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QUESTION: I will be in Japan in April. I will go to Tokyo, Kyoto etc and i want to go to Izu Hanto, is this possible with a railpass (witch line)? if not, what are the options?
Thank you!

ANSWER: Yes, you can get a JR Rail Pass and take the bullet train (except the fastest one, the Nozomi). Izu is on your way to Kyoto on the JR Tokaido Main Line, and you can get off at Atami Station and take the Ito Line or Izuhakone Line into the peninsula. Generally seeing the eastern side is easy by rail, and for the western side you'd need to take a bus, rent a bicycle, etc. You must get the order for the JR Rail Pass before you arrive in Japan. For other transport like city subways, there are also day passes that can save you a lot.
See http://www.japanrailpass.net

Regarding Izu, I recommend you see http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6310.html for more detailed info.

Also I suggest you look at some tourist info sites to give you some ideas.
For Tokyo:
http://www.gotokyo.org/en/index.html
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/tokyo/index.html
http://www.ar.jal.com/world/en/guidetojapan/city_information/tyo/see/akasaka/
If you can, seeing Kamakura is also well worth it.

For Kyoto:
http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/en/
http://www.kyoto.travel/
http://www.ar.jal.com/world/en/guidetojapan/city_information/uky/see/central/
Be sure to take a side trip to Nara as well.

Enjoy your trip!

Robert

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Robert,

i have another question about the railpass, do you recommend a railpass for 1 week or 2 weeks? the first week i will be traveling around, Tokyo, Izu hanto, Hiroshima and the last week i will be 7 days in Kyoto. Do you think its smart to have a railpass also or to buy tickets (golden week 27-4/ 06-05) do's it mater in price? and will there be enough seats?
thanks again!

Answer
Hi,

For your situation I would get a 1 week JR Rail Pass. With your plans it is doubtful it would be economical for a 2 week pass. But you could get a Regional JR East Pass for your time around Tokyo. There are several and probably there is something there where you can save money. Look at
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/index.html
and see what they offer.
Then use the 1 week pass to go to Kyoto and Hiroshima. Trains may be crowded during Golden Week.
If you want to check rail fares, you can see normal fares at http://www.hyperdia.com/

Another option is an airpass. Look at:
http://www.japanrailpass.net
http://www.jal.co.jp/yokosojapan/
http://www.staralliance.com/en/fares/regional-fares/japan-airpass/
http://www.ana.co.jp/wws/us/e/wws_common/fare/special/visit.html

Fares vary depending on which airline you take to Japan though, and like the JR Pass you have to pay for it before you arrive in Japan (regional rail passes you can often get after you arrive though). For the air passes there are also some black out dates you should check on also.

Have a great trip!

Robert

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General questions about tourism/travel and life in Japan, including shopping, visa issues, culture-shock, finding accommodations and employment, proper cultural etiquette, and common problems ex-pats in Japan experience. Bachelors Degree in Japanese Culture and Masters Degree in Marketing.

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