questions & answers: general japan travel

jr pass and car rental

Jr Pass and Car Rental


I am looking to travel to Japan for 2 weeks. My husband and I usually rent a car when we travel as we like to make our way around a country on our own time and see the sights, stopping along the way. However, my daughter recently spent three weeks in Japan and made full use of a 21 day JR Pass. She was very adamant that it was an essential travel tool for her and her boyfriend.

I wanted to know your opinion if it would make sense to get a JR Pass, and if car rental is a good option in Japan. If yes, would it still make more sense to use a JR Pass in certain parts of the country as the mode of transport rather than renting a car in those areas? We want to try and see as much of the country as possible in the most time efficient way, but also in a way that allows us to take in the sights.

So I suppose my main concern is: Is it cost effective to rent a car for more remote areas of the country, and get a JR Pass for more populated and accessible areas?

Thank You


Hello there,

If there's any rail country in the world, it is Japan. Trains can get you anywhere and this is for me personally the reason that I've not done a lot of car travel in Japan. So I must say that I can't really give you an objective comparison. However I do recommend reading more about driving in Japan, for instance you travel on the left side, there are a lot of toll high ways and finding a parking space and be a challenge too.

Can I ask what remote area's you plan to visit? This way I can give you a better idea of trains or other transport work best there.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $257.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.