questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

japanjr rail pass+ itinerary check

JapanJR Rail Pass+ itinerary check


We are family of 4 adults plan to travel in Japan for 12 days in April 2016.
Our traveling itinerary includes 6 days in Tokyo and 6 days in the country, as follow:

• Tokyo- 4 days- is the pass includes transportation from/to Narita? transportation within in Tokyo?
• Takayama- 2 days
• Kanazawa (stop over Shirakawago) - 1 day
• Kyoto-2 days
• Hakone- 1 day- is the pass includes Hakone free pass?
• Tokyo -2 days

Could please advise:

-- As we arrive to Japan at April 16, we planned itinerary to start traveling in the country from Takayam in order to enjoy the cherry bloom, is that make sense?

-- Is the place in the way we “should miss” to enjoy the spring cherry bloom?

-- Would it be beneficial to purchase in advance a 7 days JR rail pass (ahead of coming to Japan) although we will be traveling out of Tokyo for 6 days only ?

-- What type of pass fits the best our itinerary?

-- Will the pass cover the whole itinerary, including Shinkansen?

-- What will be the best traveling option from one place to the other?

Thanks, YOKO


Hello Yoko,

To start with the JR Pass, I do recommend using a 7 day JR Pass. Given that you would use it for your travels outside of Tokyo. The JR Pass gives you good savings compared purchasing normal tickets and will cover travel to Takayama, Kyoto, Hakone and back to Tokyo. The JR Pass is also valid on the Shinkansen lines.

Cherry blossom very much depends on the weather, so it is hard to say exactly when the Cherry blossom will be. Flexibly is key if you want to view to best spots, I recommend reading the forecast and see what place is best. Generally the cherry blossom starts in the south and travels slowly up north. Kyoto is a very nice spot to view Cherry Blossom, especially if you can include Yoshino.

Hope this helps,


Thank you for the quick response!
Is there a specific type of JR rail pass we would purchase for the itinerary I mentioned?


Hi again,

Just the normal (nation wide) 7 day JR Pass.

See this page.


Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it!

I have one remaining concern regarding the order exchange validation,

Is the rail pass should be in use within 3 months from the order exchange? We plan to make use of it on from April 19, should the order take place before January 19 or after January?

Is the seat reservation take place while validating the exchange upon arrival in Japan?

Should we expect problem to reserve seats in April as it is pick season?

thanks, YOKO.


Hi Yoko,

A JR Pass has to be activated within 90 days after purchase. So don't buy it before Januari 20th.

Seat reservations can be made once you are in Japan and have activated the JR Pass. Making seat reservations generally can be done on the same day of travel. However you should reserve seats 2-4 days in advance during busy days, such as Golden Week and the New Year period.

Hope this helps!


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