questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

arriving tokyo in golden week and using of pass

Arriving Tokyo in Golden Week and using of pass

Dear All
I will land at Narita Airport on 1st May @18:40 and plan to stay in Tokyo for 3 nights and then leave for Osaka for two nights on 4th and from there to Otsu near Kyoto on 6th and then 2 nights in Kyoto. On 9th I am planning to spend 3 days in Hakkaido area. I have already booked flight and cannot change.
I was planning to buy JR Green pass and would request suggestion if I should buy for 7 days or 17 and will I be able to make good use considering golden week rush. I will be there with my wife and have chosen hotels near station.

One more important can I reserve seat based on exchange voucher itself or seats can only be reserved after arriving in Japan because that will be very late for me.

Appreciate your comment on itinerary and pass use in advance.

Khalid

Khalid
Khalid

Hi Khalid,

Looking at your itinerary, I can't say for sure if a JR Pass would help you make savings or not. As far as train travel goes, I see you will go one way Tokyo - Kyoto, then fly to Hokkaido. From there, will you do more train travel? I am asking this because a 7 day JR Pass would not help you make savings if you travel just one way Tokyo - Kyoto.

Reservations can only be made in Japan regardless if you use a JR Pass or not. Don't worry to much about this, as there are many seats to go around. With golden week reservations should be made 2-4 days in advance.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Thanks Daniel for the response.
Can't I use train to reach Hakkaido? I am totally new for Japan so have no idea.
Actually previously I have been going to Europe and using Eurail pass. I normally travel almost everyday once I get the pass but yes may be I do not have much time and what do you say about my plan is it good for first timer?

3 days in Tokyo
2 days Osaka
1 day in Otsu to stay in Yuzanso
2 days in Kyoto
3 days in Hakkaido

I am open for suggestion.

Khalid
Khalid

Hi again,

You can use the train to Hokkaido but it is a rather long trip. Going from Kyoto - Sapporo is over 12 hours by train, so you'd spend 2 days just on the train out of 11 days in Japan. In this case I do think it would be better to fly at least one way to Hokkaido.

Maybe something better would be to head down and visit Hiroshima and Kyushu as well. This part is much easier to access from Osaka and very cool. Personally I love Kyushu but even just Hiroshima would make a great addition to your itinerary.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Now i understand and will change my itinerary as advised by you.Thanks for the suggestion!

Khalid
Khalid

Hi
Just changed itinerary as following and now I am planning to buy 7days JR1st Class Pass

Arrive Narita Airport on 1st May (buy return ticket for Tokyo)
Leave for Osaka on 4th May (Activate 7day Pass)
Leave for Otsu on 6th May
Leave for Kyoto on 7th May
Leave for Kanzawa on 9th May
Leave for Takayama on 10th May
Leave for Tokyo on 11th May
Leave for Narita on 12th May

Does it make sense now?

Khalid
Khalid

Hi There,

It looks good but it may require a bit of planning. The JR Pass is valid for 7 days and the 1st day is counted as a full day. Meaning the pass would be valid until the 10th if activated on the 7th.

In order the get the best out of the JR Pass, this would mean travelling back to Tokyo on the 10th of May (you could just take a late train).

Hope this helps,
Daniel

PS: Using 1st Class on these route is very nice!

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Daniel-san
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Route from Takayama to Tokyo does not seem to be covered via rail pass, or does? When I sear on hyperdia I see two columns fare and seat reservation? what do they mean?

Khalid
Khalid

In Hyperdia, always look at the total amount. This is what you would pay (without a JR Pass).

The route to Takayama is included in the JR Pass.

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Daniel-san
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