questions & answers: itinerary check

proposed itinerary, does jr pass cover all of this?

Proposed itinerary, does JR Pass cover all of this?

We are coming to Japan for 2 weeks in May. We have a planned itinerary and intend to get a 7 day JR Pass to minimise the cost of getting around. Could you confirm whether it will cover all parts of our journey? Also, I'm slightly worried about how easy it will be to arrange all the different parts of the journey once we arrive, is it possible to reserve trains for the longer journeys from Tokyo when we first arrive?

17th Tokyo to Nikko (not using the pass)
19th Nikko to Tokyo to Kyoto (start pass from this day)
20th Kyoto to Nara return
21st Kyoto to Hiroshima return
23rd Kyoto to Mount Koyasan
25th Mount Koyasan to Kyoto to Tokyo (last day of pass)



Hi Sara,

The JR Pass covers by far most of your travel. There are a couple of points that require a bit of attention.

First is travel from Nikko to Tokyo - Kyoto. The JR Pass can only be activated at major stations and Nikko is not one of them. Make sure you exchange your JR Pass at the Airport or within Tokyo first. You can select a first day of use when you exchange the JR Pass, so you do not have to start using it right away.

The other point is travel to Koya-san. The JR Pass covers most of the trip but the last part is traveled on the Nankai Express, which is not covered by the JR Pass. The go a bit more into detail, take the Shinkansen bullet train from Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka, from there use a local JR line to Shin-Imamiya. From here to Nankai express goes to Gokurakubashi, here you can take the rope-way to Koya-san. All travel after Shin-Imamiya is not covered, here a Koya Heritage can be useful.

Lastly, train travel in Japan is the best in the world. It will all be easy after you have used the system a couple of times. You can make seat reservations right away once you are in Japan and have exchanged the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,


That is very helpful, thank you Daniel.


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