questions & answers: itinerary check

11 day trip

11 day trip

Hello,

We are planing to arrive on the 31st of March and to leave on the 10th of April. Would it be possible to make the following itinerary with the 07-day pass? We are 2 adults and a 14 year old teenager.

  • Arrive in Tokyo 31st and then go immediately to Kyoto on the same day
  • Explore Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima
  • Hakone
  • Tokyo

What would be the best option for us? Should we buy a mix of individual passes + the 07 day pass or a 14 day pass for all of us?

Would you recommend a different itinerary?

Many thanks in advance!

Bruno

garboci
garboci

Hi there!

Lets take a look at your costs:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Kyoto: ¥15530, (240mins, 592km)
  2. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (49mins, 41km)
  3. Nara > Hiroshima: ¥10590, (167mins, 393km)
  4. Hiroshima > Odawara: ¥17330, (286mins, 810km)
  5. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1450, (36mins, 83km)
  6. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥2740, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥48330 for 6 legs

Based on these costs, it will certainly sense for you to purchase a 14 day japan rail pass (¥45,100) to give you full coverage.

If you're back to Odawara (for Hakone) by the 6th, then a 7 day rail pass + extra tickets will save you even more money, coming in at ¥32,490 (28,300+1450+2740).

I think that using the first 7 days for travel and then the last 4 days in and around Tokyo will make for a great trip, so recommend you go for that option.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Many thanks for your prompt reply! Highly appreciated!

Some additional questions:

I assume I will also need to buy some extra tickets (subway, buses) to commute in Kyoto and Tokyo, even with these additional costs would the 07 day + extra tickets still make sense? Would I need to buy these local tickets even if I had the JR Pass?

Is it possible to book these local tickets on-line as well?

Thank you again.

Bruno

garboci
garboci

Hi there,

no problem!

You will need to purchase bus or subway in both Tokyo and Kyoto as these services are not run by JR. You should budget for around ¥100-200 per trip, and you can buy a prepaid electronic card so you don't have to continually be buying tickets for the subway.

In Tokyo, JR does run a very good network of overground trains that would be available to you with a japan rail pass. However as each trip is around ¥190, you are unlikely to use these local trains enough to make a 14 day rail pass worthwhile. It really depends on how much you intend to move around the city, but for your itinerary I think it will be best to use the 7 day rail pass and then top up with local bus/subway/rail as needed.

You cannot book these local services online in english at this time, however once you arrive in Japan it will be very easy to purchase the tickets you need. We also have a blog post on using the pre-paid subway card in Tokyo that you may find helpful.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

I finally have my final schedule ready!

31/03: Narita - Hiroshima
01/04: Hiroshima - Miyajima
02/04: Myajima - Osaka
03/04: Osaka - Kyoto - Osaka
04/04: Osaka - Kyoto - Osaka (also Nara)
05/04: Osaka - Kyoto - Osaka (also Himeji)
06/04: Osaka - Hakone
07/04: Hakone - Tokyo
08/04: Tokyo - Nikko - Tokyo
09/04: Tokyo - Kamakura - Tokyo
10/04: Tokyo - Narita

So, would still be ok to buy the 07 day pass + the additional tickets whenever needed?

Can I use the JR Pass to commute between Osaka and Kyoto? I could not find hotels in Kyoto and we will need to sleep in Osaka, close to the Shin-Osaka station, and commute from there.

Any recommendations on the passes for Tokyo? Especially if I want to go to Nikko (maybe) and Kamakura (for sure)? Would the PASMO card be the best option? Would it include the Nikko, Kamakura and Narita tickets or I still need to buy those separetely?

Many thanks again!

Bruno

garboci
garboci

Hi Bruno,

Great to hear you are pulling all the pieces together - your trip looks great!

Based on your new itinerary I think I would recommend a 14 day rail pass. As the ticket costs for Tokyo <> Nikko + Tokyo <> Kamakura is ¥14,660, this would make the costs for a 7 day pass + separate tickets ¥47,150 (¥28,300 + ¥14,660 + ¥1450 + ¥2740). As a 14 day rail pass is ¥45,100, you'd be better off going for this option with these new additions I think. Taking the Nikko trip out, it's clearer to go for the 7 day + separate tickets depending on how flexible you want to be around Tokyo.

Can I use the JR Pass to commute between Osaka and Kyoto? I could not find hotels in Kyoto and we will need to sleep in Osaka, close to the Shin-Osaka station, and commute from there.

Yes this will be fine - in fact it's a great idea as hotels in Kyoto can be pretty pricey!

Any recommendations on the passes for Tokyo? Especially if I want to go to Nikko (maybe) and Kamakura (for sure)? Would the PASMO card be the best option? Would it include the Nikko, Kamakura and Narita tickets or I still need to buy those separetely?

If you have the JR Pass you'll find this map of JR stations and trains useful as these can be used for free. If not, a Suica or Pasmo will be versatile as they can be used on JR East trains (including the ones you list) as well as the metro. Here's a blog post with more information on the differences between these two cards. Please note that Pasmo and Suica are prepaid cards and do not offer any real benefits over paying with cash/credit card at time of travel except convenience.

As I mention above, if you do decide to go to Nikko, I very much recommend the 14 day japan rail pass over the 7 day.

For Hakone, the JR Pass will take you as far as Odawara. From Odawara you will need to use the Odakyu Hakone Railway system to get up to Hakone as it is not a JR operated line. Odakyu sells a 2 and 3 day pass that covers travel up and around Hakone that you can purchase at Odawara. You can find out more on the Hakone free pass here.

Hope this helps!

P.S. I calculated the full costs for your itinerary again as it had changed quite a bit. For reference, here it is:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Hiroshima: ¥20340, (378mins, 973km)
  2. Hiroshima > Osaka: ¥10520, (109mins, 345km)
  3. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  4. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥1680, (27mins, 42km)
  5. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  6. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  7. Nara > Osaka: ¥780, (55mins, 48km)
  8. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  9. Kyoto > Himeji: ¥5130, (62mins, 130km)
  10. Himeji > Osaka: ¥1450, (61mins, 87km)
  11. Osaka > Odawara: ¥12270, (158mins, 472km)
  12. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1450, (36mins, 83km)
  13. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5430, (121mins, 150km)
  14. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5430, (117mins, 150km)
  15. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥1900, (47mins, 51km)
  16. Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥890, (54mins, 53km)
  17. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥2940, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥72520 for 17 legs

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mari
Expert_button_2

Again, an amazing reply! Thank you so much!!!

I will take Nikko out of my program. I'm sure it is a great place to visit, but I believe there is plenty to be seen in Tokyo. So I will go with your original 07 day + extra tickets option.

Do I have a deadline for buying the JR Passes? I'm planning to buy them this week, but I just want to make sure it is still ok.

Kind regards,

Bruno

garboci
garboci

Not a problem :)

I think you'll have a lot to do in Tokyo so taking Nikko out will be fine I think.

As you'll be arriving in Japan at the end of March, if you order anytime within the next few weeks you'll have your Rail Pass in good time for your trip. Depending on where you live, our delivery takes between 2-5 days once your order has been placed.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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