questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

travel for more than 21 days

Travel for more than 21 days

I will be in Japan for 29 days. Is there a JR pass that I can purchase for more than 21 consecutive days? How much would it cost??

Omkari
Omkari

Hi,

There are only JR Passes for 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days. It is possible to get more than one pass, as long as the times for both do not overlap. But unless you are traveling constantly during that whole time, few people really need more than one - most people stay in a given region and see the sights in that area. If staying in one area only, a regional pass plus the JR Pass might come out as less expensive.

To see prices and the full rules for using a JR Pass, see the official website.

If you explain your full itinerary and allocated time, it would be easier to give more specific recommendations.

Best of luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

If you'd like to see a list of various regional passes, look here

With such a long chunk of time in Japan, you can certainly see a lot. Hopefully you can get off the beaten path and see some good places. There are many that few tourists go to see, especially in the southern part of the country.
Nara is often neglected by some tourists, which is a shame. Missing the Todaiji Great Buddha in Nara is like going to India and skipping the Taj Mahal. Nara Park has a lot of great places, such as Kasuga Shrine, Kofukuji Temple, and feeding the many deer in the area.
A few other great places missed out even by those who go to Nara though are the Isuien and Yoshikien Gardens. They are gorgeous and not crowded at all.

Near Osaka, Okayama is not far and it is famous for its castle, plus Korakuen, one of Japan's Top 3, and also the Handayama Garden. If you'd like to get off the beaten trail for a while, the half day hike up to Konpirasan in Kotohira is stunning. Going to Takamatsu is also nice - it has one of Japan's best gardens also, called Ritsurin.
Hiroshima also has a number of good places. Miyajima is the most famous, and aside from Hiroshima itself, Onomichi with its temple tour and Kosanji Temple is spectacular. Just beyond Miyajima also lies Iwakuni with its historical bridge and castle on top of the mountain. Taikodani is also a beautiful shrine in Tsuwano, Shimane. Hagi Castle was actually delightful, and the preserved samurai district and Mori related temples a rarity. One of the very best is the Akiyoshi Limestone Cave, a 300 million year old wonder with huge caverns and underground river running through it.

Kyushu is also a long neglected gem of a place. Fukuoka itself has many good places. There is a lot that could fill an entire day - see here. Kagoshima could fill up a whole day nicely too - Sakurajima is wonderful, plus the Senganen Garden is superb. Beppu is famous for its hot springs, but its Hells Tour, plus the Takasakiyama monkey park/aquarium are all terrific.
Nagasaki is the most interesting city on the island and worth a couple of days. In particular, the best sights are the Peace Park/Museum - but if you see the one on Hiroshima you might skip it - Glover Garden, Dejima, and Koshibyo Shrine. Gunkanjima would also be well worth seeing, but it takes 3 hours and your schedule might not allow it. And at night be sure to go see Mt. Inasa at night for a spectacular night view over the city.

Kumamoto has some excellent places to see as well. One of the best hot spring areas on Kyushu is at Kurokawa, which unfortunately you'd need to take a bus at least part way there, but offers a great forested outdoor bath and serene environment. The castle is also one of the most famous, and be sure to go visit Suizenji Garden which is one of Japan's most beautiful. Mount Aso is also a spectacular live volcano, but has been closed near the crater lately due to higher poisonous gas emissions.

Oita is famous for its hot springs as well, such as in Yufuin as well as Beppu has plenty but also its Hells Tour and nearby Takasakiyama monkey park and aquarium are both terrific.
And if you still have time, Kitakyushu has a few good places to explore. Kokura castle is a very nice one, plus its Moji Retro Area will take you back in time and Sarakurayama has one of Japan's finest mountaintop views of the city and is nearly unknown to the rest of the world.

And of course, Okinawa has its many charms too. The pass won't help you there, but it is a gem of beauty.

Good luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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