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Which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/12 22:05
11 Days Itinerary from 23 Feb- 4 Mar
Day 1 - Arrive Kansai airport. Staying 3 nights in Osaka
Day 2 - Day trip to Kobe
Day 3 - Day trip to Okayama+ Naoshima island. Alternatively may go to Wakayama instead.
Day 4 - From Osaka, take the train to Kanazawa for 2 nights
Day 5 - Kanazawa
Day 6 - From Kanazawa, will take the train to Takayama for 3 nights
Day 7 - Day tour by bus to Shirakawago.
Day 8 - Day trip to Shinhotaka Ropeway
Day 9 - From Takayama, take the train to Nagano for 2 nights
Day 10 - Day trip to Snow Monkey Park by train.
Day 11 - From Nagano, take the Hokuriku Shinkasen to Narita Airport and fly back to KL
by aileenonn  

Re: Please advice which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/13 13:26
Hi!

Personally, if it were me, and I was going to go: Kanazawa to Takayama to Nagano and planned to visit Shirakawa Go, I would do it all by bus and get one of the 3 Star bus tickets for 5500 yen.

You would use it to go: Kanazawa to Shirakawa Go to Takayama and then take the bus from Takayama to Matsumoto and then catch a train from there to Nagano. Heck, since you want to go to Shin-Hokata, you might even want to consider just two nights in Takayama and 1 night in Hirayu or Shin-Hokata or Matsumoto, since you could use the bus pass to get to Hirayu get off, and start the pass back up heading towards Matsumoto.

The earliest train departure from Takayama to Toyama is at 11:01 vs the 7:50 and 10:10 bus from Takayama to Matsumoto and then take a train to Nagano. The earliest you would get to Nagano via the train is 14:22.

If you go to Naoshima a Kansai Wide Pass should cover all JR trains (but nothing covers the ferry to Naoshima), I would buy it in Japan even though it costs more there because if you're going to just Wakayama you're better off paying out of pocket as it is a little under 2800 yen for a reserved seat on a limited express train, though honestly, I would just head directly to Wakayama from the airport, since you're already part of the way there if you want to go there.

Good luck
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Please advice which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/13 17:27
No pass

7 day too short
14 day wont pay off.
by Hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Please advice which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/13 18:54
Thank you for your suggestion to stay 1 night in Matsumoto and 2 nights only in Takayama. Its easier and cheaper to take the train from Matsumoto direct to Nagano with no train change. We may consider taking the bus from Kanazawa and stop over in Shirakawago for sight seeing before taking the bus to Takayama. Our concern is the luggage we have to carry around. Is there a luggage storage in Shirakawago bus terminal?
by aileenonn rate this post as useful

Re: Please advice which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/14 01:38
Hi!

https://shirakawa-go.gr.jp/en/faq/

According to the Shirakawa Go site, yes, there is storage. I find even though they cost a little more baggage rooms are great because they nearly always have room. I used on in Osaka Station when the lockers were super hard to come by and it ended up being cheaper because of how they counted my bags.

I think overall you will spend a lot less money using the 3 star route. https://option-ticket.mitsuboshi-kaidou.com/

It will cost you 4600 yen round trip just to go from Takayama to Shirakawa Go and then you would be paying an additional 4000 yen+ to do a round trip to Shin-Hokata not including the cost of a JR Pass. The 5500 yen bus ticket includes Shirakawa Go and you can go to Hirayu and change there for Shin-Hokata (I am 99% sure there is luggage storage in Hirayu) and pay only ~1300 yen additional for the bus to and from shin-Hokata back to Hirayu. While the Hida train is scenic, the bus between Takayama and Matsumoto is also quite scenic. Staying in Matsumoto you would have the option of the more expensive limited express to Nagano or the cheaper regular train which is about 30 minutes longer and less than half the price. From Nagano you will need to either bus it or take a private line to the snow monkeys. Neither is covered by a JR Pass. The Nagano tourist office seems really great and Nagano (as well as Matsumoto) has a ton of lockers of varying sizes and Nagano also has a Sagawa office for luggage storage, though depending on where you stay in Nagano you can also just take your bags there. I've personally stayed in the Dormy and the Metropolitan in Nagano. I liked both. The Metropolitan is literally attached to the station and the Dormy is a very short walk, I think the rooms at the Metropolitan were a little more upscale and larger, but the Dormy has a free "onsen" bath for guests only. We're actually going to Nagano to see the snow monkeys on February 21st.

But yeah, I would think about putting Wakayama on your arrival day if you prefer Wakayama over Naoshima just because the airport is part way to Wakayama. You can get there in under 1 hour via local trains for 900 yen or if you want to spend a bit more, there are hourly airport limo buses between KIX and Wakayama. I use to fly into KIX and then take the bus to Wakayama to meet my JET friend who lived in Kainan since it was the easiest thing to do with bags.

If you don't go to Naoshima your two most expensive train trips will be Osaka to Kanazawa (~8000 yen with a reserved seat and ~11,000 yen from Nagano to the airport. BTW Hyperdia recommends you change in Ueno for the Keisi Skyliner vs taking the shinkansen down to Tokyo Station and changing there for the NEX.)

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/14 13:57
The Three-star Route option ticket at 5500 yen is really a good value. Unfortunately after doing some checking on the website, online purchase is not available and purchasing location is not available in Osaka or Kanazawa where I will start my journey. Looks like I have to rework on the travel plans unless there is some alternative to purchase this ticket in Osaka or Kanazawa. Anyway thanks so much Rkold for your input.
by aileenonn rate this post as useful

Re: Which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/14 15:00
Hi!

This one is not quite as good because it is 500 yen more (6000 yen) and is only valid 4 days (which is still fine for your itinerary you start it the day you go to Shirakawa Go and Takayama (day 1) you have it your next day in Takayama (day 2) and then you use it to Hirayu (pay additional for Shin-Hokata) and continue to Matsumoto (day 3) and this ticket they specifically say they sell in Kanazawa.

https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/three-star/
It is sold at: Hokutetsu Kanazawa Ekimae Center. They only sell the ticket that starts in Kanazawa there, but as you are starting in Kanazawa, it shouldn't be an issue.

I'm surprised the other ticket can't be bought in Kanazawa or Toyama since those are both starting stations.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Which JR passes should I buy? 2019/12/14 16:28
Great! Though it cost 500 yen more and its for 4 days, it's still a good value and fits my schedule. Japan transportation with all the train and bus pass options, it can be pretty confusing. Need to spend time in doing research and etc. Thanks RKold.
by aileenonn rate this post as useful

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