questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

please help me! osaka-kyoto-hiroshima-tokyo

Please help me! Osaka-Kyoto-Hiroshima-Tokyo

Hi there!

Can you please help me in deciding whether getting the rail pass is better for me or not? I want to get a 7 day pass..I dont properly understand how the pass works though..

I've written down my complete visit of Japan. I'll be staying in Osaka for 6 days ((I've already made the booking for the hotel). I'll visit Kyoto and Hiroshima while staying in Osaka. And then I'll leave for Tokyo.

Are all the places i want to travel to covered with the 7 days jr pass? I plan to use it from 7th to 13th march... How much will i be saving if I get it?

6-03-13 Arrive In Osaka
7-03-13 Roam in Osaka / Official work
8-03-13 Roam in Osaka / Official work
9-03-13 Leave for Kyoto early morning and return at night (Return ticket Osaka-Kyoto)
10-03-13 Leave for Kyoto early morning and return at night (Return ticket Osaka-Kyoto)
11-03-13 Leave for Hiroshima early morning and return at night (Return ticket Osaka-Hiroshima)
12-03-13 Leave for Tokyo early morning and stay there (One way ticket to Tokyo)
13-03-13 Roam in Tokyo
14-03-13 Return back from Japan

Waiting for your reply..
Thank you!


Hi there!

Good news :) Yes, all of your destinations will be covered by the JR Pass (I have marked your destinations on our JR Pass map to give you an idea of the distances).

Assuming you will leave from Narita Airport I would probably aim to us the rail pass from the 8-14th as this will include your travel from Tokyo to the Airport unless you think you will do a lot of JR travel on the 7th. Based on this assumption, here are your costs:

  1. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  2. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  3. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  4. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540 (28mins, 42km)
  5. Osaka > Hiroshima: ¥10,220 (109mins, 345km)
  6. Hiroshima > Osaka: ¥10,220 (109mins, 345km)
  7. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥13,550 (194mins, 556km)
  8. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3,140 (58mins, 79km)

JR ticket cost: ¥39,290 for 8 legs

As you can see you'll make good savings with the JR Pass, and also have the flexibility to use JR lines as needed for free (there are lots of JR lines you can use in Tokyo for example).

I hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thanks for the quick reply.. I must say Im impressed with your customer care services :)

I noticed that you have only considered the ticket fare and not the seat fee while considering the prices of the ticket.. I am under the impression that we have to pay both the ticket fare and the seat fee. which would mean that the ticket cost from osaka to kyoto would be more than 540¥. around (2000¥).. Could you please confirm if im right?

Also, is there some kind of a discount on the JR pass? since you mentioned its price as ¥10,990.


Hi there,

It is really nice if you can combine a work visit to Japan with sightseeing!
Just to follow up with Mari's post (hope you don't mind).

The price from Osaka --> Kyoto (and visa-versa) is 540 Yen. This because the train is considered a local train and does not require a seat fare. You can also travel by special express train or Shinkansen and than the extra 1500Yen seating fee will apply, there is almost no difference in travel time and both routes are free with the JR-Pass.

The ¥10,990 Yen quoted by Mari are the savings you would make with the JR-Pass compared to buying seperate tickets. The 7-day JR-Pass is 28,300 Yen.

Hope this clears things up!

Expert button 2

Hello again!
Im back with re-adjustments of my visit and alot more questions!

So let me first get to the trip:

9 March 2013 Osaka > Kyoto
11 March 2013 Kyoto > Hiroshima
11 March 2013 Hiroshima > Miyajima (On the ferry)
11 March 2013 Miyajima > Hiroshima (On the ferry)
11 March 2013 Hiroshima > Kyoto
12 March 2013 Kyoto > Tokyo
14 March 2013 Tokyo > Narita airport terminal

So here are my questions:
1. First, let me know if buying a 7 day pass will be beneficial now that i've changed my trip. I think my travelling has reduced considerably.

  1. The rates that you've mentioned for the trains, do not include the seat fare since you said they are local trains. Obviosuly they will all be JR trains.. so does that mean that i wont have to give seat fare if i purchase the JR pass? Im under the impression that once i have the jr pass, all i'll need to do is enter the train, and sit wherever i want to.. without having to purchase anything extra. is that right?

  2. If i do purchase the jr pass, Do i have to pay seat fare for the routes that i've mentioned above?

  3. If I travel in Shinkansen with my JR pass, will I ALWAYS have to pay the seat fare? Would that mean that i will have to go to the ticket counter to get a ticket? What are the other trains on the JR pass that do not require seat fare? If you say that the travel time is almost the same, then i would prefer to travel on the cheaper trains.

  4. You've mentioned that i can use the JR trains in the tokyo network.. do you have these trains in Kyoto and Hiroshima? If yes, can i use the jr pass in these cities? Can you give a route map of JR trains for these cities so that i may plan my visit?

  5. How do i use the JR pass on the ferry that connects hiroshima and miyajima?

These are just a few of the questions in my mind. I'll be back with more once you reply to these!


Hi again,

Going to Miyajima is a great choice! The Ferry is covered by the JR-Pass as well as the train from Hiroshima.
The savings with the 7 day JR-Pass will remain about the same, so it will be beneficial for sure!

To answer your questions:
1.) With your JR-Pass you can make use of Shinkansen, limited express train and local trains without having to pay anything extra, as they are all fully covered (this includes the seat fee and reservation fee). So once you activate your pass you can simply show it to the JR station staff and sit down in the train on one of the non-reserved seats or make a free seat reservation beforehand at one of the station ticket counters.

2.) All routes in your itinerary are covered, once you buy the JR-Pass you won't have any additional transportation costs on those routes.

3.) Please see answer NR.1

4.) There are no local JR-Lines in Kyoto or Hiroshima, for Kyoto I would recommend using the bus/metro to get around, some really good deals are available including an all day bus ticket for 500Yen. This Website gives a good overview of transport in Kyoto.
In Hiroshima you can use the tram and bus but many of the sightseeing spots are easily reachable on foot.
Unfortunately local transport in these cities is generally not covered by the JR-Pass.

5.) Yes the ferry is covered by the JR-Pass, to get there take the train to Miyajima-guchi and from there enjoy the ferry ride. Both the train and Ferry are covered, for reference the train costs 400Yen and ferry 170 Yen without the JR-Pass

Hope this answers your questions, let me know if I can help with anything else!

Expert button 2

Thanks alot!
Your reply cleared quite a few of my queries.

I've read on the net that i shiould purchase my jr pass BEFORE i leave my country. and exchange the voucher once i reach japan. It says that i will not be able to purchase the jr pass in japan...

I've checked on the net that Fed Ex takes around 3-4 days to deliver to my country (Pakistan). I have to leave early morning on 5th March. Even if i do place the order today, there might be a possibility that the pass doesnt reach my city by the time i leave...Because im not staying in the main city. Im on the offskirts..

Is there any other way to get the jr pass? Is it not possible to get it from japan itself?


Hi there,

You are correct about having to buy your JR-Pass voucher before you enter Japan.
We can ship the JR-Pass to an address in Japan (such as a Hotel) gives that you place the order, when you are outside of Japan. Shipping to Japan generally takes 3 working days with Fed-ex express.

Since you leave on the 5th, it may indeed be a smart idea to have it shipped to Japan.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

What im understanding from your post is that I can buy the voucher online from Pakistan. Make the payment through a credit card. And give the delivery address of my Japan Hotel? I'll be staying in Osaka for the first 3 days. And the voucher will be delivered there?

Would that be a problem? when I give the delivery address of japan? Cuz i see every where on the internet that it has to be shipped to the HOME country..

Since you guys are the ones who will be issuing and sending the voucher, Im sure i can get the correct information from you./


Hi Again,

Yes we can ship your voucher to your Hotel in Japan but you will have to be abroad the moment when you order the pass.

I would recommend that you contact our sales team directly here since we may need extra confirmation that you are not in Japan at the moment that you order and so we can get sorted quickly for you, as time is a little short.

For the rest I don't think that it should be a problem at all.

All the best,

Expert button 2

Thank you so much! That is such a relief! I thought I'd have to leave the option of JR pass.
Yes, I relaize that i have to order the pass when im still in Pakistan. I plan to order for it today or tomorrow at the maximum.
I'll contact your sales team for it.


hi Daniel.. I will be in Japan from 19-25th May. my itinerary will be;

19 - arrive at Haneda Airport (late night)
20 - stay at Tokyo
21 - Tokyo to Osaka (station at Osaka)
22 - Osaka to Kyoto (day trip)
23 - Osaka to Kobe (kobe Mosque only) to Hiroshima (day trip)
24 - Osaka to Nara (day trip)
25 - Osaka to Tokyo - flight departure late night

Is it worth it for me to buy 7days JR Pass? and is there any limitation to use it?


Hi there,

Yes the JR Pass will be a great help here. Just the return trip Tokyo - Osaka will pay for the JR Pass. Adding all the other travel will give you very good savings.

The JR Pass covers travel between all off the above places, you may however still have to use local transport not covered by the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

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