questions & answers: general japan travel

when to activate jr pass and itinerary check

When to activate JR Pass and itinerary check

Hi. My husband and I are travelling to Japan on our honeymoon. Our itinerary is as follows:

3 nights Tokyo
2 nights Tsumago
4 nights Kyoto (day trips to Osaka and Nara)
Leave from Tokyo

If we get a 7 day JR pass:

1) Would we use it much in Tokyo?
2) When would you suggest we activate it?
3) Is travelling back from Kyoto to Tokyo in one day OK? (Our flight leaves 8.30 pm). I read that on the JR pass it could take up to 8 hours and 3 to 4 changes, whereas the Shinkansen takes approx. 3 hours).

Also, does out itinerary look OK? We are not wanting to rush around too much and to base ourselves in a couple of locations.

Many thanks for your assistance!


Hello there,

1.) That would depend on what you wish to see in Tokyo. In general, the JR Pass is very handy in Tokyo as it covers travel on all local JR lines - including the Yamanote line - which makes a loop trough greater Tokyo and stops at most important stations.

2.) I would advise to activate it the day when you plan to travel to Tsumago. This way this JR Pass also covers the way back from Kyoto - Tokyo and this way you would make the best savings possible.

3.) Yes that's absolutely fine. The JR Pass is also valid on the Shinkansen and it takes about 160 minutes from Kyoto - Tokyo. Don't forget to add some extra time for travel to the airport.

For the rest, your itinerary looks good!

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