questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

day trips from osaka to tokyo, hiroshima, nara and kyoto using jr pass?

Day trips from Osaka to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nara and Kyoto using JR Pass?

Hi, we'll be staying in Osaka near Umeda station for 8 nights in April, and would like to use it as a base to visit the following locations:

  1. Tokyo(Shinjuku JR) and Hiroshima - can we use the Shinkansen? Is the JRpass only for non-reserved seats? If we want reserved seats, do we just pay the difference at the station or what?

  2. Nara - we can use JRPass for the JR Yamatoji Line Rapid Service, correct?

  3. Kyoto - can we use JRPass for the Thunderbird Ltd express service, or the JR Special Rapid service? For the Thunderbird, does the JRPass cover seat reservation?

In general, would there be extra cost payable if we have the JRPass and from Shin Osaka station just board a Shinkansen service to Hiroshima or Tokyo?

Also, how do we reserve seats?



Hi there,

1.) Yes you can use the Shinkansen for free with the JR-Pass and the best thing, you can make seat reservations for free too! To make seat reservations go to any manned JR ticket counter or ticket office, show your JR Pass and tell the staff where you would like to go.

2.) Yes this line is covered by the JR-Pass and brings you directly from Kyoto to Nara (reservations are not possible for this train).

3.) Yes both the Thunderbird and Special Rapid express are covered too! You can make seat reservations with the JR-Pass for the Thunderbird for free, I would recommend doing so as non-reserved seats on this train are very limited.

In general the JR-Pass covers all lines in Japan, including Shinkansen (the only Shinkansen trains you can't use are the Nozomi and Mizuho but you can take the Hikari instead that will get you everywhere too).

Hope this helps,


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