questions & answers: itinerary check

7 day + jr tickets or 14 day pass?

7 day + JR tickets or 14 day pass?

I am planning on getting a rail pass, however I'm not sure whether the 7 or 14 day pass would be better (we are aiming to be fairly flexible) and we have days when we don't travel at all...I did a rough calculation and even if we start the 7 day pass on Day 3 I think it would still cost more than the extra cost of the 14 day pass to complete our journey, though I am not 100% sure on the offchance that the pass cannot be used on one of our train journeys! Please let me know what you think? :)

My itinerary is:
Day 1 - Narita to Nikko
Day 2
Day 3 - Nikko - Kanazawa
Day 4 - Kanazawa - Kyoto
Day 5
Day 6 - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Nara
Day 7 - Nara - Koyasan
Day 8 - Koyasan - Nara
Day 9 - Nara - Shin-matsuda
Day 10 - Shin-matsuda - Tokyo
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13 Tokyo - Narita


Hi there,

A 7 day rail pass is ¥28,300 and 14 day is ¥45,100. You'll need to be spending more than each of these amounts for the respecive rail passes to be cost effective. Lets take a look at the real ticket costs of your journey you will use JR for:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Nikko: ¥8060, (186mins, 229km)
  2. Nikko > Kanazawa: ¥15360, (313mins, 550km)
  3. Kanazawa > Kyoto: ¥6510, (126mins, 224km)
  4. Kyoto > Hiroshima: ¥10590, (112mins, 380km)
  5. Hiroshima > Nara: ¥11060, (165mins, 393km)
  6. Nara > Shinmatsuda: ¥12390, (259mins, 488km)
  7. Shinmatsuda > Tokyo: ¥1610, (118mins, 82km)
  8. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥2740, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥68320 for 8 legs

As you can see a 14 day rail pass will give you great savings of ¥23,220 so I can certainly recommend this choice as the simplest of your options that will save money.

As to whether you'll be better off with a 7 day pass + standard JR tickets, we need to see if there's any way you can spend less than the difference between 7 and 14 day jrpass (¥16,800) on normal JR tickets if using a 7 day pass. Looking at the cost break down, if you did start a 7 day rail pass on day 3 until 9, the other JR tickets costs you list would come to ¥12,410, which is cheaper than going for the upgrade to 14 days. This means you could save a further ¥4390 by using a 7 day pass + standard JR tickets over going for a 14 day pass. Of course, there's always a tradeoff, and in exchange for the extra ¥4390 savings, you loose the flexibility and use of the 14 day rail pass when your 7 day pass is not active. Ultimately your choice here will rest on how definite your plans are, but I think if I was in your position I may go for the 14 day pass simply to keep my options open.

Hope this helps!


Thanks very much for your help! We have decided to go for the 14 day pass, thank you :)


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