questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

first time in japan for 19 nights and 20 days :)

First time in Japan for 19 nights and 20 days :)

Not sure if I should get the 14 or 21 day JR pass. This is just an idea of what I will be doing. The days spent in Tokyo and Osaka can't be moved around because I booked the housing already but the day trips can. Which one would be a better deal? If I get the Jr pass are they direct to my destinations or do I still have to buy daily tickets in-between Jr transportation? Thanks!
Day 1: Narita-Tokyo(Shinjuku) late evening
Day 2: Tokyo (Shinjuku)-Tokyo Disney
Day 3: Tokyo (west)
Day 4:Tokyo (Center)
Day 5:Tokyo Disney Sea
Day 6:Mt Fugi (day trip)
Day 7:Tokyo (East)
Day 8:Tokyo(Shinjuku)-Osaka
Day 9:Osaka
Day 10: Osaka-Kyoto (day trip)
Day 11: Osaka-Hiroshima (day trip)
Day 12:Osaka-?
Day 13: Universals
Day 14: Osaka-Nara (day trip)
Day 15:Osaka-Tokyo (Shibuya)
Day 16:Tokyo-?
Day 17:Tokyo
Day 18: Nikko (day trip)
Day 19: Tokyo Disney or Sea
Day 20:Tokyo(Shibuya)-Narita airport (late afternoon)


You could make a 21day pass pay off, but you'd get better savings from doing a 14 day pass between days 7-20, taking JR as much as possible in that time, plus the Narita Express back to the airport on your last day. Coming from Narita on Day 1 you could use a 1000 yen bus or a Keisei/Metro package. You could also use a 3 day subway pass during your trip and also to see Mt. Fuji, a Hakone Free Pass.
For Day 16 there are numerous possibilities. Seeing Kamakura/Enoshima would be great. You could also add value to your pass savings by visiting Karuizawa, Kusatsu, or the Izu Peninsula.
You could spend a lot of time in Tokyo and still not see everything.
In Tokyo a few of the best places to see are the Tsukiji Fish Market, plus the site that every last tourist goes to see, the Sensoji Temple. If you are in Tokyo on a Sunday afternoon, be sure to go visit Harajuku to see the youth with their wild fashions. Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park are next to it and well worth seeing also. And be sure not to miss the Shibuya Hachiko intersection especially on a weekend when it looks like half the city is crossing the street all at once.

For Hiroshima, don't miss out on Miyajima. You can use the pass for the ferry there too. Just a bit past Miyajima is Iwakuni with its iconic historical bridge and mountaintop castle, plus Onomichi is famous for its temple tour and wildly ornate Kosanji Temple.

You should have plenty to see and do.

Best of luck.


Thank you for all the information! If I wait till day 7 to activate my 14 day JR pass where do I go? Do I still go to the JR location in the Narita airport or can I go straight to the 1000 yen bus right after landing? Thanks.


Taking the Narita Express without the pass or any discounts is convenient but very pricey. The bus is a far more economical method and it is not uncomfortable either. The bus is not connected to JR though, it is a completely different company, so you don't go to JR after arriving in Narita.
Regarding activating your pass in Tokyo, there are many places in Tokyo you can do it - see here.

Good luck.


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