questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

14 or 21 day pass?

14 or 21 day pass?

I've been onto Hyperdia doing some costings and I am still undecided whether a 14 day or 21 day JR pass is the most cost effective. Itinerary is a follows (accommodation has been booked):

22/3 Day 1 - Evening arrival at Narita. Activate JR Pass and book fare to Kyoto. Overnight Narita hotel using hotel shuttle bus
23/3 Day 2 - Narita Airport to Kyoto (4 nights)
27/3 Day 6 - Kyoto to Mt Koyo (overnight)
28/3 Day 7 - Mt Koyo to Osaka (2n)
30/3 Day 9 - Osaka to Hiroshima (3n, including day trip to Miyajima)
2/4 Day 12 - Hiroshima to Kanazawa (2n)
4/4 Day 13 - Kanazawa to Takayama (2n, Nohi bus via Shirakawa-go)
6/4 Day 15 - Takayama to Matsumoto (1n)
7/4 Day 16 - Matsumoto to Tokyo (5n, Akasaka)
12/4 Day 21 - Akasaka to Narita, evening flight home.

The 21-day pass fits nicely if the pass is activated on Day 2. I am unsure if we will do any day trips out of Tokyo during the five days we are there. We are travelling as a couple.

Thankyou.

JapanHol
JapanHol

Hi there!

It basically comes down to if you would do enough travel for the upgrade from 14 day to 21 day JR Pass to be worth it. The difference in price between the 14 and 21 day JR Pass is 12,600yen. Say that you would use the JR Pass on day 2, then the following travel would fall outside of the 14 day JR Pass. Matsumoto - Tokyo ¥ 6,710 and Tokyo - Narita Airport ¥ 2,940 which adds up to ¥ 9,650. This is only a small amount away from a 21 day JR Pass, so it would depend on any additional travel in and around Tokyo you may do.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thankyou Daniel. Your reply was most helpful and it confirms what I was thinking. I will purchase 21-day passes as the price difference is small and worth the convenience of not having to purchase individual tickets.

Are we likely to have difficulty reserving seats to Kyoto on Sunday 23rd March if we book them the night before?

Also Hyperdia shows we can change trains from the 09:19 Narita Express to the Shinkansen Hikari 509 at either Tokyo (16 minutes to get from Track 1 to 15), or Shinagawa (14 minutes, no track information shown). Which would be easier for us?

A final question - if we make a booking and arrive at the station in time to catch an earlier train - is it easy to change the booking at the station?

Have a good day!

JapanHol
JapanHol

Hi Again,

Trains depart very frequently and can have over a 1000 seats each so they rarely sell out. I don't think that you'd find any trouble reserving your tickets, even close before departure.

Making a transfer at Tokyo or Shinagawa is pretty much the same. Personally I'd go for Tokyo station because I know it better but both stations are good, just follow the signs with Shinkansen.

Yes it is possible to change bookings but there may be a queue and it could take some time to change your tickets, therefor it's better to decide on a route beforehand.

Hope this helps too!
Daniel

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

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