questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

7-day pass? 10 days in tokyo, 2 days in kyoto, 2 days in takayama

7-day pass? 10 days in Tokyo, 2 days in Kyoto, 2 days in Takayama

My husband and I will arrive in Tokyo (Narita Airport) on Sunday, 7 October 2012 around 3 am. We will then stay in Tokyo until Monday, 15 October. During that time in Tokyo my husband will be working so he will not be traveling. I plan to sightsee around Tokyo but also take a few day trips to Nikko, Mt. Fuji and Kamakura and possibly one or two other destinations.

On Monday, 15 October both my husband and I will travel to Kyoto. We will then travel from Kyoto to Takayama on Wednesday, 17 October. Finally on Friday, 19 October we will travel from Takayama back to Tokyo.

My question is whether both my husband and I should get 7-day JR passes, or whether he should get a 7-day pass and I should get a 14-day pass (so that I have more flexibility for my day trips while based in Tokyo). We understand we should wait to validate the pass until we are ready to begin using it.

Many thanks for any advice you can provide.


Hi there,

Lets take a look at the costs of the joint travel you plan on doing first, and then look at the extra travel you could do:

Joint travel over the 7 day period

  1. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,420 (164mins, 513km)
  2. Kyoto > Takayama: ¥9,380 (193mins, 314km)
  3. Takayama > Tokyo: ¥14,000 (273mins, 532km)
  4. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3,140 (58mins, 79km)

JR ticket cost: ¥39,940 for 4 legs

Certainly for the joint travel you plan on doing a 7 day pass will be most economical. If you think you'll also be in Tokyo during the validity period you can use the JR Pass on all JR lines in the city.

Your travel over the 14 day period

I'll assume that the 14 days pass would cover your entire trip - you may have to remove one of the trips from/to the airport if this is not the case. I have also assumed you'll be visiting Kawaguchiko for Mt Fuji (the JR Pass will take you as far as Otsuki - from Otsuki you will then need to use the non-JR Fujikyu line up to Kawaguchiko for around ¥1110 each way).

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥3,140 (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5,630 (121mins, 150km)
  3. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5,630 (117mins, 150km)
  4. Tokyo > Otsuki: ¥2,860 (85mins, 87km)
  5. Otsuki > Tokyo: ¥2,860 (76mins, 87km)
  6. Tokyo > Kamakura: ¥2,100 (47mins, 51km)
  7. Kamakura > Tokyo: ¥890 (54mins, 53km)
  8. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,420 (164mins, 513km)
  9. Kyoto > Takayama: ¥9,380 (193mins, 314km)
  10. Takayama > Tokyo: ¥14,000 (273mins, 532km)
  11. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3,140 (58mins, 79km)

JR ticket cost: ¥63,050 for 11 legs

As you can see, a 14 day pass will net you even further savings than the 7 day pass alone so I can certainly recommend this option for you. Please note that I have not included further possible JR travel around/outside Tokyo that you mentioned - any further travel will be free and net you further savings depending on how well you use JR lines.

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

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

That is INCREDIBLY helpful. Thank you so much, Mari!


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