questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

family trip, multi stop and private rail lines

Family trip, multi stop and private rail lines

I'm looking at the following itinerary for 2 adults, 112 yo, 1 9yo and a 5yo.
I understand the 5yo doesn't need a pass but can she still get a reserved seat?

Plan is:

Arrive TKO 25 july and 2-3 days in Tokyo
28 July Tokyo to Kamakochi via Matsumoto (not bullet train line I think)
2 days Kamakocki then bus to Takayama for2 days
1August Takayama to Kobe or Osaka- Any preference?
3 August Kobe or Osaka to Hiroshima (I had thought of Nagasaki but I looks like a long trip)
5 August Hiroshima/ Nagasaki to Kyoto for 3 days
8th August I'd like to go to a beach near Shimoda but it looks like that is a private railway. Is that extra?
13th Aug Shimoda to Mt Fuji- 5 lakes and Hakone for 3 days ( this is over O bon), is that a problem?
16th back to Tokyo 1 night and then fly out

As I'm spending a few days in each place do i still need the 21 day pass or do I get a pass only for the days travelling?

Is the supplement for non JR passes quite substantial or only a few dollars?

What is the best family pass for the Hakone/ Mt Fuji area. If I get to Fuji station do I get a bus round to 5 lakes or should I base myself at Lake Ashi? I will want to climb Mt Fuji while I'm there if possible.

Thanks for the help.



Hello Charlie,

Children below the age of 6 can travel for free, given that you take them on your lap during busy times. If you do want them to travel on a reserved seat, purchase a child ticket. These are half the price of a normal tickets.

As for the JR Pass, I think a 14 day JR Pass would be the best option if you used it for travel from August 1st - August 14th. This because travel to Kamikochi and Takayama by bus is not covered by the JR Pass. This is also given that you visit Nagasaki, if you plan to leave Nagasaki out, then all together it would be better to purchase normal tickets as you travel. One reason why it is hard to match a JR Pass to your itinerary is because the pass keeps counting down, even on the days when you don't use it.

As for Kobe or Osaka. Personally I really like Kobe, there are many small things to do and the city just keeps surprising you. Just to name a couple of things, the local Sake breweries are interesting to visit, the China Town is also great. Then there are many museums, such as the Kobe earthquake museum. Also the water front promenade is lovely to scroll over or for shopping. You can go up the local mountains, such as Mount Rokka for an amazing view over the Kansai Area and much more. At the same time, Osaka is way more popular for tourists and has its own highlights. I would recommend reading up on both and then choose the one that speaks most to you.

As for Fuji, getting around the area is pretty complicated because there are different transport companies. Staying in Hakone is great if you plan to explore the Hakone Area and also view Fuji. Climbing Fuji is a complete different story please see this guide for more information.

Also Shimoda is indeed reached by non JR transport. The fare is ¥1,370/one way.

Hope this helps,

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