questions & answers: itinerary check

should i purchase a jr pass and when should i validate my jr pass

Should I purchase a JR Pass and when should I validate my JR Pass

My husband and I will be visiting Japan for the first time arriving Osaka on 5th February 2012.

Following is my itinerary:

Day 1-Arrive Kansai Airport at 3.45 PM (1545 hrs)- going to Tennoji Station (1 night)
Day 2-Tennoji Station to JR Kyoto Station (staying in Kyoto for 3 days)
Day 5- JR Kyoto Station to Takayama (staying 2 days)
Day 8-Takayama to Tokyo (Shiba Park Hotel-Which station should I get down?) Staying for 3 days
Day 11-To Tokyo Haneda Airport 8pm (2000hrs) my flight depart 11.45pm

Also in the Hypedia I notice we have to pay a Fare as well as seat Fee(reserved and unreserved seat). How does that work and which JR train should I take that are cover in the Rail pass.
Would appreciate your help advising how we should maximise our JR Pass. Thank you and look forward to your reply.

colleen
colleen

Hi Colleen,

In order for a 7 day JR Pass to be worth buying, you need to plan to spend at least ¥28,300 on travel. Looking at your itinerary as it stands I think you'll be better off buying separate tickets - I don't think there is any way to cut your trip right now so that it becomes cost effective to use a JR Pass.

Firstly, the travel from Kansai Airport and between Tennoji and Kyoto is relatively cheap, so you would not need a rail pass for the first 5 days of your trip:

  1. Kansai airport > Tennoji: ¥2470, (33mins, 46km)
  2. Tennoji > Kyoto: ¥3570, (52mins, 53km)

TOTAL: ¥6040 for 2 legs

This leaves the remaining 7 days of travel from day 5 onwards:

  1. Kyoto > Takayama: ¥9980, (193mins, 314km)
  2. Takayama > Tokyo: ¥14600, (273mins, 532km)
  3. Tokyo > Hamamatsucho: ¥150, (6mins, 3km)
  4. Hamamatsucho > Haneda airport international terminal: ¥150, (6mins, 3km)

TOTAL: ¥24880 for 4 legs

As you can see, while expensive, this travel does not amount to more than the ¥28,300 cost of the 7 day rail pass.

In order for a 7 day rail pass to be worthwhile, you'll need to plan on doing another ¥3420 on travel. We have some posts on day trips from Tokyo with a JR Pass that will easily tip you over this, but it very much depends on personal preference.

Regarding your other questions:

In the Hypedia I notice we have to pay a Fare as well as seat Fee(reserved and unreserved seat). How does that work?

In Japan there is a basic fare on all JR trains. In addition to this there is a seat fee issued on special trains (such as bullet trains and other super express services). The seat fee depends on the class of seat you choose to use and is a component part of the full fare.

which JR train should I take that are cover in the Rail pass.

We have a blog post and video on using Hyperdia for Japan Rail Pass holders that will let you find trains that are suitable for a JR Pass. In general however, it is all trains and buses except the Nozomi and Mizuho class bullet trains. All other bullet trains are accessible.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thank you Mari. Your information is of great help. If the is the case can I but all my tickets on arrival and do they accept credit card payment?

Regards
Colleen

colleen
colleen

As per your advise above If I were to buy my ticket on arrival at the ticketing office will the price be the same as shown in Hypedia?.
Also we are thinking of a day trip on our own to Koyasan from Osaka can the JR Pass be use? In Tokyo we are planning to go to Mt Fuji it it easy to go on our own or you suggest we join a day tour? Looking forward to your reply.

colleen
colleen

Hi Colleen - sorry I missed your comment!

Can I buy all my tickets on arrival and do they accept credit card payment?

Yes - this will be fine. Visa/MC/AMEX are commonly accepted in Japan these days

If I were to buy my ticket on arrival at the ticketing office will the price be the same as shown in Hyperdia?.

Yes - the prices will be the same as hyperda, though these may differ depending on time of day (rush hour etc)

Also we are thinking of a day trip on our own to Koyasan from Osaka can the JR Pass be use?

The JR Pass will get you some of the way to Koya san - we have a blog post about this for more information

In Tokyo we are planning to go to Mt Fuji it it easy to go on our own or you suggest we join a day tour?

It depends on how adventurous you're feeling :). It is fairly easy to explore the Mt Fuji area with the Hakone Freepass, which will give you 2 days of travel from Shinjuku over the entire Hakone area for ¥5000. Highly recommended!

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thank you again Mari for the helpful information. I now look forward to our trip to Japan.

colleen
colleen

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