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JR pass travel questions

benja
benja
over 1 year ago
4 responses

Hi,

My wife and I are travelling to Japan and arriving on the 25th of January 2018. Are you only able to book first class tickets when buying a JR pass? When I've calculated individual fares it seems to come out a lot cheaper - I assume these fares are standard/economy tickets?

Our itinerary is:

Thursday 25th Jan - Fly into Tokyo Narita airport (Travel in to Tokyo city)
Friday 26th Jan - Tokyo
Saturday 27th Jan - Tokyo
Sunday 28th Jan - Tokyo
Monday 29th Jan - Travel to Nozawaonsen
Tuesday 30th Jan - Nozawaonsen
Wednesday 31st Jan - Nozawaonsen
Thursday 1st Feb - Nozawaonsen
Friday 2nd Feb - Nozawaonsen
Saturday 3rd Feb - Nozawaonsen
Sunday 4th Feb - Nozawaonsen
Monday 5th Feb - Nozawaonsen to Nagisa (Gifu)
Tuesday 6th Feb - Nagisa (Gifu) to Kyoto
Wednesday 7th Feb - Kyoto
Thursday 8th Feb - Kyoto
Friday 9th Feb - Kyoto to Koyasan
Saturday 10th Feb - Koyasan to Osaka Konsai airport (depart at 6.55pm)

My other questions are:

1) Does the JR pass cover any travel from Narita airport into Tokyo?

2) Are we best to buy standard fares for travel around Japan, rather than the JR pass? Are you able to buy standard/economy fares prior to entry into Japan?

3) Are you able to travel from Koyasan to Osaka Konsai airport with a JR pass (it didn't come up with any route when I entered it)?

4) If all of those trips are able and we only bought a 14 day pass, would it be more cost efficient to use it at the end of our journey or the start (ie around Kyoto/Koyasan or use it around Tokyo?

Many thanks,

Ben

avatar
Daniel-san
16009 posts
over 1 year ago
Expert

Hi there,

I checked your itinerary and would also suggest buying normal tickets. You will spend a luxurious amount of time in Nozawaonsen and while staying there, a JR Pass would not do much for you.

Now to your other questions.

1.) Yes, you can use the Narita Express.

2.) If you buy a JR Pass, then doing so outside of Japan is the cheapest options. Normal tickets are best purchased within Japan.

3.) No, as this part is traveled on the Nankai Railway, a privately held company different from JR.

4.) I think near the start, as you'll likely do a good amount of travel around Tokyo.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

benja
benja
4 posts
over 1 year ago

Hi Daniel-san,

Thank you very much for your reply. I am still a little confused? If you don't mind I have three more questions:

1) Given our itinerary do you think we are best to get a JR pass or just buy normal tickets when we get there?

2) Are the 'normal tickets' that you would buy when you get to Japan on the same fast trains that a JR pass holder would use but just in the economy section of the train rather than the first class section or is it a completely different rail network?

3) If you have a JR pass are you likely to need to use many other rail networks to get around in Tokyo?

Many thanks,

Ben

avatar
Daniel-san
16009 posts
over 1 year ago
Expert

Hi Ben,

1.) As in my first reply, I think normal tickets would cost less.

2.) It would be the same train lines :)

3.) I'd say around 80-90% of Tokyo can be reached by JR. It would depend where you want to go.

Kind regards,
Daniel

benja
benja
4 posts
over 1 year ago

Thank you very much Daniel-San.

One final question. When purchasing normal tickets (ie for trip from Tokyo to Nozawaonsen) is it best to pre-book these (when in Japan) to guarantee yourself a seat? Or can you just arrive at the station before boarding time and you will get a seat on the train that you would like anyway?

Many thanks,

Ben

avatar
Daniel-san
16009 posts
over 1 year ago
Expert

Hi Ben,

During normal days it is fine (as trains rarely sell out) to do so when you get to the station but during periods of busy travel, doing so a couple of days in advance is recommended.

Kind regards,
Daniel

benja
benja
4 posts
over 1 year ago

Thank you very much Daniel-san :)


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