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Is it worth us buying a 14 day JR pass

about 12 years ago
1 response


My husband and I are going to be visiting Japan and we are wondering if it is more economical to buy individual rail tickets for our train journeys or should we buy a 14 day rail pass. Can you please advise advise the best option? Our train itinerary is as follows:

  • Tokyo to Takayama
  • Takayama to Kyoto
  • Kyoto to Mt Koyasan
  • Mt Koyasan to Hiroshima
  • Hiroshima to Hakone
  • Hakone to Narita International Airport

Many thanks for your advice.

1950 posts
about 12 years ago

Hi there,

For a 14 day rail pass to be economical, you have to aim to spend more than ¥45,100 on individual train tickets.

Lets take a look at the costs of the pieces of your itinerary:

  1. Tokyo > Takayama: ¥14300, (275mins, 532km)
  2. Takayama > Kyoto: ¥9680, (191mins, 314km)
  3. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥1680, (27mins, 42km)
  4. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥9950, (103mins, 345km)
  5. Hiroshima > Odawara: ¥17530, (286mins, 810km)
  6. Odawara > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥4600, (107mins, 163km)

TOTAL: ¥57740 for 6 legs

As the total cost of separate tickets is more than the cost of a 14 day rail pass, I certainly recommend you use a rail pass for your trip. You should have a basic saving of around ¥12,640, and will also have the flexibility to change your travel plans should you want, or make extra day trips.

For Hakone I have used Odawara as it is the closest JR station. From here you will need to use the Odakyu rail system to get up to the lakes. I recommend using the Hakone Free Pass for this. For Koyasan, you should use the Nanlkai Dentetsu trains from Namba Osaka. We have a post with more detail on the Koyasan leg here.

Hope this helps!

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