questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass - tokyo to nagoya to kyoto to tokyo

JR Pass - Tokyo to Nagoya to Kyoto to Tokyo

We hosted a Japanese exchange student and are visiting her in July. While we are there, we plan to travel around.

Her home is around: Ichikawaminami Ichikawashi Chiba - I THINK the closest JR station is Ueno to their house.

On July 23rd - we need to go to Nagoya

On July 24th - we need to go to Kyoto

On July 27th - we we go back to her apartment

Does it make sense to get a JR Pass for this amount of travel?

mmcnevin
mmcnevin

Hi there!

It's likely the closest station to Ichikawaminami is Ichikawa station itself (map), but this will vary depending on your exact location. As a 7 day rail pass is ¥28,300 you'll need to spend more than that on individual tickets for a rail pass to be worthwhile. Here are the costs for your travel assuming Ishikawa station is your starting station:

  1. Ichikawa > Nagoya: ¥10590, (137mins, 381km)
  2. Nagoya > Kyoto: ¥5240, (37mins, 147km)
  3. Kyoto > Ichikawa: ¥13230, (196mins, 529km)

TOTAL: ¥29060 for 3 legs

As you can see you'll make a small saving of ¥760 with a 7 day rail pass. In addition to saving a small amount of money, all further JR travel during your 7 day validity period will be free so you could save much more on travel if you made some day trips, or use the rail pass around Tokyo. Because of these factors on balance I think I would recommend a japan rail pass for your trip.

Hope this helps!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

This helps a lot! THANK you very much!

I just ordered the passes for our family. This will help if we want to do a side trip during the 7 days as well.
I have a few additional questions:

  1. Is it best to reserve a seat before we show up on those dates? I know it is helpful to not travel during rush hours.

  2. Where is the closest exchange office to Ichikawa? (It doesn't look like I can exchange it there.)

  3. Are any of these trips on a bullet train?

mmcnevin
mmcnevin

Hi there!

Here are some answers for you:

  1. I've found it to be fine to turn up and reserve seats at the station just before boarding (seat reservations are free with a JR Pass). In fact I've often simply hopped on the train and used non-reserved seating with no problems. If you think you'll be travelling during rush hours it's a good idea to book in advance (or simply travel outside these busy periods)
  2. The closest exchange offices to Ichikawa are Ueno or Tokyo (both roughly the same distance from Ichikawa)
  3. Yes! In fact they will all involve a bullet train component :). Make sure you use the Hikari bullet services which are valid for travel with the Japan Rail Pass .

You can look up train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for Japan Rail Pass holders through our video blog.

Hope this helps!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $254.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.