questions & answers: itinerary check

7 day + jr tickets or 14 day pass?

7 day + JR tickets or 14 day pass?

I am planning on getting a rail pass, however I'm not sure whether the 7 or 14 day pass would be better (we are aiming to be fairly flexible) and we have days when we don't travel at all...I did a rough calculation and even if we start the 7 day pass on Day 3 I think it would still cost more than the extra cost of the 14 day pass to complete our journey, though I am not 100% sure on the offchance that the pass cannot be used on one of our train journeys! Please let me know what you think? :)

My itinerary is:
Day 1 - Narita to Nikko
Day 2
Day 3 - Nikko - Kanazawa
Day 4 - Kanazawa - Kyoto
Day 5
Day 6 - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Nara
Day 7 - Nara - Koyasan
Day 8 - Koyasan - Nara
Day 9 - Nara - Shin-matsuda
Day 10 - Shin-matsuda - Tokyo
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13 Tokyo - Narita


Hi there,

A 7 day rail pass is ¥28,300 and 14 day is ¥45,100. You'll need to be spending more than each of these amounts for the respecive rail passes to be cost effective. Lets take a look at the real ticket costs of your journey you will use JR for:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Nikko: ¥8060, (186mins, 229km)
  2. Nikko > Kanazawa: ¥15360, (313mins, 550km)
  3. Kanazawa > Kyoto: ¥6510, (126mins, 224km)
  4. Kyoto > Hiroshima: ¥10590, (112mins, 380km)
  5. Hiroshima > Nara: ¥11060, (165mins, 393km)
  6. Nara > Shinmatsuda: ¥12390, (259mins, 488km)
  7. Shinmatsuda > Tokyo: ¥1610, (118mins, 82km)
  8. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥2740, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥68320 for 8 legs

As you can see a 14 day rail pass will give you great savings of ¥23,220 so I can certainly recommend this choice as the simplest of your options that will save money.

As to whether you'll be better off with a 7 day pass + standard JR tickets, we need to see if there's any way you can spend less than the difference between 7 and 14 day jrpass (¥16,800) on normal JR tickets if using a 7 day pass. Looking at the cost break down, if you did start a 7 day rail pass on day 3 until 9, the other JR tickets costs you list would come to ¥12,410, which is cheaper than going for the upgrade to 14 days. This means you could save a further ¥4390 by using a 7 day pass + standard JR tickets over going for a 14 day pass. Of course, there's always a tradeoff, and in exchange for the extra ¥4390 savings, you loose the flexibility and use of the 14 day rail pass when your 7 day pass is not active. Ultimately your choice here will rest on how definite your plans are, but I think if I was in your position I may go for the 14 day pass simply to keep my options open.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thanks very much for your help! We have decided to go for the 14 day pass, thank you :)


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