questions & answers: general japan travel

best rail pass to purchase

Best rail pass to purchase


We will be arriving in Tokyo (Haneda) on Friday March 21st this year. Upon arrival, we will be staying in Tokyo from the 21st to Tuesday the 25th. From there we will be traveling to Kyoto and going between Kyoto and Osaka until the 29th. Our plan is to return by train to Tokyo on the 29th where we will be flying out of Narita.

Arrive at Haneda on the 21st
Tokyo from 3/21 to 3/25
Kyoto/Osaka 3/25-29
Leave on 3/29 from Tokyo Narita

My question is what is the best pass I should buy to accomplish this travel? We will be there a total of 9 days, should we purchase a 7 day rail pass and activate it on 3/23 and just use suica to get around Tokyo until then? Is that the most cost effective way to travel? Also, would the pass cover our travel between Kyoto and Osaka?

Would you advise rearranging our plans and staying in Tokyo the night before we leave rather than leaving Kyoto the day we fly home? Your advice is much appreciated!



we did a similar trip in 2012, best to to buy the 7 day JR pass and activate the day that you are travelling to Osaka/kyoto. there is a site called that you can use to select date and time of travel and it will give you all the options that you need for train travel such as station, time and track number. Using suica to get around Tokyo on the first few days is the best way to go as local trains are cheap. The JR pass covers all of Japan except for subway/metro travel which again you can use your suica card. I hope this has helped.


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