questions & answers: general japan travel

osaka - kyoto - nara - hiroshima - nagasaki - okinawa

Osaka - Kyoto - Nara - Hiroshima - Nagasaki - Okinawa

Hello,

i'm planning a 4 week trip to Japan starting on the 13th of October.
I'll be staying the first week in Osaka, and the 2nd and third weeks, I'd like to go to [HIroshima and Miyajima], [Nagasaki and Hashima], and maybe to Tokyo (I will probably come back to Osaka between each trip), and of course Kyoto and Nara.
The fourth week, I'm thinking of going to Okinawa.

My first idea was to take a 14 day JR Rail Pass that I would use over the second and third weeks, but I have a few questions before making up my mind :
- Is the JR Rail Pass valid also in the subways of the different cities (are the JR subway lines easily recognizable?) ? - Is it useful in Okinawa (to visit Naha and/or go to various beaches and places)? - Should I take individual tickets, a 14 day pass, or even a 21 day pass?

Thank you very much for your help!

Garin

Garin
Garin

Oh and I forgot another question : I suppose the best way to go to Naha is the plane, but just in case, is there an alternate way?

Thank you

Garin
Garin

Hi there!

The JR Pass is useful inside Osaka, but I'm not sure you'll get enough use of it to justify adding an extra week of validity onto your rail pass. Also, JR does not operate a service in Okinawa so the pass will not be useful there (yes - flying is the best/quickest/cheapest way to get there for sure).

Because of the above, I think I recommend a 14 day rail pass for your 2 weeks of travel within Japan. Based on your itinerary you'll make good savings if you get up to Tokyo, so I think the choice really depends on that. You can make good use of the JR Pass around Tokyo on all JR lines, however you will find in other cities you mention (Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Nagasaki) you'll have to purchase metro tickets as you go as the metro system is not operated by JR.

You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for JR Pass holders through our video blog.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Hello!

Thank you very much for your reply Mari.

I will finally land in Tokyo Narita, so I think I'll take a 21 days JR Rail Pass, so that I can travel freely between Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima (and use the ferry to go to Miyajima, is this right?), Nagasaki, and Nara!

It was cheaper anyway - and much shorter (less than 15h Vs. 36 hours!) - to land in Narita and take the train to Osaka than fly to Osaka, event with a 21 day pass rather than a 14 day!

Garin

Garin
Garin

Hi Garin,

Wow! That's a very long transfer! Yes, if you're landing in Narita, then it will make a lot of sense for you to take a 21 day pass. You won't have to worry about JR travel for the whole time too so you'll be able to relax :).

Have a great trip!

P.S. Yes, the JR Pass is valid for the Miyajima ferry!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thank you very much!!!

Garin
Garin

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