questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

how many days should i get

How many days should I get


I will be in Japan for 21 days total. I don't have a set itinerary and plan to play it by ear. I land in Tokyo and plan to keep it as my sort of "home base". I know that I will go to Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama and maybe Hiroshima in that three week period, but don't know exact dates. Do you suggest I get the 14 day pass or 21? Also, as soon as you activate the pass do you have 14-21 days from that point or is it based on usage? For example if I don't use it for a couple days after activation does that still count as time used?




Hi Jen,

The JR Pass is counted in consecutive days, so once started, it keeps counting down. This is not a problem as its easy to make savings, even if only used for a couple of trips. You can set a 1st day of use when you exchange the JR Pass and don't have to start using it right away.

Looking at the cities you plan to visit, my itinitial recommendation would be a 14 day JR Pass. Travel within Tokyo and the Kanto Area is not that expansive so use the JR Pass for your longer trips, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and so on.

Hope this helps,


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