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Itinerary and JR Pass help

hello - I’m travelling to Japan as a solo traveler and opted to get the 7-day JR Pass Was planning on spending the first 3 days in Tokyo then activating the pass and travel to:

Sendai - 1 night
Kanazawa - 1 night
Kyoto - 3 nights (with day trip to Nara)
Hiroshima or Hakane or Fuji 5 Lakes - 1 night
Osaka - 1 night
Bus or train to Osaka airport


Does this sound do-able - somehow I get the feeling am trying to justify the expense of the Pass?

Also, can one make reservations thru JR before exchanging the voucher for the actual pass?

Finally, other than the first 3 nights in Tokyo and the last night in Osaka my itinerary is fluid - and as a first time visitor to Japan perhaps there are better choices for spots to visit?

Thanks for any help!

Hi there,
That’s doable, but you’re going to be rushed off your feet trying to see things on those 1 night stays. Is there something special you want to see in Sendai? That doesn’t make it onto many people’s first trip to Japan. It’s a bit like Nagoya - just a big, nondescript Japanese city but less interesting than places like Tokyo and Osaka.
Also, Hakone and Mt. Fuji are close to Tokyo, so it would make sense to hit those places at the start while you’re in Tokyo rather than when you’re down in Kansai.
Good luck!

In answer to your question about reservations, you can make them after you’ve activated your ticket.

Hi peaksnvalleys

I agree with Greg, it’s a bit rushed. A few comments:

-Agree that Fuji five lakes is better off as a day trip from tokyo (or potentially between tokyo and the west part of japan).
-Hakone is not covered by the JR pass
-Travelling from Sendai to Kanazawa takes over 4 hours and you essentially have to change trains in northern tokyo/saitama. I’d recommended just doing one of these, or even consider skipping both and focus on west Japan. e.g. Hiroshima and Himeji.
-You can only reserve tickets once you have got your pass in Japan.
Hope you have a great time in Japan

Thanks Q….didn’t know Hakone is not covered by the JR Pass, other info useful too.

Way to rushed. Especially since it’s your first visit. You could just spend the full 10 days in Tokyo and have more fun since you would acclimate yourself figure out the trains, good eats, etc… Also Tokyo alone could keep a person busy for a month.

With that said you can’t really go wrong since Japan is so wonderful. With your full itenerary you’ll get a wide feel for the place and on your next visit you can focus on certain areas.

Since your traveling alone I highly recommend you avail yourself of the free Volunteer Tour guide programs around the country. They just want to practice there English & make foreign friends. You don’t tip or even pay for their trains or lunch. Request an age and type your compatible with and you’ll have a new great friend for life.
We recommend this to all our visiting friends and like it so much we made a video with Info on most popular ones. Free Volunteer Tour Guides.

Thanks, Daniel – I just returned and agree that my original itinerary would have been much too rushed. Scaled back and spent the time in Tokyo and Kyoto. Appreciate the info on the volunteer programs – will definitely take advantage of that next time!