questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

japan for a month

Japan for a month

Hi, I'm in Japan for a month and we will need to travel by rail for parts of this month.

We initially arrive in Tokyo NRT and spend 4 nights in Tokyo for sight seeing, stay in Shinjuku. Will need to get to Haneda to depart on the 5th morning. What is best pass to get for that portion of our trio?

After some time in snow resorts in Hokkaido (we have transport) we spend 2 nights in Sapporo. Will most likely stay in Sapporo sight seeing, Do you suggest a rail pass?

We then fly to Hiroshima, stay 1 night there, off to Osaka (universal studios) for 2 nights and then Kyoto for 3 nights. We then wan to get the shinkansen to Tokyo. Will be in Disneyland for 2 nights. Then we will be off to Nozawa for 5 nights, again prefer shinkansen but could go by bus. On the last day of Nozawa will need to get back to Narita. It is this portion of the holiday that I am uncertain whether its worth the 21 days JR pass.

I appreciate your assistance and advice.



Hi there,

Using a rail pass is done best on the longer stretches of your trip. Think of rail travel to Sapporo, Hiroshima - Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo. I see you are flying to Hokkaido, so there a JR Pass would not be of help.

Looking at the other parts of your itinerary, a lot of travel is also done covered by flying to Hiroshima and I can't really match a JR Pass to the itinerary as it is now. My advise would be to buy normal tickets as you explore Japan.

Hope this helps,


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