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Not sure if I need no pass / a 1 week pass / a 2 week pass!!

almost 8 years ago
2 responses

Hi all

Would really appreciate your advice.

I am unsure if I would benefit from a JR rail pass and was hoping that if I provide my itinerary someone could help advise the most suitable course of action - i.e. no pass, a 1 week pass or a 2 week pass.

My travel plans are below:

14th July - Narita to Tokyo
17th July - Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko
19th July - Kawaguchiko to Matsumoto
20th July - Matsumoto to Kamikochi
23rd July - Kamikochi to Kyoto
26th July - Kyoto to Koyasan
27th July - Koyasan to Hiroshima
28th July - Hiroshima to Tokyo

Thank you for your help.

1951 posts
almost 8 years ago

Hi there!

From the looks of things you'll need either a 7 (¥28,300) or 14 (¥45,100) day pass, but first lets take a look at your base JR ticket costs to see what kind of costs you could incurr if you just used plain tickets:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Shinjuku(jr): ¥3110, (84mins, 89km)
  2. Shinjuku(jr) > Otsuki: ¥2290, (89mins, 77km)
  3. Otsuki > Matsumoto: ¥4810, (109mins, 147km)
  4. Matsumoto > Kyoto: ¥9680, (210mins, 335km)
  5. Kyoto > Hiroshima: ¥10790, (112mins, 380km)
  6. Hiroshima > Tokyo: ¥18050, (292mins, 894km)

TOTAL: ¥48730 for 6 legs

As you can see you'll make good savings on either a 7 or 14 day pass, but stand to make the best savings if you take a 7 day pass from the 23rd of July to the end of your trip. This will cover all your most expensive legs, and give you a saving of ¥10220 over your travel during this period. For the start of your trip I recommend looking into the Narita Express+Suica combined deal which will save you money on your travel around Tokyo, and purchasing standard tickets as needed.

Please note that I have not included the bus trip to Kamikochi or the trip to Koyasan, both parts will have to be undertaken on non-JR lines so the JR Pass is not applicable.

I'm incredibly envious of your trip to Kamokochi, at this time of year it will be beautiful!

Hope this helps!

2 posts
almost 8 years ago

Thanks for your help, that's really useful. I'm a little confused though.

If I was to get a JR Rail Pass from the 23rd July onwards surely the only journeys I could use it for would be Matsumoto to Kyoto (¥9,680) and Hiroshima to Tokyo (¥18,050) as I would need to use non-JR lines to get from Kyoto to Koyasan and Koyasan to Hiroshima.

You have included Kyoto to Hiroshima (¥10,790) as a JR base journey but I don't ever make that trip as I use non-JR trains via Koyasan.

So this means that the JR related base cost of my travel from 23rd July onwards would be just ¥27,730 (i.e. ¥9,680 + ¥18,050), marginally less than the cost of a 1 week JR pass.

Am I missing something?

Thanks again for your help.

1951 posts
almost 8 years ago

Hi there!

I included Kyoto to Hiroshima as a JR leg as you can only travel from Koyasan to Hiroshima via JR (they are over 400km apart). I don't think there is anyway for you to do this 400km journey except via JR bullet train, so I have included it in your itinerary.

Thinking about all the steps you'll need, your travel would be:

  • Matsumoto > Kyoto (JR)
  • Kyoto > Osaka (JR)
  • Osaka > Koyasan (NON-JR)
  • Koyasan > Osaka (NON-JR)
  • Osaka > Hiroshima (JR)
  • Hiroshima > Tokyo (JR)

As you can see, the only non-JR parts to this are when you do a return trip from Osaka up to Koyasan and so a 7 day pass will be well worth it. For completeness, here are the exact JR costs of this part of your journey for comparison with the 7 day JR Pass cost of ¥28,300:

  1. Matsumoto > Kyoto: ¥9680, (210mins, 335km)
  2. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥1680, (27mins, 42km)
  3. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥9950, (108mins, 345km)
  4. Hiroshima > Tokyo: ¥18050, (292mins, 894km)

TOTAL: ¥39360 for 4 legs

Hope this helps!

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