questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

7 day jr pass worth it...?

7 day JR Pass worth it...?

Hi,

I've changed my itinary a bit and I've got the following now for my family (2 adults, 2 kids (4 and 8 years)):

  • day 1 arriva Narita airport Tokyo
  • day 2 - 5 Tokyo (including one daytrip to Hakone or Disney Land or Seaworld (for the kids))
  • day 6 train to to Osaka
  • day 7 train to Kyoto
  • day 8 - 10 Kyoto (including daytrip Nara)
  • day 11 train to Hiroshima (stopover for a few hours at Himeiji)
  • day 12 - 13 Hiroshima (day 12 daytrip Miyajima)
  • day 14 train to Fukuoka
  • day 15 flight back to Bangkok

Is it right I just break even with a 7-day pass starting from day 6 (to Osaka) until day 12 (Miyajima)? And if I just break even, is it more comfortable to have the pass, so I don't have to worry about buying tickets, changing cash etcetera?

One bonus question: if I treat the kids a Disney day, what would be better: DisneyWord or DisneySea?

Thanks in advance!!

Peter

PeterM
PeterM

Hi,
Yes, as you mentioned, you'd pretty much break even for Days 6-12.
For either Hakone, Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea, it's up to your interests. Personally, if you go to Japan, then seeing Japan is best, so I'd pick Hakone. But if you were to choose one of the theme parks, Disneyland is more of the traditional Disney, and DisneySea is more of a modernized Disney with more of a Mediterranean theme. You have the time, so you could do 2 days for Tokyo, one for Hakone (get the Hakone Free Pass), and one theme park. If forced to choose, I'd do DisneySea, since there are multiple Disneylands.
For your Day 6th, I'd do a half day to see Kobe, and the late afternoon and evening to see Osaka. Kobe has its Nankinmachi chinatown, ropeways to great mountaintop views, earthquake museum, and Sorakuen Garden. At night Osaka comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
For your Nara day trip, the sights near Nara Park are the best. The Todaiji Great Buddha in Nara is a must see. Feeding the deer is also nice, and seeing the Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Shrine are also rewarding. A few other great places missed out even by those who go to Nara though are the Isuien and Yoshikien Gardens. They are gorgeous and not crowded at all.
Hiroshima also has a number of good places. Miyajima is the most famous, and aside from Hiroshima itself, Onomichi with its temple tour and Kosanji Temple is spectacular. Just beyond Miyajima also lies Iwakuni with its historical bridge and castle on top of the mountain.
For Fukuoka, there are many open parks, shopping, seaside historical areas, and urban neon. See this site as a good guide.
Be sure to see the Nanzoin Temple which is one of Japan's finest yet almost totally unknown to the outside world and completely FREE!
Look into a Fukuoka Tourist City Pass also.
You can also see a lot of previews on the best there is to see here.

You should have a busy but unforgettable trip!

Good luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi,

Thanks for the prompt reply and all the extra information.

Just to be clear: daytrip to DisneySea is not my 'cup of tea', but travelling with two kids: sometimes you have to make them happy, so I was looking for one or two fun things for the kids.

I read on some Hakone website, that the cablecar was closed, due to some volcanic activity. Does any know if this is only for a short periode?

And last: do you agree that when we're breaking even with the 7-days JR Pass, it is indeed a good idea to buy it to avoid some hassle with buying tickets and stuff like that...

Cheers!

Peter

PeterM
PeterM

Hi,
I'm sorry I can't find any info about the Hakone cable car being closed at all. I hadn't heard anything about some sort of stoppage.
But as long as you are at least breaking even on the cost of the pass, the added convenience of not having to wait in line to buy tickets is indeed a bonus.
I hope you have a great trip.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi,

Thanks again for the reply. I found the info about the Hakone cable car (to be more precise: it's the Hakone Ropeway) at this website:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html

Looks like an official website, but it maybe outdated... It seemed to me that the Ropeway is/was the most interesting part of the Hakone Round Course.

PeterM
PeterM

Hi,
The link you gave is not the official site, that is at:

http://www.hakoneropeway.co.jp/foreign/en/index.html

JG is usually accurate - although the advisory could be outdated. That said, the official site may not have been updated in a few years. I will do some more research and get back to you shortly.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi again,
From what I can gather, it is indeed shut down for the near future. There are substitute buses you can use the Hakone Free Pass on though. It's an unfortunate loss to the sightseeing, but Hakone is still worth visiting.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi,
Thanks for checking it out! I will decide in July whether to do the daytrip to Hakone or another daytrip (do-able for kids) from Tokyo. If the weather will be ok then, I'll probably go to Hakone (I like countryside more then cities).

Thanks again!

PeterM
PeterM

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $254.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.