questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

2 x 21 day jrpasses - can i explore all of japan?

2 x 21 day JRPasses - Can I explore all of Japan?

I am unclear which cities are served by JR lines and which by non-JR lines.

I will be traveling in Japan from October 2 through November 20. I fly to Narita and plan to spend my first 2 nights in Tokyo, then travel first to Sapporo to explore Hokkaido. Then I want to make my way slowly southward, to visit northern Honshu, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Beppu, and lots of other places in between. I particularly like to explore small towns and open countryside.

I am thinking of getting two 21-day JR rail passes to travel between major cities or to get to a hub location in each region, then rent a car or a bicycle to explore around that region. Does this sound like a good way to go? Will the JR rail pass get me to locations in all major regions of the country?

Thanks for your help making a $1500 decision.


Hi there,

The JR Pass will cover travel to all of the locations you list, and covers all JR lines across the entire country (everywhere but Okinawa!). One of the best recommendations I think I can give you is to purchase the book "Japan By Rail". The 3rd edition is available shortly, and is packed with all the information you will need to visit all the hidden parts of Japan with a JR Pass. As you could making such an investment in your travel I really recommend this book - it's extremely comprehensive and will make planning your trip much more rewarding. A+!

You can indeed purchase 2x21 day passes (or any combination). For a trip such as yours where flexibility is very important, the Nationwide JRPass will be a good choice coupled with cars/bikes as needed. Once you have firmed up your plans a little feel free to ask me to do a price check for you to make sure you'll get value for money.

Hope this helps - I'm incredibly envious!


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