Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/19 14:05
Hi,

We will be travelling to Japan as a family (me+my wife+ 9-year old daughter) to let them experience winter. We will be flying from Singapore-Tokyo (Haneda) then return from Osaka- Singapore.

Arrival: Jan 25 (Sat)- 1AM
Departure (back to Singapore): Feb 2 (11 AM)

I'm planning to cover:
- Gala Yuzawa for snow experience activities
- Nagano for snow monkey
- Kyoto
- Osaka before flying back which also covering Nara Deer Park

Is this possible? Any suggested efficient itinerary for this?
I heard about the overnight bus and I was thinking about it to save time and maybe some hotel/ accommodation.

I've been to Japan in some couple of times but it's just merely business trips in the past but this is our 1st time to have a vacation in Japan with my family and really needs some help.

Thank you!
by buloi123  

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/19 20:51
This is a lot to fit in in just 8 days. You won't get much time in places.

I'd suggest doing the snow monkeys as a stopover between Tokyo and Kansai. E.g. Tokyo > Nagano (shinkansen) > Snow Monkeys (bus) > Nagano (bus) > Kyoto/Osaka (shinkansen via Nagoya).
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/20 06:47
It is very rushed. Too many locations for 8 days.

I would fly in and out of Tokyo and not worry about Osaka. Only to Tokyo, Yuzawa Gala and Nagano.
-or-
Fly into Tokyo, straight to Yazawa Gala and Nagano, then onto Osaka to end.
-or-
Fiy in and out of Osaka, and snow adventure at Biwako Valley Ski Resort

http://www.biwako-valley.com/en/
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/20 06:56
It is very rushed. Too many locations for 8 days.

I would fly in and out of Tokyo and not worry about Osaka. Only to Tokyo, Yuzawa Gala and Nagano.
-or-
Fly into Tokyo, straight to Yazawa Gala and Nagano, then onto Osaka to end.
-or-
Fiy in and out of Osaka, and snow adventure at Biwako Valley Ski Resort

http://www.biwako-valley.com/en/
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/20 14:58
Thank you for the comments and advice!
My flight is fixed and we're going in at Tokyo (Haneda) and going out at Osaka..

Then as suggested, we can only cover Yuzawa (for snow experience), Nagano (for snow monkey) and Osaka (for Deer park) before flying back.

With these itinerary, is 1 week JR pass advisable to purchase or just get overnight buses?

by buloi123 rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/20 15:09
Regarding overnight busses, how likely is it that you, your wife and child will be able to get a good nights sleep in an overnight bus?

I know that people exist that can virtually sleep anywhere and will be rested the next day. Not me so. After a long trip the first thing I need is a bed and I am groggy for at least the entire day.

The snow monkeys are obviously an attraction but they are also the hardest to reach place on your list. So if instead you want to do Gala Yuzawa , Kyoto, Osaka that would be a possibility too. But obviously much less snow experience that way.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/20 23:00
The 2 to and back to Tokyo from Yuzawa and Nagano plus the single trip down to Kyoto already cover the cost of 7 days pass. I don't recommend overnight buses too, most probably will be too tiring for the next day.
by Delardino rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/20 23:15
Hi!

I have an 8 year old daughter, you would have to pay me a lot of money to take an overnight bus with her. At 2, it might have been fine, by 8 she is just not going to sleep on the bus, at that point have you thought about internal flights as well?

I think for a "snow experience" it sort of depends on what you want to do in the snow. Just getting to the snow monkeys in late January to early February will probably involve walking in or through some snow. You could also look into Shiga Kogen which is near the monkeys. Shiga Kogen according to this website is the largest skiing resort in Japan.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6026.html

I would think if you do:
January 25th arrive in Tokyo at 1:00 am I would probably sleep at Haneda somewhere to start sightseeing nice and early on the 25th (night 25th Tokyo proper)
January 26th Tokyo (night Tokyo proper)
January 27th Tokyo (night Tokyo proper)
January 28th leave early for Shiga Kogen and Snow activities ( night Shiga Kogen)
January 29th snow monkeys and go onto Kyoto (night Kyoto)
January 30 Kyoto (night Kyoto)
January 31 Kyoto (night Kyoto)
February 1st Nara and Osaka (night Kyoto)
February 2nd fly out of KIX

I'm not sure I would get a rail pass. it would depend on whether it is faster to take a limited Express from Nagano to Nagoya and then a shinkansen from Nagoya to Kyoto or if you back track from Nagano to Tokyo and take the shinkansen from there. I think it varies on which is faster depending on when you depart from Nagano from what I remember with a friend who went to see the monkeys.

You could move things around depending on what exactly you want to do in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/22 19:51
I was thinking on this itinerary but let me know if this is possible.

Saturday
: Tokyo Haneda Airport [HND]
- ETA: 1AM
: Staying overnight near Haneda. 
Sunday
: Explore Tokyo. 
: Staying overnight in Tokyo. 
Monday
: Checkout Tokyo
: Heading to Yuzawa skiing resort
??? Stay overnight in Yuzawa or Go to Nagano station (stay overnight in Nagano)????
Tuesday
: Heading to the snow monkey park
: Going back to (JR) Nagano Station
: Staying overnight near Nagano Stations. 
Wednesday
: Going by JR to Kanazawa Station 
: Heading to Kyoto Station
: Staying overnight in Kyoto City. 
Thursday
: Exploring Kyoto. 
: Staying overnight in Kyoto City. 
Friday
: Heading to Osaka City. 
: Exploring Osaka. 
: Staying overnight in Osaka City.
Saturday
: Heading to Nara Deer Park.
: Exploring Nara Deer Park. 
: Staying overnight in Osaka City. 
Sunday
: Flying out from Kansai Airport [KIX]
- ETD 11AM
by buloi123 rate this post as useful

Re: your winter itinerary 2019/8/22 21:31
Do you have in your mind particular things to do in Osaka City?
The itinerary suggested below
does not have time to explore Osaka City.

My suggestions
: Replacing Gala Yuzawa (in Niigata Prefecture)
by Nozawa (in Nagano Prefecture).
: Making a short trip to Gokayama and/or Shirakawa-go.
: Stopping by Kanazawa.
: Basing yourself near Kyoto Station
for your Nara and Kyoto trips and your JR train ride to KIX.
: Purchasing Hokuriku Arch Passes
through the official sales website by September 2019.

On October 1, due to the raise in the consumption taxes,
prices of transportation fees and passes
will be mostly revised to be slightly higher.

- Hokuriku Arch Pass
: Details
http://hokuriku-arch-pass.com/en/
: Sales online
https://shop.westjapanrail.com/?lang=en#/pass/hokuriku_arch_pass/

- Nara Kotsu Bus Passes
https://www.narakotsu.co.jp/language/en/pass.html

Osaka (for Deer park) before flying back.

The deer park is in Nara City,
which belongs not to Osaka Prefecture but to Nara Prefecture.

"Osaka Airport" commonly refers to so-called Itami Airport [ITM],
which serves domestic flights only.

[Suggested itinerary]

Jan. 25 (Sat)
- Before dawn: Arrival to HND.
- Afternoon: Sightseeing in Tokyo.
>>Staying overnight in Tokyo.<<

Jan. 26 (Sun)
- Sightseeing in Tokyo.
>>Staying overnight in Tokyo.<<

Jan. 27 (Mon)
- Morning (when the weather permits (#))
: Visiting a skyscraper to see Mount Fuji from a distance.
(#) Neither snowy, rainy, cloudy nor windy.
- Heading to Yamanouchi (in Nagano).
- Visiting Jigokudani Monkey Park.
- Evening: Heading to Nozawa Onsen.
>>Staying overnight in Nozawa Onsen.<<

Jan. 28 (Tue)
- Playing in the snow resort.
>>Staying overnight in Nozawa Onsen.<<

Jan. 29 (Wed)
- Heading to Shin-Takaoka Station (in Toyama).
- Making a round trip
to Gokayama (in Toyama) and/or Shirakawa-go (in Gifu).
https://www.japan-guide.com/bus/gokayama.html
- Heading to Kanazawa Station (in Ishikawa).
>>Staying overnight near Kanazawa Station.<<

Jan. 30 (Thu)
- Morning: Sightseeing in Kanazawa.
- Afternoon
: Heading to Kyoto Station (in Kyoto).
: Sightseeing in Kyoto City.
>>Staying overnight near Kyoto Station.<<

Jan. 31 (Fri)
- Sightseeing in Kyoto City.
>>Staying overnight near Kyoto Station.<<

Feb. 01 (Sat)
- Making a round trip to Nara Park (in Nara).
>>Staying overnight near Kyoto Station.<<

Feb. 02 (Sun)
- Early morning: Heading to KIX (in Osaka).
- Departure from KIX.

[Gala Yuzawa vs. Nozawa]

You
(a) hope to save your cost,
and still
(b) give priority to snow activities.

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
sounds friendly to parent-and-little-child visitors ,
enough to replace Gala Yuzawa and meet the above two requirements.
It has a kid playfield, a kid rest room and a child care center.

This resort is accessible from Iiyama Station,
which is between Nagano and Kanazawa,
by the local route bus and the courtesy bus;
your round-trip transportation cost
is about 1200 yen per adult (about 3000 yen for the three).

- Japan Guide: Nozawa Onsen
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6015.html
- Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
http://www.nozawaski.com/en/

Gala Yuzawa is outside the usage area of Hokuriku Arch Pass.
To obtain 7-day Japan Rail Passes,
you pay more by at least 4000 yen per adult (10000 yen for the three).
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/24 16:20
Thank you! Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort seems good for the 1st time family snow experience.
Last time during one of my business trips, I stayed in Matsumoto but I have not heard about this.

I will try to adjust on this itinerary...

So, 1 week JR ticket is advisable?
Thanks
by buloi123 rate this post as useful

Re: Jan 25- Feb 2, 2020: Tokyo- Osaka 2019/8/29 15:26
Here's my revised itinerary/ plan based on comments.
Please let me know if this is feasible now.

Jan 25 (Saturday)
: Flying into Tokyo Haneda Airport [HND]. 
- ETA: 1AM
: Staying overnight near Haneda. 
: Check-out HND
: Check-in Tokyo
: Explore Tokyo
: Staying overnight in Tokyo. 

Jan 26 (Sunday)
: Explore Tokyo. 
: Staying overnight in Tokyo. 

Jan 27 (Monday)
: Checkout Tokyo
: Heading to Yamanouchi (in Nagano). 
- Visiting Jigokudani Monkey Park. 
: Evening: Heading to Nozawa Onsen. 
: Staying overnight in Nozawa Onsen.

Jan 28 (Tuesday)
: Playing Snow in Nozawa Onsen
: Staying overnight in Nozawa Onsen. 

Jan 29 (Wednesday)
: Check-out Nozawa Onsen.
--> missing: how to go to Kanazawa station? ---> this in preparation going to Kyoto travel via JR
: Staying Kanazawa Station.

Jan 30 (Thursday)
: Heading to Kyoto Station
: Exploring Kyoto. 
: Staying overnight in Kyoto City. 

Jan 31 (Friday)
: Exploring Kyoto. 
: Staying overnight in Kyoto City. 

Feb 1 (Saturday)
: Check-out Kyoto
: Heading to Nara Deer Park.
: Exploring Nara Deer Park. 
: Staying overnight in Osaka City or Kyoto? (w/c is better and accessible to KIX)? 

Feb 2 (Sunday)
: Flying out from Kansai Airport [KIX]. 
ETD 11AM

Any suggestions on what are the must visit place on this route?
Thanks!

by buloi123 rate this post as useful

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