questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

18 days in japan

18 days in Japan

New in Japan. Please give us an advise. Am traveling with my family. I did purchase 14 days JR already. (3 adults, 2 kids 11,14, and 1 2 years old)

Will arrive at Narita Airport on Jun 11th and will leave Narita on Jun 28th.

Jun 11 will be in Tokyo for 2 nights (hotel booked)
Jun 13 will arrive in Kyoto for 4 nights - from there we have not done anything yet but thinking of (hotel booked):
Jun 17 travel from Kyoto to Osaka - did not book hotel yet
Jun 19 travel from Osaka to Hiroshima - No hotel yet
Jun 21 travel from Hiroshima to Nagoya - No hotel yet
Jun 24 travel from Nagoya to Tokyo until Jun 28th (in Tokyo will make a trip to Hakone for 1 nights)

Please help our itinery make more senses. Thank you

Hi there,

I think that your plan certainly makes for a good start, here are some tips to help you improve it.

1.) I noticed that you will be staying in both Kyoto and Osaka. Osaka can be reached from Kyoto in less than 30 minutes, so you could also book a hotel in Kyoto and make day trips to Osaka (saving you from carrying all the luggage around). If you don't have a complete plan yet, I would recommend visiting Fushimi Inari in Kyoto and Universal city in Osaka, they are both great to visit with children.

2.) Hiroshima is also a great visit, some of the best visits there include the peace museum and Miyajima that can be reached an no extra cost with the JR Pass.
There is also the Mazda museum, in-case you love cars.

3.) Lastly I see that you plan to visit Nagoya, do you have any plans here? Nagoya is a very business minded city and there is not that much for tourism, so you may become bored if you stay longer than a day. I would recommend taking the train from Nagoya to visit Takayama instead, which is a lovely mountain village. The train ride there crosses several mountain and is very beautiful.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thank you Daniel,

Do you think am I doing it right:

Arrive in Tokyo on June 11 but starting using JP on the 13th - Ending June 26th, but did not leave to US untill the 28th??? Will I save if I am doing this:

June 11 buy pass from NRT airport to Tokyo Station. What would you recommand for me I need a RT tickets from NRT-Tokyo Sta(June 11) - Tokyo Sta (June 28) - NRT plus June 12th and 13th Tokyo metro???

June 13 - Tokyo to Kyoto
June 14 - Tour in Kyoto
June 15 - Kyoto to Osaka ( one day for universal studio or Aquarium Kaiyukan) return back to Kyoto
June 16 - Kyoto to Nara
June 17 - Tour in Kyoto
June 18 - Lv Kyoto to Hiroshima
June 19 - Tour in Hiroshima ( Peach Memorial Mura and Miyajima)
June 20 - Lv Hiroshima around 8a to Takayama (as your advised) afternoon spend time there
June 21 - Take a side trip to Shirakawa-go
June 22 - Tour more in Takayama or take a side trip to Gero Onsen
June 23 - Lv Takayam early to Nagoya (to see Art Science Museum that my sons like) stay one night

Please give me advise on this one too: Since Tokyo to Hakone is only 30 mins ( should I stay in Tokyo or stay in Hakone???)

June 24 - Nagoya to Tokyo
June 25 - Tokyo to Hakone want my boys to enjoy Kowakien Yunessun water park (stay one night)
June 26 - Hakone back to Tokyo.
June 27 - Tour in Tokyo
June 28 - Fly back to California.

Again thank you for all your help

Hi Again!

Your plan is coming together very well. You would be sure to make some very good savings with all the travel you plan to do and I very much the sound of it all.

I would recommend buying a Suica + Narita Express package for your travel to Tokyo, it gives you a discounted ticket for the Narita Express and a prepaid travel card that you can use to travel around in Tokyo and most of Japan.

For Hakone, definitely stay there for the night! The area is very lovely to spend some time in and who would not want to wake up with a beautiful view of Fuji in the back garden? This way you can also maximize your time there.

Let me know if I can help with anything else,

Expert button 2

Hi again, thank you for your advise.

I checked on term and condition, for Suica + Narita Express, its said that N'EX ticket is valid for two weeks. We will be using Narita to Tokyo on June 11th and we will use Tokyo back to Narita on June 28th. Would they let us use the RT Suica + Narita Express??? we like the fare very much.

Also for my itinery can you help us calculate see how much we would save. Don't worry about the Suica + Narita Express.

Again thank you.


Hi Sak,

The Suica + Nex return trip is only valid for 14 days so I would suggest buying the one way version and a normal ticket on the way back.

Assuming the first day of use would be when you travel to Kyoto:
Tokyo -> Kyoto ¥ 13,220
Kyoto Osaka ¥ 1,080
Kyoto Nara ¥ 1,380
Kyoto -> Hiroshima ¥ 10,790
Hiroshima Miyajima 1,040
Hiroshima --> Takayama ¥ 16,810
Takayama -> Gero Onsen ¥ 2,190
Gero Onsen -> Takayama ¥ 2,190
Takayama - Nagoya ¥ 5,870
Nagoya - Tokyo ¥ 10,580
Tokyo - Odawara (access station for Hakone) ¥ 3,640
Odawara - Tokyo ¥ 3,640

This adds up to a total of ¥ 72,430 the 14 day JR Pass is ¥ 45,100 meaning that you would save around ¥ 27,330.
Not bad right?

Expert button 2

Hello again Daniel,
Very nice thank you. Could I buy JRP service at the NRT Airport???
I never been in side Japan before. Is it easy to do exchange money in Japan??? Should I change at the airport or every cities in Japan have the exchange places??? Do some big shop in Japan take US dollar???

Again thank you for all your help. I will stick with the itinery that you recommended.

Hi Again,

You can only buy the JR Pass outside of Japan but you can activate it at Narita Airport. Most major cities have places where you can exchange money but the best thing to do is just to take your debit or credit card with you and withdraw money at the local post office. This is very convenient as every city has many post offices.

Some big department stores may accept foreign currency too but exchange rates tend to favor the department store so I would not recommend using your USD there.

I hope you have a wonderful time in Japan!

Expert button 2

Thanks again Daniel, am sorry I did not mean JRPass, that I do know, thank you. What I want to know is the JRP calling service when you are there, if you have any problem you can call the service for JRP. I saw it in you website about $7 or $13 dollars.

Hi Sac,

Ah sorry, your question was a little unclear to me.
Some companies offer ''a support service'' however these are not officially part of JR.

A great and free alternative is the Japan Helpline. Which you can call 24 for any kind of help you may need in Japan.

Expert button 2

Thank you Daniel.

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