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Order of travel in Japan?

West Coast Canada
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Order of travel in Japan?

Hi,

This is our first time to Japan and we plan to do it by usinr JR pass. First of all, I am assuming that the regular JR pass is best versus the regional one for this trip. If someone can confirm this, it would be great! Secondly, who can suggest the most logical order to visit these cities after flying into Osaka:

Kyoto, Hiroshima, Fukuoka

We fly out of Tokyo. As well, is it worth buying the Green Car pass for this trip? It seems the benefit is to sit on the top deck for view. Our trip is a few weeks away!

Thanks,

Family of 5

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Osaka
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Kyoto
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Hiroshima
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1. Re: Order of travel in Japan?

5travellers,

Are you planning to visit Fukuoka City in Kyushu? If so, I’ll assume you’d like to arrive at Hakata Station because Hakata is a biggest station in Fukuoka City. Then, I’d recommend the following itinerary.

Option 1:

Osaka/Kansai Int’l Airport -> Shin-Osaka Station -> Hakata Station (in Fukuoka City) -> Hiroshima Station -> Kyoto Station -> Tokyo Station -> Narita Airport

Estimated traveling hours by JR Hikari Shinkansen are as follows:

Shin-Osaka Station -> Hakata Station: about 3 hrs 25 minutes

Hakata Station -> Hiroshima Station: about 1.5 hrs

Hiroshima -> Kyoto: about 2 hrs

Kyoto Station -> Tokyo Station: about 2 hrs 45 minutes

Alternatively, the following itinerary is possible.

Option 2:

Osaka/Kansai Int’l Airport -> Shin-Osaka Station -> Hiroshima Station -> Hakata Station (in Fukuoka City) -> Kyoto Station -> Tokyo Station -> Narita Airport

I think the important point is to avoid traveling long hours at once, such as from Hakata/Fukuoka to Tokyo.

If you fly into Osaka, visit Hakata/Fukuoka and fly out of Tokyo, you’ll have to buy regular JR Pass instead of the regional one.

It will NOT worth buying the Green Car Pass unless you travel during Japan’s “Golden Week” (4/29-5/5), “Obon” (around 8/12-8/16), or New Year’s holiday week, in my opinion.

(FYI -- If you are talking about Fukuoka Station in Toyama Prefecture, it will be a completely different itinerary.)

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West Coast Canada
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2. Re: Order of travel in Japan?

Dear Edokko,

Thank you for the reply. We are planning to go to Fukuoka City in Kyushu. Based on your Option 1, we are thinking of purchasing a 14 day JR pass that would start on March 11 (Osaka Kansai Airport). On the last day of the pass, make sure that we use it to arrive in Tokyo on March 25. Then just pay the 2900 yen train ticket from Tokyo to Narita Airport. Do you see any errors in our planning?

Thanks

Family of 5

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3. Re: Order of travel in Japan?

Hi 5travellers,

>>> Do you see any errors in our planning? <<<

Do you know how many days you are planning to stay at each city? If you post your itinerary, I may be able to give you further comments.

The only thing I would like to ask is whether you’ve considered visiting the Hakone/Mt. Fuji area. Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 100 kilometers from Tokyo. It is very famous for nice “Onsen” (hot spring spa), so you may stay in a nice ryokan with Onsen in Hakone for a night. You may be able to see Mr. Fuji if the weather is nice and clear. If you want to visit Hakone, you can do so between Kyoto and Tokyo. Please take a look at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5206.html for further info re Hakone.

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4. Re: Order of travel in Japan?

We purchased a 14 day JR pass and will ensure that we use it on the Day 14 to be in Tokyo to fly out.

Hakone sounds great. Does the Hakone Free Pass allow for a return to Tokyo the next day or must travel be all in the same day?

Comments welcomed on the tentative itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive Osaka for 3 days

Day 5 Arrive Hiroshima for 2 days

-- also see Kurashik

Day 7 Arrive Fukuoka City & see region (Beppu) for 4 days

Day 11 Arrive Kyoto for 3 days

-- Lake Biwa

Day 14 Arrive Tokyo for 4 days

-- Do Hakone out of Tokyo

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5. Re: Order of travel in Japan?

Regarding your tentative itinerary, for the Osaka portion I highly recommend taking a day trip to Nara, where you should visit the Big Buddha statue at Todaiji Temple, and Kasuga Shrine, both located around the Deer Park, which is about a 10 or 15 minute walk from JR Nara station, which is only an hour or so from Osaka.

Osaka is a business city, so not that much sightseeing to do there, but I recommend Osaka Castle, and just wandering around the Namba/Shinsaibashi shopping district. Other "Japanese culture" sights include Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine and Shitennoji Temple. The aquarium at Tempozan is very good if you like marine life, and of course there's Universal Studios Japan if you want a taste of Hollywood!

Be sure to pop into any of the many 100 yen shops you will come across, which are good for a look at modern Japanese life. Also try the sushi shops with the conveyor belts for a fun & cheap meal. For a more traditional, but cheap, Japanese style meal, I recommend the Murasaki Izakaya chain, which has picture menus so it's easy to order. And for a good look at Japanese food, check out the basement floor (B1) of any major department store -- I popped in with some visiting friends and they enjoyed it more than the temples, shrines, & castles!

In Hiroshima, of course you will visit the Peace Park and the Atomic Bombing museum, but also try to get out to Miyajima island to see the famous "floating" shine of Itsukushima.

Hope you have a great trip!

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6. Re: Order of travel in Japan?

One thing we really liked about Japan Rail Pass was abilitiy to get on for short trips. with your itener you will need that.

Consider Miyajima while in Hiroshima. You can use Pass to get there, though not the quickest way.

I have read all the posts fully, but you get to pick start date. Don't start it too soon. pays to pay for short journey rather than start it. Unlike Eurorail pass once it starts that is the time you have whether on train or not. At least it was two years ago.

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