questions & answers: general japan travel

tokyo to kobe cheapest with jr pass?

Tokyo to Kobe cheapest with JR Pass?

My wife and I are going to be leaving Tokyo on July 12 going to Kobe and returning on July 15th. Is buying a 7 day pass on the Shinkansen the best way to do that? Would I go from Tokyo station to Shin-Kobe Station? Should I reserve seats or just show up?



Hi there!

Yes, for Kobe you should head for "shin-kobe" shinkansen station. For a 7 day Japan Rail Pass to be worthwhile you need to spend over ¥28,300 on JR tickets. Lets take a look at your costs:

  1. Tokyo > Shin-kobe: ¥14270, (195mins, 589km)
  2. Shin-kobe > Tokyo: ¥14270, (195mins, 589km)

TOTAL: ¥28540 for 2 legs

As you can see it's very slightly cheaper to go with a 7 day rail pass than standard tickets so I can recommend this choice for maximum flexibility. For example you can go on day trips to Hiroshima or Kyoto for free with the Rail Pass while you are in Kobe, or do day trips from Tokyo to Nikko in addition to using JR lines around the city. You can also use the Rail Pass to get to and from the airport in Tokyo if it is within the validity period.

For the actual travelling, I tend to just turn up and board the next available Hikari bullet train service. If I have time I also make a reservation when I arrive at the station, but in general have never had any need to reserve very far in advance unless I was travelling during rush hours (7-8am, 6-7pm).

Hope this helps!


Thank you very much for your quick reply and it was very helpful. I have one more question. I am staying at the hotel Ginza and upon check-out on the 12th, we would like to go ahead and catch the train to Kobe. Can you recommend a station near there where I can get a train to Kobe with my 7 day pass?

-Thanks again!


Hi there, Ginza is very close to Tokyo station so I recommend you get the Shinkansen from there.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Actually, the cheapest way is to fly on a low cost carrier. But you'd have to pay for any travel from there, so a pass may or may not be the best way to go.
Kobe has some good sights, including Mt. Rokko, Arima onsen, Nanking chinatown, Sorakuen Garden, and its famous harbour area.

In addition, there are other numerous great places you can visit in the area. Okayama is not far and it is famous for its castle, plus Korakuen, one of Japan's Top 3, and also the Handayama Garden. If you'd like to get off the beaten trail for a while, the half day hike up to Konpirasan in Kotohira is stunning. Going to Takamatsu is also nice - it has one of Japan's finest gardens also, called Ritsurin.
Hiroshima also has a number of good places. Miyajima is the most famous, and aside from Hiroshima itself, Onomichi with its temple tour and Kosanji Temple is spectacular. Just beyond Miyajima also lies Iwakuni with its historical bridge and castle on top of the mountain.


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