questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

is the 14 day pass worth it for this itinerary?

Is the 14 day pass worth it for this itinerary?

Here is my itinerary:

Day 1-4 Tokyo
Day 5 TRAVEL Tokyo to Takayama Day 6 Takayama Day 7 TRAVEL Takayama to Shirakawa-go Day 8 TRAVEL Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa Day 9 Kanazawa Day 10 TRAVEL Kanazawa to Mount Koya Day 11 TRAVEL Mount Koya to Kyoto Day 12 & 13 Kyoto Day 14 TRAVEL Kyoto to Hiroshima with a stop in Himeji Day 15 TRAVEL Hiroshima to Tokyo

Here is some preliminary calculations that I have done:

I calculated that the trip above (excluding the bus to and from Shirakawa-go and the funicular to/from Koyasan) will cost ¥54,630. The JR Ordinary pass will cost ¥45,100 plus an additional ¥850 to cover the Nankai line from Kanazawa to Koyasan = ¥45,950. So it looks like it is well worth the pass, but a few questions:

  1. I am not sure if I am missing any other routes that are not covered by the JR pass?
  2. The additional seat fee that I am seeing on Hyperdia has an additional cost - do I have to pay that I have to pay on top of the JR Pass?

For example, this route has a reserved seat fee of ¥2,620. Do I still pay that if I get the Ordinary JR Pass for ¥45,100 or is the seat fee included?

  1. Last question - my trip is 15 days, but I wouldn't start use on the pass until day 4. I just want to confirm that the pass is not "activated" until the first use, vs. upon entering the country?

Thank you so much!


Hi there!

It's good to see that you are researching your trip carefully.

1.) The JR Pass covers your entire route, except for the bus to Shirakawago and Nankai express to Koya-san. We also have an interactive map with all lines covered.

2.) The JR Pass covers all costs, including seat fee and seat reservation fees. You don't have to worry about these at all. Normally the seat fee displayed in Hyperdia is the charge you would pay without the JR Pass when you travel on the Shinkansen or Limited Express trains. However

3.) You can select a date of first use the moment that you exchange your JR Pass, so you don't have to start using it right away.

Have a great trip!

Expert button 2

Thank you! So sounds like you agree with my calculations then, and the JR pass would be worth it for us.



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