questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

cant decide on the pass for a 14 days trip

Cant decide on the pass for a 14 days trip

I am planning to stay at least 6/7 days solely in Tokyo. Will be headed to Nagoya, Takayama, Shirakawago and the Jap Alps area either the week before or after. Would the 7 days JR pass or JR East pass be worth it? Especially since JR East doesnt cover travel after Nagoya. Also, the 7 days might not be able to include the days for traveling to and fro the airport to town.

One more question, would my itinerary work better if I stay in Tokyo first or venture outside first? Both my flights in and out will be at Tokyo.

Thanks in adv!


Just to add, the places I was planning to visit are similar to the ones listed here.

Are the buses and trains on this route included on the pass?


Hello there!

Looking at your plans, a JR Pass could certainly be helpful. However it is hard to say exactly as I don't now how long you wish to stay in each place and what route you wish to travel. I'd be more than happy to give you a breakdown of ticket prices and see whether a JR Pass could be useful if you could give me a bit more information. Especially the order of places that you wish to visit and how long would be a great help.

Hope to hear from you,

Expert button 2

Opps, I made in mistake in the number of days, I would actually be in Japan for 16 days. My friends and I do not really have a concrete plan yet. But we were thinking of the following sequence.

Day 1-NRT to Tokyo
Day 2- Tokyo
Day 3- Tokyo
Day 4- Tokyo
Day 5 - Tokyo
Day 6 - Tokyo
Day 7 – Tokyo to Naria Old Town to Matsumoto
Day 8 – Matsumoto to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to Kanazawa
Day 9 – Kanazawa to Shirakawa-go
Day 10 - Shirakawa-go to Takayama
Day 11 – Takayama to Hida
Day 12 –Hida to Toyama
Day 13 - Toyama to Daio Wasabi Farm to ?
Day 14 - ?
Day 15 – ?
Day 16 – Tokyo to NRT

Does this plan sound too rush? I actually dislike having to move everyday, but I am not sure if the towns are worth 2 nights. We got a couple of days with no idea what to do. Is there anywhere around the area that we shouldn't miss?

Forgot to mention earlier, but we are actually going at the last week of jul and first week of aug, so we are hoping to go places where slightly cooler, yet not as far as hokkaido.

Thanks for your help!


Hi Again!

Thank you for posting a better idea of your itinerary.
Right now I think the best option would be to use a 7 day JR Pas from day 7-13 and return to Tokyo on the 13th. This would be the most efficient way in terms of travel costs. I don't think that you are really in a rush, although you do travel almost every day.

As for what else to see, when you are (back) in Tokyo, why not add in a day trip or two. Some great places include Nikko, Kamakura, Yokohama or even Hakone. If you wish to travel up north, consider a visit to Sendai and visit Yamadera and or Matsushima from there.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thanks Daniel!


Hi Daniel,

Sorry, some massive changes to my plans. We decided to head to hokkaido instead because we realised that the weather, even around the alps area would still be relatively hot.

Day 1: NRT to Tokyo
Day 2: Tokyo to Sapporo (FLY)
Day 3: Sapporo (Should we head to otaru or spend the whole day in Sapporo?)
Day 4: Sapporo - Furano
Day 5-13 (9 days):Furano/Biei/Asahikawa (We have not really decided where exactly to go yet. Probably spend a 2 nights in Furano for the farm, lavender before heading to Biei and Asahikawa. Is there a native village around the area? We will not have a car)
Day 14: Asahikawa to Tokyo (FLY)
Day 15: Tokyo
Day 16: Tokyo to NRT

Should I get the 4 days flexi JR Hokkaido Pass, 7 days pass or just buy the tickets, and get like the local passes like the furano-biei pass. If I get the flexi pass, I would probably still need to get the daily pass locally right? For instance the Sapporo - Otaru Pass.

Also, would I be able to take the Norokko train and some Twinkle Bus if I do not get the JR Hokkaido pass and would you advise us to add reservations if we are getting the tickets individually? Would the trains in the non reserved area be packed?


Hello again,

Sorry for the late follow up, I thought that I had already posted a replay.

In general the JR Hokkaido pass only makes sense if you travel around Hokkaido. Furano and Asahikawa are not that far from Sapporo and it would be better to just buy normal tickets.

Personally I prefer seat reservations, you can show up on the station and any time and just take your seat. This beats coming early and standing in line to get a seat. When you visit a Furano, consider renting a bicycle, its a great way to get around the area and view the lavender fields. However it is also possible to visit the fields by JR or even on foot.

Hope this helps and once again sorry for the late replay!

Expert button 2

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