questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

please give advice on individual tickets versus rail pass

Please give advice on individual tickets versus rail pass

Greetings from Winchester United Kingdom!
Please, I wonder if you could help us. We arrive in Tokyo Haneda ex LHR at 5am 15th Oct. We booked 4 nights at Capitol Hotel, followed by Kyoto 19th Oct 4 nights. We wanted to explore more of traditional Japan after 23rd Oct for 5 nights and spend the last night in Tokyo, 28th Oct as we fly from Narita 29th Oct in the morning. We thought perhaps to explore Kanazawa for 2 nights, then Takayama and the onsen around for 3 nights. Are we choosing the right places? The more we read, the more we get awed with the choices of places to go. We did not want to spend a lot of time on the train travelling. My basic question is:
Would you recommend a Japan Rail Pass for our entire stay of 14 days 9of which we will not use much in Tokyo and Kyoto) or would you recommend a single shinkansen rail ticket Tokyo-Kyoto first and then a Rail Pass from Kyoto's departure until the end of the trip? Many thanks in anticipation.


Good morning Marcelo,

Personally I love the Takayama - Kanazawa area in Japan and think everyone should visit them. Did you know that Kanazawa has a Geisha Quarter has not changed since the Edo period? The city was never bombed in WWII and a lot of traditional buildings remain.

As for the right JR Pass. It comes down to what other travel you would do with it. The upgrade price from a 7-day JR Pass to a 14-day JR pass is ¥ 16,800 Yen, now a one way trip Tokyo - Kyoto is ¥ 13,520, so you would pay ¥ 3,280 for 6 additional days of JR Pass usage. This would quickly become worth it if you do a little travel with it. You could make an day trip or two from Tokyo and visit some of the surrounding areas.

I hope this helps,

PS: don't worry about the extra travel time to Takayama, this train route is one of the most beautiful in Japan with very scenic mountain ranges.

Expert button 2

Many thanks for your advice. We booked Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Takayama and Tokyo for our adventures. We will now buy the 14 day JR Pass in order to travel comfortably and safely through Japan.


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