questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

best choice of travel by train??

Best Choice of Travel by train??

My future husband and I will go to Japan for our honey moon in November, we are extremelly excited :)

We will be arriving in Tokyo and will stay there a few days, we then have decided to go to Kyoto for some other days and we will be departing from Osaka therefore we will be there a day or 2.

Based on this rough raft of our itinerary, is it worth getting a JR pass? I see that the minimum is 7 days and they must be used consecutively. However are there any other more economical alternatives?

I would feel awful to spend money on 7 days and not use them. Since it is our honeymoon we want to sight see but relax at the same time, therefore traveling to a bunch of cities for day trips was not part of our agenda.

However, any suggestions are welcome! :)

qokoon
qokoon

Hi there,

Here are some thoughts:

If you are only doing a single trip from Tokyo to Kyoto/Osaka on the bullet train then a 7 day pass will not be cost effective. If you do an additional side trip trip to Hiroshima then it will be worthwhile. As this is a Honeymoon, I think that once you have a firmed up itinerary of what you guys want to do you should check if a rail pass will help rather than base the trip around the rail pass :)

The only alternative really for that route is to simply purchase JR tickets for the single trip from Tokyo to Kyoto. You could also look into budget airlines, however I think a ride on the bullet train is an experience that you both won't want to miss.

As you mentioned relaxation, I would strongly recommend looking into an overnight stay at a Japanese ryokan in the Onsen hotspring town of Kinosaki on the Sea of Japan Coast. Reviews on tripadvisor really rate it, and it would get you out of big cities and into a more leisurely Japan.

Happy to help with any other questions you may have!

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mari
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Thank you very much for your information. The Onsen hotspring looks lovely, however I don't think we will be doing that this time around. Hopefully if we ever do return to Japan that will definitely will be on our list.

We are defining our trip this week. So after that we will know for sure our whole itinerary. However, I see you mentioned on buying JR passes for a single trip?

Where do I find that as I have not been able to find those online, all the ones I have found have been the 7 days. That way I know how much it would be to add to our whole cost. We definitely want to do the bullet train, it would be insane to go to Japan and not ride it :)

Thank you so much for your information!

qokoon
qokoon

Hi there,

I think the best option is to purchase individual JR train tickets as you need to. You can purchase these on arrival at any JR train station in Japan, and can book in advance as soon as you land. Currently there is no simple (english language) way to purchase JR tickets in advance, however I do not think you will have any problems purchasing once you get to Japan as there are many trains operating on this route.

Here is a sample itinerary for the long distance leg Tokyo-Osaka. The total JR ticket cost for this is ¥14,250.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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