questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

which railway pass should i buy?

Which railway pass should I buy?

Hi,

I'll be travelling to these following places in April 2016 and wasn't sure which railway pass will be the best deal.
Help appreciated :) what's the best the railway ticket that includes shinkansen as well as buses especially around the Kansai area. Spending 5 days in Kansai area (osaka/kyoto) and 5 days in Tokyo - Tokyo will mainly be sight seeing around the city.

Day 1: Arrive at Osaka at Kansai Airport (train to accom) - Explore Namba

Day 2: Day visit to Kyoto - visiting shrines & Gion

Day 3: Day visit to Arashiyama (bamboo grove. monkey park) and Nara (city, shrines, gardens)

Day 4: Day visit to Kyoto - exploring the city

Day 5: Day visit to Himeji & Osaka - exploring city and universal studios

Day 6: Bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo

Day 7: Tokyo Disneyland/disneysea

Day 8: Shibuya & Harajuku

Day 9: Ghibli museum / Tokyo/ Dontonbori

Day 10: Ginza/ Akihabara/ Shinjuku

Day 11: Train to Haneda airport - fly home

Thanks! :)

miawhite
miawhite

Hi there,

I think it makes most sense to buy normal tickets for your itinerary. While the JR covers all your travel, it would not help you make savings if you travel one way from Kansai to Tokyo (a return would work though).

Most of your travel is either local within the Kansai Area or in Tokyo and I don't think this would add up enough to a point where savings could be made.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel!

There's one last thing I want to ask about, I read about the Kansai Area Pass 4 days and wide area pass for 5 days. Would it be worth it to get any of these passes or would normal tickets still be better?

I did some calculations (based on google maps) and I'll be spending approx. $150 training around Kansai. The Kansai Area Pass looks cheaper but I wasn't sure whether it'll cover the train lines I'll need to use as I'm not very familiar with the Japanese railway network. I'm staying around Sangenyanishi with JR Taisho Station being the closest to my accommodation.

Thanks again for your help :)

miawhite
miawhite

Hi there,

You could use a JR Area Pass to Himeji or Wide Pass is you want to use the Shinkansen. It however does not allow for sear reservations.

TIP: look for local train connections within Kansai, not the Shinkansen. These cost a lot less and don't take that much longer.

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Sure thing, thanks Daniel!.

Sorry for bombarding you with these questions but I was looking up the SUICA/Pasmo cards and ICOCA/Haruka cards.

To confirm, SUICA/Pasmo are bought in Tokyo and ICOA/Haruka are available in Kansai?

If i were to buy an ICOCA card, would I still be able to use it when I get to Tokyo? - these cards can be used on buses, subways and trains throughout Japan if I'm correct?

Thanks again,

Cheers,

Fiona

miawhite
miawhite

To confirm, SUICA/Pasmo are bought in Tokyo and ICOCA/Haruka are available in Kansai? That is correct, both cards can be used nationwide though.

They are very handy and can be used on nearly every kind of transport. So it is well recommended getting one.

Cheers 'n Beers!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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