questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

to buy or not to buy?

To buy or not to buy?

We are travelling around Japan in March and are wondering whether to buy the 7 days pass. We are off to Hoikkado, but are flying from there into

Osaka-Nagoya- 2night
Osaka- Kyoto-2nights
Kyoto-Tokyo. 2nights

Tokyo for the last couple of nights.

This is obviously 8 days so would start using the Pass either at the start or wait until so we can use it for the journey coming back from Kyoto to Tokyo.
We want to explore these cities as well as going on day trip out to place like Kobe. Would it be worth buying tickets individually or getting a pass.

Can you use the pass in the cities on trains and buses?

Thank you,



Hi there!

Here's a cost breakdown assuming you start at Kansai Airport:

  1. Kansai airport > Osaka: ¥2,600 (53mins, 57km)
  2. Osaka > Nagoya: ¥5,980 (67mins, 190km)
  3. Nagoya > Osaka: ¥5,980 (67mins, 190km)
  4. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  5. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13,020 (164mins, 513km)

JR ticket cost: ¥28,120 for 5 legs

This shows that your transport as detailed will cost about the same as a 7 day JR Pass. If you think you'll do more travel than this (you mentioned Nara) then I think a 7 day pass will be worthwhile. However if you reconfigure your trip so that you travel Osaka > Kyoto > Nagoya > Tokyo (rather than doing the loop from Osaka to Nagoya), then I think you will be better off buying single tickets as needed.

I hope this helps!


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