questions & answers: itinerary check

is a jr pass recommended for our trip and other tips please

Is a JR Pass recommended for our trip and other tips please

Hi

I really need some help to plan for our trip next July and I wonder if you can kindly offer some advice.

At present, we are thinking of the following itinerary - and would be grateful for any tips and the pass to buy.

We can fly from London into Narita or Haneda airport - but we cannot decide which one yet (any tips?)

Day 1 –6 Tokyo – with visit to Disneyland
Day 7 to Day 9 – Hirsoshima
Day 10 to Fay 13 – Kyoto, with visit to Nara
Day 14 to Day 16 – Tokyo
Day 17 – Fly Home

Please can you advise:

  1. Any advice on which airport is most convenient? And trains from airport into Tokyo (Shibuya area)?
  2. Will a JR pass be suitable? Should we consider a 7 day or 14 day pass?
  3. Does the JR pass include travel on the trains from Narita and Haneda airports?
  4. Does the JR pass include travel to Disneyland?
  5. Does the JR pass include travel to Hiroshima? Are the trains allowed in the pass less frequent than the fastest trains?
  6. Does the JR pass include travel to Kyoto & Nara?
  7. Does the JR pass include travel within the cities - e.g. in Hiroshima and Kyoto?
  8. Is it better to by daily metro travel passes in Tokyo rather than extending the JR pass for use in Tokyo?
  9. Does the JR pass cover travel on all JR trains? I don't know if JR East or West require different tickets?

Finally, we're not sure how easy it would be to make a quick visit to Osaka or Kobe in our trip, but a lot depends whether the JR pass covers travel to these places only.

Thanks very much for your help

Kind regards
Suki B

summerbay
summerbay

Hi there,

1.) There's not that much difference between Haneda and Narita Airport. Haneda is closer and cheaper to travel from but requires 1-2 transfers, while Narita has a direct connection to Shibuya on the Narita Express but this costs more.

2.) Both a 7 day and 14 day JR Pass would work for your itinerary. Economically speaking using a 7 day JR Pass for day 7-13 would allow you to make the best savings possible but this would also mean returning to Tokyo on the 13th. A 14 day JR Pass is the better option if you would want more flexibility.

3.) Yes! Travel to both is included.

4.) Yes, the station for Disneyland is Maihama. You can walk from there or take the (not covered) Disney Monorail.

5.) Yes, travel to Hiroshima is included but you have to use the Hikari or Sakura Shinkansen, these depart every 30min or so.

6.) Yes, travel to both Kyoto and Nara is covered.

7.) Yes and No, local JR lines are included, so is the Hiroshima sightseeing bus and ferry from Hiroshima to Miyajima. Other local travel may not be covered, such as the subway and buses run by companies other than JR.

8.) You can use the JR Pass to see most of Tokyo using JR lines, however I would not use a JR Pass just for Tokyo. If the JR Pass runs out, then using local passes is generally the best option.

9.) The JRPass covers all JR lines nation wide.

Lastly, adding a visit to Osaka and Kobe is easy from Kyoto and well recommended.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel

Your advice is really much appreciated :)

summerbay
summerbay

Hi Daniel

Sorry to trouble you again, but I wonder if I can check a few more points with you.

Based on your advice we would probably get a 14 day pass to start on Day3 so that we will have more flexibility and also to use for the train back to the airport.

Please can you advise if we should reserve our seats for all the trips when we arrive at the Airport to validate our JR pass? (our dates will be fixed)

So this would be for the journeys:
Tokyo to Hiroshima
Kyoto to Nara (return)
Kyoto to Osaka (return)
Kyoto to Tokyo

It's just that I don't know how busy these trains are and if we can easily find unreserved seating altogether (party of 3).

Also, apart from JR offices at the airport, where else can we make seat reservations? online?

Thanks so much for your help

Kind regards
Suki

summerbay
summerbay

Hi Suki,

Reservations can be made on the day before boarding, only on National holidays is it recommended to make reservations a couple of days in advance. However I do recommend making seat reservations, this way you are sure of seating together and don't have to queue up beforehand on the platform.

Seat reservations can be made at any JR Station, just go to the ticket window, show the JR Pass and travel on.
Also see:
http://www.jrpass.com/blogs/plan-with-the-hyperdia-online-timetable

Hope this helps too :)
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel

Thanks so much for all your help.

Kind regards
Suki

summerbay
summerbay

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