questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

itinerary / travel pass options

Itinerary / travel pass options

We are a family of 4 from the UK (2 adults, 2 teenagers aged 14 and 17). I am looking for advice on JR pass options and travel to/from airport please. We arrive in Tokyo early morning on Monday 21st August and then fly out of Tokyo on Tuesday 5th September so will be staying in Japan for 15 nights. We will be staying in Tokyo for 6 nights then moving on to Mount Fuji or nearby for 1 night and then to Kyoto for 5 nights, then 2 nights near Hiroshima, then back to Tokyo for the last night.

First of all, does this sound a sensible itinerary?! Secondly, what would be our most economic option for travelling with JR pass. We were thinking about a 14 day pass but is there a better way we could arrange things and get by with a 7 day pass...I'm guessing not. Is there a 10 day option?? Should we arrange separate transport from airport to Tokyo when we arrive then activate it on day 2. We will likely do day trips from Tokyo and Kyoto as well. Any good savings offers for using underground/travelling around Tokyo/Kyoto.

Thanks in advance.


Hi there,

Your itinerary looks fine to me, many first time visitors go to Tokyo and Kyoto alone and I frequently recommend adding Hiroshima. That's exactly what you've done already.

In terms of a JR Pass, a 7 day JR Pass would work best but only if you can do Tokyo - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Tokyo within it's validity period. This would mean spending 1 night less in Kyoto or Hiroshima. I think one night in Hiroshima is generally enough to visit the important sights and make half a day trip to Miyajima. You could then take a late train back to Tokyo. This would be the most cost efficient way by far. A 14 day JR Pass would otherwise be the alternative, you will still make savings with the day trips added in but just bit less than with the 7 day JR Pass.

Hope this helps,

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