questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jrpass useful + best place to see mt fuji

JRPass useful + best place to see Mt Fuji


I wanted to buy the JR PASS for one week. We did this several times before but covered a lot more ground... So now I am wondering if it is wise to buy the pass or am better off buying individual tickets. I was planning to buy railpasses and use them from day 7 - 13 in my itinerary (fujisan - kobuchizawa, osaka), but based on my calculations this amounts to almost the same fee for individual tickets. Am I right or is the JR PASS for a week a better option?

1 Narita Shinagawa
2 Tokyo Tokyo
3 Tokyo Tokyo
4 Tokyo Tokyo
5 Shinagawa Maihama
6 Maihama Fujisan
7 Fujisan Kobuchizawa
8 Kobuchizawa Kyoto Kuramaguchi
9 Kyoto Nara
10 Kyoto Kyoto
11 Kyoto Kuramaguchi Nagoya
12 Nagoya Osaka Namba
13 Osaka Osaka
14 Osaka Osaka
15 Osaka Osaka
16 Osaka Namba Kobe
17 Kobe Kobe
18 Kobe Kobe
19 Kobe Kobe
20 Kobe Kobe
21 Kobe Kobe
22 Kobe Kobe
23 Kobe Kobe

Kind Regards,


Hi there,

I think if you used the 7 days for the period 6-11 you'd get better value as you'd include the trip from Maihama to Otsuki in your plans. That said lets take a look at the JR ticket costs for the relevant legs:

  1. Maihama > Otsuki: ¥3100, (114mins, 100km)
  2. Otsuki > Kobuchizawa: ¥2910, (65mins, 85km)
  3. Kobuchizawa > Kyoto: ¥10010, (225mins, 370km)
  4. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (45mins, 41km)
  5. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  6. Kyoto > Nagoya: ¥5240, (49mins, 147km)
  7. Nagoya > Osaka: ¥5980, (67mins, 190km)

TOTAL: ¥28620 for 7 legs

As you can see it is indeed borderline whether a 7 day Japan Rail Pass (¥28300) is suitable for you or not. You'll make a small saving of ¥320 with the 7 day rail pass, but I think by far the most useful will be that you have more flexibility to change your plans if you'd like to plus the convenience factor of not having to purchase tickets for each trip. Overall, I'd think a 7 day rail pass is the better choice here.

Hope this helps!

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Hi Mari!

Thank you for your swift and clear reply. This certainly helps!! I will purchase two passes now.
By the way, is Otsuki the best stop to see mt Fuji or should we travel to kawaguchiko, or...? We are travelling with two small kids but we all really like to see Fuji-san.

Could you let me know what stop is wisest, also considering the fact that we have to travel to kobuchizawa on the same day...?



Hi Henk, not a problem!

For Mt Fuji, I recommend Kawaguchiko or Hakone (Hakone is a larger onsen resort with further away views of Mt Fuji and is quite a journey). As you'll be going on to Kobuchizawa, the Kawaguchiko side of Mt Fuji is most suitable as it is very much 'on the way' to Kobuchizawa from Tokyo so you won't have to do any doubling back on yourself.

For Kawaguchiko, Otsuki is the last JR stop you can get to before you have to change trains to the Fujikyu non-JR service that takes you up to Kawaguchiko (around ¥1000 each way). This is the reason I use Otsuki in my calculation of JR costs rather than Kawaguchiko - sorry if I confused!

Regarding timings, here is an itinerary from Maihama to Otsuki, and from Otsuki to Kobuchizawa. Depending on the train, you're looking at around 2hrs from Maihama to Otsuki, and then a further 1.5hrs from Otsuki to Kobuchizawa. Factoring in the time on the Otsuki to Kawaguchiko route of about an hour each way and you're looking at 5.5 hours of rail travel on that day. You wouldn't do it all in one go, but it's worth bearing in mind as you're travelling with kids.

Finally, don't forget that depending on the weather you get great views of Mt Fuji by sitting on the right hand side of the bullet train when you travel down to Kyoto if you go via Yokohama from Kobuchizawa.

Hope this helps!

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You may also find this excellent JNTO link on viewpoints for Mt Fuji useful - it also has some good photos for guidance!

Hope this helps!

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Hi Mari,

Sorry for the late response. This too helps a lot! Thank you so much!

By the way, our vouchers for the passes arrived last week. Thanks a lot, we can't wait...

All the best,


Great to hear Henk - enjoy your trip!

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