questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

should we get a 14 day jr pass?

Should we get a 14 day JR pass?


We have a trip planned to Japan from October 27th to November 10th.
Here is the itinerary:

Narita Airport to hotel -Hotel sunroute Higashi Shinjuku
Higashi Shinjuku to Takayama
Takayama to Kyoto
Kyoto to Mount Koyasan
Mount Koyasan to Osaka
Osaka to another Tokyo hotel (this is what it says for the hotel *JR Sobu High speed line
Bakurocho Sta. 7min walk
Shin-nihonbashi Sta. 7min walk) - Where do we get off from the train for this hotel?
From the Tokyo hotel to Narita Airport

I used to check the train ticket prices and for JR it gave me about JPY25,000.
So maybe we shouln't buy a 14 day pass then?
Also one more question, when you buy the pass, do you still have to get real tickets for each train or can you just show the pass?

Thanks so much!!


I have been reading about some of the comments of the Keisel line and the 2 consecutive Tokyo subway tickets so let me give some details about the trip. Maybe it might be a better idea to buy a 7 day JR pass? Not sure...

Oct 28 - Arrive in Narita Airport around 4pm.
29 Tokyo
30 Tokyo
31 Travel to Takayama
1 Takayama
2 Travel to Kyoto
3 Kyoto
4 Day Trip to Nara from Kyoto
5 Travel to Mount Koyasan ( stay there 1 night)
6 Travel to Osaka
7 Osaka
8 Travel to Tokyo
9 Tokyo
10 Leave Tokyo hotel around 1:30PM

Thanks so much! Waiting for you responses. :)


Hi there!

Glad you found other comments helpful!

I think you're correct in thinking that a 7 day pass may be the best fit for your trip. Lets cost out the price of travel from Tokyo and back again:

  1. Tokyo > Takayama: ¥14600, (275mins, 532km)
  2. Takayama > Kyoto: ¥9980, (190mins, 314km)
  3. Kyoto > Nara: ¥690, (45mins, 41km)
  4. Nara > Kyoto: ¥690, (44mins, 41km)
  5. Kyoto > Osaka: ¥540, (28mins, 42km)
  6. Osaka > Tokyo: ¥13950, (194mins, 556km)

TOTAL: ¥40450 for 6 legs

  • 07 day rail pass (¥28,300) saving: ¥12150


As you can see, if you did manage to fit your Tokyo -> Tokyo travel (31st-8th) into a 7 day pass you'd make good savings of ¥12,150. However, this would mean reducing your travel outside Tokyo by 2 days. if you didn't want to modify your plans then it would be borderline whether a 7day+tickets would be better than just purchasing tickets as needed.

If plans cannot be changed

While on the one hand single tickets may be slightly cheaper (All single tickets would be ¥1800 cheaper vs a 7 day pass up to the 6th+tickets), if you did decide to go with the 7 day pass option for an extra ¥1800 you'd have the flexibility to add further day trips such as Hiroshima at virtually no extra cost.

On balance therefore, I think I'd still opt for the 7day + tickets just to have the flexibility as I travelled, however this is very much up to personal preference.

Tokyo travel

For Tokyo, you should refer to the Keisei + metro or Narita Express + Suica card deals to save on transport around Tokyo.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2


Thanks for your quick reply! I am a little confused.... So if I get the 7 day JR pass starting on the 31st and finishing on the 6th - that would be ¥28,300. Plus a ticket from Osaka to Tokyo which would be ¥13950. I don't think I am understanding you correctly. What do you mean by extra ¥1800? :)

Also do you think it makes sense to go from Kyoto to Mount Koyasan then to Osaka (as planned) or Kyoto to Osaka then to Mount Koyasan then Tokyo?

We can also just skip Osaka and stay in Tokyo for those extra 2 nights. That will be 3 nights in the beginning and 4 nights at the end in Tokyo - will that be too much? So we can keep JR to 7 days.

I am open to any suggestions of course.

Thanks so much!!


I guess I was a little complex in my explanation :)

The 7 day pass plus the Osaka to Kyoto ticket would be ¥42250. The price of 100% individual tickets for your journey is ¥40450. The difference between the two options is ¥1800.

Regarding koyasan, there won't be a massive difference, but koya is best accessed from Nankai Namba in Osaka so maybe it makes slightly more sense to go to koya from Osaka rather than Kyoto.

I personally think there is lots to do in Tokyo so I'm sure you won't get bored! You could also schedule a 2day trip to Hakone using the Hakone free pass (using some of the savings from the jrpass) from Tokyo/shinjuku, or perhaps a Kanto pass for Nikko and mt fuji if you felt like you needed more variety in the last part of your trip.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

I understand now. :)
So you think Tokyo has more to offer than Osaka?
I might think about it then. Just go from Tokyo to Takayama for 2 nights, then to Kyoto for 3 nights, then to Mt Koya for 1 night and then head back to Tokyo. That would be a 7 day JR pass.

I looked at Kanto pass too - so if we decide to get the Kanto pass, that would include a roundtrip to Nikko and mt fuji and trip to Narita airport. Can we use it for Tokyo subway as well?

How much is a ticket to Nikko normally? and to Narita airport?

Thank you!!!


Is there a JR train between Osaka and Tokyo? I only see Shinkansen Nozomi. Thank you!


Hi there!

Both cities are great, but Tokyo is certainly the larger of the two, and with that comes with more to see and do.

Unfortunately you cannot use the Kanto pass on the Metro as this is a municipal service and not operated by JR. Travel on the metro is not hugely expensive however, and you can estimate somewhere between ¥150-250 per trip.

Normally the return to Nikko costs around ¥10,000, and single to Narita around ¥3000. Here's a full cost and route break down for you:

  1. Tokyo > Nikko: ¥5630, (121mins, 150km)
  2. Nikko > Tokyo: ¥5630, (117mins, 150km)
  3. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3140, (58mins, 79km)

TOTAL: ¥14400 for 3 legs

As you can see a Kanto pass would give you good savings here for this component of your trip.

You can look up precise train timetables and costs at the Hyperdia travel planning website and learn how to use Hyperdia for JR Pass holders through our video blog. The secret is to deselect the "NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN)" when making your search. Check the above route links for some examples.

Hope this helps!

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