questions & answers: general japan travel

jr pass or icoca card

JR Pass or ICOCA card


I'm planning my first Japan trip from mid to end of May 2017, and I'm not sure if it's worth getting the JR Pass or ICOCA card.

My itinerary will look like this:

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo (Narita airport)
Days 2 to Day 7 (7 days): Exploring Tokyo (incl. Disneyland)
Day 8: Flying from Tokyo to Osaka (Kansai airport)
Day 9 to Day 14 (6 days): Stay in Osaka, and make day trips out to Kyoto, Nara, and possibly Kobe
Day 15 to Day 16: Fly from Osaka (Kansai airport) to Tokyo, stay one night in Tokyo, then fly home.

Is it worth getting a JR Pass considering that the longest distance (Osaka - Tokyo) is by flight rather than by train?

Or would it be better to travel in Tokyo & Osaka-Kyoto-Nara-Kobe with the ICOCA card?

I'm just really confused. Some clarification would be great :)




Hi there,

I think it would be cheaper here to buy normal tickets here than a 7 day JR Pass. A JR Pass would be great if used for a couple of long distance trips, like Tokyo - Kyoto. You only make one longer trip and the rest of your travel is located within the Kanto and Kansai Areas.

You can use the JR Pass Fare Calculator to find an approximate ticket cost of a single route or even your full itinerary.

ICOCA is just an electronic way of buying tickets. It does not provide a discount on itself but can be very easy to use.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Yeah, I was considering to get a 14 Day JR Pass, but wasn't sure if it was worth it for my itinerary.

Thank you for your quick response :)

I will just use the ICOCA card to buy tickets when in JAPAN :)




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