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3 Questions to Save our Japan Trip

Bart van Twillert
Bart van Twillert
over 2 years ago
1 response

Hello! I’ve got multiple questions about the JR pass and when and how it works, as the rules where it shouldn’t work kinda confuse me... And I need to know the exact amount of money me and my friends are going to spend on our Japan trip in total before visiting the country itself. I hope asking this much questions is okay because I really wasn’t able to figure it out myself or by internet.

Question 1:
As we are staying in Tokyo for a week and I have heard that the JR pass is great to travel around there by train and bus, how do I know for certain which trains and busses are from the JR company and we can use the pass on, and on which ones we can’t? When looking for travel advises within Tokyo on Google Maps you get a lot of different icons next to the different busses and trains and I think I want to know which ones we can travel with, or maybe if there is an app/site we can use in English which can filter out all the ones who don’t use JR pass. I think it will save us a lot of hassle that way by not accidentally stepping in a train or buss that isn’t compatible.

Question 2:
After Tokyo we are planning going to Shimoda in Shizuoka, but from what I’m getting is that the furthest we can travel to Shimoda with JR pass is Atami station(? Please correct me if I’m wrong). Is it easy to step over from JR-train to non-JR-train like that? I know It’s gonna cost something, but I don’t know if It’s easy. Also please confirm if there really are no other ways with JR pass to go to Shimoda, that would help out alot.

Question 3:
When we are done in Shimoda we want to head over to Osaka by going back to Atami station and taking the train all way to Osaka. But I’m seeing a few sources saying you can’t actually take the train from there to Osaka with JR pass and I am very confused why. In addition I’d like to know if traveling from Osaka to Nara, and then from Nara to Kyoto is all do-able with the JR pass as well.

Thank you so much for reading this all and I hope to receive an answer soon~

18837 posts
over 2 years ago

Hi there,

Glad to see that you are planning your trip to Japan. The forum is here to help travellers like yourself, so feel free to ask as much as you'd like. After the long travel down-time, I'm only more eager to see people visit Japan. Having said that, let's have a look into your questions.

1.) In Tokyo, the entire JR Network is covered. On my first trip it helped a lot just to study the lines beforehand (this was before Google Maps was a thing), as you'll be able to navigate even without internet. The most important lines to get familiar with are the JR Yamanote line and JR Chuo (central) line. These cover the majority of all important stations in Tokyo.

On Google maps JR lines will have a J infront, for example see Uguisudani Station where you have the JK (JR Keihin-Tohoku line) and JY (JR - Yamanote line). There are also a couple apps that have search for the Japan Rail Pass build in, these are Hyperdia and Navitime.

2.) The closest station included by the JR Pass is called JR Ito station, from there the train runs on private railway tracks. You can however get on the train at Atami, and it will continue to run until Shimoda. You can then pay the fare not covered by the JR Pass upon arrival. So the route is super easy and I believe the additional fare is a little over 2.000yen for an express train. We have a full guide on how to travel to Shimoda here.

3.) Going to Osaka does mean going back up the Izu peninsula (basically the same way you went down to Shimoda in reserve). Then on Atami you can get on a direct Shinkansen train to Shin-Osaka. Here the JR Pass will cover travel starting at Ito station. JR Trains between Osaka - Kyoto and Nara are all covered by the JR Pass and are well doable. All these routes take about 30-60 minutes.

I hope you find this useful, and ask any more questions you may have!

Kind regards,

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