questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

what type of rail pass i should buy

What type of rail pass I should buy

Dear Sir or Madam:
I plan to take one-week vacation with one friend to Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. We will be arrived in Osaka airport on Sep 5 Wednesday, stay in Osaka from Wednesday to Friday. We will take JR train daily from Osaka Station or Umeda Station to Kyoto from Thursday to Friday, leave from Kyoto to Tokyo on Friday night by Shinkansen. Then definitely will take metro on Tokyo on Saturday – Monday until we leave Japan.
May I know what is the cheapest rail pass may fit my travel plans, the seven-days JR pass all for JPY 28,300 sounds very expensive.
Best Regards

Stephanie

ronan_517
ronan_517

Hi Stephanie,

I think your choice of whether to purchase a 7 day pass or not (which is the only rail pass that covers your itinerary I'm afraid) will depend on if you fly out of Kansai airport or not. If you do fly out of Kansai, then you'll have the following cost breakdown:

  1. Kansai airport > Osaka: ¥2600, (53mins, 57km)
  2. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  3. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13420, (161mins, 513km)
  4. Tokyo > Kansai airport: ¥15000, (266mins, 613km)

TOTAL: ¥31560 for 4 legs

  • 07 day rail pass (¥28,300) saving: ¥3260

As you can see, provided you are leaving from Kansai the 7 day pass will offer good base savings and will also allow you free JR travel while you are in Tokyo. If you are not leaving from Kansai airport, then I recommend you purchase individual tickets as needed, possibly looking at the Surutto Kansai Thru Pass for travel into Osaka and around the city on arrival. I also recommend you look at the following municipal tickets:

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Mari:
Thank you very much for your quick response, it is really helpful. We plan to fly out from Narita airport to Shanghai.
I understand that I can take train from Osaka or Umeda station to Kyoto, and the train from Osaka station to Kyoto takes less time compared to the train runs from Umeda station. If the JR Pass (all) will allow me to take the train from Osaka station?

Thank you in advance for your help

Stephanie

ronan_517
ronan_517

Hi there,

Ah ok, well, in that case I think a rail pass may not be the best option for you. Based on your current itinerary you'd need to do a further ¥8740 of JR travel to make a 7 day pass break even (assuming you're leaving from Narita). You could easily achieve this, for example via a return trip to Nikko, however it will very much depend on your plans I think.

The JR Pass would allow you to take any JR trains, which includes the fast trains from Osaka to Kyoto.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Dear Mari:
Some more questions. Currently my travel plans will requires
Wednesday: Kansai airport - Osaka
Thursday: Osaka - Kyoto in the morning, Kyoto - Osaka at night
Friday: Osaka - Kyoto in the morning, Kyoto - Tokyo at night by Shinkansen
Saturday through Monday: in Tokyo taking metro, plans to go to Disney Sea Park.
Monday night: from Tokyo city center to Narita airport.

Considering the above route, what will be most economy and efficient pass ticket I should buy.

Best Regards

Stephanie

ronan_517
ronan_517

Hi Stephanie,

Here's the breakdown for you:

  1. Kansai airport > Osaka: ¥2600, (53mins, 57km)
  2. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  3. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  4. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  5. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13420, (161mins, 513km)
  6. Tokyo > Maihama: ¥210, (15mins, 12km)
  7. Maihama > Tokyo: ¥210, (16mins, 12km)
  8. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3140, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥21200 for 8 legs

As you can see, you'll still need an extra ¥7100 of JR travel to make a 7 day pass worthwhile, so I currently still recommend you use individual tickets as needed unless flexibility is important for you (for an extra ¥7100, the JR Pass would give you the flexibility to change your plans as needed, for example return trips to HIroshima from Osaka, or Nikko from Tokyo).

Hope this helps!

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mari
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