questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass, west kansai area pass, or no pass?

JR Pass, West Kansai Area Pass, or no pass?

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are going to stay 5 days in Tokyo. From there we want to travel to Mount Fuji, Gifu, Shirakawa Go, Kyoto and end in Osaka from where we will fly to Okinawa. We want to take about 7 days to get from Tokyo to Osaka with stops in the places mentioned before. Could you advice us if we should buy a Jr pass, a West Kansai Area pass (since we are traveling west) or is it cheaper to buy individual tickets for all destinations? If you advice us to buy a West Kansai Area pass do we have to purchase it outside Japan or can we also buy it while being there? And if we need a JR Pass how far do we have order it in advance? We will be arriving at Tokyo on the 17th of May. Thank you in advance for your information!

Kind regards, Ilse.

ilse
ilse

Hi Ilse,

Let's have a look at ticket prices that you would buy without the JR Pass and see what is the best option.

Tokyo - Gifu ¥ 11,100
Gifu - Takayama (from there bus for Shirakawago) ¥ 4,940
Takayama - Kyoto ¥ 9,960
Kyoto - Osaka ¥ 560

For a total of ¥ 26,560, the 7 day JR Pass 28,300yen. Note that I left traveling to Fuji out, as I did not know what area around Fuji you wish to visit. Additionally there are different approaches to Shirakawago, I used the most direct route via Takayama, however you could also make the appoach via Kanazawa or Matsumoto.

With travel to Fuji, I think that you would break about even with the JR Pass. So you could consider buying a rail pass for the extra convenience it offers. For instance you don't need to buy tickets every time you get on the train, in addition it is also useful for local travel on the JR Network in both Tokyo and Osaka.

The JR West Pass is valid for the area mostly west of Kyoto, you will barely travel in the area so it would not be helpful at all for your itinerary.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Thank you Daniel. This was very helpful! I just have one more question. We are flying to Tokio the 16th of may from Amsterdam in the Netherlands (we also live here). If we order the JR Pass this coming week, are we still in time or is that too late. Can you please advice us?

Kind regards, Ilse.

ilse
ilse

Hi Ilse,

Shipping to the Netherlands is overnight, if you order the pass during business hours it should arrive the next day by FedEx express (delivery is free).

The details on shipping can be found here.

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Daniel-san
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