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Advise on best options for 12 day trip

Hi ,

This is my first visit to japan - need advise on selection of rail pass based on my itinerary:

Day 1 : arrive @ KIX - overnight @ hotel near osaka stn
Day 2 : day trip to hiroshima - miyajima
Day 3 : day trip to Nara & local sights
Day 4 ; himeji half day , travel / transfer to Kyoto in late noon/ eve.
Day 5 : kyoto sights
Day 6 : kyoto to arashiyama area / golden pavilion

>>> for above i could take 7 day sanyo sanin pass OR 5 day Kansai Hiroshima Pass with day 1 airport trip covered by day pass!!!

Day 7 : kyoto to Tokyo in mng.
Tokyo to ashikaga flower park ( tokyo stay near tokyo stn/

Now , is the tough decision for me -

Day 8,9,10 - tokyo to Aomori - hirosaki area
Day 11 - aomori to tokyo
Day 12 : departure from Tokyo narita

For second leg , i could consider JR east tohuku 5 day pass ???

Tokyo stn to Narita ?? Will not be covered right ??

Appreciate expert comments/ just jaded with all itineraries & passes.



  • Hi,
    There are a few ways you could do this. The most straightforward would be to get a 14 day JR Pass. It would pay off nicely, and for the convenience of it, it is one idea.

    However, as you mentioned, you would get better savings out of the JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and JR East Tohoku Area Pass, and just paying out of pocket for the ride between Kansai and Tokyo. The JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass really doesn't add anything more for you.
    For the Tohoku Area Pass, it is not a 5 day pass but a flex pass where you pick 5 days of use within 14. It is one of the more versatile passes out there.
    For getting to Narita from Tokyo, one of the cheapest ways is the 1000 yen bus.
    if you don't use the Tohoku Area Pass.

    You can see both Hiroshima and Miyajima as a day trip 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. 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 have time, just a bit past Miyajima is Iwakuni with its iconic historical bridge and mountaintop castle.

    You can find regular rail 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 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 regards.
  • Thanks a lot Tenjin! Really appreciate ur feedback.

    So, the 14 day JR pass would cover all routes including all shinkansens right ! Right ???

    Our earlier plan was a week in osaka- kyoto region & a week in hokkaido BUT wisteria in bloom & blossoms still in Aomori region - tempted us to change the plan & got into some chaos
  • Hi,
    Yes, it covers the JR routes just fine. Just remember as I mentioned above you cannot use the pass for the Nozomi bullet train. But you can use it for the JR ferry to Miyajima as well as the loop bus in Hiroshima City. Also remember that there are several non-JR railways you cannot use the pass on, especially in the Kansai area, like Kintetsu, subways, Hankyu, etc.
    In southern Japan the wisteria is predicted to peak Apr 24-28 - about a week ahead of average. For the Ashikaga Flower Park it may be even sooner. Their website says it's peaking now (Apr 18).
  • Thanks for wisteria update
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