questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

tokyo>mt. fuji>kyoto>osaka>tokyo

Tokyo>Mt. Fuji>Kyoto>Osaka>Tokyo


I have been looking into my Japan trip using the JR pass but am confused as ever and would appreciate some help. I have an itinerary of where I want to go in the 6 nights but don't know what routes I should be taking to maximize the use of my JR Pass. I don't really want to spend money on other train services if I don't have to since I think the price of the pass is quite up there already.

Could you please outline what routes/stations I need to use to get to these places using my JR pass? Thank you kindly.

April 26-28- Tokyo
April 28-29- Mt. Fuji (Hakone or JR accessible place)
April 29-May 2- Osaka
(April 31- Day trip to Kyoto?) May 3- Tokyo

*I have a flight departing at 13:30 on May 3rd from Tokyo and want to make it there in time for it.


Well first - April has only 30 days in it.

A 7 day pass can pay off from your itinerary. It will only help you part way to go see Hakone though. You can get a Hakone Free Pass and see a lot of different places there though. This info can help you:

Otherwise, you can go all over using the JR Pass.

Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. 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, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are stunning.

There are many nearby sights for you to enjoy, including Nara, and Himeji.

Just one snag if you are entering and leaving Japan through Narita Airport in Tokyo. Since you will be in Japan 8 days, if you get the JR Pass you can use it for the Narita Express train to go into Tokyo from Narita, or on the 3rd to go to Narita, but not both. A day used for a 7 day pass starts and ends at midnight, so if you arrive at 6 PM in Narita airport and activate your pass, your first "day" is just 6 hours. Fortunately you can go cheaply by other means - look into taking a cheap 1000 yen bus.
If you wish to stay overnight in Osaka on May 2nd, it is possible to go from there to Narita airport for your flight, but you'd have to leave pretty early in the morning for it. You might consider returning to Tokyo in the evening of May 2nd to make it easier for you.

Good luck!


(Oops, was looking at the wrong month when I wrote 31st)

Are there specific JR stations I should be getting to in Kyoto and Osaka?

Would you recommend me staying 3 days in Kyoto and doing day trips to Osaka and the other places from there then?

Thank you for helping out!


The main station for JR in Kyoto is Kyoto Station, in Osaka there is Shin-Osaka for the bullet trains and Osaka Station for everything else, and for Nara there is Nara Station. I think it would be far better to stay in Kyoto than Osaka. Concentrate your time on seeing Kyoto, with at least ½ a day for Nara and ½ a day for Himeji. Save Osaka for the evenings. If you still have some time, you could see Kobe, or Hikone Castle.

Have a great trip.


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