questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

15-day trip with 14-day jr pass

15-day trip with 14-day JR Pass

Hi

I will be arriving in Kansai Airport on June 11 and departing on June 25 and am holding a 14-day JR pass.

So either for the first leg airport-hotel or the last leg hotel-airport I will not be able to use my JR pass. I also saw in some places that mentioned there is such privilege as N+1 for JR pass. Wondering how I can get granted this N+1 privilege? Many thanks.

trinatree
trinatree

Hi there,

I am not sure what you are referring to, you can't add extra time/nights to your JR Pass once you start using it.
If you could link me the site where you found that information that I could probably tell you more about it :)

I hope to hear from you!
-Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi, Daniel

Thanks for your reply and sorry for responding late. Was busy planning my trip, aiming to compile all questions in one shot, hopefully.

As for the N+1 info, the site was not in English, according to your confirmation above I figured it was about taking the train on the day 14 but exit the station on the day 15, then this does not incur extra fees.

Q1: Using HYPERDIA to check schedules. For ordinary JR Pass I suppose other than airplane and airport shuttle bus I shall uncheck the box for NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN), but am allowed to check the rest of the boxes? Did I miss out anything?

Q2: Am I allowed to change the Ordinary-type JR Pass to the Green-type upon arrival in Japan? If yes, based on my itinerary detailed below, is it better to get the Green-type JR Pass?

Q3: Luggage. Is it advisable to bring along my luggage (24" medium suitcase)? As per below itinerary, I have planned in a way that I will leave my luggage with the hotel in Kyoto bringing only a small backpack then drop by a night at the hotel to repack.

I hope I have covered all of my concerns regarding the use of the JR Pass and appreciate to hear from you soonest (I am departing on June 10). Many thanks.


Below is my itinerary. Also, will there be extra fees incurred for those trains that I picked?

Day 1
Kansai Airport - Kyoto (LTD. EXP HARUKA)
Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto (JR Nara Line Rapid Service or JR Nara Line Local)

Day 2
Kyoto - Osaka (JR Special Rapid Service, LTD. EXP THUNDERBIRD, LTD. EXP SUPER HAKUTO, etc.)
Osaka - Tokyo (LTD. EXP SUNRISE SETO or LTD. EXP SUNRISE IZUMO). Any extra fees?

Day 3 Tokyo

Day 4
Tokyo - Okayama - Hakata (LTD. EXP SUNRISE SETO and SHINKANSEN SAKURA 541)

Day 5
Hakata - Nagasaki - Hakata (Limited Express Kamome)
For Nagasaki, the station to be selected shall be Nagasaki(Nagasaki)?

Day 6
Hakata - Yufuin (LTD. EXP YUFU or LTD. EXP YUFUIN NO MORI)
Yufuin - Beppu - Yufuin

Day 7
Yufuin - Aso (private bus)

Day 8
Aso - Kumamoto - Hiroshima (LTD. EXP KYUSHU ODAN TOKKYU and SHINKANSEN SAKURA)
For Aso, the station to be selected shall be Aso (Kumamoto)?

Day 9
Hiroshima - Kyoto (SHINKANSEN SAKURA and SHINKANSEN KODAMA)

Day 10
Kyoto - Osaka - Tokyo (LTD. EXP SUNRISE SETO or LTD. EXP SUNRISE IZUMO)

Day 11
Tokyo - Matsumoto/Tsumago/Magome
Could you please advise the best way to go to Tsumago and Magome from Matsumoto?

Day 12
Matsumoto - Takayama (private bus)

Day 13
Takayama - Shirakawa-go (private bus)

Day 14
Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa (private bus)
Kanazawa - Kyoto (LTD. EXP THUNDERBIRD)

trinatree
trinatree

Hi there,

I understand now what you where trying to say about the N1. It is indeed true that you can finish your train ride without having to pay anything extra, given that you boarded that train before midnight.

1.) When planning with Hyperdia for the JRP, I always uncheck the following boxes: Airplane, Airport Shuttle Bus, NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN) and Private Railway. This makes for the easiest planning. You can how travel the Hayabusa with the JRPass, only select that option if you travel north of Tokyo into Tohoku.

2.) You can't change an Ordinary pass to Green but you can take ordinary seats with a green pass. A green pass does not offer any special benefits on a night train, I would recommend buying a normal pass since you plan on taking night trains a lot.

3.) Luggage never is a real problem when traveling on Bullet trains or limited express trains. However I would suggest packing lightly as you plan to travel a lot, the Sunrise express does have very limited luggage space and even a Suitcase may cause inconvenience.

On to your itinerary,
I really like your plans but at the same time I have some concerns with it too. Especially the about Sunrise Express, this train is very popular and can be fully booked days in advance. I would strongly recommend trying to book the tickets for it the moment that you arrive in Japan and have a plan B ready. You can use a Nobi Nobi seat for free with the JR Pass on the Sunrise Express. This is very basic compartment where you can lay down in.

Nagasaki in Hyperdia is indeed Nagasaki (Nagasaki) and Aso is Aso (Kumamoto).

Tsumago can be reached from the station called Nagiso directly from Matsumoto on the JR Chuo-line. Here is an example route.

I believe that you all planned it very well for the rest!

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks heaps Daniel!

I am now relieved having your assurance that my plan works. Thanks also for reminding me about the night train and plan B, also the Nobi Nobi seat. This helps a lot!

For Day 11-12, Tokyo - Matsumoto/Tsumago/Magome - Takayama,

1) My original plan was Day 11 Tokyo - Matsumoto - Tsumago/Magome - Matsumoto, Day 12 Matsumoto - (taking a private bus) - Takayama.

2) I overlooked the location of Tsumago/Magome, it seems that now I shall change the route of the two days to this: Tokyo - Matsumoto - Nagiso (Tsumago/Magome) - Gifu/Gero - Takayama. Guess this is better? Do you have any suggestions where I shall stay overnight?

Thank you in advance!

trinatree
trinatree

It would depend on your time available, the nice thing about the 2nd option is that you can save the bus fare.
As for accommodations, it would really depend on your budget. I know there is a very nice hostel newly opened in Matsumoto, Gifu is a also a great spot to stay as it is close to the Shinkansen so you can make your way everywhere quickly. You can use our map to get a feel for the distances involved.

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

Hi, Daniel

Also, is there any way to check the availability of Sunrise Express? Thanks.

trinatree
trinatree

Hi, Daniel

Also, is there any way to check the availability of Sunrise Express? Thanks.

trinatree
trinatree

Oppps, due to internet lagging, the above message was sent twice. Sorry for that. Hence I only saw your reply now and thanks. My question might not be clear that I actually queried about which town I shall stay overnight before I proceed to Takayama but you have provided the answer! Many thanks again!

trinatree
trinatree

Hi again,

It is possible to check train availability on-line using this website. It is only in Japanese, so you may want to load in Google Translate first. Otherwise the only way is to inquire in Japan.

Let me know if I can help in any other way.
-Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi, Daniel

The site you referred me to doesn't seem to provide info for Limited Express, it only shows Shinkansen (if I got it right)... Guess I have to rush a plan B or C before I depart for Japan. :(

trinatree
trinatree

You can use the last option for other kinds of trains, I have used it in the past for the Akebono night train from Ueno - Aomori but somehow I can't seem find the Sunrise express. Sorry about that :(

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

Hi, Daniel. Too bad. :(

Thanks for your help though. I have prepared a few alternatives. Wish me all the best to grab the seat! Wish you a great day too!

trinatree
trinatree

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