questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

travel help required for osaka,kyoto,hakone, tokyo

Travel Help Required for Osaka,Kyoto,Hakone, Tokyo


I am a family of 4 (2 adults, a 7yr old and a 5yr old) travelling to these places:

Osaka - arrive at Kansai, Stay 2 nights @ Hotel Granvia
Osaka to Kyoto - Stay 3 nights @ Kyoto Century Hotel
Kyoto to Hakone - Stay 1 night @ ryokan near Gora
Hakone to Tokyo - stay 3 nights @ Keio Plaza Hotel
Depart Tokyo from Narita Airport

Total stay is 10 days, 9 nights

I would like some recommendation on what types of travel transportation that I should use, should I buy the JR pass, but they only come in 7, 10 and 14 day passes. I understand that there are also several options like Kansai pass etc. We would most likely be using trains as our main mode of transportation.

Thanks !


Hi there,

I thought it would be a good idea to look at ticket prices and see what pass or ticket would fit your itinerary best.

Kansai Airport - Osaka ¥ 2,300
Osaka - Kyoto ¥ 540
Kyoto - Hakone (Odawara station) ¥ 11,750
Hakone - Tokyo ¥ 3,640
Tokyo - Narita Airports ¥ 620

Looking at the above amounts a 7 day JR Pass would not help you make savings and there's no other package available for your planned travel. Therefor I think it would be best to buy normal tickets when you travel.

When you stay in Hakone, I would recommend looking into a Hakone Free Pass which covers local transport in the area and can be a good deal depending on what you wish to see.

I hope this helps!


Hi Daniel

Thanks for your analysis. May I ask if the ticket prices that you have quoted above are based on my family size?

Also, I had another option in mind, which I'd like your opinion on:

Purchase 4 Day JR West Rail Pass - Kansai Area
- for travels in Osaka/Kyoto/Nara - plus for all city travels in and around Osaka/Kyoto - Total of 15,000Y

Purchase Hakone free Pass for Hakone
- without the round trip to Tokyo - Total of 8.100Y (thereabouts)

Purchase 3 Day JR Kanto Pass
- use this for trip back to Tokyo from Odawara station - use this for all city travels in and around Tokyo - Total of 16,000Y

Would it be worth my while to use the JR passes on city travels : JR trains/buses etc since we will be doing sight seeing and trains are our main mode of transport?



Hi Anne,

The prices quoted before are for per person per one way ticket. The price for a child below the age of 12 is 50% and children below the age of 6 travel for free (given that you take them on your lap if the train is full.

When you travel around Kansai, stick to normal tickets. The JR West Pass usually does not pay off, for instance a one way ticket Osaka - Kyoto is 540 yen and a one way ticket Kyoto - Nara is 690 yen.

The Hakone Free Pass can certainly pay off and is convenient when you travel around Hakone. It does depend on what you wish to see and do in the area but it's easy to make savings with.

Purchase 3 Day JR Kanto Pass, this could pay of but you would need to do some more travel than a single trip Odawara - Tokyo. The Pass is 8000yen per person and a one way trip Odawara - Tokyo ¥ 3,440. You probably won't cover the remaining 4560 yen with local train in Tokyo alone. A better option would be to take the Hakone Free Pass and buy one to cover travel to and from Shinjuku (Tokyo) as well.

When you travel locally in Tokyo, a single ride on a train, metro or bus is around 150-220yen depending on the distance. You can keep this in mind as a general rule when trying to see if a certain pass or package would help you make savings.

I hope this helps too!


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