questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

complex question about rail passes

Complex Question About Rail Passes

Hello. My adult daughter and I land at Narita on 26th June at 9:00 am. We then travel to Kobe, where my other daughter (also adult) is studying. All three of us plan to make various excursions (Tottori, Hiroshima, Arima etc) together, until we return to Tokyo on 4th July (all three), where we will stay until me and one daughter fly back to the UK from Narita on 7th July. The other daughter will return to Kobe to continue her studies.

Given this itinerary, which JR Passes are best for us? Also what are the restrictions and supplements when using the bullet train service?

Many Thanks

David Jerome

David Jerome
David Jerome

Well first, if your daughter in Japan is living there and not on a landing permit (i.e. tourist visa) she is NOT eligible for the rail passes.
You don't give enough into though on how many nights here and there, and whether your itinerary will cover a rail pass. There is a 7 day pass, which you can use and probably get your money's worth if you go to Kansai (Kyoto/Nara/Osaka/Kobe) and to Hiroshima/Miyajima. But then you'd need to pay regular fare to return to Tokyo, or take a discount air ticket such as on Jet Star or Peach. There is also ANA's Experience Japan Fare. Both your daughters can fly on Jet Star and Peach, but your daughter in Japan could not use ANA's special fare.
You could also use some regional passes, like the Kansai Area Wide Pass or JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, or JR Sanin Okayama Area Pass.
There is also the 14 day JR Pass, which could pay off, but again it's up to your itinerary.

You should run your plans through a rail fare calculator like Hyperdia to see what suits you best.

Good luck.


Regarding the JR Pass on the bullet trains, you cannot use them on the fastest one, the Nozomi. For the regional passes, you generally can if they cover bullet train routes. Check the links above.


Hello there,

It's not a very difficult question, what you can do is get a JR Pass for you and the your older daughter and buy normal tickets at the same time for your daughter who is studying in Japan. Tickets can all be booked at the same time, so you can travel together without problems.

A normal JR Pass would work really well, just get on the train and of again whenever you want to travel, additionally you'll make great savings over normal tickets, as there's more than enough travel for either a 7 or 14 day JR Pass.

Hope this helps,

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