questions & answers: itinerary check

osaka - tokyo - kyoto - tokyo - narita airport

Osaka - Tokyo - Kyoto - Tokyo - Narita Airport


I'll be travelling to Japan on the 20th of july, and the plane will land in Osaka international.
The 25th of july I have to be in Tokyo.
The 4th of august I have to be in Kyoto for 2 days, and then I return to Tokyo.
Finally, the 17th of august my plane departs at Narita airport.

My questions are:

1) What kind of railpass do you advise? (considering my travel dates are more than 21 days apart)

2) Is there one railpass that includes all these places on my itinerary?
(so, can I get to all these places with one type of railpass)

3) Is there a discount for students or people younger than 25?

4) Can I get a subway pass for the whole period? I'll need to use the subway in Osaka and Tokyo, do I have to buy different subwaypasses for each location?

Thanks in advance!

Yours sincerely,



Hi Tristan!

For the travel you list the only rail pass that covers the JR zones you will travel through (JR-East, JR-Central & JR-West) is the country wide Japan Rail Pass (or JR Pass). This rail pass covers all Japan, and is only marginally more expensive than single zone passes.

A 14 day rail pass will cover you from the 25th July to 7th Aug, which is the period which covers the majority of your long distance travel, however will cost ¥45,100. Your ticket cost will have to exceed this for a 14 day pass to be worthwhile, so lets take a look at your actual JR costs:

  1. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥13750, (194mins, 556km)
  2. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13220, (164mins, 513km)
  3. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13220, (161mins, 513km)

TOTAL: ¥40190 for 3 legs

As you can see, based on your current itinerary you will not make savings with a 14 day pass over individual tickets. This means that unless you plan on making more JR trips, I recommend that you purchase individual bullet train tickets as you need. If you do more JR travel during this time, you only need another ¥4910 of JR travel for a 14 day rail pass worthwhile and for any further JR travel to be free, but this will very much depend on your itinerary.

I'm afraid that as the JR Pass is a discount ticket there are no further discounts given to under 25s on the nationwide pass.

For the subway, there is no pass that will cover the entire period across both cities subways, however you can purchase prepaid cards that will make travel more convenient. You can also purchase commuter tickets for each city if you think you will be travelling a lot within the cities. Here are pages on the travel cards/passes for travel in Osaka and Tokyo that you should find useful.

Hope this helps - if you have any further questions, please ask!

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Thank you for fast reply, everything is clear to me now.

Looking forward to my stay in Japan!


One last question concerning the subway station in Tokyo.

I have to travel daily from Shin-koiwa station to the University campus nearby Yotsuya station.
I found out that there is a student railway pass, which I can use every day for the whole period (So I don't have to buy a new ticket every day). But I don't know how to calculate the price of the student railway pass for that trajectory?

Apart from the daily trajectory between those 2 stations, I'll be using other subway lines too.
Is there some sort of "session pass" with for example 20 sessions on it, and then each session could be used for a subway ride?

Yours sincerely,



Hi there!

Hmm - not sure about how the student railway pass is calculated do you have a link with more information? I can say that the trip from Shin-koiwa to Yotsuya will be JR and ¥210 each way if that helps you work out your budget?

Regarding the subway lines, in addition to the PASMO prepaid IC cards which are extremely convenient, you can purchase a book of coupons for travel on the subway. I recommend you opt for the PASMO or suica card as it is simpler and less fuss.

Hope this helps!

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