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Itinerary Ideas 2019/5/5 04:32

I currently plan to do a trip to Japan (first time visit) and I'd like to ask to get some Feedback on my planed itinerary in Mid May to Beginning of June.

Tokyo arrival
Tokyo -> Nagano
Alp Route -> Kanazawa
Kanazawa -> Kyoto
Nara -> Kyoto
Kyoto -> Koyasan
Koyasan -> Osaka
Osaka -> Hiroshima
Himeji -> Hakone
Tokyo departure


Tokyo arrival
Alp Route
Tokyo departure

My preferences are to get know the culture and also the history of a country. I also enjoy nature a lot.
To travel a lot is no problem for me, I plan to mainly travel with a medium sized backpack and send my other small luggage to the destinations where I stay more than one night.

I still struggle to decide if Takayama is woth a detour from Kanazawa or if there is another ordering which makes more sense.

For the trip I plan to get the 14-Days JR Pass.

Many thanks for any advice in advance.
by Clyppy (guest)  

Re: Itinerary Ideas 2019/5/6 00:09
A 14-day Japan Rail Pass [JRP]
(sold at about 47000 yen) sounds not best cost-wise.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
is served fully by non-JR transportation;
JRP is never usable there.

You don't need 40000 yen for the other interregional legs.

You have many other destinations outside Kanto Region,
which may well take at least 10 days for first-timers,
therefore a 7-day JRP sounds not suitable, either.


: Hakone, Kansai Region, Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Alpine Route.

Costs on short vehicle rides
inside Tokyo
or inside City
of Kyoto | Osaka | Himeji | Hiroshima | Kanazawa | Nagano
or inside Miyajima Island
are omitted here.

Transportation cost in total for the major legs
= 55030 yen.
: 33850 yen
for Shinjuku -- Odawara -- Kyoto
and other interregional railway legs.
: 2600 yen
for Nagano -- Ikebukuro bus leg.
: 9800 yen
for Dentetsu-toyama -- Nagano
through Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
: 8780 yen
for Hakone, Nara and Koyasan trips.

Costs in details:

| [Odakyu:
| Limited Express Romancecar:
| 1770 yen, with your seat reserved]

Hakone trip
: 4600 yen on 2-day Hakone Freepass
sold at Odawara Station of Odakyu.

| [JR Tokaido Shinkansen:
| Hikari or Kodama:
| 12080 yen, with your seat reserved]

Nara trip
by Kintetsu railway + Nara Kotsu Bus,
including Kintetsu-nara -- Osaka-namba
: 1500 yen on Kintetsu Rail Pass 1-day.

Koyasan trip
: 2860 on Nankai Koyasan World Heritage Ticket.

Osaka | Shin-Osaka (#1) --
Himeji --
Hiroshima --
Miyajimaguchi --
and Miyajima --
Miyajimaguchi --
Hiroshima --
Shin-Osaka (#3)
and Shin-Osaka
within 5 calendar days (#2)
: 14500 yen on JR-West Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass,
without seat reservation.

Tsuruga --
Kanazawa --
within 4 calendar days (#2)
: 5500 yen on JR-West Hokuriku Area Pass,
without seat reservation.

Kintetsu | Nankai has its Osaka terminal in Namba area.
Osaka Station is in Umeda area.
The Shinkansen terminal is Shin-Osaka Station.
Namba, Umeda and Shin-Osaka
are connected each other by Osaka Metro.

The both passes are used on the day you go to Kanazawa,
so you leave Osaka for Hiroshima and get to Toyama
within 8 calendar days.

To have a rest on the way, Shin-Osaka sounds better than Kyoto;
the Shinkansen section between the two
is operated by JR-Central,
therefore not covered by JR-West passes.

Dentetsu-Toyama --
Tateayama {Alpine Route} Ogizawa --
: 9800 yen on Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket,
which is to be purchased by the previous day.

| [Seibu Bus or Nagaden Bus:
| Expressway Bus:
| 2600 yen, with your seat reserved]

by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary Ideas 2019/5/6 08:28
OK, so excluding arv/dpt days, that gives you 16 full days.
There are good and bad points to each option you make. On the one hand, spending your first few days in Tokyo makes more sense, to get acclimated and over the jet lag. It is better to have a light first few days, unless you're one of the lucky few who can sleep on the flight over and are ready to take off as soon as the sun comes up. But on the other hand, trying to get from Hakone to Nagano would be a massive pain. It would be better to do Hakone as a side trip from Tokyo. It would take you 3½ hours or more from Himeji to Mishima to go to Hakone, and that would really limit your time.
The 14-day JR Pass would serve you very well, actually. It more than pays for itself.
Of course there are the usual caveats - you can't use it on the Tateyama Alpine Route (but you can get a Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket discount ticket), plus the Hakoke Free Pass would be another regional pass for touring the Hakone area, and for Koyasan there is the Koyasan World Heritage Ticket. For Koyasan, you can see the best there in 24 hrs, but you absolutely should not miss the Okunoin Cemetery. It is mind blowing and surreal.

For Hiroshima, I presume you also plan to see Miyajima. And if you can get there before June 3rd when they start covering up the giant torii for renovations for over a year, you'll be one of the last of the lucky few who can see it as it is. You can also use the JR Pass for the loop bus in Hiroshima City. For Hiroshima City though, don't cheat yourself by just seeing the Peace Park. The city has a lot more, like the Shukkeien Garden and Mitakidera Temple, which most just skip out of ignorance.

If you can see the shrine both at high and low tides, you're in for a big bonus.
And if you can fit in Iwakuni just south of the island, you can enjoy Japan's loveliest old bridge plus its mountaintop castle.

You also have enough time to take a day trip from Tokyo if you like - Nikko is one good choice, or there is Kamakura/Enoshima. Or even just to Yokohama - the Sankeien Garden is just exquisite.

by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

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