questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

first trip to japan

First Trip to JAPAN

we are group of three people , traveling to japan for first time and have questions regarding use of JRRailPass.
we will be traveling from 24 Oct 2014 to 1st Nov 2014 , since it is greater than 7 days hence no category of JRRailPass correctly fits in.

our itinerary is like this ,
24 th --- narita to Shinjuku
25th --- shinjuku to Nikko , day trip and come back
26th -- full day in tokyo
27th --- trip to hakone ,
28th --- full day in hakone only
29th --- odaware to kyoto
30th -- full day in kyoto
31st--- kyoto to narita , planning to reach in night and sleep over at airport to catch 1st Nov morning flight.


1) will buying a JRRailPass will make sense for this itnerary ? can we save a lot of money ?.
2) Is JRRailPass is good enough to cover Tokyo or we have to buy some other pass to cover Tokyo.
3) JRRail pass does not cover full trip to hakone ,you can use only upto Odawara so should we take hakone 2 day pass or take adhoc tickets only.
4) which category should i choose normal or green car and can i make online reservations for all routes ?. if yes

please let me know the link. i will like to choose green car but want to understand advantage over normal category.

5) how can i track time tables for trains etc?.

thanks in advance for kind help.



Hello there,

The JR Pass would make for a great choice here.

Here's a list of normal tickets without the JR Pass. Since Kyoto - Narita is the most expansive route, I have used the period 25th - 31st.

Shinjuku - Nikko ¥ 4,750
Nikko - Shinjuku ¥ 4,750
Tokyo - Odawara ¥ 3,540
Odawara - Kyoto ¥ 12,080
Kyoto - Narita Airport ¥ 14,990

For a total of ¥ 40,110 or ¥ 11,000 in savings as the 7 day JR Pass is ¥ 29,110. You may also use the JR Pass for local travel in Tokyo, adding even more.

2.) The JR Pass will get you to most places in Tokyo, sometimes however you may have to use the metro or other transport.

3.) The JR Pass does indeed cover travel to Odawara. There you can buy a Hakone Free Pass, it depends on what you will want to see, whether the Hakone pass is useful. Details can be found here.

4.) Ordinary class is fine for most, however traveling in Green Class really is putting the cherry on top and money well spend if you ask me. Online reservations are unfortunately not possible, however this is generally not needed as trains rarely sell out.

5.) For track times and planning, please see our Hyperdia Guide

Hope this helps!


Hi Daniel San,

thanks a lot for prompt reply and kind help. there is slight change in plan and i want to check whether new itinerary can be covered best visa JR rail pass and on which section i will need to buy some other passes.

24th ---- tokyo (Shinjuku)
25th ---- Day trip to Hakone ( i think this is half covered upto odawara only)
26th ----- Full day in Tokyo only
27th ------ matsumoto
28th ----- trip to kamikochi and back to matsumoto
29th ---- matsumoto to Kyoto
30th ---- kyoto only
31st --- kyoto to narita
1st early morning flyback

since JR rail pass will be valid for 7days only hence i am planning to activate it on 25th only and use next one way cheap ticket from narita to get to shinjuku on 24th . does that sound ok to you?.

if i activate my 7day JR rail pass on 25th morning then till which date and what time it will remain valid . i am planning to catch train to narita by 6.30 in evening on 31st , hope it remains valid till then.


Hi there,

That does look great! You'll make nice savings over normal tickets this way with the JR Pass. The JR Pass only expires at midnight and you can finish the train ride without extra cost if you would still be on the train. No worries about the costs :)

Enjoy your trip!


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