questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

narita, tokyo, kyoto, tokyo, narita

Narita, Tokyo, Kyoto, Tokyo, Narita

First trip to Japan next month and will buy a 7 day JR Pass for 3 adults.

Here's our plan:

Narita-Overnight (Hilton)
Narita-Tokyo (one night in Shinjuku) LIMO BUS
Tokyo-Kyoto (four nights) Using (activate) 7 day JR pass to go to Kyoto
Kyoto-Hiroshima (day trip) Using JR pass (?) or Nozomi (?)
Kyoto-Nara (day trip) Using JR pass (?)
Kyoto-Tokyo (three nights Shinjuku) JR pass to return to Tokyo
Tokyo-Narita: Return to Narita Airport via Limo Bus/fly home

1) What's the best way to get around Tokyo (Ginza, Hibiya, Roppongi, Shiba, Harajuku, Asakusa, etc.)? Buy Suica also?
2) How do I get around Kyoto?
3) How do I get from Kyoto to Hiroshima? Kyoto to Nara?

Thank you!!!


Hi there!

As you'll be travelling to and from the airport via Limo bus, for your stay in Tokyo I highly recommend you look into purchasing unlimited metro travel cards at Narita rather than the Suica card. The 2 day version of these cards are especially good value and work out at ¥490/day for unlimited travel and will allow you to go to all the areas you list via the extensive metro system. Please note that these passes can only be purchased at Narita airport at this price so be sure to purchase them when you land.

For Kyoto you'll probably want to invest in a city bus or subway pass which can be purchased from the tourist information counter at Kyoto station. Here is more information on municipal transport within Kyoto.

For tips to keep costs to a minimum while you are in Kyoto and Nara I recommend the following resources:

From Kyoto to Hiroshima and Nara you'll want to use the JR Pass and Sakura bullet trains (Hiroshima) or normal JR lines (Nara). Here's a breakdown with suggested itinerary for you:

  1. Tokyo > Kyoto: ¥13,420 (164mins, 513km)
  2. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  3. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690 (44mins, 41km)
  4. Kyoto > Hiroshima: ¥10,990 (112mins, 380km)
  5. Hiroshima > Kyoto: ¥10,990 (126mins, 380km)
  6. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13,420 (161mins, 513km)

JR ticket cost: ¥50,200 for 6 legs

Also, it's worth noting that the JR Pass is also valid for all the JR lines within Tokyo. Here's a map for reference.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thank you soooooo much for this info.
I've been reading so much about how to get around Tokyo, Kyoto, etc., that it became over-whelming!
I will follow all of your suggestions.



It's hard to sort through all the information sometimes, so glad I could help :)

Have a fantastic trip, and don't hesitate to ask again if you have any further questions.

Expert button 2

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