questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

rail travel with a jr pass within tokyo and osaka.

Rail Travel with a JR Pass within Tokyo and Osaka.

Hi!

I have a couple of questions:

  1. In Tokyo, I'll be staying near the Shinjuku station. Can I take a shinkansen from here to Nikko, Hakone and Kyoto? Or do all shinkansen depart only from Tokyo station?

  2. Assuming I do have to depart from Tokyo station, will taking the Yamanote line be the best way to get there from Shinjuku (even with some luggage)? JR Pass holders get to go around the Yamanote line for free right?

  3. If I travel to Osaka from Kyoto (still with the JR Pass), do i alight at the Shin-Osaka or Osaka station?

  4. Will taking advantage of the free use of the Osaka loop line be enough for a quick day trip to Osaka? I just plan to visit the castle, go to Dotombori and Namba and do a little shopping.

Thanks a lot for your help!

cokes
cokes

Hi there,

Here are some answers for you:

  1. The shinkansen terminals in Tokyo are at Tokyo station, and Shinagawa station. For Nikko, you'll need to use the Tohoku shinansen which departs from Tokyo station, and for Hakone (Odawara) and Kyoto, you'll need to use the Tokaido shinkansen which departs from both Tokyo and Shinagawa station.

  2. You can use the JR Pass on all JR lines within Tokyo. From Shinjuku you can use the Yamanote line to get to both Tokyo station or Shinagawa station. You can also use the JR Chuo line ('central line') from Shinjuku to Tokyo which only takes 13mins with no transfers. For your travels, using the Chuo line to Tokyo is both the fastest and most convenient with luggage as there are no transfers.

  3. For Osaka from Kyoto, you can opt for either taking the bullet train (15mins) from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka and then transferring by normal train to Osaka, or just get a single express train direct to Osaka. There's not much in the timings, so I would recommend the normal express train with no transfers. Note that Shin-Osaka and Osaka station are in different parts of the city, so you may want to base your decision on where your hotel is located:
    View Larger Map

  4. You can get to many good locations using the Osaka loop line, but may need to also suppliment the JR Pass with some subway tickets as needed. Here's a good article on sightseeing on the loop line that you may find useful, and several model day and half-day trips to do around Osaka here.

Hope this helps!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks a lot Mari. Very helpful as always.

Just a clarification - if I take the single express train direct to Osaka station from Kyoto, that won't be covered by my JR Pass anymore?

cokes
cokes

Hi there,

The single express train from Osaka to Kyoto is covered by the JR Pass (provided it is a JR train). Here's a sample itinerary for you for reference - as you can see it's very direct with no changes.

Hope this helps!

Af705d2483ca769d2753af956a5d149b?s=50&d=mm
mari
Expert_button_2

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $254.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.