questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

best jr pass option

Best JR Pass option


I am soon to depart for Japan, and want to confirm the best JR rail pass option?

  • I will be in Japan for 15 days, and based on the itinerary below I am wondering if I can get away with purchasing a 14 days pass rather than a 21 day pass?
  • Based on the itinerary below, I am assuming that I have to purchase a pass that covers all of Japan?

Oct 3: Tokyo
Oct 4: Tokyo
Oct 5: Tokyo
Oct 6: Tokyo
Oct 7: Tokyo
Oct 8: Tokyo to Hakone
Oct 9: Hakone
Oct 10: Hakone to Kyoto
Oct 11: Kyoto
Oct 12: Kyoto
Oct 13: Kyoto
Oct 14: Kyoto to Hiroshima
Oct 15: Hiroshima to Osaka
Oct 16: Osaka to Mt Koya
Oct 17: Mt Koya to Osaka

Thank you,



Hi Elena,

I was reading your itinerary and think that you can even get away with a 7 day JR Pass, given that you can cover Hakone - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Osaka with it. These are the most expensive parts and a JR Pass there would work best. If you do return from Osaka to Tokyo, then a 14 day JR Pass would be the best option.

Local travel within Tokyo is not very expansive and buying normal tickets generally is the best way. The JR Pass covers travel between all the cities in your itinerary. However some parts do require additional tickets, namely local travel within the Hakone Area and travel from Osaka to Mount Koya. For Hakone, look at a Hakone Free Pass and for Koya look at a Koya Heritage Pass to travel economically.

Hope this helps,


Hi Daniel,

Thanks so much for your detailed response. Very helpful. I will take your advice and go with the 7 day option.

Kind Regards,



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