questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

osaka-kyoto (to and fro) - nara - tokyo - hiroshima (9 days trip)

Osaka-Kyoto (to and fro) - Nara - Tokyo - Hiroshima (9 days trip)

Hi,

I'm currently living in Melbourne, Australia and will be doing backpacking with my little bro who is living in Singapore right now.

We will be traveling for 9 days in Japan from 14 July to 23 July 2014).

Still planning my itinerary, but wish to find out if the JR pass is good or worth the money IF:

  • We were to be traveling to and fro Osaka & Kyoto for 2 - 4 days (didnt wan to stay overnight there)
  • Will be having a day or 2 days trip to tokyo
  • Visiting Nara for half a day
  • Nagoya half day trip
  • Hiroshima (still deciding to go or maybe not)
  • interested to go and view Mt Fuji - not sure how to get there. and will JR pass be valid in this case?

  • May I know if buying the JR pass is worthwhile in this case?

  • Within Osaka & Kyoto, Osaka & Tokyo, do I need to purchase other rail passes?
  • If I want to visit Mt Fuji, which station should I stop-over?

Thanks in Advance for your reply !

Carolpang
Carolpang

Hello there!

I with that I could go backpacking with my brother in Japan! I think it's a great plan!

As for the JR Pass, it could certainly benefit your travel. The 7 day JR Pass is about the same price as a normal return ticket Tokyo - Osaka on the Shinkansen. Basically any additional travel that you may do with it is free and you would make great savings since you plan to visit such as Nagoya and maybe Hiroshima.

As for viewing Fuji, there are many spots and approaches where you can view Fuji. One of the most popular is a visit to Fuji Five Lakes. This is a very beautiful area, the first lake is called Kawaguchiko. The JR Pass can be used for most of the way there, however the last part is traveled on the Fujikyu lines which requires a separate fee of 1,150yen.
Other good spots to view Fuji from include Hakone and Gotemba, you can use the JR Pass to reach both places, however you may have to use other transport methods for local travel in both areas.

Hope this helps and have a great trip!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the reply, it was such a great help .

Would like to ask if I were to go only the kansai areas , and will not be going to tokyo for this trip, will the JR pass works in this case.

As we felt that, going to and fro Osaka & tokyo takes about 240 min one way. (will it be tiring for us or wastingtoo much time travelling too much?)

For example:

  • We were to be traveling to and fro Osaka & Kyoto for 3 - 4 days ( base in Osaka , so didnt wan to stay overnight at kyoto)
  • Visiting Nara for half a day
  • Nagoya half day trip
  • Hiroshima (still deciding to go or maybe not)
  • Kobe for hot spring
  • Mt Fuji one day

May I know if buying the JR pass or the Kansai pass is worthwhile in this case?

Oh by the way, any idea how much does it cost to travel night bus (for eg, from osaka to kyoto ).
As I will be arriving Osaka at night @ 10.45pm . and we didnt wan to book a hotel for that night.
Will staying overnight at the airport allowed ? or can we take an overnight bus to kyoto.

Thanks in advance for your reply !! :D

Carolpang
Carolpang

Hello again!

Four hours may sound a like a lot but what could be more awesome than traveling 300+ km/h on the bullet train, together with your brother and seeing Fuji-san speed by? What I am trying to say is that 4 hours may sound like a lot but time flies when you are on the Shinkansen, which is an experience worth in itself.

As for the JR Pass, without Tokyo it would come down to if you make the visit to Hiroshima (or not). A normal return Osaka - Hiroshima is about 22,000yen which almost pays for the JR Pass itself. Without it, it would depend on if you visit Fuji (which can take up more travel time than visiting Tokyo).

As for night buses, Osaka and Kyoto are very close and there's no night bus service between them. You can however stay the night at Kansai Airport and travel on the following morning. There's a 24H open area in Kansai Airport, which even has an Internet cafe and McDonalds.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the advices !
Will discuss with my brother and plan our trips again ! :)

Thank you very much !
Carol

Carolpang
Carolpang

Hi Daniel,

Sorry to disturb u again !
Can I ask if we never booked any budget / backpackers hostel / accommodation before we fly,
will we have problem of not able to find any budget hostel to stay at the spot?

As we wanted to move aroound regions / city ./ areas and stay at different areas .

In addition, does JR pass can be used to travel from kansai osaka Airport to central osaka , kyoto .

Also, does the pass includes taking train / buses (public transport) inside of osaka / kyoto / tokyo (e.g.) or do we have to pay extra.

thanks alot !

Carol

Carolpang
Carolpang

Hi Carol,

It's almost always possible to find a budget accommodation. However it is better to book them ahead of time as you never know if there's some local festival and then everything is suddenly fully booked. Hostel world is great for booking hostels, you can also use the official JYH website.

The JR Pass can be used for both local transport in Tokyo and Osaka, in both cities the local train network is very extensive and covers most of both cities. In Kyoto you can also use the JR Pass for travel to places such as Arashiyama, Uji, Fushimi Inari and the west of Kyoto. However in the east and centre of Kyoto the bus and metro are better options.

Does that help?
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

It really does help ! Thanks alot ! :)

This is my updated itinerary. Since its only 8 nights.
Would it be feasible if I were to travel to Tokyo , or better not !?

Day 1 (14 July): Arrived @ 22.25pm ------> going down to Central Osaka
Day 2 (15 July): Kyoto
Day 2 (16 July): Kyoto
Day 3 (17 July): Kyoto & Nara
• Nara (temple) – ½ day trip
Day 4 (18 July): Hiroshima & Miyajima
Day 5 (19 July): Kobe - Onsen
Day 6 (20 July): Tokyo
Day 7 (21 July): Osaka
Day 8 (22 July): Osaka
Day 9 (23 July): Flight at 11am

Thanks in advance !

Carol

Carolpang
Carolpang

Hi Carol,

In this case I think going to Tokyo for a single day may be too much. I would either say two days or only go if there is something that you really want to see or do in Tokyo. It is a bit hard to fit everything in, since you've only got 9 days. You could combine visiting Nara with an Onsen and then go to Tokyo on day 5. Additionally there are also good onsen to be found around Kyoto, such as Kuruma Onsen.

Hope this helps too :)
Daniel

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

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