and walking and public transfer.

    To Imabari we use bikes for the Shimanami Kaido trail and we have an overnight in Setoda.
    From Imabari it was planned with public transfer to Naoshima.

    If we take your advice, would it be better to travel without a pass from Imabari tot Naoshima?

    Also regarding traveling to Tokyo April 28, we were wondering if it would be wise to have a JR pass as the Golden Week starts as well.

    We appreciate your insights on this.
    Thank you!
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