questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

3 week trip

3 Week Trip

Hi Daniel,

I was wondering if you could help me please. I am travelling to Japan between July 10 and August 1. My itinerary is as follows:

July 10-12: Tokyo
July 13-18: Yokohama (I have to be at a conference here, hence the long stay!)
July 19-20: Lake Yamanaka
July 21-22: Nagoya
July 23-24: Kyoto
July 25-27: Fly to Seoul (with Peach Air from Kansai Airport)
July 28: Osaka
July 29: Kyoto with day trip to Nara
July 30: Kyoto with day trip to Hiroshima
July 31: Tokyo
Aug 1: Fly home

I was wondering if:

1) The JR pass would be worth the money for this itinerary.
2) I would be better buying a 21 day pass or a 14 day pass to start on July 19th. This is because I won't travel much whilst in Yokohama - the only tickets I would buy for the first 9 days of my trip would be from Haneda Airport to Tokyo centre, Tokyo to Yokohama, and Yokohama back to Tokyo.
3) How I would best get to Lake Yamanaka - specifically Hotorinite Guesthouse ( - using the JR pass. I want to go as I really like the look of the hotel / lake and there is supposed to a decent view of Mount Fuji from there.

Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you!



Hi Gareth,

1&2.) This it a very interesting itinerary and pretty unique too. I do get the impression that a 14 day JR Pass could be of use from reading your itinerary. However I put all ticket prices below to find out for sure. I did assume that you would go for the 14 day JR Pass as local travel around Yokohama is not very pricey at all.

Yokohama - Lake Yamanaka (JR Upto Gotemba, details are below) ¥ 4,010
Gotemba - Nagoya ¥ 8,580
Nagoya - Kyoto ¥ 5,640
Kyoto - Kansai Airport ¥ 3,480
Kansai Airport - Osaka ¥ 1,160
Osaka - Kyoto ¥ 540
Kyoto - Nara (return) ¥ 1,380
Kyoto - Hiroshima ¥ 10,990
Hiroshima - Kyoto ¥ 10,990
Kyoto - Tokyo ¥ 13,420
Tokyo - Narita Airport ¥ 3,140

For a total of ¥ 59,320 or ¥ 14,220 in savings as the 14 day JR Pass is ¥ 45,100 So a JR Pass would certainly be a good choice!

Travel from Tokyo/Yokohama to Lake Yamanaka with the JR Pass.

I had to do some research myself as well and found that the best route is to use the JR to travel to Gotemba station, this is partly done using the Shinkansen and partly using local trains. The exact route and trains traveled on depends on the time and I would ask the JR Staff to print an itinerary before you get on the train. This way you know the exact travel times. I've included a couple of examples here. From Gotemba station buses run regularly to lake Yamanaka, there's a bus stop right in front of the station but you can also ask the local English speaking tourist information if you require help buying tickets for the bus. This is the most economic way of getting there with the JR Pass.

Once you travel to Nagoya, simply get on the bus back to Gotemba and go from there. An alternative is to travel to Mishima station by bus and take the Shinkansen from there to Nagoya, this is a little faster but the bus fare is also higher.

Hope this helps!


Hi Daniel,

Thank you very much. This is extremely helpful! I'll buy the 14 day pass and definitely travel to Lake Yamanaka as well. I really appreciate your advice on everything and if I have any more questions, I'll be in touch.

Thanks again!


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