questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

please help - which pass for my holiday?

Please help - which pass for my holiday?

Hi there

I will be heading to Japan in May and need some help in choosing which is the best way to travel around. Here is my intinerary:

10pm 15 May - Narita Intl to Shin-Okubo Station
16 - 18 May - Sightseeing around Tokyo
19 May - Tokyo to Kyoto
19 - 22 May - Travelling around Kyoto (perhaps via bicycle - staying in a hotel near the main station), day trips to Osaka, Hiroshima
23 May - Leaving from Kyoto and heading back to Tokyo
23 - 25 May - Tokyo - more sightseeing
11am 26 May - Shinjuku to Narita Intl

So 10 whole days. Is the 7 day pass the one I should go for? The reason I ask is because I will be travelling with 2 friends who will be staying until May 30 and so both have the 14 day pass, so although they'll be using their passes to travel around Tokyo, my JR pass will have expired - is it best for me to buy single JR tickets in this case (because I am assuming my friends will only want to travel via the JR line as they're not able to use their tickets on the Metro)?

Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated.
Many thanks for your help


Hi there,

Yes I do think the 7 JR-Pass is the best option for your travel. You can do all longer distance travel with it, it does not really matter on what do you activate it but you will have a day or two that you can use it in Tokyo too. To make the most of it, you could plan a day trip from Tokyo, to Yokahama, Nikko or Kamakura.

For the other days there are a couple of option available. This website lists them all. If you will use only JR go for the Tokunai Pass which is 730 yen and allows for unlimited travel in Tokyo for one day. If you plan on traveling around with other companies too (such as the Tokyo Metro) maybe single tickets will be the best way. A great way to get around is to use an IC Card like Suica, this is a prepaid travel card that you can use on most kinds of transport, you just swipe it over the gate when you enter and leave the station and the right fare will be deducted. This effectively removed the need to buy single train tickets every time you travel around.

A very nice package is the Suica + Narita Express one offers by JR-West. You get a discounted ticket to Tokyo and also a Suica IC card already charged with 1,500 Yen.

Hope this helps,


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