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Please advise - when to activate JR Pass - June 2015

about 3 years ago
11 responses

Hello Daniel,

Thank you for your previous assistance on where to activate the JR Pass in Yokohama (post-cruise). We are, however, changing our itinerary (cancel cruise) and would like to know when it would be best to:

1) exchange voucher for JR Pass
2) make reservations for train travel
3) activate the 7 day JR Pass

Day 1 ITM to Westin Miyako Kyoto - 5 night stay (travel by airport bus)
Day 2 Kyoto sights with Tours by Local Guide
Day 3 Arashiyama and Nara
Day 4 and 5 Other local sights in Kyoto
Day 6 Depart Kyoto for Sheraton Hiroshima for a 3 night stay (with a half day visit at Himeji Castle)
Day 7 Hiroshima sights
Day 8 Miyajima Island
Day 9 Depart Hiroshima for Takayama - 2 night stay
Day 10 Takayama / Shirakawago
Day 11 Depart Takayama for Westin Tokyo - 5 night stay
Day 12 Mt. Fuji day trip
Day 13 - 15 Tokyo sights
Day 16 Depart Tokyo for Narita Airport (train or airport bus??)

Thank you for your assistance.

12228 posts
about 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

I remember your previous post.

1.) The JR Pass can be exchanged either at Osaka or Shin-Osaka. (Click the links for a full how to guide).

2.) We also got you covered on how to make seat reservations.

3.) The most expansive part of your itinerary will be Kyoto - Hiroshima - Takayama - Tokyo and you'll make great savings using the 7 day JR Pass for this part. I'd advise activating it on day 6, this will cover your travel until the 11th, the day when you will be arriving in Tokyo.

For travel back to Narita Airport there are different options available. Either take the Narita Express, which is fast, comfortable and direct (cost around 3,000yen) or take local trains, which cost around 1,200yen but take a lot longer and may require a transfer or two.

Hope this helps,

11 posts
about 3 years ago

Hello Daniel,

Your information have been very helpful. I was wondering though, instead of exchanging the voucher in Osaka, is there a place to do that inside Kyoto Station as we will be passing through there during our 5 day stay in Kyoto? If yes, is there also a ticket reservation office (Midori-no madoguchi) at Kyoto Station? I'm hoping we can make all our seat reservations (7 days) a couple of days before leaving Kyoto for Hiroshima.

I've also looked ahead to see what types of trains we will be traveling on. Just to be sure, can you please confirm that our JR Pass will work for the following tentative itinerary? Please offer suggestions if you see a better route, less transfers and less travel time, especially from Hiroshima to Takayama and Takayama to Tokyo. Thanks!

1) June 28th

  9:36am Depart Kyoto Station  - Shinkansen Kodama 697
 Transfer @ Shin-Osaka  - Shinkansen Sakura 551
 11:39 Arrive Hiroshima Station

2) June 29th

 9:04am Depart Hiroshima Station - JR Sanyo Line  (can JR Pass be used for this leg)
 9:37am Arrive Miyajimaguchi Station
 Take JR Ferry to Miyajima Island

3) July 1st

 8:05am Depart Hiroshima Station - Shinkansen Sakura 540
 Transfer @ Okayama Station - Shinkansen Hikari 464
 Transfer @ Nagoya Station - LTD. EXP (Wide View) HIDA 9
 14:08pm Arrive Takayama Station

4) July 3rd

 8:00am Depart Takayama Station - LTD. EXP (Wide View) HIDA 4
 Transfer @ Nagoya Station - Shinkansen Hikari 516
 Transfer @ Shinagawa - JR Yamanote Line (Outer Loop)
 13:26pm Arrive Ebisu (Tokyo) Station
12228 posts
about 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

I checked the routes for you and all look good and are covered by the JR Pass. Including travel to Hiroshima and Miyajima. Travel to Takayama via Nagoya is also the fastest possible.

As for activating the JR Pass at Kyoto station, this is certainly possible as well. We also have a blog post about this.

Enjoy reading that you've put in a good amount of research!

Let me know if I can help with anything.

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