questions & answers: itinerary check

jr pass best option? tokyo -> kyoto -> nara -> tokyo

JR Pass best option? Tokyo -> Kyoto -> Nara -> Tokyo

We will be in Japan for 9 days this spring and are looking for advice on whether the JR Pass, or perhaps different passes, are the best fit for our itinerary.

Our initial plan is:
30 Mar: land Tokyo-Narita, then take a train to Kyoto
30 Mar - 2 Apr: Stay in Kyoto area
3 Apr: Travel from Kyoto to Nara
3 Apr - 5 Apr: Stay in Nara
6 Apr: Travel from Nara to Tokyo
7 Apr: Fly out of Tokyo-Narita around 5pm

As JR passes are either 7 days or 14 days, we were wondering if perhaps we should go down to Kyoto a day later or come back to Tokyo a day earlier in order to use a 7 day JR Pass. Or should we just buy our individual tickets or look into alternate passes as we aren't travelling extensively outside of the Tokyo-Kyoto return tickets we'll need? Or would taking a flight from Tokyo to Kyoto be a better option?

Thank you for any advice you have regarding best train pass options and please let me know if you need any additional information1


Hello there,

A 7 day JR Pass would work well if you could make the return Tokyo - Kyoto/Nara with it. However if you want a bit more time in Kyoto, then I would simply buy normal train tickets when traveling.

I would not take a flight, as travel time to and from the airports alone almost takes as long as using the Shinkansen ride from Tokyo - Kyoto.

Hope this helps,


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