questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

20 days in japan

20 days in Japan

My fiance and I are traveling to Japan in June and are wondering if we should get a 7 or 14 days JR pass. Our rough itinerary as of now is a 2-3 days in Tokyo with the remainder going to Kyoto, Osaka, and possibly Hiroshima. If we could use the pass to go to places like Nikko, Nara, or Matsuyama, that would help as well.


Hi there,

It very much depends on how long you're planning to stay in each spot.

A 7 day rail pass costs ¥28,300, and a 14 day rail pass comes in at ¥45,100. You'll have to spend over this to make a rail pass worthwhile.

Looking at your base costs:

  1. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13220, (164mins, 513km)
  2. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  3. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥9950, (104mins, 345km)
  4. Hiroshima > Tokyo: ¥18050, (292mins, 894km)

TOTAL: ¥41760 for 4 legs

It certainly makes sense to buy a 7 day pass. If you intend to also do trips to Nikko and so on, your costs will be more and it will become worthwhile to buy a 14 day pass. (for example, a return to Nikko from Tokyo is ¥10,000, making a 14 day pass very good value).

You should also checkout this great 21 day itinerary for more inspiration while you are planning your trip.

You can look up train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for Japan Rail Pass holders through our video blog.

Hope this helps!

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