questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

need advice of best use of 7-day pass in 10 days

Need advice of best use of 7-day pass in 10 days

Since pass is good for 7 consecutive days, I need advice on when is it best to activate it to make the most of the 7-day JR pass.

Here's my itinerary:

Day 1 - From Narita Airport; need to get to Tokyo's Shinagawa station.

Days 2 to 6 - Staying in Tokyo area, with maybe one day trip to either Kamakura or Yokohama or Hakone.

Day 7 - Leave Tokyo for Kyoto.

Days 8 to 10 - Staying in Kyoto.

Day 11 - Leave Kyoto in morning for Narita Airport...5:30pm flight.

Would it be better to activate the pass on the day of arrival or save it so that it will cover going from Kyoto to Narita Airport?

Thank you in advance.
LD

lildioletto
lildioletto

Hi there,

The JRPass is best used to cover your long distance travel. which mainly is the return Tokyo Kyoto for you.
You'll leave Kyoto on day 11 and go return to Narita airport. I would make this the last day that you can use the pass in the 6 days before it, so start using it on day 5. This way you can use it for your day trip(s) from Tokyo and your major travel as well.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Daniel,

Thank you so much!

I have a few more questions/clarifications...

So for the first 4 days, is there some other discount pass available, like a day pass or some other package, that include metro, subway, buses, boats/ water buses?

What is the fastest way to get to Narita Airport from Kyoto...is there a direct line to the airport from Kyoto? or do I have to go to Tokyo first, then transfer to the Narita Express? This will help me figure out what time I need to leave Kyoto. Since this is my first trip to Japan, I don't know how early I need to be at the airport before boarding with some time factored in to do some last minute shopping at the airport.

As for reserving seats on trains, how can I reserve a seat on the Narita Express when I arrive (on a Saturday)? and the departure? Can it be done on the same day as travel? Don't know how busy trains get but I'm traveling end of August through early September.

LD

lildioletto
lildioletto

P.S. In Kyoto, can I use the JR Pass for public transportation? I hear it's not valid. If so, then would my pass for the 3 days in Kyoto be wasted? Sorry, just trying to wrap my head around all the details.

lildioletto
lildioletto

Hi Again,

I was just re-reading my previous post and see that I made a couple of grammar mistakes, so sorry for that!
Going on with your questions:

There are some very nice tickets that you can buy in Tokyo to save money on transport and travel freely around the city. My personal favorite is a one day Tokyo Metro Pass which is just 710 yen and allows for unlimited travel on the Tokyo Metro for a given day.

In addition some other day tickets are available that you may find useful, including a day pass that allows for unlimited travel on JR Lines in Tokyo, you can read more about them here.

I would try to be at Narita Airport at least two hours before departure. This because it of several factors that can take up some time (including pre-boarding baggage inspection) and you don't want to be late! From Kyoto take the Shinkansen to Tokyo station and transfer here to the Narita Express to Narita Airport.

Regarding seat reservations, trains rarely sell out and you get reserve seats up to 5minutes before departure. Basically this means showing your JR Pass to the staff and telling them where you would like to go. Than they will print the tickets for you and you are ready to ride! You can of course also make seat reservations if advance if you prefer.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

PS: Public transportation in Kyoto other than local JR lines is not covered. Something that offers great value is the one day bus pass that is just 500 yen and allows you to take the bus anywhere in Kyoto. A normal bus ride costs 220 yen so you will be sure to make savings quickly. Also buses are the best way of public transportation in Kyoto as they go everywhere! However if the weather permits, consider exploring Kyoto by bicycle. You will encounter many great places, that you will otherwise miss.

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

What about the Suica-NEX package?

lildioletto
lildioletto

Yes the Suica-Nex package would be a good purchase for your plan and a convenient way of traveling to Tokyo/Shinagawa.

You can also exchange your JR Pass at the same time saving you some time later on.

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Great! Thank you for all you help. You are awesome!

LD

lildioletto
lildioletto

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