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14 night itinerary advice 2020/1/22 16:47
Hi! First time traveling to Japan together with my friend and I have a rough itinerary of where we want to go, but Ifm not so sure if we will be overwhelmed. We only plan on hanging around areas, not really having particular places where we want to go in Japan. We are staying from June 3rd-17th and this is our rough plan:

- Day 1-4: Tokyo
- Day 5: Kanazawa
- Day 6: Shirakawa-go Day Trip and stay overnight in Takayama
- Day 7: Explore Takayama and head to Kyoto in the evening
- Day 8-11: Kyoto
- Day 12-13: Osaka
- Day 14: half day Osaka, go back home

My question is:
1) Is it necessary to purchase a JR Pass? it is 49,250JPY and I roughly calculated my trip will be between 35,000-40,000JPY.

2) Is this itinerary too overwhelming for us first-timers? We arenft big adventurers but I donft mind walking a lot, I figure we will explore maximum 3 areas/districts a day. I also prefer to explore small towns or cities than stay in a big city but since it is my first time, I think 4 days would offer me some insight of Tokyo.

3) Is it possible to make a day-trip to Kobe to have some Kobe beef while in Osaka? I also need some suggestions for Osaka. I know generally Osaka is much cheaper than Tokyo but I canft seem to find much attraction online, hence I donft find the need to stay there for long but please prove me wrong!
by Aliena (guest)  

Re: 14 night itinerary advice 2020/1/22 17:37
Hi!

Uhhh what train fares did you use to get 35,000 for your estimate in train fares? Are there trips not listed in this potential itinerary?

I'm getting:
Tokyo to Kanazawa: ~14,000 yen
Takayama to Kyoto: ~10,000 yen
and... uhh..

You can get between Kyoto and Osaka for around 500 yen each way. You can get from Osaka to KIX for around 2000 yen or less. The best way to get between Kanazawa and Shirakawa Go and Takayama is via bus. The bus from Kanazawa to Takayama has a stop off in Shirakawa Go. The bus is not covered by a JR Pass.

I'm seeing 26-28000 yen... at the absolute most and I am pretty sure that is not within 7 days and certainly not enough to make a 14 day pass worth it. Are there other trips you are making that are not part of your listed itinerary?

Osaka is a great city to live in. All the people I know who have lived in Japan for a year or more, love living in Osaka. As a tourist, I don't personally find Osaka that compelling. I tend to go there for shopping, to see my friend who lives there, and to go to USJ. You can technically do any and all of those things from Kyoto and just go to Osaka for the day, they're under 30 minutes apart by Special Rapid (a type of local) train. Now if you have an early flight on day 14, I could understand wanting to overnight someplace like Tennoji to have a faster trip to KIX but outside of that it's not necessary.

You can get from JR Kyoto Station to JR Sannomiya Station (one of the main stations in Kobe) in under an hour by Special Rapid train (It is a variety of local train) for all of 1100 yen each way. It is even cheaper and a shorter trip from JR Osaka Station. So yes, you would have no problem going to Kobe from Kyoto or Osaka.

As is often said on this forum, be prepared for heat and humidity. If you are not used to heat and humidity, Japan in June can be challenging.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 14 night itinerary advice 2020/1/22 17:39
Hi! Aside from the Osaka bit I reckon it is a good plan. I mention about Osaka because I actually find it pretty expensive and despite having been a couple of times I dont really like it much, but others do.

It would be fine to go to Kobe for a day trip but not necessary if you are only after beef. There is good beef everywhere in Japan - Takayama is known for it, Hikone has good beef, so does Hiroshima, and Osaka has good beef too.

Enjoy!
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 14 night itinerary advice 2020/1/23 03:00
Thank you so much for the reply rkold,
My apologies for the wrong estimate! I initially put in Kinosaki Onsen as a daytrip to squeeze in but changed my mind as it might be too much for the trip. Is it possible to book bus tickets for the Kanazawa-Shirakawago-Takayama trip online or can I purchase it while in Tokyo? And thank you for your tips! I do originally come from a hot and humid country so I might be able to still stand it but Ifll remind my friend who has never traveled internationally to keep it in mind.

Hi Lazy Pious,
thank you for your advice! I also feel it is a bit unnecessary to go all the way to Kobe to eat some beef so I might opt that out during the trip and hang around Osaka more.
by Aliena (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 14 night itinerary advice 2020/1/23 06:45
If you want to eat good beef, you should be able to do so in Takayama, which is famous for Hida beef. Only that Hida beef isn`t internationally well known as is Kobe beef.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

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