I'm planning a trip to Japan for 12 days and was wondering if the JR rail pass was worth while.
Flying into Narita airport, 6 nights in tokyo (Ginza), 3 nights in Kyoto, 3 nights in Osaka and then flying out of Kansai International airport. Also planning on going on day trips to Hakone from Tokyo and Nara from Osaka.
A one week raid pass will cost 28,300 Yen.
A one way from Tokyo to Osaka is about 13.850 meaning you would need to do at least an other 9500Yen worth of travel.
Nara is about 690 Yen one way (1380 Return).
Kyoto --> Osaka 540 Yen
Osaka --> Kansai Airport 1160 Yen.
Tokyo Hakone --> 1150 one way (with private railway)
Looking at the other travel you will be doing it may not be the best value for your money.
Still if you want to opt for comfort you could go for the JR pass. In this case you could ride the bullet train to Hakone (see below) and also between Osaka and Kyoto (which normally would be around 3000yen). In addition you would never have to buy tickets and you could just show your JR Pass instead.
Taken from http://wikitravel.org/en/Hakone ''The fastest and most expensive method of reaching Hakone from Tokyo is to take a Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama (こだま) train from Tokyo to Odawara, then transfer to the Hakone-Tozan Line for the run to Hakone-Yumoto (trains operated by Odakyu Railway). The one-way ride lasts one hour with a good connection, and costs ¥3430, but if you use the Japan Rail Pass, you need only to pay ¥300 for the Hakone-Tozan line.''
Hope you have a great time in Japan!
Great tips Daniel :)
Just to add one more thing - as you'll be in Tokyo for a while, I recommend buying 2 day unlimited metro passes for your stay, possibly in conjunction with the Keisei Skyliner to get you into town. The 2 day pass works out at ¥490/day for your tokyo travel and is very convenient.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the advice. Just a few more questions? Would it be a good idea to get the suica & N'EX package or the Keisei skyliner pass? Is the metro the best way to get around Tokyo? What does the JR rail pass cover within Tokyo? Trying to weigh up my options and I'm getting confused :( Thanks for your time!
All the information can be quite overwhelming.
In the end they are both very good deals but the Keisei is somewhat cheaper, plus if you travel around in Tokyo a lot with the open tickets you save a lot of money!
The Metro is by far the best way to travel around in Tokyo if you scroll down on:
You will find the map of the Tokyo subway. It shows all the metro stops and also the JR lines (in grey) that run in Tokyo.
You can use your JR Pass to travel the JR Lines only.
Hope it clears things up a bit :)
Also, for reference, here is a map of all the JR lines around Tokyo. I've found that you can use the JR Pass to great effect with a little planning, but you may want to get a metro card to fill in the gaps in your plans if you are using a JR Pass. In general, I recommend the following approaches to Tokyo:
If you do have a JRPass while in Tokyo
Best option is the Narita Express + Suica package. This will get you into Tokyo and also give you discounted metro travel upto ¥1500. In combination with the JR Pass this gives you great coverage.
If you don't have a JRPass while in Tokyo
Best option is the Keisei Skyliner + Metro Pass package + extra 2 day metro cards. These will give you excellent coverage on the tokyo metro while you are in town. (Here's a map of metro lines for reference).
Hope this helps!
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