questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

when to buy tickets

When to buy tickets

Hi there,

I am planning on buying the 21 day rail pass. I will be travelling from Narita airport into Tokyo on the Narita express. I will then take the Shinkansen to Osaka for one night. I will then take the train from Osaka to Kyoto and stay there for 2 weeks. Lastly I will take the shinkansen from Kyoto to Takasaki-shi. I may also travel locally around Kyoto during my stay there. I am assuming that the rail pass will work out cheaper than buying these individual tickets?

I think I need to take the Hikari line between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto? I am not sure which like I need to take to Takasaki-shi....

Also, is it best to book the trains in advance or can I do it when I get there? Is it better to buy singles or returns?

Many thanks.

nsalo
nsalo

Hi there!

You can use the JR Pass to travel to both Osaka/Kyoto and Takasaki. However you may be better of buying normal tickets if you stay a longer time in Kyoto, this because the JR Pass is great if you travel around the country but you can't use it's real value if you stay locally. Unless you plan to make some good day trips of course from Kyoto to Hiroshima for instance.

The station for Takasaki-shi is Takasaki station, to get there take the Shinkansen to Tokyo station, at Tokyo station you can transfer to the Nagano shinkansen which brings you directly to Takasaki.

As for buying train ticket, you can do so when you arrive in Japan. However you don't need to worry about seating, as trains depart very frequently and rarely sell out. So you can just buy the tickets before you depart unless you travel on a public holiday, than it is smart to buy your tickets at least 2 days ahead of time.

Have a great time in Japan!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Thanks Daniel. We are planning on doing at least one day trip somewhere at the weekend in the middle - Hiroshima is one option - how long does it take to get there?

Any other recommendations for day trips?

Thanks,

nsalo
nsalo

Hi again,

Travel from Kyoto - Hiroshima takes about 2 hours and is mainly traveled with the Shinkansen.
Other places I would certainly recommend for a day trip from Kyoto include, Nara, Kobe, and Mie.

Cheers!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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