questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

help for a complete japan newby

Help for a complete Japan newby

I'm just sat here trying to put my first two week holiday together in Japan and hoped someone could help?

I'm looking at flying into Tokyo then getting a JR pass for a week. I'd like to visit the Sapporo ice festival for two days max from Tokyo (on the train) then go from Sapporo to Hiroshima in one go (train) for a couple of days then back to Tokyo.

My question is - Could I do all that journey using a JR pass, easy enough and within the time limit of say ten days?
I know it sounds like a lot of traveling but if this basic trip is possible then I can then start to add other options.

Thank you

worldtramper
worldtramper

Hi there,

Travelling up to Sapporo and then down to Hiroshima is a lot of train travel. For instance Tokyo - Sapporo is about 7-8 hours of train travel, going from Sapporo all the way down to Hiroshima is 13-14hours. Its a lot and you should ask yourself if you want to spend that much time on the train? That said, a JR Pass will give you amazing savings compared to normal tickets for this route. An alternative is to fly between Sapporo and Hiroshima.

You can check travel times using www.hyperdia.com

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel

Thanks for your prompt reply.
Yes I know it's a long way but as I only want to buy a 7 day pass and want to see so much it may be the only way? I believe the bullet train may well run near to Sapporo by the time I go in Feb 17 so that would cut the times down a little?

Regards
Alan

worldtramper
worldtramper

Hi Alan,

The 7-8 hours estimate is already with the new Shinkansen. Going up and down to Sapporo is already a lot to take in and is more than enough for a 7 day JR Pass to warrant its cost.

You can always make a couple of stops along the way too.

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel

I know it's a lot of travel in a short time but on this trip I've got certain things I'd like to see which is why I'm going in the sno/winter. IF we like Japan I'm sure we'll be back later on in the year to pick up where we left off.
I need to try and find a detailed/ up to date rail map of Japan if anyone can point me in the right direction for that?

I've been looking at flights from the uk and they seem to be around £550 which I thought was a good price.

worldtramper
worldtramper

Just a thought. Can you use the pass on sleeper or overnight trains?
That way the 13-14Hr journey would substitute a nights accomadation. I'll have a look if I can go from Sapporo to Hiroshima on an overnight train.

worldtramper
worldtramper

Hi again,

There are no sleeper trains between Sapporo and Tokyo, is this partly due to the newly opened Hokkaido Shinkansen.

You can try to use the JR Sunrise express between Tokyo - Okayama on the way to Hiroshima though.

£550 is good! Got mine at around £500 but that's an all time low.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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