Just another question, coming from Australia where you have to travel days to get anywhere. It seems that in many of the major cities you can fit in 3 to 4 sightseeing trips all in one day, which covers a lot of country! I guess we are concerned about getting the value out of the 14 day rail pass, the present price being around 225,000 Yen for six of us. Because it is a consecutive day pass, it adds a bit of pressure to keep going, and I am concerned about being on the move more than we would like. Basically I am saying that if you didn't have to travel everyday to get your value, you wouldn't (thinking of kids etc). In the major cities there is much to see and that requires that you stop for at least 3 days, and we expect extra costs that are not covered by the pass. Am I being over concerned and will I get a nice shock at just how quick it takes to get from A to B anyway? (leaving plenty of time to relax) Have we saved a ridiculous amount by buying the rail pass in the first place? Would the cost of getting around on our own steam and in our own time without the 14 day consecutive pass (still seeing all the nice spots) go way past what the rail pass costs? Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions!
I already read your other post and looked at what value the JR Pass would offer you. With the trip to the north and south to Hiroshima you will already have saved more than the price of the JR-Pass so any extra travel you do is free, so no rush here! Shinkansen and Limited express trains are very fast, sometimes you will be traveling over 300km/h.
For instance the trip Kyoto --> Tokyo takes about 160 minutes so if you leave early you will have the rest of the day to explore. Local travel can add some extra time but even in Tokyo you can be from one side to the other in about 30minutes.
If you give have a day by day itinerary with destinations I can give you the actual numbers and savings. Extra costs may arise from local travel (100~220 Yen per ride per person), entrance fees, accommodation and food/drinks.
Hope I covered all of your concerns,
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