questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

maximizing a 7-day pass

Maximizing a 7-day pass

I have 10 days with the family ( 5 people) in Japan :

Day 1- Arrive Narita. Hotel is based in Shibura
Day 2- Free and easy of Tokyo
Day 3 - Mt. Fuji / Hakone tour (it this difficult to do on our own?)
Day 4 OPEN AFTERNOON (any suggestions via JRRail ?)
Day 5 - Free and easy Tokyo

Day 6 - LV Tokyo. Train to KYOTO
DAy 7- Free and easy KYOTO /
Day 8 - NARRA (base in KYOTO)
DAY 9 - TRain to OSAKA
Day 10 - OSAKA
Day 11 - Lv for Manila via Osaka

I can actually switch some days to bunch my 7 day train use for full maximization. My only given is Day 6, I should leave Tokyo . Your suggestions are most welcome. My free and easy days can be moved.



Unfortunately, with your one way itinerary, a JR Pass does not pay off for you. You'd need to get a regular fare bullet train ticket, or you can fly down on a cheap air ticket on Jet Star or Peach. You can also get to/from Narita into Tokyo cheaply on a cheap 1000 yen bus.

You can still save some money though on regional passes. For your Day 4 you could go see Nikko (the earlier the better) and using a JR Kanto Area Pass is a great way to save money. For Hakone, there is a good pass for that too and yes, doing it alone is the ultimate freedom:

For the Kansai area, look into a JR Kansai Area Pass. Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are beautiful.


This is so valuable. I am over my head trying to reconcile all the available passes and if it is worth considering our itinerary. Thank you so much!


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