7 or 14 day pass?
Myself and two friends will be travelling in Japan for a few weeks in December/January and are trying to work out whether to choose a 7 or 14 day rail pass, we were wondering if you could help us out?
Our itinerary is as follows:
We fly into Narita on the 16th of December and spend the night in Tokyo. We would then head down to Osaka for 2 nights, from there we go to Hiroshima on the 19th, then back to Kyoto on the 21st.
Our dates in Osaka, Hiroshima and Kyoto are flexible, by about a day, but we must end up in Nozawa on the 24th.
Would you recommend we choose a 7 or 14 day pass for our trip, and if possible why?
Also, if we don't end up having the rail pass for our longer stay in Tokyo, is there a multi day ticket or a cheaper alternative. I have seen the Narita Express and SUICA card which would probably work for our first day in Tokyo initially, but not for the rest.
Thanks for any help and suggestions you can provide!!
Looks like a very nice trip you are planning. I have never been to Nozawa Onsen myself but it looks really nice.
Your trip would cost about the following if you just bought the tickets on the go:
Osaka -->Hiroshima ¥ 9,750
Hiroshima --> Kyoto ¥ 10,590
Kyoto --> Nazawa Onsen ¥ 11,160
Nozawa Onsen --> Tokyo ¥ 8,900
For a total cost of 56890 Yen. A 1-week pass costs 28,300 Saving you 28590 Yen and a 2-Week pass costs 45,100 Yen saving you 11790 Yen.
So in your case I would really recommend the 2-week pass as it covers all of your big travelling. You could activate it on day 1 on Narita and tour Japan in comfort and without any hassle.
Here's some other tips you might find useful during your travel.
I would recommend that you take the 2nd route Kyoto-Nagoya-Nagano-Nozawa Onsen. This because the train ride between Nagoya and Nagano is very beautiful and besides that, this is slightly faster than the other two options.
If you plan your trip to Nozawa Onsen using Hyperdia.com make sure you use the station name TogariNozawaOnsen (and not just Nozawa as this will get you to some other place about 4 hours away from where you want to go).
Here's some more general information on how to travel to and around Nozawa Onsen:
As for your last days in Tokyo consider buying a 1 day unlimited metro pass.
Since you are in Tokyo during New Year's Eve, make sure that you listen to the Night Watch Bells that ring in all temples, welcoming the new year.
Enjoy your trip in Japan, I must say that I am somewhat jealous of all the things you will do!
Order your Japan Rail Pass Online
Starting from $259.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel