questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

21 day jr pass or not ??

21 day JR Pass or not ??

Hi all,

After weeks of working on our itinerary, we've now finalised this and just need to purchase the JR rail pass, before doing so, we just want to ensure that buying the 21 days is worthwhile.

I've checked the Hyperdia website but it's a little difficult and confusing knowing which stations to select for some of the places we will visit as there are more than one with the same name.

If we purchase the 21 day pass, we would start using it on 15/10 for the Nikko day trip and finish at Narita Airport on 4/11 - is this correct??

Could you advise when the JR Pass is not able to be used please.

11/10 - Tokyo arrival
12/10 - Tokyo sightseeing
13/10 - Tokyo sightseeing
14/10 - Tokyo sightseeing
15/10 - Tokyo-Nikko-Tokyo - day trip *start the JR Pass ??
16/10 - Tokyo-Kamakura-Tokyo - day trip
17/10 - Tokyo-Nagano-Yudanaka
18/10 - Yudanaka-Nagano-Matsumoto
19/10 - Matsumoto--Shinano-Omanichi-sightseeing through the Alpine Route-Toyama
20/10 - Toyama-Takayama
21/10 - Takayama–ShirakawaGo (using Nohi bus)
22/10 - ShirakawaGo-Kanazawa-Osaka
23/10 - Osaka sightseeing
24/10 - Osaka-KoyaSan
25/10 - KoyaSan-viaOsaka-stop over in Himeji-Hiroshima
26/10 - Hiroshima-Miyajima-Hiroshima
27/10 - Hiroshima-Mukainada-Hiroshima - Mazda tour and sightseeing
28/10 - Hiroshima-stop over in Kurashiki-Kyoto
29/10 - Kyoto sightseeing
30/10 - Kyoto-Nara-Kyoto
31/10 - Kyoto sightseeing
01/11 - Kyoto-Otsuki to Lake Kawaguchiko
02/11 - Lake Kawaguchiko
03/11 - Lake Kawaguchiko to Otsuki-Tokyo
04/11 - Tokyo-Narita Airport

Appreciate your assistance with your help and confirmation that the 21 day pass is the best for this trip.

Thanks Carole :)


Hello Carole,

I think those weeks of work have been well worth it, because your itinerary looks great. It will be perfect with just a little tweaking here and there. What I would try to avoid is doing Kyoto - Otsuki - Kawaguchiko in one go - this because it takes a lot of time traveling to Kawaguchiko, coming from Kyoto. Instead why not visit Kawaguchiko near the start of your journey as a visit from Tokyo. You could head up to Nikko/Kamakura near the end of the itinerary, or just spend your last days exploring in Tokyo instead of at the start.

Going for a 21 day JR Pass is an easy choice, you'll be traveling a lot and the JR Pass will help you make very good savings. Most of the stations you will visit have the same name as the city. For Koya-san use gokurakubashi, all others are easy to find. Still let me know if you want find a station in Hyperdia.

Hope this helps,

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