Back to Itinerary check

Need help - don't know which JR Pass to purchase

over 2 years ago
3 responses

I will be traveling from NYC to Japan for just about 2 weeks (16 days) in June, and can use some recommendations regarding getting a JR Pass. I was thinking about getting a 7 day pass but not sure if I will actually even need a pass at all. Can you help me figure out the best pass - if I actually need one? Also, when should I activate the pass? Bellow I've outlined our current itinerary for you to review.

Thanks in advance!


DAY 1 | (Saturday): Arrive Tokyo (Arrive 4pm)
- Explore Tokyo - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 2 | (Sunday): Explore Tokyo
- Free day to explore Tokyo - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 3 | (Monday): Ginza
- Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 4 | (Tuesday): Leave Tokyo to Mt Koya
- Leave Tokyo go to Mt Koya - Stay night in Mt Koya at a Temple

DAY 5 | (Wednesday): Leave Mt Koya, go to Nara, then onward to Kyoto - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 6 | (Thursday): Kyoto explore the following:
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple - Fushimi Inari - Sanjusangendo temple or Shugaku-in Villa - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 7 | (Friday): Kyoto day trip to Arashiyama and monkey park
- Tenryu-ji Temple - Bamboo Forest - Okochi-Sanso Villa - Kinkaku-ji Temple - Daitoku-ji Temple - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 8 | (Saturday): Free Day in Kyoto - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 9 | (Sunday): Free Day in Kyoto - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 10 | (Monday): Leave Kyoto to Himeji Castle then onward to Osaka
½ day at Himeji Castle and then onward to Osaka. Stay night in Osaka. - Stay night in Osaka, leave in morning to Osaka airport, fly to Yakushima

DAY 11 | (Tuesday): Osaka Itami (Dpt 10:20am) to Yakushima (Arv 11:50am)
- Spend day in Yakushima - Stay night in Yakushima

DAY 12 | (Wednesday): Yakushima - Stay night in Yahkushima

DAY 13 | (Thursday): Yakushima - Stay night in Yahkushima

DAY 14 | (Friday): Yakushima (Depart 1:00pm) to Tokyo Haneda (Arrive 4:15pm)
- Explore Tokyo east districts or Explore Tokyo at Night Roppongi Crossing (Evening) or Shinjuku for neon lights -Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 15 | (Saturday): Explore Asukusa Area of Tokyo - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 16 | (Sunday): Last Day in Tokyo - Leave Tokyo (Depart 5pm)
- Ceramics shops - Takumi Craft Shop

12232 posts
over 2 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

That's a very nice and detailed itinerary. In terms of a JR Pass, by flying to Yakushima and later to Tokyo, most of your travel distance is covered by air and a JR Pass would thus not help you make savings.

The Itinerary looks very good and I don't really have much to add to it. However you could optimize a little. Going from Tokyo - Koya to Kyoto to Osaka means backtracking a little. Better route would be Tokyo - Kyoto - Koya and then flyout of Osaka. All these places are however within Kansai, so it's not a big problem.

Hope this helps,

1318 posts
over 2 years ago

A JR Pass would not pay off for your itinerary, unfortunately. There are some regional passes that you can take advantage of though. For your first day, look at a Keisei/Metro package. As for getting to Koyasan, you can get part way there on JR, but a local pass would help. Look into getting a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket and then leaving from Namba or Shin-Imamiya Station. For getting around Kansai and Himeji, you can get a JR Kansai Area Pass or if you want to use the bullet train and get there faster, there is the JR Kansai Wide Area Pass.

Be aware though that June is in the rainy season, and you may have many days with a lot of rain - Yakushima also has a lot of rain. Which also means it will be very humid and muggy. Don't forget the sunblock and deodorant, which are both very pricey in Japan. But altogether you have a great itinerary and you will see a lot of different aspects of Japan.

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 10941 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