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JR Pass for 14 days or 21 days?

almost 6 years ago
3 responses

Hi, im travelling to Japan and i wonder if i need the 14 days JR Pass or the 21.

This is my itinerary (for the moment):

Sabado 25 de Agosto al 22 de Octubre

TOKYO 4 days
FUJI 2 days
KYOTO 5 days
OSAKA 1 day
NARA 1 day
HIMEJI 1 day

It's my itinerary too much? Thank you.

1951 posts
almost 6 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there!

This looks like the trip of a lifetime :)

As you have 4 weeks for this trip, I think you'll have lots of time (of course it kinda depends on how leisurely you want your trip to be)

For a 14 rail pass to be worth it you'll need to spend over ¥45,100 on rail tickets. For a 21 day rail pass, you'll need to spend ¥57,700. As you'll be doing this trip within 4 weeks, it's not really worth looking at 2 x 7 day passes as this will come to ¥56,600 - nearly the same price as a 21 day pass.

Looking at your itinerary I can see that for the first 4-5 days you may be better off purchasing tickets (the narita express+suica combo deal to get into Tokyo+metro and then separate JR tickets to Kamakura and Yokohama. These should all be short trip so won't break the bank.

You should then aim to start your rail pass on your first trip to Fuji (assuming you are going to Kawaguchiko via Otsuki). This is how your tickets will breakdown from there on:

  1. Tokyo > Otsuki: ¥2660, (86mins, 87km)
  2. Otsuki > Tokyo: ¥1450, (100mins, 87km)
  3. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5230, (121mins, 150km)
  4. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5230, (117mins, 150km)
  5. Tokyo > Nagano: ¥7770, (105mins, 222km)
  6. Nagano > Matsumoto: ¥2570, (51mins, 62km)
  7. Matsumoto > Kanazawa: ¥12740, (287mins, 444km)
  8. Kanazawa > Kyoto: ¥6510, (126mins, 224km)
  9. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  10. Osaka > Nara: ¥780, (62mins, 48km)
  11. Nara > Himeji: ¥2210, (118mins, 136km)
  12. Himeji > Osaka: ¥1450, (61mins, 87km)
  13. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥9750, (103mins, 345km)
  14. Hiroshima > Nagasaki: ¥9750, (103mins, 345km)
  15. Nagasaki > Kagoshima: ¥9750, (103mins, 345km)
  16. Kagoshima > Tokyo: ¥29250, (470mins, 1467km)

TOTAL: ¥107640 for 16 legs

From the ticket breakdown, I think the 21 day rail pass at ¥57,700 would be great value for money, and will also mean you don't have to rush around.

Although the longer rail passes can seem expensive, the per day cost does decrease with time:

  • 7 day rail pass ¥28,300 =¥4043/day
  • 14 day rail pass ¥45,100 = ¥3221/day
  • 21 day rail pass ¥57,700 = ¥2748/day

This means that a 21 day rail pass can often be a very economical form of transport, especially on longer trips like this.

As I mention above there are some parts of this trip that are not covered by JR:

  1. Fuji. From Otsuki, you will need to use the Fujikyu rail way to Kawaguhiko at ¥1100 each way
  2. Shirakawago. There is no JR service from Kanazawa here. You should use the Nohi bus service, which operates a regular daily service between Kanazawa and Shirakawago at ¥3200 round trip
  3. Mount Koya. You will need to travel from Osaka on the non-JR Nankai Dentesu line. You can find more about Mt Koya in our blog post.
  4. Yakushima. You should travel by hydrofoil from Kagoshima port. The fastest way is via the Toppy jetfoil service (¥14000 round trip). You can find more information on the services to Yakushima here.

Depending on how your budget feels, I think you could consider substituting the Yakushima leg for a trip to an onsen such as Kinosaki onsen near Osaka, or Kurokawa onsen near Nagasaki.

Hoep this helps - I wish I was going with you!

3 posts
almost 6 years ago

Ja, well, a partner of travel like you with the experience that you have it can be really useful =)
I have a stupid question. All the lines that have the JR letters in their name are the ones where JR Rail Pass can be used? Thank you for your answers, you are great =)

1951 posts
almost 6 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

All the lines that have the JR letters in their name are the ones where JR Rail Pass can be used?

Yes - this is correct.

Hope this helps!

3 posts
almost 6 years ago

Thank you very much for ALL the help.

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