questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

one-way jr tickets or 4day west pass & 7day pass?

One-way JR tickets or 4day West Pass & 7day pass?

I greatly appreciate your help with the following information:

• May I buy (regular or 1st class) JR tickets at Okinawa to use the JR from Hiroshima-Kobe, stay 1 day in Osaka and 1 day in Kyoto? We’ll be in Okinawa Dec 25 & 26. Would I find JR tickets for the busy holiday days for 4 passengers? Or is it better to buy them from the USA now? To buy from the USA I see only the 4-day or 7-day passes available.

• There is a West Sanyo Area Pass for 4 days for $189 per person ( that I can buy only from outside Japan for foreigners. Would this a good deal so I can use it from Hiroshima to Osaka on Dec29 (perhaps make a couple of stops such in Kobe and another town) and then to Kyoto on Dec30? That way, I can use the JR system to sightseeing in Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto (from 28 to 31st). Or would it be more economical to buy one-way single JR tickets between the cities and then use subway, train and buses to sightsee in Osaka and Kyoto?

• If I buy the Sanyo area pass, may I upgrade to first class for the trip from Hiroshima to Osaka?

• I was thinking of buying the 7day JR pass to take advantage of the rail system from Kyoto to Tokyo on Dec31st and within Tokyo and nearby towns to do sightseeing Jan 1st to 5th and going to Haneda Airport on Jan 6th (instead of buying 1day tours which are very expensive). Will it be more economical to buy the 7day JR pass or do they have a 1-day all we can use within Tokyo a and vicinity –perhaps up to Mt Fuji, Yokohama, etc? We’ll go back to the Tokyo hotel every night (Suitengumae Station).

Thank you, very much!


Hi Elsa,

Don't worry, I had not forgotten about your other question, it's just been a busy day.

-Okay without further a due, lets get started. I don't think that it is easy to purchase normal tickets for the JR in Okinawa, as there is no JR to be found on the island. It may be a better idea to purchase them in advance, if you have that possibility.

-It would only make sense when you did a return like trip between Hiroshima and Osaka, Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto are all very close and local trains are low cost between these cities.

-It is not possible to buy an upgrade to Green Class.

  • The 7 day JR Pass is just below the price of a way one ticket Hiroshima - Osaka and Osaka - Tokyo and would quickly pay off with a little bit of additional travel. So making a day trip or two would certainly help you make savings. My personal recommendation would be a visit to Nikko, just north of Tokyo.

Hope this helps,

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