questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

kansai (kix) - mt koyasan - kyoto - tokyo - niigata - tokyo

Kansai (KIX) - Mt Koyasan - Kyoto - Tokyo - Niigata - Tokyo

Hi there,

I have been trying to make sense of the Japan Rail system and work out what pass would be best for me but I think I need some help!

My itinerary is: I am flying into KIX on the 7th September and want to head to Mt Koyasan for 2 nights and then to Kyoto for 2 nights, I will probably do a day trip to Osaka while I am there. Then on to Mt Fuji for one night before heading to Tokyo for a night. I am then going to Echigo Yuzawa, Niigata for 4 nights before heading back through Kusatsu onsen, Gunma for 2 nights and back to tokyo for 1 night and then fly out out of HND international on the 21st September. Wow i just realized that may be too action packed!

My question is will the 14 day JR pass cover every where I want to travel to? If I have to buy individual passes regularly along the way I was thinking of getting a 7 day pass only and then buying some individual passes.

Also I realize there is not much time before I fly out, do you think the JR pass would arrive in time if I ordered it today? I fly out on the 6th of September.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Hi Dom!

A lot of your travel is covered by the JR Pass (including Echigo Yuzawa, Niigata and Kusatsu onsen), but some area's can't be reached by JR (namely Koya and part of the way to Mt Fuji). I do think that a 7 day JR Pass be most cost efficient but looking at your itinerary I see that planning a round a 7 day JR Pass could be hard. What I would recommend looking into is to see if you could plan your itinerary in such a way that you can cover most of your long distance travel and be in Tokyo when the pass expires. You could for instance delay your visit to Fuji until you reach Tokyo, the because Fuji is best reached via express bus from Tokyo and the JR does not go all the way to Fuji.

In short, what I would do is buy normal ticket for your visit to Koya and around Kansai (Osaka and Kyoto) and than start using the 7 day JR Pass for your long distance travel starting with your trip to Fuji/Tokyo and try to cover as much travel with it as possible.

As for shipping the JR Pass to you, the Pass is dispatched using Fed-ex wish is very quick and reliable most order arrive next day within the EU, UK and US. I had one pass shipped to me in Japan once, it was send on a Monday and arrived on Wednesday morning, so even that was quick. You can read more about shipping times here.

Have a great trip in Japan!

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