Back to Itinerary check

Activation of the JR Pass once arriving Japan

over 3 years ago
4 responses

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your reply, my itinerary has changed, therefore would like to have some of your advise.

I will now be in Japan for 12 days 11 nights, and my Itinerary as below:

Arrive at Tokyo on 3 April - 4 nights
Takaragawa (Jomo-Kogen) - 1 night
Hakone - 1 night
Kyoto - 3 nights
Kinosaki Onsen - 1 night
Osaka (return to Singapore 14 April) - 1 night

Me and my partner would like to purchase the 7 days JR pass, however since we will stay in Tokyo for 4 nights, understand that we have to purchase the JR pass in advance before we arrive to Japan, and then activate it in Narita Airport.

However, we will not be using the JR pass in Tokyo as we will purchase the subway 3 days pass instead as it will be more convenience to travel around Tokyo using metro/subway. Therefore, our concern is that can we purchase the JR pass with the starting date will be 7th April instead, which mean is not the 1st day we landed Japan. Can we actually purchase the JR PASS with the starting date on 07 April? and can we activate it on our arrival date 03 April although we are not using the JR pass yet?

Also if you do not mind, can you advice the shortest route to travel to my destination after Tokyo please? So we can try to save some travel time on train and have more time on our destination. Also will the JR pass cover the whole area in Kyoto as we would like to fully utilize it, understand that there will be some private line or area will not be covered under JR Pass but i had no idea where is the area exactly, so I was wondering if the whole Kyoto and Nara are covered under the JR Pass

Awaiting for your reply.

Thank You!


12232 posts
over 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi Joan,

You can activate the JR Pass at any time, this does not have to be done upon arrival. Here is a list with all exchange stations.. The JR Pass can be used directly after activation, or you can select a date for later use (up to 30 days ahead).

As for routing, the best thing to do is just tell the JR Staff where you wish to go and they will look up the best route for you. The best route can sometimes be dependent on what time of day you travel, as well as other factors. It is also possible to look up route information yourself using For travel to and from Hakone, make Odawara your base station. This station is a direct stop on the Shinkansen and you may directly take the train from there to Kyoto. Odawara also offers great access to the rest of the Hakone area.

The JR Pass can also be used for travel between Nara and Kyoto. Within Kyoto you will most likely use the bus/metro which are not included in the JR Pass. Even so you can use the JR Pass for a limited extend around Kyoto and visit places such as Fushimi Inara, Arashiyama and Uji.

Hope this helps,

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 10946 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