questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

to buy or not to buy japan rail pass

To buy or not to buy Japan rail pass

Hello!

At the end of march I will travel to Japan for the first time in my life!
We will be there for 3 weeks and our trip will be (chronological order):

Tokyo
Hakone
Kyoto
Mount Koya Cho
Hiroshima
Nara
Tokyo

When I look at Google maps I think it is not really smart to buy the Japan rail pass.
Can someone help me, I'm really curious if you think it is smart to buy or not.

Thanks in advance!

Ava
Ava

Hello there,

You'll be traveling quite a but and using a JR Pass can help you make great savings. It would be good to know how many days you would like to spend in each place, in order to match the right JR Pass to this itinerary.

The best option would be to use a 14 day JR Pass for travel from Tokyo or Hakone and cover the rest of your trip including the return to Tokyo with it.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks!
This is our trip:

  • 29 march Narita airport to Tokyo
  • 3 April Tokyo to Hakone
  • 5 April Hakone to Kyoto
  • 9 April Kyoto to Mount Koya
  • 10 April Mount Koya to Hiroshima
  • 12 April Hiroshima to Miyajima Island (and back)
  • 13 April Hiroshima to Nara
  • 15 April Nara to Tokyo
  • 19 April Tokyo to Narita airport

But is it possible to travel from Nara to Tokyo with the pass?

Ava
Ava

Hello again!

This helps a lot to find the the best matching option. Looking at your itinerary I recommend using a 14 day JR Pass for day 5 to day 18. This way you can cover all your long distance travel using the JR Pass and make good savings at the same time.

A couple of things to note, the Shinkansen station for Hakone is Odawara. You can also activate the JR Pass here.

Nara to Tokyo is completely covered by the JR Pass but the last part to Koya-san is not. This is between Shin-Imamiya station and Gokurakubashi (the station for Koya). So you'll want to use the JR Pass to travel from Odawara to Shin-Imamiya in Osaka and use the Nankai express to Gokurakubashi, here you can board the ropeway to Koya-san.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Thanks again.

But from Nara to Tokyo we need to take the SHINKANSEN HIKARI 466 right?
And we still have to pay for this if we have a JR pass?
So I'm still not sure if it is cheaper...

Ava
Ava

The Hikari Shinkansen is included in the JR Pass, in fact all Shinkansen lines are covered. There are some train services (the Nozomi and Mizuho Shinkansen) that are not included but you can take any other service instead, the main difference is that these stop at more stations.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Okay, I didn't know that.
And the train from Koya-san to Hiroshima is only possible with the SHINKANSEN NOZOMI 107?
Than we have to pay an extra ticket for the shinkansen?

Ava
Ava

You can use the Sakura Shinkansen to Hiroshima, which is included in the JR Pass.

You may also find this map useful, with all lines included:
http://www.jrpass.com/map

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

Thanks! :)

The blue lines "shinkansen" are also covered by the JR pass?

Ava
Ava

Yes, they are.

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

PERFECT!
Thank you very much for your time.
You helped me a lot!

Ava
Ava

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