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Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

Melbourne, Australia
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Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

My boyfriend and I are travelling to Japan for 16 days in September/October. I’d really appreciate any feedback on our itinerary and would especially love advice on rail travel tickets – whether it is worth buying a Japan Rail pass given our itinerary, and if not, what the alternative is. We are arriving in Narita airport Tokyo and leaving from Osaka Kansai airport. Please note the hotels are already booked for the designated number of nights. Here is a rough guide of what we’ve decided:

Fly into Narita airport 26th September. Stay in Shinjuku Tokyo 8 nights until 4th October.

Day trips to Shibuya, Ueno Park, Mt Fuji and Hakone, Nikko, Shinjuku, Ginza and Akihabara and Disneyland or Disneysea

Hiroshima – 1 night – October 4th to October 5th

Day trip to Peace Park and museum

Kyoto – 6 nights - October 5th to October 1 th

Day trips to Golden Pavillion, Heian Jingu Shrine, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Sabjusagendo Hall, Niko Castle, Fushimi Inari Tisha, Tokyo tower, Philosopher’s Walk, Southern Higashiyama walking tour Ryoan-Ji temple and Tenryo-Ji. Day trips also to Gion and Nara.

Osaka – 1 night - October 11th to October 12th

Osaka aquarium Kaiyukan and Tempozan Ferris wheel.

Fly out of Osaka Kansai airport October 12.

I would really appreciate any help :)

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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1. Re: Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

You can make a 7-day JR Pass work for you. The best plan probably looks something like this:

Oct 2 Hakone day trip, take Shinkansen to Odawara, buy Hakone Free Pass (without Tokyo roundtrip transfers) from Odakyu Rail.

Oct 3 Activate JR Pass and go to Nikko, use JR to take Shinkansen to Utsunomiya and transfer to JR Nikko

Oct 4-5 Go to Kyoto

Oct 6 Leave your heavy luggage at Kyoto, take a light bag and go on overnight trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima

Oct 7 Back to Kyoto

Oct 8 Last day of JR Pass validity. Day trip to Osaka from Kyoto, you can take Shinkansen between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka

Oct 9-11 Kyoto, consider a Nara day trip

Oct 12 Get 1-day JR West Pass for 2,000 Yen and take Haruka Express from Kyoto to Kansai Airport.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

Definitely try to fit Miyajima into your Hiroshima schedule. We also enjoyed the trip to Nara. Loved, loved Kyoto. We were lucky enough to be in Japan when the cherry blossoms were in full bloom - soooo beautiful.

Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

With the JR 7 Days Pass, you might consider taking a detour and visit places like Takayama and Shrakawago or do Tsumago-Magome Nakasendo Walk via Nagoya; see Hikone castle town en route to Kyoto via Maibara; Okayama's Kenrokuen Garden and Kurashiki's Preserved Town Area and Ohara Museum en route to Hiroshima; Side Trip over the Seto Inland sea to Takamatsu or Kompirasan in Shikoku might be interesting. Although I understand you want to spare time for Kyoto & Nara.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

Thanks everyone for your responses, I'm so glad I decided to ask because I would never have considered the 7-day pass! I will look into it more closely following your suggestions and will do some research on all your recommended sights :)

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
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51,185 posts
146 reviews
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5. Re: Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

If you decide to follow my plan, then referring to my original response above, you should activate your pass on Oct 2 when you take Shinkansen to Odawara, not on Oct 3.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

Make time to go to Harajuku (Tokyo) to see the 'Lolita girls' (or Harajuku girls) strutting their stuff in their wierd and wonderful gear - good place to see them is on the Harajuku Bridge over the railway line - It is the antithesis of Kyoto. Sunday is the best day to see them. Walk along Takeshita Street and the nearby backstreets and side-streets for interesting shopping, everything from the 100 yen shop to small eclectic designer shops.

Also in Harajuku is Yoyogi Park (next to to Harajuku station) - it is a wonderful park - see the Meiji-jingu Temple/'shrine in the forested area on the edge of the park.

7. Re: Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Osaka Itinerary and Rail Travel

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