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Itinerary 16 days - will a JR Pass be worth it &

HI, this resource is great and I’m planning my trip using it but even with Hyperdia and its JR search function I can’t always see if the JR options are adding a huge amount of time to travel.

We will have children with us and are trying to minimise our train time.

We are travelling
Osaka-1 night
Kyoto 3 nights
Takayama 2 nights
Nakatsugawa 2 nights
Tokyo 5 nights
Nara 2 nights

As Tokyo is in the middle of our journey, I can’t make a 7 day pass work but I am still not sure if a 14 day pass will save a lot of money or whether the local train systems will be more useful and I should have a 7 day and then pay per leg.

There is a LOT of choice in the system and local knowledge is much appreciated.

If there are more efficient ways to do this itinerary by changing order, I would love to know. Also any quirky side trips/day trips that make the 14 day pass more worthwhile that aren't so well known.

The part I’m very unsure about is travel from Takayama to Nakatsugawa – I think it will have to be via Nagoya on JR? Or should I bus it to Matsumoto and train from there?

Also can we get to KIX on a train straight from Nara?

thank you.


  • Hi,
    You're right that you don't make a 14 day pass pay off - but you're not far off, and if you take a day trip from Tokyo you could broaden your experience and break even on the pass.

    You might consider as a day trip:
    Karuizawa, Kusatsu, Izu, the Ushiku Great Buddha, Kawagoe, Mt Takao, Hakone, the Fuji 5 Lakes area, the Boso Peninsula, Yokohama, Kamakura/Enoshima, and if you already have a JR Rail Pass, then Sendai becomes possible too. Some would allow you to break even while others are still too short.
    Alternatively, you could go from Tokyo to Nara by way of Kanazawa, which is a very nice city to spend some time in.
    You could go from Takayama to Nakatsugawa via Nagoya, but it would waste more time. If you went via Minoota and Tajimi you could save about an hour.

    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.
  • Thank you tenjin, that's very helpful. I look forward to checking out your list. I think for the convenience of the pass, we may go that way once we've decided on the day trip from Tokyo.
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