questions & answers: itinerary check

7 days in tokyo, day trip to kyoto

7 days in Tokyo, day trip to Kyoto

My two daughters and I will be in Tokyo from March 21st-28th. We are planning to take a day trip to Kyoto. We plan to take the train around the Tokyo to visit the sites, including the Ghibli Museum and the Akihabara district. We are staying in Shinjuku. We fly in and out of Narita Airport.

My questions:
1. Is a Rail Pass is the best deal for us?
2. If yes, should we get the regular or First Class passes?
3. Should we take the train from Narita to Shinjuku, or is there a better way to get to and from the airport?
4. With the Rail Pass do we need to make a reservation for our trip to Kyoto?

Sorry if these are stupid questions. I'm a bit nervous about the language barrier and want to figure things out ahead of time.

Many thanks!


Hi there,

First, don't worry at all going to Japan without speaking the language. Almost all stations are equipped with English signs and names and people will go miles out of their way to help you, even if they don't speak English.

Going to your questions.

1.) Yes, a 7 day JR Pass would offer the best value. A normal return ticket Tokyo - Kyoto on the Shinkansen (bullet train) is almost the price of a 7 day JR Pass. Now you get 7 days of unlimited travel for the same price. You can for instance also use the JR Pass for local travel on the JR network in Tokyo and to Narita airport.

2.) Most people are completely find in Ordinary (2nd) Class, it's more than first class compared to trains elsewhere in the world.

3.) Traveling from Narita Airport to Shinjuku is best done using the Narita Express, this is a direct limited express train and will get you in comfort there. It is also covered by the JR Pass.

4.) It is not required, however I would recommend doing so as it secures seating and will make travel more relaxed.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Daniel, thank you so much for your kind response! I have some follow up questions:

  1. The JR network includes the trains throughout Tokyo, correct? So the train we would ride from Shinjuku station to the Tokyo station for the train to Kyoto, etc.?

  2. We would trade our vouchers for the Rail Passes at a booth at Narita?

  3. For the 7 day pass, is it calculated by day or hour? We arrive 16.00 on Saturday and depart 17.00 the following Saturday, would we be able to use the Pass both Saturdays as long as it is before the time of the first use the previous Saturday?

  4. Seats to and from Kyoto can be reserved for anyone with the regular Pass, not just First Class riders?

Again, many thanks for your help!


Hi again!

1.) Yes the JR Pass does indeed cover travel in Tokyo. To travel from Tokyo - Shinjuku (or visa versa), simply take the Yamanote loop line.

2.) You could do either at Narita Airport or later at any of the major stations in Tokyo.

3.) The pass is counted by the day and the first day is counted as a full day, no matter what time you start using it. Please keep this in mind when planning!

4.) Yes, seat reservations are completely free of charge with any JR Pass. See our Guide on how to make seat reservations for more information.

Let me know if I can help with anything else!

Expert button 2

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