questions & answers: itinerary check

itinerary check and jr pass

Itinerary check and JR Pass

Hello - We are two adults and one child (age 11), planning our March 23 - April 6 trip. We are trying to decide on the 14 day JR Pass (Green or no green - it is a busy time) and if it is appropriate for our trip. Also, if there are any day passes for Osaka, Kyoto or Tokyo that we should consider. We welcome your thoughts and advice! Thank you so much! Catherine

Arrive Tokyo on Saturday March 23 at 5:00 p.m. Take Narita Express to Tokyo. Is exchange office open late on Sat?

Monday March 25 - leave Tokyo very early to head to Inuyama (2 hrs. 45 mins). Also visiting Seki that same day.

Tuesday March 26 - visit Inuyama. Leave to go to Osaka that afternoon (2 hrs. 9 mins)

Tuesday March 26 through Thursday March 28 - stay in Osaka. Visit surrounding areas

Friday March 29 - we leave Osaka to travel to Koyasan (1 hr. 53 mins), where we will spend the night in one of the Buddist temples.

Saturday March 30 - Tuesday April 2 - stay in Kyoto, and explore surrounding areas as well.

Wednesday April 3 - Kyoto to Tokyo (2 hrs. 20 minutes).

Saturday April 6 - take Narita Express to airport.

cat
cat

Hi Catherine,

The impression I get when looking at your itinerary is that you already have done a lot of research for it.
The ticket office at Narita Airport is open until 21:45 so you should have more than enough time to obtain your pass.

I have made a little overview of ticket prices to see if a JRPass would be beneficial

Narita Airport-> Tokyo ¥ 2,940
Tokyo --> Inuyama ¥ 11,120 (To Nagoya by JR Shinkansen, then private raiway to Inuyama ¥540)
Inuyama Seki, I wound two destinations named Seki in Mie and in Gifu both not to far from Inuyama.
Inuyama --> Osaka ¥ 6,180 (via Nagoya)
Osaka --> Kyoto ¥ 540
Kyoto --> Tokyo ¥ 13,220
Tokyo --> Narita Airport ¥ 2,940

For a total of 36940, this would not cover the cost of a 2 week JR-Pass which is 45,300. So it may be better if you buy the tickets locally. It could become worth it if you plan on making a day trip or two from Kyoto/Osaka to Hiroshima for instance or to Nikko from Tokyo. You can also use the JRPass on local JR-lines in both Osaka and Tokyo.

Note that I left mount Koya out because it is served by a different rail company than JR so you would not be able to use to pass for it.

For Tokyo I would recommend using a Tokyo 1Day Metro pass that costs 710 Yen and allows for unlimited travel on the Tokyo Metro.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

I have done a little bit of research, but I was getting lost on Hyperdia - you have to know which station. Thank you very much for the overview of the numbers involved, and it is good to know that the ticket office is open that late.

May I have one more questions, please?

One - how many day trips from Osaka or Kyoto would we would have to take to make the JR Pass worth while? We were considering:
Wakayama City,
Iga Ueno,
Yoshino,
Uji,
and/or the Ise Shrine.

Thank you very much for your advice and help. Best, Catherine

cat
cat

Hi again,

If you have problems with Hyperdia and don't know the specific station name, let me know and I can look it up for you!

It would depend mainly on the distance you'd travel and what kind of train you use. For instance a return to Nara is ¥1,380 , Uji ¥ 460, Iga Ueno ¥ 2,220 and Wakayama ¥9,400.

Let me know if I can help with anything else,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

That was very helpful - thank you so very much for your advice.

One tiny last question. In that we do not speak Japanese, I am thinking it will be easier to just have JR Pass and get on the train. I am thinking that might be worth the difference, so we don't have to struggle with purchasing tickets. Do you have any advice on that topic?

Best, Catherine

cat
cat

Hi Catherine,

About speaking Japanese, the first couple of times when I was in Japan I dit not speak much Japanese either, (besides perhaps Ogenki des ka, how are you). I never had problems with it while traveling by JR-Pass. Station names are generally displayed in both Japanese and English and in bigger cities train announcements are also in English.

About buying the JRPass.
While you don't know yet if you will be able to save money with it, the travel you plan to do with it will make it close. Buying the JR-Pass for convience is certainly a valid reason. Like you mentioned you can just go to the train any time without having to buy a ticket and savings some time which can be great if you are late. Also the ability to take any train at any time gives a nice feeling of freedom and even if you miss the train you can simply take the next.

Have a great trip!
-Daniel

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

Hi Daniel,

Thank you very much. I think your advice is excellent and that seals the deal, and we will purchase the JR passes for all of us.

Thanks again! Your thoughtful advice and answers to my questions was extremely helpful.

Have a great day!

Best, Catherine

cat
cat

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