questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

7 days or 14 days jr pass

7 days or 14 days JR Pass

Hi

We are travelling to Japan between 19th December to 1st Jan, flying in and out from Tokyo. Itinerary has been planned with a 7 days Pass but we now wondering should we get a 14 days Pass.

Itinerary:

19/12 - Tokyo
20/12 - Fuji-Q Highland - Akihabara
21/12 - Tokyo Gibli Museum - Meiji Shrine
22/12 - Tsukiji market - Ueno Park - Takayama
23/12 -Takayama -> Shirakawa-go
24/12 - Shirakawa-go - Takayama - Kyoto (1st day of 7 day JR Pass)
25/12 -Kyoto (2nd day of 7 day JR Pass)
26/12 - Kyoto - Fushimi Inari -> Hiroshima -> Miyajima Station Night (3rd day of 7 day JR Pass)
27/12 - Miyajima (Noon - Evening) -> Osaka
28/12 - Osaka - Osaka Castle - Umeda -> Kawayu Onsen
29/12 - Kawayu Onsen - Osaka
30/12 - Osaka -> Nara Todaiji temple or Horyuji - Osaka Namba (Midnight train Osaka to Tokyo)
31/12 - Tokyo
1/1 - Asakusa

Please advise on the itinerary as well if possible. Thank you so much.

Regards,
William

William
William

Hi William,

The itinerary looks great. An interesting mix of lots of different parts of Japan (frankly, I'm a little envious...)

Firstly, here's an approximate cost breakdown for your journey. I didn't include any airport hops as you didn't mention these above. I also only included your main legs. You will get use from the JR Pass in Tokyo if you use the Yamanote line, but I wasn't sure if you were planning on that or the metro so left them out.

  1. Tokyo > Otsuk (for FujiQ): ¥2660, (84mins, 87km)
  2. Otsuki > Tokyo: ¥1450, (100mins, 87km)
  3. Tokyo > Takayama: ¥14000, (275mins, 532km)
  4. Takayama > Kyoto: ¥9380, (191mins, 314km)
  5. Kyoto > Hiroshima: ¥10590, (109mins, 380km)
  6. Hiroshima > Miyajimaguchi: ¥400, (26mins, 21km)
  7. Miyajimaguchi > Osaka: ¥10540, (148mins, 367km)
  8. Osaka > Kiitanabe (for kawayu onsen): ¥5090, (140mins, 175km)
  9. Kiitanabe > Osaka: ¥4930, (133mins, 167km)
  10. Osaka > Nara: ¥780, (62mins, 48km)
  11. Nara > Osaka: ¥780, (55mins, 48km)
  12. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥11850, (194mins, 556km on Sunrise Seto sleeper)

TOTAL: ¥72450 for 12 legs

There is room for lots of saving here! At ¥28,300, a 7 day will certainly save money, but is it cheaper to get a 14 day pass at ¥45,100 or just add separate tickets?

For the days outside your 7 day rail pass, your costs in separate tickets comes to about ¥18,110, which is more than the ¥16,800 difference between the 7 and 14 day rail passes. This means you'll make a small saving of ¥1310 with a 14 day pass than with a 7 day pass and separate tickets. With the added flexibility, it's fairly clear that the 14 day rail pass offers the best value.

Also, with a 14 day, you'll probably cover other trips too around Tokyo that I didn't include, and may be able to include airport hops if you're arriving by plane.

Recommendation: 14 day rail pass

Hope this helps!

P.S. Loved learning about Kawayu Onsen! I've never been, but it has been added as one of the places to go on my next visit! (nice saving with the rail pass too!)

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari,

Thanks for the reply and the recommendation.

I know 14 day rail pass will definitely a great deal and convenient for travel. We are still exploring the bus ticket option and see if we could save more because even if we got a 14 day pass we still need to pay for additional expenses that is not covered by JR, especially the bus to Shirakawago from Takayama which cost ¥4300 both ways.

Anyway, I would like to check with you for the Osaka to Tokyo route on my last day of JR pass (30/12) if we are using a 7 day pass. The Sunrise Seto sleeper departs at 00.34am (31/12) which already pass my 7 day pass. Can we still board the train back to Tokyo using the JR pass? And if yes, how much extra we need to pay for the night train.

Thank heaps!

Cheers,
William

William
William

Hi William!

Takayama > Shirakawago Bus

Yes, the bus from Takayama is a private bus so I'm afraid you'll have to pay the charge... From Takayama to Shirakawa-go it is ¥4300 return. Bear in mind that bus tickets/passes are all run by private companies so won't have as good coverage as JR - that said, I'd be really interested in hearing about your findings on this!

Osaka > Tokyo on the Sunrise Seto sleeper train on your last day

Here are the explicit rules on final day overnight travel from JR:

If you travel overnight on the last day your pass is valid, the basic fare will be covered as far as you travel, including train changes, until you first exit a station. However, surcharges are only covered for the train on which you were riding past midnight on the final day your pass was valid.

As you are intending to board the Seto at Osaka after 12, although as long as you are through the ticket barriers by 12am you will have your basic fare covered, there will be fairly significant further charges (approx. ¥8000 per person for nobi-nobi) on top of the basic fare.

My recommendation here is to use the JR Pass you the max and get the Shinkansen south to Himeji. At Himeji you can board the Seto at 11:30pm on your final day and will not have to pay any extra charges to Tokyo. You can also get a better rest! Here's the Seto timetable for reference, and an itinerary that will get you on the train:

It's a sneaky plan, but it should work :)

Hope this helps!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari,

That's definitely help! It buy us more time at Osaka without extra charge.

Thanks again!

William

William
William

No problem William! Have a great time!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

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.