questions & answers: itinerary check

14 or 21 day pass?

14 or 21 Day Pass?

Hi JR,

We are going to Japan in May of this year, arriving in Osaka on 12 May and departing from Tokyo on the 2 June (21 days). We don't have a strict itinerary but we are planning on spending about 3 days in Osaka at the beginning and 4 days in Tokyo before departure. We do plan on heading down to Fukuoka and stopping in Hiroshima.

Can you please help us decide between the 14 and 21 day JR Pass? We undertsand that in Tokyo cIty it's easier just to pay for the metro (not included in JR pass) but if we do just one day trip is it better to have the pass still valid?

We'd really appreciate the advice.

Thanks!

Monique and Nic.

Mon + Nic
Mon + Nic

Hi there!

Hmm - a tricky one! As it looks like you will have a clear 14 days of travel between the Osaka and Tokyo parts, perhaps the best way to help is to look at the absolute price difference between the 14 and 21 day passes to get an idea of the amount you'll have to spend on these remaining days to make the upgrade to 21 days worth it:

  • 14 day: ¥45,100 / ¥3221 per day
  • 21 day: ¥57,700 / ¥2747 per day (+¥12,600 over 14 day pass)

Although the 21 day is more expensive, per day it works out cheaper than the 14 day pass. The key question is whether you will do the required ¥12,600 worth of travel in your Tokyo and Osaka days to make it worthwhile.

For example, A day trip to Nikko will be around ¥10,000 return, and the trip out to Narita on the Narita Express is around ¥3000. You are right that you cannot use the JR Pass on the Tokyo metro, but you can make good use of the JR lines in and around Tokyo and Osaka if you plan correctly (here's a map of JR lines in Tokyo for reference).

In the end though it will be down to whether you do a decent day trip on your Tokyo/Osaka days which will decide if the 21 day pass is worthwhile over the 14 day.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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