questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

10 days tokyo - kyoto - osaka - possible to use 7 day? plus general jr questions

10 days Tokyo - Kyoto - Osaka - Possible to use 7 day? Plus general JR questions

Hello all - I am planning a 10 day trip to Japan this December and want to avoid buying a 14-day pass if possible. Can anyone advice my itinerary below? I haven;t booked any hotel yet so everything is still flexible:

Original Plan:
Day 1 - Arrive Narita >> Tokyo
Day 2- Travel within Tokyo
Day 3 - Travel within Tokyo
Day 4 - Travel within Tokyo
Day 5 - Tokyo > Kyoto
Day 6 - Travel within Kyoto ( e.g. Gion/
Day 7 - Travel within Kyoto
Day 8 - Kyoto > Osaka
Day 9 - Travel within Osaka
Day 10 - Travel within Osaka > Narita

1) Should I move around the itinerary so Kyoto/Osaka trips will be in the middle so covered by 7 days ( assuming activating the pass on day 1)?

2) Should I just not activate until Day 4 and then just use for the rest of the itinerary?

What option will save me more money?

I am a newbie to Japan so I am not quite familiar with what JR pass can be used and how much local travel will costs. For example, if I travel within tokyo from Chibuya to Shinjuku, how much is it single ticket? similarly from Gion to Higashiyama, etc.

Please help by providing some feedbacks!! I appreciate any comments as I am not sure where to start!! THANK YOU!


Just to add - there will be 2-3 side trips too - Nara, Uji plus one more.


Hi there!

Your plan makes for a good start and for easy planning with the JR Pass. I would recommend to start using from day 4 - 10. This way you can maximize your savings with the JR Pass. The part Tokyo - Kyoto and Osaka - Narita are especially pricey, so it's best to cover them with the JR Pass. You can than also use the JR Pass for your trip to Nara, Uji and Osaka, this way you get the most out of your pass.

For your arrival at Narita Airport and first days in Tokyo, I would recommend buying a Suica and Narita Express package which gives you a discounted ticket on the Narita Expess to Tokyo and a prepaid travel card (Suica) which you can use to travel around Tokyo for the first couple of days.

When you travel locally in Tokyo (such as Shibuya - Shinjuku) or Kyoto a normal ticket will costs somewhere between 180-250yen for one way.

Have a great trip!

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HI Daniel -San - Thank you! This is suuuuper helpful!

People say if I ride two ways of shinkensen ( for example from tokyo to kyoto; then osaka to narita), the price for 7 day pass will be worth it. Is this true?

Another question about the suica and Narita package - I assume you mean one way is enough because the JR pass will cover my ride from Osaka to NArita already?



Hi Belle!

Yes the 7day JR Pass is roughly the same price as a return ticket Tokyo - Osaka or Kyoto. Narita Airport is reached via Tokyo so that part will already allow you to make savings with the JR Pass.

Your way back to Narita Airport is covered by the JR Pass so you only have to buy the Suica and Narita package for one way :)


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