questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

tokyo-kyoto-osaka for 14 days - jr pass?

Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka for 14 days - JR Pass?

Hi,

This will be my first time visiting Japan and I would like to ask about JR pass and itinerary:

13.04.13 - 18.04.13 - Tokyo (perhaps trips to Nikko, Kamakura, Hakone)
19.04.13 - 24.04.13 - Kyoto (trip to Nara)
25.04.13 - 27.04.13 - Osaka (also departure from Osaka)

I'm not sure if it's usefull to buy 14-day JR pass because there is only one long transfer from Tokyo to Kyoto. However I'd like to transfer around whole Tokyo and Kyoto and I'm not sure what travel card use...

Without JR pass is it possible to use for Tokyo - Skyliner+2days metro and than add another special two day open tickets for metro? I'm not sure if it's an advantage to use only metro in Tokyo.... or it's better to use SUICA card?

For Kyoto and Osaka is it advantageous to use Kansai Throu pass? Or is there any better solution?

If there is another solution or trip ideas I would very appreciate you help.

Thank you in advance

panda01
panda01

Hi Panda,

Here are your potential JR costs for your trip:

  1. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5,230 (121mins, 150km)
  2. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5,230 (121mins, 150km)
  3. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥1,700 (48mins, 51km)
  4. Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥1,700 (48mins, 51km)
  5. Tokyo > Odawara: ¥3,440 (35mins, 83km)
  6. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥3,440 (35mins, 83km)
  7. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,020 (164mins, 513km)
  8. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690 (45mins, 41km)
  9. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690 (45mins, 41km)
  10. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  11. Osaka > Kansai airport: ¥3,340 (57mins, 64km)

JR ticket cost: ¥39,020 for 11 legs

As the 14 day pass is ¥45,100, you'll need to spend another ¥6000 on travel for the 14 day pass to be worthwhile. This may be possible, but it very much depends on how much extra flexibility you think you'll need.

Another way to look at the plan is to just fit your Nikko, Kamakura, Hakone and Kyoto trips into a 7 day pass:

  1. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5,230 (121mins, 150km)
  2. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5,230 (121mins, 150km)
  3. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥1,700 (48mins, 51km)
  4. Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥1,700 (48mins, 51km)
  5. Tokyo > Odawara: ¥3,440 (35mins, 83km)
  6. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥3,440 (35mins, 83km)
  7. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,020 (164mins, 513km)

JR ticket cost: ¥33,760 for 7 legs

In this case, a 7 day pass may make sense as you'll make savings and also have flexibility for a 7 day period should you need it.

I recommend:

  1. Keisei Skyliner + 2 day metro card or Narita Express + Suica from Narita to Tokyo
  2. More 1 or 2 day metro cards as needed.
  3. 1 x 7 day Japan Rail Pass to cover your above travel.
  4. A simple prepaid ICOCA card to use while in Kyoto/Osaka as travel here is unlikely to be costly.

For reference, here is a map of JR Lines around Tokyo and JR lines around Kyoto/Osaka so you can get an idea of where you can go with the remaining days of the 7 day pass.

I hope this helps!

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mari
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