questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

7 day jr pass

7 day JR Pass

Hi,

I'm travelling to Japan on September 27 to October 8. I want know if the JR Pass will cover Osaka-Hiroshima and vice versa using the JR Nationwide Pass in Shinkansen Sakura. Then my second question is, Can I activate my JR pass on September 30. Please check if my itinerary is possible with JR nationwide pass.

Sept 27-October 2: Tokyo
October-2: Nagoya - Half Day Sightseeing
October 2:Nagoya to Kyoto
October 4: Kyoto to Osaka
October 4: check in then leave Osaka to Hiroshima for half-day sightseeing and leave Hiroshima at 7PM.

Appreciate your immediate response.

hya_hai
hya_hai

Hi there,

Yes the JR Pass covers the Sakura train service. It also covers all rail travel between the places in your itinerary. Additionally you will make good savings over normal tickets by using the JR Pass from Tokyo - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka - Hiroshima - Osaka.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel. Can I activate my JR pass on September 30 instead of September 27 which our arrival in Tokyo??

hya_hai
hya_hai

Btw, I have one more question. I am also looking at the JR Kansai-Hiroshima 5 days ride. Does it also cover Sakura Shinkansen and JR Miyajima Ferry?

hya_hai
hya_hai

Hi,
You can choose the 1st day of use when you exchange your voucher for the actual pass. It doesn't have to be the day you activate it. This lets you start using the pass from any JR station, urban or rural.
Also, yes, you can use the Pass to go to Hiroshima and get on the ferry. For Miyajima, please note that there are 2 ferry companies there - make sure you go to the JR one if you want to use your pass.
If you still have time, you can also go and see nearby Iwakuni with its iconic historical bridge and mountaintop castle.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thanks for the info Toranekoo. Is it possible for us to visit Iwakuni all by ourselves?? Is it walking distance from Miyajima Shrine?? It's my first time in Japan. Wondering if it's like in China where very few people who speak english that we can ask for directions. 😊 Anyway, i would love to visit Iwakuni since i like taking photos of bridges. 😊

hya_hai
hya_hai

Hi,
Yes, you can certainly go to Iwakuni or anywhere else in Japan by yourselves. It is not withing walking distance of Miyajima however. It is about 23 minutes by train from Miyajimaguchi Station.
Getting around is not difficult at all. Train stations have signs, machines and messages in English, and quite frequently in Korean and Chinese now as well.
It is true in general though that few Japanese can speak English with ease. In school the goal is rote memorization and passing tests, not learning to communicate. But that doesn't mean you are completely up the creek.
If you get hopelessly lost, it is better to find some older school or college age students and write out your questions in simple words. Japanese are still very poor at speaking English but are often glad to help you out if you lose your way.
Carrying a business card or matchbook with your hotel's address on it can be a big help in getting back. Taking a taxi is the ultimate quick solution, but they can be expensive for longer distances, especially if traveling alone.
Looking at your original itinerary, it's unclear what your interest in Nagoya is - among the big cities it is the least interesting. Unless you have something there of particular interest, you might consider skipping it. Visiting Nara near Kyoto for at least half a day would be well worth it though. Also Himeji Castle is close by and the finest in Japan, if you have half a day free for that, it is also very memorable. One other place you probably won't have enough time for is the Akiyoshido Limestone Cave which like Iwakuni is also in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It's a 300 million year old wonder with giant underground caverns and and river flowing past you. Something to try on a future trip.
Best of luck!

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thanks again Toraneko. I am also thinking of updating itinerary to maximize my JR Pass.

hya_hai
hya_hai

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