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2 week Japan holiday

Newcastle upon...
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2 week Japan holiday


I am planning to go to Japan for 2 weeks in may 2013 and struggling to get my head around the vast amount if information about this. I think I'd probably like to see Tokyo and Kyoto and maybe another place. I've flights to Tokyo already booked.

I am struggling to work out if it's worth getting a Japan rail pass given that it seems hard to work out exactly which of the trains it's valid for. I have read its not valid in the fastest bullet trains from Tokyo to Kyoto. Also if I was to get a rail pass which class of travel is recommended? Is it worth paying more for the higher class??

Any help with this ir itineraries recommended!!

Many thanks

San Francisco...
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1. Re: 2 week Japan holiday

Most tourists don't feel a need to be on the fastest bullet train.

Most tourists find that the regular pass is adequate and that they don't need to be on the Green Cars. The regular trains have comfortable seating and plenty of room.

If your intercity travel is just between Tokyo and Kyoto, you probably won't benefit from a pass. There is a deal called the Shinkansen Tour which might be better for that itinerary.

However, if you add Hiroshima to your intinerary, then the Japan Rail Pass will likely make sense. Whether a 7-day or 14-day pass makes sense depends on how many days you want to spend in Tokyo and how many days you will do major intercity travel.

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: 2 week Japan holiday




I have just planned a week in Japan in April (my first time) and so can understand the initial confusion. Two brilliant weblinks to help are included above:

Japan Guide includes a question and answer forum

and Hyperdia will give you train times and prices.

Hope you find these useful.

Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: 2 week Japan holiday

With two weeks, you've got time to cover quite a bit of Japan without being rushed. Japan Guide has some suggested itineraries. In addition, please type Trip Report in the search box above. You'll find posts from others on how they've spent time in Japan.

If you plan out your itinerary correctly, you should be able to get some value from one or more JR pass options. You'll want to maximize the value of the pass by including the long distance train trips within the set amount of days of the pass.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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4. Re: 2 week Japan holiday

Over a time of 3 hours, a Nozomi (fastest Shinkansen, no JR Pass) train is about 20 minutes faster than a Hikari (JR Pass valid) train between Tokyo and Kyoto. Given the savings offered by the JR Pass, the 20 minutes shouldn't be a big deal.

Seating-wise, while Green (First) Class is definitely better, the ordinary class should be just fine for 99% of the travelers. The seat has noticeably more room than an airline economy seat. Since you can see out the window as well, the ride should be much more enjoyable vs the plane.

Consider the following places to visit:



Nara (day trip from Kyoto)

Osaka (day trip from Kyoto)


You should still have 4-5 days left depending on your sightseeing speed. You might opt for Takayama, Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa which would fit that window perfectly. Any additional days could be a day trip to Hakone (Mt. Fuji views) or Nikko.

Check out Japan Guide to see what interests you. Use Hyperdia to gauge travel times. Remember to deselect "Nozomi" trains and "Airplane" under Search Details to yield JR Pass valid results.

5. Re: 2 week Japan holiday

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