Back to Itinerary check

7 or 14 day pass?

about 5 years ago
1 response

Hi there,

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.
After Kyoto, we will head up to Nozawa Onsen on the 24th and spend a few days there, heading back to Tokyo on the 28th of December. We are then in Tokyo until the 5th of January, when we fly home from Narita once again.

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!!


12267 posts
about 5 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi Alfred,

Looks like a very nice trip you are planning. I have never been to Nozawa Onsen myself but it looks really nice.
As to your question, this one was somewhat hard to figure out but here we go:

Your trip would cost about the following if you just bought the tickets on the go:
Narita --> Tokyo ¥ 2,940 (With the Narita Express)
Tokyo --> Osaka ¥ 13,550

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.
Besides this you can use the pass for local travel in Osaka and your days in Tokyo to save even more!
If you took the 7 Day pass you would have to shorten your trip somewhat in order to fit it all in.

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.
Since you are travelling from Kyoto to Nozawa Onsen there are 3 main train routes you can take.
(1) Kyoto-Kanazawa-Nozawa Onsen. (2) Kyoto-Nagoya-Nagano-Nozawa Onsen. (3) Kyoto-Tokyo-Nagono-Nozawa Onsen.

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 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. They only cost 710 Yen and if you travel around a lot in Tokyo you can save at least double that!
You can buy these at any ticket machine.

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.
Also keep in mind that during the New Year period Tokyo for a great part shuts-down. So make sure to familiarise yourself with local conditions during New Year. Here's some good information on the topic.

Enjoy your trip in Japan, I must say that I am somewhat jealous of all the things you will do!

Kind regards,

Looking for more information? Search the forum

Instant Quote

Starting from $259.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Can’t find the answer?

Learn from over 10969 questions about the Japan Rail Pass, or ask our Japan Rail travel experts

Ask Question

Get pocket Wifi in Japan

Get pocket Wifi in Japan

Visit us on Facebook

Get inspired for your visit to Japan by following us on Instagram and don't forget your own shots once you are there.

Order your JRPass Now!

We have special prices for children and great first class options. See all tickets.
Or see our range of Regional Passes