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Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 01:19
Can any1 advise on how I should arrange the sequence of my trip starting from Tokyo and end in Kyoto?
Will be travelling during Golden week. Will it be too crowded in these places?
Should I get 14 Day JR Pass or Shoryudo Bus Pass?
Places of interest: Alpine Route
Takayama
Gero Onsen
Shirakawago
Hirugami Onsen
Kanazawa
by J (guest)  

Re: Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 10:41
Hello. Keep in mind, golden week is always much more expensive and busy compared to other times in Japan. It's the holiday time of Japanese, so most will be traveling too and visiting the places you want to go.

If you're thinking of traveling, I would probably go by bus as it saves a lot more money compared to train passes. They do mark up the prices during golden week as well.

If you're landing in Tokyo and going to leave Tokyo by the end of your trip, I'd probably suggest to start out west and then make your way back to Tokyo so that way you aren't going back and forth and wasting your time and money. Just a friendly suggestion, but you do what you like since it's your holiday!
by Motti15 rate this post as useful

Re: Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 13:49
Hi

I mentioned I'm starting from Tokyo and ending in Kyoto. There will be couple of long distance trains that I will need to take especially when I'm travelling to hitachi seaside park, Fuji shibazakura festival and to Toyama to do Alpine Route etc. It's just that I don't know how to go about the sequence of the itinerary involving the Alps area
by J (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 14:08
Hi!

I want to stress now, I looked up where Hirugami onsen is, but I've not idea how you would get there without a car, so you need to figure that part out on your own but I think I would do as a route:

Hirugami onsen
then the Alpine Route (start from the Nagano side)
From Toyama take the bus to Shirakawa Go (I am 99% sure they have direct buses) and then from Shirakawa Go continue on to Takayama
From Takayama day trip to Gero or overnight if that is what you want,
Go from Gero or Takayama up to Kanazawa
Go from Kanazawa to Kyoto

There is a little back tracking but not too much. I'm not sure which if any pass I would do, it would partially depend on your plans when in Tokyo and your plans in Kyoto. Neither the Shoryudo or 14 day cover the Alpine Route and the JR Nationwide does not fully cover the trip to Kawaguchiko and the surcharge you pay to get from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko is nearly the same as the bus from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko (and both take about the same amount of time, so you're not sacrificing speed.) I guess that is the other question, is price or speed more important. It's a bit hard to figure out if the 5 day Pass would even work for the trip since I'm unsure how long you want to spend at any given place. I admit, I tend to optimize for travel times because I travel with a grade schooler so faster (within reason) is always my priority even if it might be cheaper to be slower.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 14:19
Hi!

Thanks for info. I'm thinking of buying 14 D Rail pass and Alpine route ticket. If I buy 14D JR pass the price would be unaffected whether I want to take shinkansen or normal train I guess?
But the route to Hirugami Onsen is tricky. Plus I can't find transport from hirugami Onsen to Gero Onsen.
Is Shirakawago doable in 1/2 Day?
by J (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 14:20
Hi!

Looking further at the map... from Kawaguchiko it seems you can go to Chino or Okaya and transfer to a train to Iida or Tenryuko to get a bus to the onsen. It is also possible there is a way to go via bus from Matsumoto but I'm having a hard time tracking it down. But yeah, I would definitely head to Matsumoto post Kawaguchiko rather than heading back to Tokyo.

I'm just having a bit of struggle with the Matsumoto to Hirugami Onsen side of things. On your Shoryudo Pass website it looks like it should be possible, I am just not sure of the route and I've not found a website with good information in English. I'm really sorry.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 14:54
Hi!

I probably wouldn't get a 14 day pass unless there is a lot of stuff you want to do not listed. The rail pass is best when spent on a lot of shinkansen and quite honestly the route I think is best won't have any shinkansen use.

I might get the Tokyo Wide Pass though only if your trips to Hitachi Seaside Park and Kawaguchiko were within 3 days, if not, I might not even get that pass. If within 3 days you could do the round trip to Hitachi and then the pass to go to Kawaguchiko. If you have a 3rd day you can use it to get as far as Kobuchizawa and would then pay out of pocket to get from there to Hirugami Onsen. There are a few different routes from there depending on time of day. From Hirugami you would then take a bus to Matsumoto. This is the part someone better at Japanese will have to give you estimates on since this is the only part I am a little unsure of.

From Matsumoto for 680 yen to 1440 yen depending on whether you use a local or a Limited Express to Shinano-Omachi and then you would start the Alpine Route

The Alpine Route costs what it costs I think close to 10,000 yen but is not covered by any of the passes you are looking at.

When you end in Toyama you would go by bus to Shirakawa Go or I guess if it is timed well, by train to Takayama, Actually, I would probably head to Takayama just pay attention to timing if you use the train because they don't run that often, The route is quite scenic though. It's ~3200 yen by Limited Express or 1700 yen by local. You will probably need to overnight in Toyama so you can catch the first train to Takayama

From Takayama you can do train or bus to Gero, I suspect the bus might be more frequent and is definitely cheaper. (~2000 yen by express and 990 by local The express only saves you 15 minutes, I suspect the one to take will mostly be based on when you want to leave. And the bus is about 1000 yen: https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/route_bus/takayama-gero-line-en/#fare )

From Takayama take the bus to Shirakawa Go and then continue on to Kanazawa (https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/highwaybus/kanazawa_en/#fare) Shirakawa Go is only accessible by bus, so even with a JR pass you would be paying for either a round trip or taking the bus to Kanazawa.

From Kanazawa to Kyoto is ~6900 yen by Limited Express and takes 2.5 hours. It's a nice train and runs about once an hour.

If you're just spending time in Kyoto until you leave Japan, you don't need a JR Pass since you are likely to be using private lines or buses or subways or walking.

I honestly just don't think you are spending the 47,250 yen to make it worthwhile.

I'm not a Shirakawa Go fan so to me, yes, you can 100% definitely do it in 1/2 a day. I think you could do it in even less, but again I am not a fan.

I wouldn't go from Hirugumi onsen to Gero. I'm pretty sure there is not transport unless you go back to Nagoya. I am pretty sure the routing I've just posted is the ideal routing though someone else might be able to tweak it even more so.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Alpine Route 14 day JR or Shoryudo Pass 2020/1/16 15:24

Thanks so much for your help.
Actually my flight is arriving at Tokyo on 27 Apr morn and departing Hiroshima on 11 May morning. So effectively speaking i have 14 full days.

I'm certain i wanna spend:
1 D for Hiroshima +Miyajima Island
1D kyoto
1D osaka
1D Himeji Castle + Kobe
Probably 4D in Tokyo to explore city with side trip to Hitachi Seaside Park, Fuji Flower festival and Ashikaga Flower Park.
Not sure if 6D is enough for the Alps area.

So given my itinerary i guess i'd need 14D JR pass, though i know it doesn't cover the route to Shirakawago.

Do u think it'd be good if I were to travel from Mt Fuji to Takayama?

by J (guest) rate this post as useful

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