questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr 7 days pass or japanican round trip osaka pass

JR 7 days pass or Japanican round trip Osaka pass

Hello there!

Could appreciate some help with the best pass(es) to buy for this itinerary?
Will the JR pass be recommended in my case? Or a round trip + IC card will be more viable. Thank you very much.

JR 7 days pass or JAPANICAN round trip Osaka pass ?<<

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo, Shinkansen to Osaka
Day 2: Osaka
Day 3: Osaka
Day 4: Kyoto
Day 5: Kyoto
Day 6: Osaka to Tokyo
Day 7: Mount Fuji (High way bus?)
Day 8: Tokyo (Sending my parents to NARITA Airport)
Day 9: Tokyo
Day 10: Tokyo Disney land
Day 11: Tokyo Disney Sea
Day 12: Tokyo
Day 13: Fuji Q Highland
Day 14: Tokyo

Best Regards,
Dan
Cheers!

dan
dan

Both would pay off if you use the Narita Express from Narita to Tokyo with the JR Pass.

That said, I'd vote for the JR Pass with a few modifications of your plans - you omit Nara which really is a must-see place in the area, and for Osaka, since you are seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip it during the daytime. Taking a day to see Himeji would be more worthwhile, as well as enhance the value of your JR Pass. You can see Osaka in the evening after the temples and shrines in Kyoto close down around 5 PM. Dotonbori is a great place at night and well worth seeing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COJ_MeXbeow

The views from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas are also stunning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb1wuyAGgyQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AyUZmGbW8g

Since you won't use your pass to back to Narita from Tokyo, one cheaper way is the 1000 yen bus:

http://accessnarita.jp/en/home/

For seeing Mt. Fuji it gets more murky - going partway up the mountain really isn't worth it since: 1) the scenery is much better from far away than partway up the mountain, and 2) the weather is frequently uncooperative. I would suggest you go visit Hakone, which has a great view when the weather is good as well as other things to see and do. Or, go to the Fuji 5 Lakes area:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6900.html

If you can fit it in, Nikko also makes a great day trip from Tokyo:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3800.html

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi Toraneko, thank you very much for your reply.

Will the JR pass prove to be viable for travel within the cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Nara? (For my days 2-5) Or an IC is still preferred for travel on the non-JR lines/local subways lines? (For eg, to umeda sky building)

Just like to let you know my travel period will be the end March to early April period this year. Are there any significant and worth-to-go places that you would recommend for this season? Like Osaka castle to view cherry blossoms? (Places in Tokyo will also be welcomed!) What places would you recommend seeing in Nara, the deer park? How about Himeiji?

With regards to Mt Fuji, will not be considering hakone as it is quite difficult and inconvenient to go to, would prefer a highway bus or transport that is simpler, more direct, and easily accessible (travelling with parents). That being said, how would you recommend travelling to the Fuji 5 lakes area as suggested? Is the Mt Fuji view good from lake kawaguchiko as well? Originally wanted to head to the kachi kachi ropeway from there just afraid that we can't get there from lake kawaguchiko. (The highway bus only stops at lake kawaguchiko station)

Thank you so much for your help.

Best Regards,
Dan
Cheers!

dan
dan

Hi,
The JR Pass is of very limited value in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. For Osaka you can use it on the Loop Line, which takes you to some interesting places, and for Kyoto you can use JR to go to Arashiyama (the western area). Nara is far less developed, and Kintetsu trains might serve you better. You cannot use the JR Pass on city subways or non-JR buses.

In cherry blossoms season, there are many popular places you can go to, and you can expect a lot of other people to be there as well. These sites have more info:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3951.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4117.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4018.html

The best place of all though is Mt. Yoshino in Nara, but it's a mountain climb your parents might not have the stamina for:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4152.html

For access to the Fuji 5 Lakes & Kawaguchiko, see:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6905.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6906.html

For Nara, many of the best sites are around Nara Park, which is about a 20 minute walk from the JR Nara Station. If your parents are very frail, a taxi is better. In the park be sure to buy some crackers (called senbei, about 150 yen for 10) to feed the deer. They've been trained to bow to you if you do it to them, and more than a few are a bit more than friendly when they see you have food. Near the park are also 2 nice traditional gardens (Isuien & Yoshikien; the latter is free for foreigners) you should see - most tourists just stampede past it without noticing them, so they are not so crowded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk-7IoLELio

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2165.html

Himeji would be a SUPERB day trip - they are just finishing multi-year renovations and it looks spectacular. Be sure to see the Kokoen gardens next to it as well. Again, most tourists just blow past and never see them.

For Tokyo, some of the best places are: Yoyogi Park, Nakameguro, Ueno Park, and Shinjuku Gyoen. Expect massive crowds though.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3050.html

Enjoy.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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