questions & answers: using the japan rail pass



Hello, I would like to know if a JR PASS will be useful for me. Here's my travel :

Arrive at Narita airport, going to KYOTO for 3 nights,
visiting NARA for 1 day,
1 day to ODAWARA
and 2 nights in HAKONE.
To finish 1 week in TOKYO, we will stay in a hotel in Akihabara but we will visit Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Ueno, ... maybe going to Tokyo Disneyland.

Thank you


Hi there!

In general a 7 day pass will make sense if you spend more than ¥28,300 on JR tickets within a 7 day period. I think in your case if you can fit your non-Tokyo travel into 7 days rather than 8, you will make some savings, and will also have the freedom to add more travel while you are in Kansai if you would like (eg, day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima, Kurashiki, Himeji or Kinosaki onsen). Here's the cost breakdown for you if you were to do your non-Tokyo travel in the first 7 days (As you have included I have used Odawara for Hakone. At Hakone you'll need to change to the non-JR Odakyu lines up to Hakone itself. I recommend the Hakone Free Pass for this which can be purchased on arrival at Odawara).

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Kyoto: ¥16,330 (238mins, 592km)
  2. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  3. Nara > Odawara: ¥12,070 (188mins, 471km)
  4. Odawara > Tokyo: ¥1,450 (36mins, 83km)

JR ticket cost: ¥30,540 for 4 legs

You can look up 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.

For your second week, I recommend looking into the unlimited metro passes which you can purchase at Narita as these will give you great metro coverage for ¥490/day if you use the 2 day cards. You will have to pay separately for Disneyland, which will require you to use JR lines to Maihama.

Hope this helps!

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