questions & answers: itinerary check

7 day jr pass - osaka>kyoto>nara>tokyo

7 day JR Pass - Osaka>Kyoto>Nara>Tokyo

Hello! We are wondering if we could save by purchasing the 7-day JR Pass with our itinerary.

28th Dec - Narita > Osaka (Is it possible to go direct from Narita to Osaka or do we have to go to Tokyo then Osaka?)
*We will be staying in Osaka for 3 days, and taking day trips to Kyoto and Nara from there.

29th Dec - Osaka> Kyoto

29th Dec - Kyoto > Osaka

30th Dec - Osaka > Nara

30th Dec - Nara > Osaka

31st Dec - Osaka > Tokyo

31st Dec - 4th Jan - Tokyo (What card do you recommend we buy when our JR pass expires?)

4th Jan - Tokyo > Narita (What is the most cost effective way to get to Narita Airport since the JR Pass would have expired by then?)

Would it be difficult to reserve our seats since it would be peak period for travel?
Also appreciate any advice you may have to improve our itinerary :)

Thank you so much for your help!


Hi there!

Here are some thoughts on your itinerary:

  1. For Narita to Osaka you'll need to go via Tokyo to get the bullet train. That's ok though, because Tokyo is on the way to Osaka from Narita so you won't lose any time.
  2. For travel around Tokyo when a JR Pass expires, I recommend the 1 or 2 day unlimited metro pass. This works out at ¥490/day for unlimited travel and is only available for foreign visitors. Please note that this unlimited metro pass is only available at Narita Airport, so be sure to stock up when you arrive. (read point 3 below before you buy however!)
  3. For the trip back to Narita Airport from Tokyo, I recommend you purchase one of the Keisei Skyliner + 1 day unlimited metro pass bundles. This will basically give you the metro pass for free for the time while your JR Pass has expired on 4th and discounted return to Narita. Again, please note that this pass is only available for purchase at Narita airport.
  4. It will be busy travelling back to Tokyo on the 31st, which is New Years eve. I recommend you reserve your place on the train for the 31st as soon as you land. Alternatively, how about spending a few days in Tokyo first, and then coming back to Tokyo on the 2nd or 3rd? If you're planning on New Years in Tokyo, then I can see how this would be ruled out, but it is an option for you!
  5. As a 7 day JR Pass basically breaks even on a return trip from Tokyo to Osaka, you will make savings with a JR Pass for the period from 28th to 3rd. Note that you'll also be able to make further savings by using the JR Pass to travel within Tokyo on the extensive JR network. Here's a map of Tokyo JR lines for reference.

For comparison, here's your cost breakdown and route suggestions for the 7 day validity period:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Osaka: ¥15,850 (272mins, 635km)
  2. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540 (29mins, 42km)
  3. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  4. Osaka > Nara: ¥780 (59mins, 48km)
  5. Nara > Osaka: ¥780 (55mins, 48km)
  6. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥13,950 (194mins, 556km)

JR ticket cost: ¥32,440 for 6 legs

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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