questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

best use of a 7-day japan rail pass

Best use of a 7-day Japan Rail Pass


We are a family of 4 and we have already bought the 7-day JR Pass, which arrived safely two weeks ago to our home in Argentina (thank you!!).

We are traveling to Japan next Tuesday, arriving on Wednesday 1st of January. Our flight lands in Tokyo Narita and we will be departing from Osaka.

The itinerary we have organized is the following: 5 nights in Tokyo, 1 night in Fujikawaguchiko, 1 night in Takayama (Hida) and 4 nights in Kyoto. During the 5 nights in Tokyo we would like to make a one-day trip to Hakone and during our stay in Kyoto a one-day trip to Nara.

I have two questions I would like to ask you:

1) When do you think will be the best moment to activate the 7 day pass, given that we will be for a total of 11 days in Japan? Would it be advisable to activate it a couple of days before leaving Tokyo to use it for the trip to Hakone, then from Tokyo to Fujikawaguchiko, from there to Takayama and then make the trip to Nara from Kyoto before the 7 days expire? Or do you think it will be best to activate it when we leave for Fujikawaguchiko and pay out of pocket the trip to Hakone to have the pass active for the trip from Kyoto to Kansai airport? Would it be more useful in terms of saving money to have the pass active more days in Tokyo or in Kyoto to use it inside the city (I did not consider the option to activate it in Narita when we arrive because in that case we will not be able to use it from Takayama to Kyoto)?

2) Which is the best way to go from Fujikawaguchiko to Takayama making the best use of the JR Pass (i.e., trying to use the least possible buses or trains that do not belong to JR?)

Thank you so much in advance for your reply!!!

All the best!!


Hi there!

Glad to hear your pass arrived safely :)

When going about your planning it is always smart to cover as much expansive travel as possible with the JR Pass (in your case be sure to cover travel to and from Takayama). From looking at your itinerary I'd say start using later on in your itinerary, Kawaguchiko is not a very cost effective visit, however Hakone can be a good visit to use the JR Pass for because you can get the Shinkansen to Hakone giving you the most time to explore and enjoy the area.

2.) The best way to travel to Kawaguchiko - Takayama is by going to Tokyo and catch a bullet train from there to Nagoya, at Nagoya you can transfer to the Wide View Hida Express bound for Takayama. The route all together is pretty long so bring something to keep yourself entertained.

Have a great trip!!!

Expert button 2

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $258.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.