questions & answers: itinerary check

jr pass for 14 days of travel

JR Pass for 14 days of travel

Hello!

I am going to Japan in a few months for 14 days from May 12 to 26th. I am flying into Kansai. I have done research on the various passes and other transportation options to make the transportation cost effective and maximizing the passes. I am open to ideas on how to make the most of the passes and if needed, to rearrange the itinerary however Kansai portion (May 16-22) is fixed.

Here is my itinerary:

May 12 (two nights in Osaka)
May 15 day trip to Hiroshima then arriving to Kyoto in the evening.
May 16-22 Kansai region (Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Nishinomiya, Himeiji)
May 23 (3 nights in Tokyo)

I see the 14 day JR Rail Pass is costs 45,100¥, I've been doing cost comparisons against the various other passes.

If I am to follow the itinerary, I am thinking about doing the following:

Get two 4 day JR Kansai passes which costs 6,000¥ each. (or should I get one 4 day JR Kansai pass and one 4 day Kansai Wide pass which costs 7,000¥?) I see there's also a pricier option of purchasing an 8 day JR Sanyo pass for 30,000¥.

After Osaka, I plan on going to Hiroshima for the day then go to Kyoto. What is the best cost effective option to go about this?

I plan on taking the overnight Willer bus from Kyoto to Tokyo on the night of the 22nd. The overnight bus costs 6,400¥. Then use a 3 day JR Kanto Area pass (May 23-25) which costs 8,000¥.

On the 26th, I won't be using a pass; I fly back to Kansai from Narita using JetStar for 4,690¥.

The total of two JR Kansai passes + Willer bus + Kanto Area pass + JetStar = 31,090¥. The total excludes the cost for the Hiroshima fare.

Any feedback, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!

meisquared
meisquared

Hi there,

I think for the most part you already covered everything.
Here`s what I can add to it :)

You can only buy one Kansai Pass and Kansai Wide pass for each time you visit Japan. You can buy one of each, so I would recommend going with that. For Hiroshima you can use the Kansai Wide pass as far as Okayama. From there you can buy a ticket for the local JR Sanyo line that costs ¥ 2,940/one way.

Otherwise a night bus is the most economic option.

What I am curious about is the JR Kanto pass. Are you planning on making day trips outside of Tokyo?
Otherwise local transport is a lot more economic. Like a one day Metro Pass.

I would still consider the 14 JRPass though, while it may cost slightly more, the Shinkansen will bring you everywhere much faster so you will have more time to look around. If you use it from the 13th to the 26th you can use it for all your travel long distance travel. Personally I can never sleep in the night bus so I am very groggy the next day.

Whatever way you choose though, I am sure it will be a great trip!
Let me know if I can help with anything else,
-Daniel

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

Thank you for your suggestions and information! I had no idea that I couldn't buy more than one of the same pass.

If I move the visit to Himeiji to May 13th as a half-day trip for the Osaka portion, would that a better use of time?

If I follow your suggestion buying one Kansai Pass and one Kansai Wide Pass, I assume I should be using the Kansai Wide Pass first as it'll take me as far as Okayama so I can continue on my journey to Hiroshima?

I don't plan on making day trips outside of Tokyo as I'm only going to be in Tokyo for 3 nights. Thank you for the recommendation on the Metro Pass. :)

I shall keep the 14 day JR Pass in consideration.

Thanks again!

Mei

meisquared
meisquared

Hi Mei,

Yes with your itinerary it is best to use the Kansai Wide pass first.
By doing so, moving your visit to Himeji on the 13th becomes a great idea!
You can use to Wide Pass to travel there by Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka so you will be there in no time.

If you are only staying in Tokyo I would just take the Kanto Pass and spend the money on something nice.

One last tip: The Kansai Wide pass does not allow for seat reservations so you will have to use to unreserved seats. Be sure to stand in line early on the platform when you travel by limited express or Shinkansen in order to be sure of a good seat.

Have a good trip!
-Daniel

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

Thank you for your help in my itinerary!

I took a look at the Metro Pass link you provided. It sounds like the Metro Pass is more cost effective and cheaper than the Kanto Pass. Can I buy 3 one day passes, one for each day I will be in Tokyo? And on May 26th, I can just buy a one way fare to Narita. Would this be a good idea?

Thanks for the Kansai Wide Pass tip!

Thank you; I intend to have a great trip! :)

Mei

meisquared
meisquared

Hi again,

Yes there is no limit to the amount of day passes you can buy :)

For Narita airport I would just buy a single way ticket, they can be as low as 1,150 Yen via the Keisei Line.

Enjoy Japan!
-Daniel

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

Thank you for your assistance, once again Daniel!

meisquared
meisquared

Hello Daniel-san,

I was reading about the ICOCA card. Would the ICOCA card be cheaper than using a JR Kansai and/or JR Kansai Wide pass?

I'm guessing it would depend on how many places I want to see while in the Kansai region.

Please advise.

Thank you,

Mei

meisquared
meisquared

Hi Mei,

ICOCA is a so called IC card (like Suica) it does not offer any discount, instead it is a card used for convenience sake. With it you don't have to buy tickets, just swipe the card over the ticket gate when you enter and leave and the fare will be deducted from the cards balance.

Here is the wiki page that offers more information about it.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Hello Daniel-San,

If I decide to stay in Kansai area the entire time (15 days), what would you suggest the best cost effective pass(es) do I use? I still intend to visit Hiroshima as a day trip though.

After some contemplation, I've decided to do Tokyo another time.

I've narrowed down my pass options:

JR Kansai - 4 days 6000 ¥
JR Kansai Wide " " 7000 ¥
Kansai Thru Pass/Surutto Kansai ticket - 3 days for 5000 ¥
JR Sanyo-Shikoku-Kyushu northern Kyushu version - 5 days for 22000 ¥
JR Sanyo - 8 days for 30000 ¥

Which combination of tickets would net me the best cost effective deal?

Thanks!

Mei

meisquared
meisquared

Hi there Mei,

I think if you stay in and around Kansai only it is probably cheapest just to buy tickets when you travel. For instance way one Kyoto Osaka is 450 ~ 540 depending on the station/train company. For Hiroshima I would recommand sticking with the JR Kansai Wide pass and the plan above.

If you want to travel around in that area and maybe to Mie also consider a Kintestsu rail-pass.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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