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Which JR Pass, if any?


Our proposed itinerary is as follows, so would just like some advice as to which, if any, JR Pass would be worth it:

Day 1 - Arrive NRT - Transport to hotel already arranged
Day 2-5 Tokyo
Day 6 - Tokyo-Kyoto
Day 7-10 Kyoto
Day 11 - Kyoto-Osaka
Day 12-14 Osaka
Day 15 - Osaka-Kasaoka (my wife's request, so it will be done, lol)
Day 16-17 - Kasaoka
Day 18 - Kasaoka-Hiroshima
Day 19-20 - Hiroshima
Day 21-Hiroshima-Fukuoka
Day 22-25 - Fukuoka
Day 26 - Fukuoka-Tokyo
Day 27 - Depart NRT

I am planning this for Sep/Oct 2021, about a month after the Olympics. Was going to be this year, but the Coronavirus changed our plans.

The above itinerary is not set in stone, so suggestions there are also welcome. Well, as long as Kasaoka remains, can't afford a divorce lawyer!


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    Presumably you are thinking of a 21-day pass, used Days 6-26. But with your current plans, it looks doubtful that it would pay off. If you are willing to add a bit more and enhance your trip, you could certainly make it pay off well plus throw in some more variety.
    From Fukuoka to Tokyo, it would take you 6 hours straight with the best connections, so you also might consider breaking that up and seeing Hiroshima or Kasaoka on the way back.
    If you are also seeing Tokyo, then there is a lot less need for spending daytime in Osaka. Osaka is best in the evenings anyway, such as Dotonbori, Shinsekai, the Umeda Sky Bldg, Abeno Harukas Bldg, Cosmo Tower, etc.

    You could pull a day off of Osaka and go see Himeji, with Japan's best original surviving castle, not to mention the beautiful Kokoen Garden nearby. You could make it half a day, and spend the other half in Kobe if you like.

    Another big glaring omission is skipping Nara - it has some of Japan's best places, and you could squeeze it down to half a day if you like if you see the places around Nara Park.

    I've got no idea about the appeal of Kasaoka, but if you could pull some time off of it and add it to Hiroshima, it would be well worth it. You could see Hiroshima & Miyajima pretty well with a day at each, but if you have more time, September is the season for the dahlia festival at the Sera Kogen Farm, and you can really have your mind blown.

    October also has the annual Saijo Sake festival in October.

    Likewise, Fukuoka has some very good sights to see, (though not many are well known, in spite of being among Japan's best).

    But if you are putting in that much time, I'd seriously consider taking an overnight trip to Nagasaki. It is a unique city with its Chinese and Dutch influences.

    Seeing the Yutoku Inari shrine along the way is also possible - it's one of the best in Japan.

    With all that, a 21-day pass would work well. Of course, you also have the choice of not getting pass, and flying back to Narita from Fukuoka. The flight is just 90 minutes, you can use the Exprience Japan Fare to save money, and your last full day you are at Narita. If still have some time, Narita has some nice sights to see as well, like the Naritasan temple or the Boso no Mura museum.

    Hope that helps.
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