We are two adults and two kids (8 and 7 years old) planning to visit: Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto and return to Tokyo in that order. My apologies in advance as I have below a series of questions and would be extremely grateful if you could help me get some clarity on this.
(i) Based on the general information, are we correct in assuming that it may be cost effective for us to travel by using the JR pass or do you believe that there are alternative or similar regional pass available? (ii) If we decide on the JR pass, then, is your website the forum for us to place our order? (iii) would be children be entitled to special fares as against the adults when buying the JR pass? (iv) it appears that, taking a Shinkansen train (using JR pass) from Tokyo to Hiroshima typically entails a change/brief stop (of what I notice as not more than 15 mins to get the connecting train) at ShinOsaka. With our two lil ones, would we be running the risk of cutting it fine to get this connecting train?; and (v) whether the JR pass can be used while we are in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto for city related travel?
Many thanks in advance, for your assistance on my above queries.
about 1 year ago
To answer your questions:
(i) Yes, it would save you a lot for your itinerary.
(ii) Yes, you can buy a pass through this website
(iii) Yes, click on the Prices link above.
(iv) Yes, it is enough time. Japanese trains are very punctual, and you can easily go from one platform to the next.
(v) Yes, but only to a certain extent. For Tokyo it can be use on any JR line, especially the Yamanote Line which loops the city and stops at many popular tourist places. You will most likely need to use the subway at some point to get to some good tourist spots, and that is not covered by the pass, but it is not pricey either. For Hiroshima there is a tourist style bus you can use the pass on, but for other transport you'd need to pay. You can see the best of the tourist spots on the bus though. For Kyoto, you can take a JR line to see Arashiyama, as well as the Nara Line to go to Fushimi Inari Shrine, as well as to Nara as well - the Todaiji Great Buddha is a must-see place, and feeding the hungry deer in Nara park is something you won't forget. You will need to use the subway or buses in Kyoto, no way around that. But with 4 of you a taxi also can be a sensible and speedy choice. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg are excellent.
You can also use your pass for the Miyajima ferry. Miyajima is by far one of the biggest tourist draws in the area, but aside from the Itsukushima Shrine with the giant "floating" torii, the Daishoin Temple is also a must-see place. There are several other pagodas and temples, and climbing Mt. Misen offers a fantastic view over the island and whole area. Not far past it is another excellent site, Iwakuni with its iconic historical bridge and mountaintop castle.
Look into some day trips from Tokyo as well - Nikko, Hakone, Kamakura/Enoshima etc are all worthwhile.