questions & answers: itinerary check

my main concern: 7 or 14 days?

My main concern: 7 or 14 days?

Good Afternoon everyone!

I will be travelling to Japan the first two weeks of October, and I guess that it's time to get the Japan Rail Pass.

My main concern is if I need to buy it for 7 or 14 days, and even there is a lot of information through the web I have a lot of questions!

My itinerary is as follows:

Tokyo (excursion to Kamakura or Fuji, not decided yet)
From Tokyo to Tsumago (Nakatsugawa station and then bus to Magome)
From Tsumago to Kyoto (go to Nakatsugawa station, then Nagoya, and then Kyoto)
Kyoto - Nara
Kyoto - Nara
From Kyoto to Osaka
From Osaka to Hiroshima - Miyajima
Back to Tokyo from Hiroshima
Back home

My idea is to buy it for 14 days (there are JR lines in Tokyo that go to the main places, and the Narita Express is included), but I still have doubts (the difference for two persons between 7 or 14 days pass is over 300Eur).

Then, I guess that the Japan Rail includes all JR lines (lines for JR East, JR Central or JR Shikoku as well, as an example), and that there is no need to pay more. (I know that the shinkansen Nozomi is not included).

Your help would be very much appreciated! :)

Many thanks,



Hi Davinia,

Lets first take a look at your costs to get a handle on your base JR tickets:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥3140, (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Otsuki: ¥2860, (85mins, 87km)
  3. Otsuki > Nakatsugawa: ¥7440, (206mins, 229km)
  4. Nakatsugawa > Kyoto: ¥6610, (125mins, 227km)
  5. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  6. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  7. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  8. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  9. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  10. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥10150, (104mins, 345km)
  11. Hiroshima > Miyajimaguchi: ¥400, (26mins, 21km)
  12. Miyajimaguchi > Tokyo: ¥17850, (331mins, 916km)
  13. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3140, (58mins, 79km)

JR ticket cost: ¥54890 for 13 legs

  • 14 day rail pass (¥45,100) saving: ¥9790

Long answer ;)

The difference between a 7 and 14 day pass is ¥16,800. You'll need to spend more than this in JR tickets in addition to a 7 day pass of ¥28,300 for a 14 day pass to be economically cheaper option.

Assuming you will do this itinerary 100%, then I think the main decision is when you will start your expensive travel. It's clear that the last part of your trip from Miyajima to Tokyo is more than the ¥16,800 so you'll need to use the rail pass for the last part of your trip I think.

If you can start your 7 day period when you leave Tsumago, then the cost of 7 day + tickets is basically the same as a 14 day rail pass. The question is:

  1. will the remainder of your travel fit in 7 days?
  2. There probably won't be much difference between a 7 day + tickets vs 14 days rail pass (especially if you add in JR travel around Tokyo). How flexible do you need to be?

Short answer

The simple answer is that a 14 day pass will save you money. a 7 day + tickets may save you a little more, but not a huge amount - how valuable is flexibility during the first part of your stay?

Sorry there's no easy solution!

Expert button 2

Hi Mari!

Thanks a lot for your quick answer :)

My flexible days will be in Tokyo. After that I have all the hotels booked, so there is not a high flexibility.

I have the hotel booked in Tokyo as well, but I have flexibility to do some excursions for example.


I see. On balance then I think I recommend the 14 day pass as the overall prices will not be much difference. You'll be able to use it around Tokyo and also to do excursions if you feel like it.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hi Mari,

Many thanks, you have been really helpful :)

Maybe it's not the best option, but in case that I need to change my schedule due to any reason I'll be free to move around Japan.

I will wait just a few days more and I'll order two JR for 14 days.


Not a problem - don't hesitate to ask again fi you have any further questions.

Expert button 2

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