questions & answers: general japan travel

is a jr pass worth it for me?

Is a JR pass worth it for me?

I am traveling to Japan with my family (we are 5 total) from June 12th to 21st. We are flying in and out of HND and our itinerary is the following:

  • arrive in Tokyo and spend 3-4 days exploring the city. possibly day trip to Nikko during that time
  • train to Kyoto to spend 4-5 days there. including day trip to Hiroshima.
  • return to Tokyo on last day with a stop in Hakone to see Mt Fuji.

We would likely activate our 7-day pass near the end of our first stay in Tokyo so it can get us back to Tokyo from Kyoto/Hakone on the last day. I'm not sure if it's a better idea to get the full rail pass or pay per trip with the itinerary we have now. Thanks for any insight you can offer!



A 7 day rail pass to go down to the Kansai area and Hiroshima would pay off very handsomely.

While in the Kansai area, be sure to take at least ½ a day to see Nara as well - the Todaiji Temple is one of Japan's finest, and the nearby deer, Kasuga Shrine, Yoshikien and Isuien Gardens are wonderful. Seeing Himeji Castle (Japan's finest) is also well worth it.
For a day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima, it is possible if you start very early - you can cover the best places in Hiroshima City (Peace Park/Museum, castle, Shukkeien Garden) and spend about ¾ of a day to see MIyajima.

For Hakone, it's a bit more tricky. A JR Pass doesn't help much in seeing it. But from Mishima Stn. you can buy a Hakone Free Pass and use it to see Hakone. These links have more info:

Good luck!


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