questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

should i get a jr pass

Should I get a JR Pass

Hey 先辈,

A group of 4 would like to travel to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima in November. We would like to
Spend 4 days in Kyoto and the rest of the destination as day trip from Osaka. What type of pass should we get

On arrival day, we plan to travel to Kyoto from Kansai Airport

Places that we plan to visit in Kyoto are:
1.Nijo-jo Castle
2. Kyoto Imperial Palace Park
3. Gion >> .Yasaka Shrine
4. Kiyomizu-dera
5. Sanjūsangen-dō
6. 二年坂 / 三年坂
7. Kōdai-ji
8. Kinkaku-ji
9. Shijō Kawaramachi
10. Arashiyama
11. Fushimi Inari Shrine
12. Ginkakuji

Based on the above information, what type of pass shall we get to travel cost effectively in Kansai area and Hiroshima

Ps: Based on your professional exprience do you think our 4 days in Kyoto is sufficient to cover all our 'Wish List'?

Thank you


Hi there,

Lovely plan you have! Since I currently live in Kyoto, I can tell you that it is perfectly possible to do visit all those places in 4 days. Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari Shrine are places where you can easily spend half a day though, so plan carefully for that.

It may be worth getting a JR Pass but it would depend on the amount of travel you do in the Kansai Area.
Here is a list of ticket prices, to give you an idea of prices involved.

Kansai Airport --> Kyoto ¥ 3,480 (By direct Haruka express)
Kyoto --> Hiroshima ¥ 10,990 (By Shinkansen)
Hiroshima --> Kyoto ¥ 10,990
Kyoto --> Osaka ¥ 540
Osaka --> Kyoto ¥ 540
Kyoto --> Nara ¥ 690
Nara --> Kyoto ¥ 690
Kyoto --> Kansai Airport ¥ 3,480

For a total of ¥ 34,880.
If you used a 7 Day JR-Pass for this (28,300Yen), than you would be able to save ¥ 6,580.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thank you very much for the information sharing.

Here is my draft itinerary

Day 1:
Arrive 6 am at Kansai Ariport
Kansai Airport >> Kyoto
1. Nishiki Food Market
2. Kyoto Imperial Palace
3. Ninjo Castle
4。 Kyoto Station
Note: Buy a 1 day JR West Kansai pass. It is only 2,000 yen and gives you unlimited access on the Haruka plus all other JR trains within the Airport, Nara, Kyoto and Himeji

Day 2:
二年坂/三年坂 Ginkakuj
Yasaka Shrine

Day 3:
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Shijō Kawaramachi

Day 4:
Half Day trip to Nara
Todaiji Temple
Nara Park
Nara Machi
Note: Kyoto to Nara ¥ 1380

  Kyoto to Otsu ¥ 380

Evening travel to Otsu
Nagisa Lake Park
Biwako Hana Funsui
Note: Kyoto to Otsu ¥ 380

Day 5:
Travel to Osaka

Day 6 & 7:
I found a Shinkansen trip from which cover shikansen ride + hotel accomodation cost ¥ 21,250

Day 8:
Osaka City Tour

Day 9:
Leaving home

1. Do you think my itinerary is feasible?
2. My main objective is to relax and taking photos during Fall, do youthink places that i visit are idea for photos taking?
3. Based on my itinenaries, 7 days JR Pass may not be idea since transportation within Kyoto may not required or able to utilise JR Pass

Thank you



Hi Again,

1.) Yes it will be busy but well planned and certainly possible, I would make a time table with how much time you would like to spend in each place, so you can keep a track on things once you are traveling.

2.) I am not an a professional photographer but Kyoto offers many beautiful sights you could capture, I would also recommend that you visit the city Central after dark, the town really comes to life and can be very pretty!

3.) Transportation within Kyoto is done by several companies, buses stop almost everywhere and are one of the best ways to get around there. The JR-Pass is not valid on these buses but you can buy an all day bus pass for just 500Yen!

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Daniel-san, Thank you very much for your advise!


Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $254.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.