questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass for tokyo and kyoto

JR pass for Tokyo and Kyoto

Dear Sir / Madam,

I have the following questions - suppose I purchase a 7 days JR Pass:
1) If I start to activate the pass on 14 Dec 2012 morning time (my 1st day travelling), when is the last time I can use it (is it 21 Dec 2012 ?)
2) I intend to go to Kyoto using Hikari train, other than the JR pass cost (Yen 28,300 for ordinary class), is there any other (additional) cost I need to incur / pay ? (ie. for reserve seat, etc)
3) Would I need a reserved seat on Hikari train for travelling to Kyoto (from Tokyo) if I plan to go there during weekend (ie. on 15 Dec 2012) ? or a non-reserved seat on ordinary class is just fine ?
4) Is JR pass also valid for the same transport for Hakone Pass ? Is Odakyu Line also part of JR lines ?

Thanks a lot.



Hi there,

Here are some answers for you:

  1. If you activated your rail pass on the 14th of Dec, the end of your validity period would be 23:59 on the 20th. You wouldn't be able to use it on the 21st I'm afraid as the JR Pass validity is measured in days, not hours.
  2. If you travelled from Tokyo to Kyoto on Hikari bullet train, there is no other costs (seat reservations are free for JR Pass holders, but there is also lots of non-reserved seating).
  3. I've always been able to get a seat in non-reserved seating on the Tokyo - Kyoto Hikari, even in busy times, but have sometimes had to sit in the isle, or in between 2 other people in a set of 3 seats. As seat reservations are free for JR Pass holders I recommend reserving just before travel as at least then you know you are guaranteed a seat.
  4. Odakyu lines are not part of JR so you will have to pay for the Hakone Free Pass separately. I recommend using the JR Pass as far as Odawara, where you can purchase the cheapest Hakone Free Pass for travel up to the Hakone area.

Hope this helps!


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