questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

touring japan for a month

Touring Japan for a month

Hi ,

We'll have the trip to Japan in May and be touring for a whole month.
We plan to visit Hokkaido including Sapporo, Otaru, Hakodate; Kanto including Tokyo, Yokohama, Hakone, Mount Fuji etc. ; Kansai including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara etc. and Okinawa as well.
We probably will land in Tokyo and may take domestic flight to Sapporo, spend ~4 days there, and fly to Tokyo for a week, then spend the majority of the time in Kansai, finally spend some days in Okinawa

Sounds like a 21 day pass is a great deal since I could take Shinkansen between Tokyo and Hakodate, Tokyo between Osaka.
Or I could have 14 day pass first then have Kansai JR pass for the rest as I will spend ~ 15 days in Kansai.

Sounds like a good plan?

- Max


Hello Max,

A 14 or 21 day JR Pass could certainly be a great deal if you use it to travel from Tokyo - Sapporo - Tokyo and Kansai. You should know that it takes about 10 hours of train travel from Tokyo - Sapporo.

This can be a great journey to make, especially if you plan in a couple of stops on the way. At the same time it is a lot of train travel and this may not be for everyone. Personally i'd take the train over flying but this depends on your own preferences.

If you do go by rail, then a 14 day JR Pass would most likely be the best option as travel within Kansai is not very expansive but add in a visit to Hiroshima and Miyajima and suddenly the 21 day JR Pass is a very good deal. You could also go for a 7 day JR Pass and cover Sapporo - Tokyo and Tokyo - Kansai with it within 7 days. This would also give you very good savings over normal tickets.

In short, if you fly domestically but normal tickets, if you wish to use the rail system, go for the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,


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