questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

based in osaka for 10 days

Based in Osaka for 10 days

Hi I have read most of the posts and answers but can't quite grasp it all.
I intend to purchase a 7 day green pass. This is my intention...
- Use the Osaka loop line - getting on off when I please. Do I have to reserve a ticket every time? -Bullet train to Tokyo - spend a day there -Bullet train to Disneyland - spend a day there -Bullet train to Hiroshima spend a day there -Bullet train to Himeji - spend a day there -Bullet train to Mt. Fuji

If I was to catch a JR train to Hiroshima and got on off at Kobe, Okayama - I understand I need to reserve a ticket each time before I can get back on to continue my journey?
Does JR have transportation - bus, train or trams in the areas above that can be used with the pass once I get there?
My hotel is near the Tennoji station in Osaka.
I have a vision of a very busy train station... reserving seats - where to go next etc... with so many private operators zig zagging the country side I just need to feel comfortable with using the pass to plan trips. On the surface, the whole transportation net work looks very complicated...I'm sure it is not.

aungsan
aungsan

Hi there!

The transportation network in Japan is immense and can be rather overwhelming the first time that you look it at.
Don't worry though, the system works very well and station staff can be found everywhere in case you need some assistance.

To make things simple divide the Japanese transportation system in two categories.
The first is the nation wide train network, complete run by JR and is used for transport between cities and longer distances. This part is fully covered by the JR Pass. You can use the JR Pass to take a non-reserved seat on any of these trains but I would always recommend making a reservation as it is very convenient and you are sure to have a place to sit down. Green seats are reserved only.

The 2nd part are local transport networks, they generally run within a city and includes buses, trams, metros and the like. These metropolitan transport networks are mostly not part of the JR network and thus not covered. There are 2 exceptions that are covered by the JR Pass, those are the local train network in the Tokyo region and in Osaka (including the Osaka city loop line). These local trains don't have seat reservations and you can just hop on and off whenever you want but don't have green seats.

I hope this clears things up a little, let me know if you have any more questions and I would be more than happy to help you with them!

-Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks for the quick reply!
The whole network looks very efficient. The vastness serves many areas well. Just need to understand the different operating companies and plan carefully I guess. Apple have a few useful apps on their site regarding trains and subways...
Is there a special procedure on ordinary trains with the JR pass? Is there a machine you slip the card into etc? I refer only to rides within the city, Osaka loop line as such.
We are also looking at the Kansai Area Pass - for the subways and trams/bus. We are already saving heaps with the amount of long distance travel planned. I read somewhere in this forum that there are now many green cars added to the fleet of bullet trains... is this correct?
Thank you very much for the helpful reply. No doubt there will be more posts from me... :-)

aungsan
aungsan

Hi Again!

Making use of local trains with the JR Pass is very easy. You show your pass to the station attended who will let you trough the ticket gate. You can take any train once you are trough and only have to show your JR Pass again when you exit the station of your destination. This applies to local trains nation wide, including Osaka.

Please note that the Kansai Area Pass does not offer rides on any local transport exept for JR Lines, it does not offer any extra value if you already have the JR Pass, instead I would recommend the Osaka Unlimited Pass that offers great value if you plan on sightseeing in the area and it also covers the metro and many attractions.

About the Green Class, it is indeed true that all Shinkansen between Osaka and Tokyo now have Green Cars and service to Kyushu has also expanded. So you will always be able to travel in extra comfort if you do decide to take a Green pass.

Let me know once you have more questions!
-Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank for the heads up! That does sound like a good deal.. two day pass and discounts!
I gather I can buy this at any major station?

Well, thanks to your help a lot of things are now clear. I bet after a couple of days in Japan I will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about! Only natural I guess in a new country etc...

Thanks again.

aungsan
aungsan

Hi Again,

The Osaka Unlimited Pass can be bought at the following major station in Osaka:
Shin-Osaka, Umeda, Namba, Tennoji, also see the Where to buy page that has a map available with the exact locations.

Japan has the most extensive public transport system in the world and millions make use of it on a daily basis, so it is indeed overwhelming the first time that you see it. Don't worry though most people adjust to it quickly, there are always many station staff members that are more than willing to help you around in case you may need a little help.

Enjoy your stay in Japan!
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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