questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

multidestinations in japan 25 days

Multidestinations in Japan 25 days

Konnichiwa.

My friend and I are planning a 25 day trip in May to Japan and we have some questions regarding the JR Pass. This is our itinerary : Tokyo (6 days) - Nikko (2 days) - Hakone (2 days) - Takayama (3 days) - Hiroshima (3 days, visiting Miyajima) - Nara (2 days) - Kyoto (6 days, visiting Osaka, Ise, Himeji) - Tokyo (1 day).

We would like to know:

  1. If all the cities above are eligible for the JR Pass.
  2. If this is the cheapest way of getting around for the itinerary above.
  3. If there are regional / local passes.

Thank you / Arigato!
Muriro-san.

Muriro-san
Muriro-san

Hi there, Muriro-san,

Konnichiwa! げんきですか?

1.) That's quite a nice trip! The JR Pass covers travel to all these places but there are some points that require a bit of planning. Mainly Ise, you can get there from Kyoto using the JR but it means taking the Shinkansen to Nagoya station and local trains from there. You can also use the Kintetsu line from Kyoto station almost directly there but this is a private railway and not included in the JR Pass. Also the JR Pass covers travel to Hakone (the Shinkansen station is Odawara) but not within Hakone, here you may want to look at a Hakone Free Pass.

2.) The JR Pass is by far the best way to get around in Japan when visiting different cities, especially with bullet train travelled added in.  

3.) Outside of the Hakone Free Pass, I the JR Pass will cover all your travel and local passes would not be needed.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

はい、元気です :))

Hi, Daniel-san!

First of all I would like to thank you for your quick and complete answer!

Please let me ask you one more question : can I use the JR Pass in the subway too? If so, in which cities, please?

ありがとうございます:

Muriro-san.

Muriro-san
Muriro-san

Hi Muriro-san,

よっかた!The JR Pass is valid on local JR lines, including the local JR network in Tokyo and Osaka, which covers most of both cities.

The metro/subway however is not included.

Hope this helps too!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Daniel-san,

Thank you so much! You are very helpful. Well, I'll start planning my trip and in case I have more questions I'll let you know.

Have a nice week!
Murilo.

Muriro-san
Muriro-san

Dear Daniel-san,

Here I am again to ask your kind help, please. I have finally (well, I hope...) decided my trip, but I'm facing some difficulties regarding some cities and I don't know if the JR Pass will be a good option or not. This is the plan :

  1. Tokyo - Nikko;
  2. Nikko - Takayama;
  3. Takayama - Hakone;
  4. Hakone - Hiroshima;
  5. Hiroshima - Nara (eventually passing through Koya-san);
  6. Nara - Kyoto.
  7. Kyoto - Tokyo.

What do you think? What would you change or recommend?

Thank you once more!

Arigato.

Murilo.

Muriro-san
Muriro-san

Hi Murilo,

Sorry for the late reply!

It depends a little on how many days you wish to spend in each place but a 7 or 14 day JR Pass would work perfect for this trip and give you good savings compared to purchasing normal rail tickets.

Since you are visiting Hiroshima, I would advise a stop on the way there to at Himeji and also include a visit to Miyajima from Hiroshima.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi, Daniel.

I have finally managed to understand the route plannings on Hyperdia.com and have decided to buy a 21-day pass. Actually it will be a little more expensive compared to single tickets, but it will certainly be more practical. Another question came to my mind : when do I need to book the seats on the trains and how, please?

Thank you so much for your suggestions about Himeji and Miyajima!!

Have a nice week.

Murilo.

Muriro-san
Muriro-san

Hi Murilo,

We have a little guide on how [to make seat reservations using the JR Pass] here. Personally I book my tickets on the day of travel but you can do so a little more in advance as well.

Not sure what prices you found but I don't think there's a big difference between a 21 day JR Pass and tickets for 1-7 in your previous post. Just to be sure, do you look at the total amount in Hyperdia?

All the best!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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