questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass

JR Pass

Hello,

Will in Japan from 3/28 to 4/06. Flight in Osaka and out if Narita. Osaks will be base to Kyoto. On 4/1 leaving for Tokyo via JR pass. Will a 7 days JR pass be wise to purchase? Here is schedule..
3/28 Land Osaka 655 PM
3/29 Kyoto
3/30 Kyoto
3/31 Osaka
4/1 Tokyo
4/2 Disneyland
4/3 Kyoto
4/4 Mt Fuji/Hakone
4/5 Tokyo
4/6 Fly out of Narita

I need transportation suggestion in Osaka and Tokyo. Also how to get to Mt Fuji/Hakone on our own. Going on a tour would cost more.

Rae
Rae

Hi there!

The JR Pass can be a great help if you travel around Japan using the Shinkansen, for instance a return Kyoto - Tokyo will make the JR Pass quickly pay off. However since your Shinkansen travel is limited to a one way ticket Osaka - Kyoto I think that it would be best to buy tickets as you go. Travel cost between Osaka/Kyoto is also very low, just 540yen one way.

Travel to Hakone is pretty easy. A nice way to get there is to use the Odakyu line from Shinjuku Station. Here is more information on how to access Hakone on how to access the area.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Danirl-san,

Is the JR pass good for Shinkansen only? I read that it canbe used on JR train system as well. Is this correct? I sm
still debating whether to get a JR pass for a return trip to Kyoto. I am confused. For instance, can the JR passbd used to go Hakone for a view of Mt. Fuji or do I need to get additional pass. What I need to know is what other trains can I use the JR pass? I want to make the best out of it. My schedule is above.

Rae
Rae

Hi again,

Yes the JR Pass is valid on both the Shinkansen and all other JR trains nation wide. Here is a map with all lines covered!

You can use the Shinkansen and JR Pass to travel to Odawara station, this is the base station for Hakone. From Odawara you can use local transport around the Hakone area. For local travel around Hakone you will have to buy additional tickets as travel within Hakone is run by companies other than JR.

The rest of your itinerary is covered by the JR Pass!

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Daniel-san
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Thank you. But before I decide to buy the 7 days JR Pass, while in Osaka I will to buy train pass to Kyoto for round trip. I read about the 2-3 days pass around kansai region. Will this pass be a goid investment. We are planning to Kyoto and Nara. Then will explore Osaka for onr day before heading to Tokyo. Shoukd activate the JR pass on 3/31 or 4/1? Also while in Tokyo, no additional pass is required, right?

Rae
Rae

Hi Again!

For just local traven between Osaka - Nara and Kyoto I would recommend using normal tickets. For instance a ticket Tokyo - Kyoto is just 540yen and Osaka - Naria is 690yen for one way. With the Kansai Area Pass you need to do at least 2,000yen worth of travel a day for it to pay off and I don't think that it would work.

I would activate the JR Pass on the 3/31 if you do have one. However for a one way Osaka - Kyoto I would also recommend normal tickets as the JR Pass would not be the most economic option right now.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hello Daniel-san,

Thanks for all the helpful hints. The trips to Kyoto will be round trip for two days and returning to Osaka each day. Trip to Kyoto round would be 980yen a day for a total of 1960 yen. Is this for the regular train or bullet train and how long is the trip? We are pkanning to go around Osaka on the last day before heading to Tokyo. We will activate the 7 day JR pass on 3/31.

And just to confirm while in Tokyo the JR Pass will cover all transportation, correct? If heading to Hakone!Mt Fuji, we will need to get local pass for the ropeway, boiling valley and lake ashi cruise, correct?

Almost time to travel...I'm stressed.

Rae
Rae

Hi Rae,

Don't worry traveling is fun!

A one way ticket Osaka - Kyoto is 540yen for a normal train. However this train is faster than the Shinkansen :)

And you are correct about travel in Tokyo, you can use the JR lines to see most of the city. In addition travel to Hakone is covered if you use the bullet train from Tokyo station - Odawara from there you will have to buy normal tickets.

Have a great trip!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Thank you Daniel-san.

The owner of our apartment rental suggested we get Kansai Pass and wasn't sure on whether to get it or not. Where do you buy the train pass to Kyoto? Can that be done at any station and line?

Rae
Rae

You can buy train tickets at any JR station. For special tickets such as the Kansai Pass please visit one of the bigger stations, such as Osaka or Shin-Osaka station.

As for the Kansai Pass, generally it's actually not a very good deal as you need to do at least 2,000yen worth of travel each day to make it pay off, be sure to check normal ticket prices before hand!

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Daniel-san,

I just purchases the 7days JR Pass!

So for our two days to Kyoto, I would buy round one pass from Osaka to Kyoto and Kyoto to Osaka. Each night we will in Osaka. While in Kyoto, do you suggest getting one day to get around the city that will cover buses and subways. And in Osaka, do you suggest one day pass or pay as we go. We are planning to go around the city before heading to Tokyo.

When in Tokyo, do you suggest we get bus pass and/or pass on top of our JR pass. We want to explore all of Tokyo day and night.

When and where is best to view cherry blossoms? This I want to see the most.

Rae
Rae

Hi Rae,

Thank you for your order!

For Kyoto consider buying an all day bus pas which is just 500yen and allows for unlimited bus rides. A normal ride on the bus is 220yen so it quickly pays of.

For Osaka you could consider the Osaka Unlimited Pass which allows for unlimited travel within the city of Osaka and gives free access to many sightseeing spots as well, especially the 2 day version offers great value.

For Tokyo, the JR Pass will cover most of your travel and you may not have to use any additional transport with a little planning and if you do just buy a ticket as you won't have to use it much.

For Sakura viewings, visit Ueno and Oyogi park in Tokyo. Both offer great views and you may even be invited by the residents of Tokyo to join in their festivities.

Have a great trip!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel-san,

Sorry for all the questions. Trip is getting closer. While in Kyoto for two (day tripa from Osaka and returning to Osaka each day) would it be best to get subway two pass or will the bus pass be a better deal?

Rae
Rae

Hi :)

Definitely the bus pas, the metro is very limited in Kyoto.

Glad to hear that things are coming together.

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel-san,

What are your thoughts on the Surutto Kansai Miyako pass?

Rae
Rae

Hi Rae,

It could offer good value if you travel a little further away from Kyoto/Osaka to places such as Himeji/Koyasan, however you'd need to do a lot of travel for it to pay of in just Kyoto/Osaka. Something I really like about it is that it does not have to be used on consecutive days.

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,

I will be buying the all day bus pass. I've jotted down places to visit, I am such a tourist.
3/28 arrival
3/29 osaka
3/30 kyoto
3/31 kyoto (will activate jr pass)
4/01 osaka-kyoto-tokyo
4/02 disneyland
4/03 explore tokyo
4/04 kyoto
4/05 tokyo
4/06 tokyo, fly out of narita

By activating JR Pass on 3/31, can I take the bullet train to Kyoto (back and front). Can it be use on the subways, trains, buses in Kyoto and Osaka.

Rae
Rae

Hi Rae,

Good going! You can absolutely use the JR Pass for travel on the Shinkansen to Kyoto and Tokyo (and back). This way you would also be able to cover your travel back to the airport. Which would give you very good value out of the JR Pass.

The JR Pass is not valid on the subway but you can use it on JR Trains running throughout Osaka and Tokyo as well as for a limited extend in Kyoto.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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