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Travel around Japan - 18 days

over 8 years ago
4 responses

I will travel to Japan next month. I want to know if it is worth to buy JR pass of 14 or 21 days. My itinerary is going to be:

08/12 - I will arrive in Narita, spend the day in Tokyo
09/12 - Travel to Hiroshima
10/12 - travel to Osaka
13/12 - Travel to Nagoya
14/12 - Travel to Kyoto
17/12 - Travel to Tokyo
22/12 - Travel to Nagano
23/12 - Travel to Hakone
24/12 - Travel Tokyo
25/12 - Return to Narita Airport

So, I do not know if will buy the 14 or the 21 days. Could you help me?

Do you have any sugestion?

Thanks for your help!

1950 posts
over 8 years ago

Hi there!

Hmm - I see the problem - you need a 18 day rail pass :) !

Lets look at your costs:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥2740, (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Hiroshima: ¥17850, (291mins, 894km)
  3. Hiroshima > Osaka: ¥10220, (109mins, 345km)
  4. Osaka > Nagoya: ¥5980, (66mins, 190km)
  5. Nagoya > Kyoto: ¥5240, (37mins, 147km)
  6. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13020, (161mins, 513km)
  7. Tokyo > Nagano: ¥7770, (105mins, 222km)
  8. Nagano > Odawara: ¥11120, (155mins, 306km)
  9. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1450, (36mins, 83km)
  10. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥2740, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥78,130 for 11 legs

This means that even if you got a 21 day pass, you'll save ¥20,430. The question is: "can you save more"?

Well... Firstly, the difference between a 21 day and a 14 day is ¥12,600 (¥57700-¥45100), so you will need to spend at least that on individual tickets for a 21 day rail pass to be worth it over a 14 day.

Lets try and compress your most expensive days into a 14 day pass covering the 9-23:

  1. Tokyo > Hiroshima: ¥17850, (291mins, 894km)
  2. Hiroshima > Osaka: ¥10220, (109mins, 345km)
  3. Osaka > Nagoya: ¥5980, (66mins, 190km)
  4. Nagoya > Kyoto: ¥5240, (37mins, 147km)
  5. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13020, (161mins, 513km)
  6. Tokyo > Nagano: ¥7770, (105mins, 222km)
  7. Nagano > Odawara: ¥11120, (155mins, 306km)

TOTAL: ¥71,200 for 8 legs

It looks like with a 14 day pass, your savings are even greater than with a 21 day! ¥6930 in tickets + ¥45,100 14 day rail pass = ¥52,030, saving you a total of ¥26,100 on the actual ticket costs and ¥5670 over a 21 day rail pass.

So in your case, the 14 day JR Pass + individual tickets looks like the best way to go. Of course, you loose flexibility on the ticket days, but it is certainly the most financially efficient.

Hope this helps!

4 posts
over 8 years ago

Regarding 14days pass, Are you sure that if I start to use the Rail Pass on December 9th, it will be possible to use until December 23th?

Or it will be possible to use until December 22nd?

Start on 9th, is it necessary to consider this day?


1950 posts
over 8 years ago

Well spotted! You are right! If you start on the 9th, then the 22nd would be the last day. (so sorry!)

In that case, then the best option is to pull back the Nagano trip a little so you can aim to be back in Tokyo by the evening of the 22nd. Tokyo > Hakone can be done using a variety of methods from Tokyo, including the Odakyuu Hakone pass (¥5000 for 2 days from Shinjuku in Tokyo).

If you cannot move the Nagano trip, then it will be worth you getting the 21day. The Nagano hop of ¥11120 combined with the addition ¥6930 of the other ticketed fares means separate ticket cost of ¥18050, much more than the additional ¥12,600 difference between a 14 and 21 day pass. You also get added flexibility, and can start using it immediately once you arrive at Narita.

Hope this helps and sorry again for the dates!

P.S. Please note that the JR Pass doen't cover travel on the Odakyuu owned lines around Hakone, but will get you to Odawara, the closest bullet train stop.

4 posts
over 8 years ago

Ok, thank you for your help!!!

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