questions & answers: itinerary check

is it best to buy the jr rail pass, or should we buy individual tickets?

Is it best to buy the JR Rail Pass, or should we buy individual tickets?

Hi there,

Myself and my partner are planning the following rail travel in Japan:

Tokyo - Takayama

(We will rent a car to travel between Takayama and Kanazawa)

Kanazawa - Kyoto

Kyoto - Tokyo

This will be over the space of 14 days. Is it better to buy a JR Pass? Or individual tickets? Is it easy to buy tickets from the station, on the day of travel?

Thank you,
Sam

Scarlet85
Scarlet85

Hi Sam,

Looking at your planned travel, I think that it would be best to buy normal tickets for your travel. A JR Pass would have been useful if you made the trip Tokyo - Takayama .. Kyoto - Tokyo within 7 days but you don't cover enough miles for a 14 day pass to pay off.

Buying tickets is very simple, at any JR station go to a manned counter. Tell the JR Staff where you wish to travel and they will find the best route for you and also quote you the price. Tickets can be purchased up to 5 minutes before departure. Also nice to know is that creditcards are accepted.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your response.

We may change our plans a little, I think we might now take a train between Takayama and Kanazawa. We may also use the pass for a couple of day trips from Kanazawa.

Do you think it would be worthwhile to get the pass, or are individual tickets a better option?

Thanks
Sam

Scarlet85
Scarlet85

Hi Sam,

It's hard for me to say without an exact itinerary but right now (for instance, what would you like to visit from Kanazawa?) I do think that it may be best to buy normal tickets if your travel is over a 14 day period. However feel free to post a more detailed itinerary and I can let you know for sure.

Daniel

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

Hi Daniel,

Our itinerary looks like this:

  • Fly into Tokyo, stay 2 nights
  • Train from Tokyo to Takayama, stay 3 nights
  • Train from Takayama to Kanazawa, stay 4 nights (While in Kanazawa, we plan to visit Shirakawa-go & Gokayama)
  • Train from Kanazawa to Kyoto, stay 3 nights
  • Train from Kyoto to Tokyo, stay 1 night and fly home

We're still pondering over whether we should hire a car for the Takayama/Kanazawa leg of the journey, but let's assume we'll travel by train/bus for now.

Is it possible to buy passes for just certain areas, rather than the whole of Japan?

Thanks,
Sam

Scarlet85
Scarlet85

Hi Sam,

Here's a breakdown of normal ticket prices you would pay without the JR Pass.

Tokyo - Takayama ¥ 14,710
Takayama - Kanazawa ¥ 4,290
Kanazawa - Kyoto ¥ 6,900
Kyoto - Tokyo ¥ 13,600

For a total of ¥ 39,500 the 14 day JR Pass is 46,390 yen so you are still somewhat short. Adding in travel to and from Narita Airport (about 3,000yen one way) on the Narita Express and local travel in Tokyo would break-it about even. You could consider the JR Pass if you would prefer one ticket for all your travel, or if you like the flexibility it offers.

The Pass is valid nationwide, there are also regional passes available but your travel is mostly between regions so they would not offer much help.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

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