questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

15 days in japan, 7 or 14 day jr pass?

15 days in Japan, 7 or 14 day JR pass?


My husband and I will be touring Japan during this Christmas and new year time. We will spend 15 days covering Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. We are not sure whether to get a 7 days or 14 days pass. Here is our itinerary:

22 Dec, Arrive Narita and travel to Tokyo CBD
23-27 Dec, 5 days in Tokyo, will probably go to Disney land
28 Dec, Nikko
29 Dec, Hakone
30 Dec - 1 Jan, 3 days in Kyoto
2 - 3 Jan, 2 days in Osaka
4 Jan, back to Tokyo
5 Jan, Leave from Narita

We thought about the following options:
1. Buy a 7 days JR pass and use from 30 Dec - 5 Jan.
2. Buy a 14 days JR pass and use from 23 Dec - 5 Jan. However we are not sure whether it’s worth the pass to cover the Tokyo city travel. JR one day ticket in Tokyo (multiplied by 5) is much cheaper and we can buy Hakone one day pass and Nikko excursion ticket to cover the rest.

Could you please recommend a better option for us or suggest any amendment to our plan? Thanks a lot!


Hi there!

A 14 day pass is ¥16800 more than a 7 day pass so you'll need to spend at least that on JR tickets for it to be worthwhile upgrading to a 14 day from 7. Lets get a general handle on the JR ticket prices for both of the options you list:

7 day pass costing

  1. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,420 (164mins, 513km)
  2. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  3. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥13,950 (194mins, 556km)
  4. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3,140 (58mins, 79km)

JR ticket cost: ¥31,050 for 4 legs

As you can see you'll make a small saving with a 7 day pass here, but will retain travel flexiblity. You can also save money by using the JR Pass around Tokyo. For Tokyo JR travel it depends on your itinerary but with some planning you can save around ¥500-¥1000 per day.

14 day pass costing

  1. Tokyo > Maihama: ¥210 (15mins, 12km)
  2. Maihama > Tokyo: ¥210 (16mins, 12km)
  3. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5,630 (121mins, 150km)
  4. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5,630 (117mins, 150km)
  5. Tokyo > Odawara: ¥3,840 (35mins, 83km)
  6. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1,450 (36mins, 83km)
  7. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,420 (164mins, 513km)
  8. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  9. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥13,950 (194mins, 556km)
  10. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3,140 (58mins, 79km)

JR ticket cost: ¥48,020 for 10 legs

Note that I've only included the trip to Maihama (disneyland) here for your Tokyo travel. As I mention above you can usually add and extra ¥500-¥1000 per day savings with the use of the JR Pass in the city. Also, for Hakone the JR Pass will get you as far as Odawara. From Odawara you'll need to use the non-JR Odakyu lines up to Hakone itself.


As you can see, based on the two options you'll actually save more money by choosing a 14 day pass, especially if you take into account further travel within Tokyo. The difference between the Nikko Excursion Ticket and JR tickets is around ¥3500, so we can reduce your 14 day savings by this. I'm not aware of a Hakone 1 day pass (Odakyu do a 2 day or 3 day pass). If you let me know more about this I'll be able to cost it in for you.

Overall, I think you'll make some savings with both the 7 or 14 day pass (flexible travel around Tokyo), but they are unlikely to be large unless you do further trips, such as a return to Hiroshima or Kinosaki onsen while you are in Osaka. In the end, the main benefits of both 7 or 14 day pass in your case will be the travel flexibility to do these sorts of extra trips I think as any further travel you do over your listed itinerary will effectively be free.

As you'll be in Japan for 15 days, I recommend you purchase the Narita Express + SUICA card deal on arrival at Narita. This will get you into Tokyo on the first day and give you a free ¥1500 value for travel on JR and the metro. If you combine this with a 14 day JR Pass coverage you'll be able to use the Metro where needed (around 8 rides for ¥1500) and use the JR Pass for your travel on Tokyo JR lines for the majority of your travel.

Hope this helps!

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Hi Mari,

Thank you very much for such a detailed explanation! It helps a lot!

Regarding the Hakone pass, sorry for my mistake. Actually I'm referring to the 2 day pass (5000 for 2 day from Shinjuku).

Originally we only plan to visit Hakone as a day trip, but since we plan to go to Kyoto after Hakone, does it make more sense to stay overnight in Hakone then take the train to Kyoto directly than going back to Tokyo for sleep only then go to Kyoto next morning?

For the JR pass choice, I think I need to spend more time studying your recommendation before I can make the decision.

Thank you once again.


Hi Sophie!

Not a problem. Yes, if you're staying overnight in Hakone then it makes much more sense to continue down to Kyoto from Odawara once you have come down from the Hakone area.

As I mentioned before, I think your decision of JRPass vs tickets really rests on the amount of travel flexibility you'd like in your trip rather than outright cost. If you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask!

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