questions & answers: itinerary check

jr east pass or jr pass

JR East Pass or JR pass

HI,

We are planning a trip in early Dec 2013, total of 12 days trip,arriving & leaving from Haneda .We are family of 3 ( 2 Adult, 1 young adult - 16 yrs old)

We want to see Hakone, Nagano and Tokyo plus including 3 days playing snow around Hakuba (we think may not have any snow, but it may be worth to try since our schedule already fix in early Dec).

arrive Haneda --- > Shinjuku (1 night)
Hakone - use the Hakone free pass (3days)
Kamakura & Ito - 1day
Nagano - 1 day
Hakuba - 3 days
Tokyo - 3 days

Would we be better doing all the travelling on a 5 days flexi JR East pass which is 22,000 yen vs the 7days JR Rail pass? I found that the JR East pass not able to do the exchange at the Odawara station correct? Or JR Rail pass also not able to do the exchange at Odawara stations?

Many thanks.
MY

mychan
mychan

Hi there!

I think both passes would be suited for your plans, however both have their advantages (and disadvantages).
First, let's have a look at the JR East Pass, the pass covers the Tohoku region both west and north of Tokyo, including the Nagano Shinkansen and Hakuba. The 5 day Flex pass costs 22,000yen and allows for unlimited travel for 5 days within it's 14 day validity period. Odawara is outside of the coverage area, so you would not be able to use it to travel there. However you can buy a Hakone free pass from Shinjuku and cover the travel there that way.

The 7 day JR Pass is 28,300 yen and allows for unlimited travel throughout Japan, the main advantage here would be that it allows for extra flexibility during it's validity period, as you could change your plans on the go and travel whenever you want and you could use it for travel outside the Tohoku region to Odawara and Kyoto for instance.

I think that the JR East pass would most likely be the best option for your current plans as it would help you cover all of your long distance travel (Tokyo --> Nagano --> Hakuba --->Tokyo --->) and have a day left to do as you wish. You will have to exchange the JR East pass in advance though, as it can not be activated (as you found out already) at Odawara station, however you can do so at most major stations in Tokyo, including Narita Airport and Tokyo station.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

It is very helpful, Thanks for the recommendation. Can I say that I can activate the JR East pass first and pick any of the 5days later (within the 14days) ? I do agree that the 7days JR pass though cost more, yes it does had more flexibility then the JR East.

THanks.

mychan
mychan

Hi Again!

Yes you can buy the JR East Pass and set the first day of use on a future date, so you don't have to start using it right away.

Have a great trip!
Daniel

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

Dear Daniel-san,

I have some changes to my plan, I will be extending my stay at Hakone, that is I will not be returning using the Hakone Free pass to return to Tokyo, can I use the JR east pass travel to Nagano? I found out that I still can use the JR Tokaido Main line from Odawara station to Tokyo and then from there to Nagano via Shinkansen correct?

It will be great that if u can help to answer to this question so that I can now make final decision of buying the JR East pass.

Thank you,
Rgds,
Mei ying

mychan
mychan

Hi Mei Ying,

Yes the JR East pass does cover travel to Nagano.

Hope this answers your question!
-Daniel

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

Dear Dan,

Thank you so much for your answer. I now had so much confident with my plan and to proceed with the purchase. thanks.
MY

mychan
mychan

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