questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

do i need to buy a jr pass in the us?

Do I need to buy a JR Pass in the US?


I am planning on traveling to Japan on Nov. 7th and an extremely excited. However, there are still a lot of items I need to take care of travel-wise.

My plans are: (Prices are for train lines)
(Fly into) Narita and go to Tokyo: 2940 Yen Tokyo to Hakone: 3940 Yen
Hakone to Kyoto: 11550 Yen
Kyoto to Nara: 690 Yen
Nara to Kyoto: 690 Yen
Kyoto to Osaka (Fly out): 1680 Yen

(The Hakone to Kyoto price I got from

I have two questions with my transportation.

1) Are these prices roughly correct? Using these prices, I probably will not get the JR 7-day pass and rather opt to get individual tickets for each.
2) If I do get individual tickets for each time I travel cities, do I need to buy any kind of pass or anything in the United States before I go to Japan?

Thanks in advance !!!!


Hi Kris,

I think your costs look about right. Here are the costs as I calculate them:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥3,140 (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Odawara: ¥3,840 (35mins, 83km)
  3. Odawara > Kyoto: ¥11,950 (160mins, 429km)
  4. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  5. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  6. Kyoto > Kansai airport: ¥3,690 (79mins, 99km)

JR ticket cost: ¥24,000 for 6 legs

As a 7 day Japa Rail Pass is ¥28,300, I think it will be more economical for you to purchase individual tickets as needed rather that the JR Pass as long as you don't intend to do any more travel. If you do think you'll do more travel, then it could be a JR Pass will make sense, provided you spend a further ¥4300 on JR travel. (The JR Pass does need to be purchased outside Japan)

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thanks, it reall does help!


Hi Mari,

Just to clarify, if I want to buy individual tickets for the JR lines, I can just buy a Suica Card and use it on the JR lines when necessary, correct?

Thanks once again!!


Hi Kristopher,

The SUICA will only be valid for JR lines within metropolitan/city areas, however it won't be valid on any bullet train connections and JR travel outside city areas.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

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