questions & answers: using the japan rail pass



I plan to visit Japan this summer from August 17-23, would it be smart if I buying the 7 days JR Pass for covering my itinerary? My schedule are as follows:

Trip1: Narita airport-Tokyo-Osaka. Since I have to use the same airport (Narita) for entering and leaving Japan, I decide to take Shinkansen to go to Osaka right after I arrive at Narita airport.

Trip2: Osaka to Kyoto (I may go to Nara then back to Kyoto if time allows)

Trip3: Kyoto back to Tokyo then Narita Airport

Will a 7 day JR pass cover all of my itinerary? I am holding a transit visa which allows me to stay in Japan for 15 days, am I eligible for purchasing a JR pass? If I just purchase the regular train tickets, will it be more economical? Thank you very much!

Ying(Washington D.C)


Hi there,

Your dates perfectly covers a 7 day pass. To get an idea of whether a rail pass (¥28300) is the right choice for you lets take a look at your costs:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥2940, (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Osaka: ¥13750, (194mins, 556km)
  3. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  4. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (45mins, 41km)
  5. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  6. Kyoto > Tokyo: ¥13220, (161mins, 513km)
  7. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥2940, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥34770 for 7 legs

As you can see a 7 day pass will give you savings of ¥6470 on your trip over standard tickets, and will certainly be more convenient.

Regarding your visa, you will need to make 100% sure that you will enter Japan under the 'Temporary Visitor" entry status. As eligibility can vary from country to country I advise you contact the Japanese Embassy in DC on 202-238-6800 to find out more information on whether you will receive this stamp before you decide how to travel based on your transit visa.

Hope this helps!

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