questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

first time travelling to japan

First time travelling to Japan

Hello,
I am about to purchase a Japan Rail pass for the first time to get us around Japan. I am traveling with my son and seeking assistance with making sure we know what to do in order to maneuver the lines effectively as it is already confusing to me.I have one general question first. If I book a 7-day pass, will it work for seven full days from the time I make the purchase? In other words, if I purchase for 8/5 until 8/11, I can use for those full seven days correct?
Here is my itinerary and questions so you will see what we are doing and can advise us:

2:45pm, 8/5- Arrive Narita airport seeking immediate travel to Hiroshima by train.

                 I saw other posts that my JR pass should work for this. What train should we take and do we have to
                 make changes to get us to Hiroshima? How difficult will it be for us to find the correct entry to the train at
                 the Narita airport? We are afraid of missing it and getting stranded there until we learn the system.

8/5-8/10 - We will likely travel from Hiroshima to Kyoto then back down for the main line to possibly Nagoya and

                  back to Tokyo for the remainder of the trip. Do you have suggestions on train travel in this area and what
                  we need to know to get around on our JR pass? 

8/11-8/15 - Tokyo - since we are only in Tokyo for these dates, we will likely use public transportation. Do you agree?

4:25pm, 8/15 - Depart Narita airport back to US - do you have any suggestions advise or suggestions on the

                     best/most economical way to travel back to Narita airport in plenty of time to catch our plane?

Thank you so much for your help!

mcrawley
mcrawley

Hi there,

A JR Pass is counted in full days and the first day is counted as a full day, no matter what time you start using the pass. Activating the JR Pass on 8/5 would mean the last day of validity is 8/11.

Its actually quite a long route to do Narita Airport - Hiroshima in one go. Using the JR Pass there is one transfer at Tokyo station and one at Shin-Osaka station. Tokyo station is a bit harder as you have to go from normal train tracks to the Shinkansen bullet trains. Keep in mind to follow the signs with Tokaido Shinkansen and you will be good. At Shin-Osaka its only changing tracks and the transfer is easy to make.

Most of your travel seems to be on the Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo - Osaka and Sanyo Shinkansen between Hiroshima and Osaka. I recommend familiarizing yourself with both lines, so you get a feel for the distances and where good stops are. The JR Pass fully covers this.

Local travel in Tokyo is not expensive and using a normal tickets for the last couple of days is generally a great way to travel. There are 1,000yen buses going from Tokyo station to Narita Airport, alternatively you can use local trains, starting at around 1,200yen.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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