questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass or individual tickets?

JR pass or Individual tickets?

Im traveling for 9 days in Japan.
Arriving in Osaka 15th, leaving from Tokyo 23rd.
Tentative itinerary.... Osaka - Kyoto - Mt Fuji + Hakone - Tokyo. Few days in each place...
Is it better to buy the JR pass or individual tickets? taking into account that I would be traveling in within kyoto and tokyo itself by train too.... Meaning if I but the JR pass would there be JR trains available intercity in tokyo and kyoto... or is metro a better option?

And Im a student, do they have a student price for the JR pass? If yes how do I apply for it?

Thanx, Jlee.


Hi there!

In order for a 7 day pass to be worthwhile you need to spend more than ¥28,300 on JR tickets. Lets look at a breakdown of your costs for the travel you list so far:

  1. Kansai airport > Osaka: ¥2,600 (53mins, 57km)
  2. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540 (29mins, 42km)
  3. Kyoto > Odawara: ¥11,950 (177mins, 429km)
  4. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1,450 (36mins, 83km)

JR ticket cost: ¥16,540 for 4 legs

As you can see, you need to spend another ¥11,760 on JR travel for a 7 day rail pass to be worthwhile. The Japan Rail Pass would certainly be worthwhile if you were to do more travel, such as a return to Nikko while you are in Tokyo, or a return to Hiroshima while you are in Osaka, however as it currently stands I think you are unlikely to do enough travel on the JR system in Tokyo for the pass to be the right choice.

If you did decide to do lots of day trips from Tokyo, it may be worth starting a JR Pass from your trip up to Odawara/Hakone and then use the pass all the way up until your leaving day from Narita - it does depend on your itinerary though.

You can look up more precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for JR Pass holders through our video blog.

JR Pass in Kyoto and Tokyo

The JR Pass has limited use inside Kyoto as most travel is via the municipal metro and bus lines. Within Tokyo you can get good use of the JR Pass on the many JR lines throughout the city however you will possibly want to look at the non-JR metro travel to certain locations.

Student price for JR Pass

I'm afraid that as the JR Pass is already a heavily discounted ticket there are no discounts available for students.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

That was really informative.... Glad you replied so fast.... Was really helpful....
Thank you very much... Cant wait to go to Japan...=)


Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $258.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.