questions & answers: general japan travel

rail pass advice

Rail Pass Advice

Hi there,

We have finalised our itinerary for Japan but are unsure what to do about the rail pass. Due to a lack of hotel availability, our itinerary isn't exactly what we wanted but we are quite happy with it.

1 night in Kobe - explore Himeji the next day

2 nights in Kyoto - explore kyoto both days

2 nights in Osaka - explore osaka and possible day trip to nara

2 nights in Hiroshima - one day go to Miyajima

3 nights in Tokyo

2 nights in Kusatsu Onsen

2 nights in Tokyo

Given the plan, what is the best solution for rail passes? I assume we will need a JR pass but ideally I only want to buy the 7 day one and activate it for the long trips. I have found a number of localised rail passes that include the subway and bus.

If anyone has any idea on the best way to do this it would be much appreciated.


Hello there,

Yes a 7 day JR Pass would be the best option, especially if you use it to cover Osaka - Hiroshima - Tokyo and even one way Kusatsu-onsen. For the rest, I would also recommend either buying local tickets or see if there's a local pass that can cover the places you wish to visit. In Kansai it is generally best to just buy normal tickets as there are different transport companies all having their own pass but buying one is not always the best option, as you'll need to to do a certain amount of travel and are limited to that company.

Hope this helps,


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