questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

kyoto to tokyo and back

Kyoto to Tokyo and back

I was in Kyoto this past November, and will be returning again next November. I did not have the chance to visit Tokyo during my recent visit, but I will next year.

I am trying to determine if it would be worth buying a JR pass that will allow me to travel to and from Tokyo and Kyoto? Would I also be able to use it if I wanted to travel to Nara or Kobe while I am staying in Kyoto?

I will be there 15 full days, but I am not yet sure if I will buy a 7 or 14-day pass. Can I use it to get to and from Kyoto from Kansai International as well? If so, then a 14-day pass might be best?

Thanks in advance,


Hi there,

The general rule of thumb for buying a 7 day JR Pass is that it is worth buying if you do 1 return trip from Tokyo to Kyoto (¥26,840 return).

You can use the JR Pass to travel to Nara, Kobe and Kansai International Airport, so it's possible that a 14 day rail pass will be worth it for you. To decide if it is worth it, you need to make sure that the ticket costs exceed the ¥45,100 cost of a 14 day japan rail pass. You can check on individual ticket prices at the travel planning website hyperdia.

I'm not sure from your question how many trips you intend to take (for example, I'm not sure if you are doing more than 1 tokyo-kyoto trip), but for your reference, here are the costs of the legs you mention:

  1. Kansai airport > Kyoto: ¥3690, (75mins, 99km)
  2. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (49mins, 41km)
  3. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690, (46mins, 41km)
  4. Kyoto > Kobe(hyogo): ¥1050, (56mins, 75km)
  5. Kobe(hyogo) > Kyoto: ¥1050, (55mins, 75km)
  6. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13420, (161mins, 513km)
  7. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13420, (165mins, 513km)
  8. Kyoto > Kansai airport: ¥3690, (79mins, 99km)

TOTAL: ¥37700 for 8 legs

Based on these legs, a 7 day rail pass is certainly worth it, but you will need to ensure you do some more travelling to make a 14 day rail pass cost effective.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thank you, Mari! The 14-day pass might not be the best option regardless, as I will be there for 16 nights (15 days), so only one of my Kyoto-Kansai trips would count.

Now to decide on which part of my journey to do most of my in-country traveling ... ^^




If you have any other questions I'll be happy to help!

Expert button 2

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $253.00 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.