questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo hiroshima naoshima koyasan kyoto tokyo in 15 days

Tokyo Hiroshima Naoshima Koyasan Kyoto Tokyo in 15 days

Maybe I should have planned this differently, but my family of 4 will be taking this route from May 22:
5/22 arr Haneda, 5 nights in Tokyo
5/27 night bus to Hiroshima, spend a day and night
5/29 train to Naoshima, 2 nights
5/31 train to Koya-san, 1 night
6/1 train to Kyoto, 5 nights
6/6 train to Tokyo and late flight from Haneda

I've been doing research on hyperdia etc and this site. The 7 day pass doesn't quite cover our travel days, and the 14 day pass covers a lot of non-travel days. Am I right that I should just go ahead and buy individual rides, with the exception of a pass for the Nankai trains (Koyasan World Heritage or Kansai Thru Pass) for the trip to Koyasan? Seems like there's a nice time advantage if you can take the Nozomi trains. But is it a pain for non-Japanese speakers to have to buy a lot of tickets rather than just showing the pass?

I've always heard the JR pass is the thing to get, but it just doesn't seem to pencil out...

Thanks!

lyle
lyle

Hi there,

I see that you already have done a good amount of research and you are correct that with your current plans buying tickets would be the better option. I think the best way to use the JR Pass is for long distance travel and you can make some really good savings if you do. You kind of take this purpose away, because of the travel by night bus to Hiroshima.
With the JR Pass you can completely avoid the night bus and enjoy a much smoother journey. It would also pay off getting the JR Pass if you would travel to Hiroshima with it.

Here is a little list of ticket prices to illustrate what I am trying to say:
Tokyo -> Hiroshima ¥ 18,050
Hiroshima --> Uno (for the ferry to Naoshima) ¥ 6,180
Uno --> Osaka (for Koya san) ¥ 6,690
Kyoto - Tokyo ¥ 18,050
Tokyo - Handa Airport ¥ 620

For a total of ¥ 49,590, or ¥ 4,490 as the 14-day JR Pass is ¥ 45,100. Of course you can also use the JR Pass for local JR trains in Tokyo and around Kyoto. I guess that it really comes down to taking the night bus, personally I try to avoid them because I can never sleep in them and lose the next day due to fatigue but there are enough people who are completely fine with it.

I hope this puts things a little in perspective.
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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