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Itinerary - will 14 day JR pass be enough?

Hi there.

We will be going to Japan for 3 weeks. Our rough plan is as follows:


7-12: Tokyo
12-14: Osaka
14 -15: Kanazawa
15-17: Takayama (day trip to Shirakawa-go)
17-23: Kyoto (will probably also do a day trip to Nara as well)
23-25: Hiroshima
25-27: Fujikawaguchiko
27-29: Tokyo

I am planning on taking the bus from Fujikawaguchiko back to Tokyo.

Will the 14 day pass be the most cost efficient? Can the itinerary be made more efficient? Should I be spender longer in places?

All help appreciated!


  • Changed it slightly so I'm not going back on myself

    14-16: Kanazawa
    16 -17: Takayama

    Planning on spending the day in shirakawa-go on 16th. Then spend the day in Takayama on 17th before travelling to Kyoto in the evening.

    Would that work?
  • Hi,
    The order definitely needs to be fixed. Takayama is between Kyoto and Tokyo, so going there on the way to Kansai or returning from Kansai makes more sense. A 14 day pass would work well for you, although there is no rail access to shirakawago so you must pay for a bus. And trying to go from Hiroshima to the Fuji 5 lakes in one shot is going to be rather painful.
  • Hey Tenji,

    Thanks for the reply and advice. My friend also suggested to change the route as she said it was silly! I've changed it to:

    7-12 Tokyo

    12-14 5 Lakes

    14-16 Taka

    16- Shir

    16-22 Kyoto

    22-24 Kanazawa

    24-26 Osaka

    26-28 Hiroshima

    28-29 Tokyo

    Is that better and would the 14 day pass be okay?

    Thanks for you help!

  • The 14 day pass is fine, though as I said, for Shirakawago you still have to pay for the bus. But I don't see why you don't go Takayama to Shirakawago, then onward to Kanazawa and then Kansai.
    And getting from the 5 Lakes to Takayama will take close to 7 hours - and you must pay for the train to Otsuki to get the JR train.
    Have you run your rail plans through www.hyperdia.com
    It can tell you a lot.
  • Hey Tenjin, thanks again for your reply.

    I've done as suggested and switched Kanazawa and Kansai around.

    I've run most of the rail plans through hyperdia and most seem fine. I think most of the awkwardness I've been having is including 5 lakes in the plan.

    Is there a route you would suggest to get all the places listed above in?


  • Hi,
    No matter how you slice it, trying to make the trip to the 5 Lakes part of your whole long distance itinerary means some extremely painfully long trips. If you have your heart set on going there, the best way would be to make it as a side trip from Tokyo, and not try to go from there to Kanazawa or Kansai.

    Also, since you are going to see Tokyo, there is far less need to spend daytime hours in Osaka. Actually, if you could add half a day to see Nara Park in Nara it would be well worth it.

    Taking half a day (preferably on a different day) and going to see Himeji with Japan's best castle would be worthwhile also.

    And you could if you want see Osaka in the evening - it has a wild night life.

    For Hyperdia, under "More Options", with a full JR pass, be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train using the JR pass.

    Also, you can look at some previews of some of the best places to see in Japan on:

    There are also loads of other tips on

    Best regards.
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