questions & answers: itinerary check

should i buy a jr pass?

Should I buy a JR pass?

I'm still a little confused with regards to whether I should purchase a JR pass and I hope someone can help. My friend and I will be travelling to Japan at the end of September and this is our itinerary. I am not sure
1) whether to purchase a JR pass
2) if yes, when should I activate and which areas should I use it for to maximise value?

Day 1
Arriving Tokyo Narita airport and heading to Shinjuku (I'm thinking of purchasing the N'Ex Round trip ticket)
Travel around Shinjuku/Harajuku and Shibuya
Day 2
Travelling from Shinjuku to Disneyland
Day 3
Travelling from Shinjuku to Disneysea
Day 4
Move accomodation to Chuo
Check out Chuo, Asakusa
Day 5
Tsukiji market
Edo wonderland
Day 6
Edo Tokyo museum
Imperial palace and east gardens
Day 7
Leave for Kyoto
Nijo castle
Fushimi-inari temple
Day 8
Southern and northern Higashiyama
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Mt Koya
Day 13
Day 14
Osaka - Himeiji
Day 15
Osaka - Tokyo
Day 16
Leave Tokyo


Hello there,

I checked if a JR Pass could be matched to your itinerary and must say that it is to better to buy normal tickets as you travel for this itinerary. A 7 day JR Pass could be very useful if you used it for the return Tokyo - Osaka, however since you have more time than that to spend in the Kansai region, it would expire before you could get the best use out of it.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel

Thanks very much for the response. Truly appreciate your advice. Quick question though, would it be useful for me to buy the region passes and the metro passes in Tokyo?


For many of the regional passes and virtually all of the metro passes, they can only be bought once in Japan. For the Edo Wonderland if you are referring to the one in Nikko, then a Tobu Nikko Free Pass can help. I do hope though that you will see the rest of Nikko as well. For the Tsukiji Fish Market, you will need to be there between 4 and 4:30 AM if you want any hope of being on either of their daily tours. Unless you are staying close by, you'll need to take a taxi to get there, since trains/buses aren't running that early.

For Day 7, seeing the Fushimi Inari Shrine it could take you a couple of hours or even most of a day if you want to run over every trail there. It never closes though and is free, so you can take your time.
For your Day 8, you will find it pretty hard to do the whole of Higashiyama in one day - start very early in the morning. If you want, you can also see the Higashi and Nishi Honganji Temples just a bit north of Kyoto Stn. They open around 5:30 AM and are free - both have amazing old buildings to see and are still active temples. Sanjusangendo opens at 8 AM and also is very much worth your time.
For Day 10, most of the best sights are at Nara Park, about 20 minutes on foot from JR Nara Station. The Todaiji Great Buddha is the best of all and will truly blow you away. Other good sights there include Kasuga Shrine, Kotofukuji Temple, Yoshikien and the Isuien Garden.
For Day 12, look into a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket and for Himeji you might want to get a JR Kansai Area Pass.
For Days 11/13 you have Osaka listed twice. You might take a day and go see the sights of Kobe.

Best of luck.


Thank you very very much Toraneko for your detailed response. I'm now re-thinking my Edo Wonderland trip and instead to do the other sights in Nikko. :) I've also taken into consideration all the other sights you've mentioned.


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