questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo, nagano, kyoto and day trip to hiroshima

Tokyo, Nagano, Kyoto and day trip to Hiroshima

My friend and I are travelling from Tokyo to Nagano (Yamanouchi) where we will stay for 2 nights then head West to Kanazawa for a night before going down to Kyoto for 4 nights, during which time we want to take a day trip to Hiroshima to see the Atomic bomb memorial, then to Nara for 2 nights then to Koyasan for a night before heading to Osaka airport and our flight out. The trip will take 10 days (18 to 28 October).
Is it possible to get to all these places through a JR pass (14 day)?
I've tried to check out the day trips to Hiroshima but they all include the rail fare (which, if we have a pass would be covered?).
I'd like to confirm the leg from Nara to Koyasan can be done (train or bus) with the JR pass also.

Any and all assistance very welcome.
Thank you.

Winter
Winter

Hi there,

You could take a 14 day JR Pass but why not use a 14 day JR Pass to travel from Tokyo - Nagano - Kanazawa - Hiroshima - Kyoto and then buy local tickets for the renaming days. Would would be much more budget efficient and travel to Koya-san is not fully covered by the JR Pass in any event (part of the way is travelled on the Nankai Railway company).

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Thankyou Daniel-san but we need to be in Kyoto on the 21st. You suggest we buy a 14 day pass, did you mean a 7 day pass, adding local fares for the rest?
Thanks for the info re the Koyasan leg of our journey, I didn't know that JR pass wouldn't include it.
Do you have any advice on pre-booking the Hiroshima trip (would have to be the 23rd or 24th of October) using the JR Pass?
Thank you.

Winter
Winter

Hi again,

Sorry, I did indeed mean a 7 day JR Pass and buying normal tickets but only if you can include your trip to Hiroshima with with. Otherwise a 14 day JR Pass would be the better option as a return Kyoto - Hiroshima is over 20,000yen!

For seat reservations, you could do so the moment that you activate the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Yes, thankyou the Hiroshima train trip is more excpensive than I thought. I will likely keep to the 14 day pass and add the side trip to Koyasan. Good to know about the seat booking. I arrive about a week before I will activate the pass. I'm hoping there is a JR booth at Tokyo/Narita where I can exchange the vouchers for the pass (will they allow me to et them for both my friend and I or do we both have to be there in person?).
I'm not sure how to find the different schedules for each train station (e.g., Ikebukuro stn to Yamanouchi, Yamanouchi to Kanazawa, Kanazawa to Kyoto, Kyoto to Hiroshima/return, Kyoto to Nara, Nara to Koyasan, then Koyasan to Osaka/ Itami airport. If you could point me to a website or some other resource I'd be grateful. Any advice you can offer in terms of train/carriage/booked seat/luggaage on board etc would be welcome.

Thank you

Winter
Winter

Hi again,

I would recommend learning the plan with Hyperdia. This way you can find any route yourself.

When exchanging the JR Pass at Narita Airport you can make reservations right away. Sometimes you do have to go from the exchange office to a normal ticket window when its busy but that is all.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Dear Daniel san
I have worked out which trains to take (using Hyperdia as you suggested) and assume only the green coloured icon trains are covered by the JR pass? If this is so then it is cheaper for us to buy individual tickets in which case I have 2 questions: (1) can this be done online using Hyperdia or is that only for scheduling only (in which case how do we actually buy tickets in advance?) and (2) if a ticket is bought in advance and we want to take an earlier or later train for whatever reason, can the ticket we hold be changed - especially if a journey involves more than one railway (which seems to be almost all of our travel, e.g., from Tokyo to Yudanaka (Nagano) involves JR and Nagano Electric) ?
We are quite nervous about the whole train travel thing as neither of us speaks more than a word or two of Japanese and the train trips are a major part of our holiday in Japan.
Hope you can help.

kind regards
Paul

Winter
Winter

Hello Paul,

1.) I am not sure what you see but as I calculated, you can make very good savings using a JR Pass. You can use the JR Pass Fare Calculator to find an approximate ticket cost of a single route or even your full itinerary.

2.) The JR Pass allows for free changes of tickets, so you don't have to worry about that with a JR Pass. If you buy a normal ticket, it can be re-booked up to any time before departure of the train. Otherwise you can still take a non-reserved seat.

I made a couple trips to Japan even before I spoke a word Japanese, I had no problems getting around. It can help to familiarise yourself with how the rail system works beforehand.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Maybe the problem is in conversion to NZ$ - the JR pass says it gives the final price in UK (pounds) so I then have to convert that to NZ$ and it comes out at about NZ$630-00 (for each of us)? The individual trips come to (JR Line) NZ$368.00, (other rail lines) plus NZ$127.00 (which we'd have to pay on top of the JRPass anyway).
Maybe I'm assuming that only the green coloured (icon) trains are covered by a JR Pass and this is incorrect?

Calculating the JR parts of the trips from Tokyo (Ikebukuro) to Nagano (Yudanaka), then Yudanaka to Kanazawa, Kanazawa to Kyoto (Kumikatsura), Kamikatsura to Hiroshima station (return), Kamikatsura to (Nara) Kintetsu, Kintetsu to Koyasan, and finally Koyasan to Osaka Itami airport works out to just over 37,000yen for JR trains and 9,300yen for other rail company trains (= NZ$490.00 total).

I'd be very grateful if you could check my journey and advise if I am correct please.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

kind regards
Paul

Winter
Winter

Hi Paul,

I added your itinerary in the Fare Calculator:
http://www.jrpass.com/farecalculator/138.427734/35.712616/8/iM3uAGEyBdmnmhZqAMNv6dHuAdEyAdeomtZpAMeZi7==

The amount of savings using a JR Pass is a lot lower than I previously calculated (I may have calculated you returning to Tokyo instead of Osaka) but they are still there. Do note that this does not include any local JR travel you could cover in Tokyo and transport to and from the airport.

A note on what train lines would not be covered:
Travel between Nagano - Yudanaka
Travel between Kyoyo station and Kamikatsura (subway)
Travel between Nara - Koya-san - Osaka using the Nankai railway.

Travel to Nara is included with the JR Pass using the JR Nara station.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

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