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21 days Itinerary.. need some suggestion regarding the JR Pass and places to visit

I'm planning to visit Japan this summer with my family (my husband, 2 teens and one child). I am thinking of getting 14 Day JR Pass, but not so sure if it will be enough for our plan. This is an itinerary that I currently have.

We will arrived to Haneda airport on June 22, in the afternoon, so we are planning to exchange our Jr pass and then take Shinkansen to Osaka on that day.

June 23-28-- stay in Osaka-- visit these places: Kyoto (2 Days), Kobe, Nara, Osaka Castle, Himeji, then on the last day we will travel to Hiroshima.

June 29-July 2-- stay in Hiroshima--visit Kure (Yamato Museum), Okumoshima Island, Yamaguchi (Akiyoshido Limestone Cave), Kintai Kyo Bridge, Miyajima Hiroshima Castle Atomic Dome Peach park museum.

July 3-4 ---travel to Tokyo- visit Shizuoka---Miho Beach, Nihondaira (Tea plantation), Fujinomiya (Waterfall, shrine and Lake Tanuki)

July 5- Hakone
July 6 - Nikko
July 7-11- Tokyo--Meiji shrine, Ameyayokocho shopping areas, Roppongi Hill (Morri Tower), Asukasa shrine, Imperial Palace, Tokyo sky tree.

Couple things I would like to get some suggestion on:

1. Will this 14 JR Pass is enough or too much for my itinerary? and can I use it for majority of these places that I planed to visit, to minimize other buses fee?

2. Should we start using Jr Pass to go to Osaka on the day we arrived, or we should spend sometime in Tokyo first before go to Osaka, just to maximize the use of the pass?

3. On July 2, should I stayed a night in Hiroshima or take shinkansen back to Tokyo? giving that we will visit Atomic Dome, Hiroshima castle and Miyajima on that day.

4. within Shizuoka, between Nihondaira to Fujinomiya, is there a bus that I can take, so I can visit both place on the same day, or I should just keep it one area for each day?


  • edited February 2017
    Your plans are doable but quite ambitious and fast paced. If you're hoping to linger at places and do a lot of window shopping, you'll be very hard pressed.
    A 14 day pass activated at Haneda Airport will serve you quite well and take you to nearly all the places you plan to go. If you start using it June 22, the last day to use it would be on July 5. To maximize your savings, you should swap the days of Hakone and Nikko.
    Your kids might like Edo Wonderland there as well.
    Or in Kyoto there is the Toei Eigamura.
    For Hakone, you can use a Hakone Free Pass.
    Hiroshima to Tokyo is, with a good connection, about 4¾ hours - rather long and tiring. I suggest you go there as a day trip from Kansai.
    You can do Hiroshima & Miyajima as a day trip with an early morning start. You won't see it all but you can cover most of the best (Peace Park/Museum, castle, Shukkeien Garden, Okonomiyaki-mura, and if you can fit it in, the Mitakidera Temple on the city's west side).
    Miyajima is by far one of the biggest tourist draws in the area, but 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, if the weather is good, offers a fantastic view over the island and whole area. If you really want a treat, try to find out the high and low tides, and see Itsukushima Shrine at both.
    Don't forget that you can use the Pass for the Hiroshima Loop bus, as well as to get to Akiyoshido from Yamagushi Stn (not Shin-Yamaguchi Stn).
    You should check the weather forecasts daily, and if you find a day with lousy weather, seeing the cave would be a great solution.
    Tokyo Sky Tree offers the best view over the city, although it is not cheap. If you still want more though, there are many good free places too.

    For Shizuoka, I really can't be of much help. But you might look at:

    Just so you know, a typical taxi can take a max of 4 passengers, but if your child is small enough to sit on your lap, it might just be economical to use one at times. They are also the fastest and most convenient way to get around. If you have a lot of luggage, you might look at a takuhaibin service to send your luggage to a place you plan to be. Prices are pretty reasonable.

    For Tokyo, look at getting a 2 or 3 day subway pass to save money.

    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 using the pass.
  • Thank you Tenjin. I will adjust my plan a bit as you suggested. Those are places that my sons and I wish to visit, but we will try to visit them at our paces, so if we miss a few places, that should not be too bad. It will give us a reason to visit Japan again....:)
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