questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

tokyo-hakone-kyoto-nara(?)-osaka (jr rail pass?)

Tokyo-Hakone-Kyoto-Nara(?)-Osaka (JR Rail Pass?)

Hi, I will be in Japan over a 10-day period in early April, and I would like some advice whether it would be worth getting the 7-day JR Rail Pass for part of the trip. The tentative itinerary will be:

Day 1 - Narita Airport to Tokyo
Day 5 - Tokyo to Hakone
Day 6- Hakone to Kyoto
Day 9 - (Option A) Kyoto to Nara, then Nara to Osaka, OR (Option B) Kyoto to Osaka
Day 10 - Osaka to Kansai International Airport

*Note on Tokyo-Hakone leg: (1) For convenience, I am planning to depart from Tokyo Station, not Shinjuku. (2) I think the JR Rail Pass is valid only up to Odawara; is this correct?

I realise that variations of the same route have already been covered in other posts, but I would really appreciate your help. Thanks!


Hi there!

I think for your trip, if this is the only travel you intend to do I would not recommend the rail pass (as you don't come back on the shinkansen to Tokyo), but would go for:

  1. Narita Express + SUICA & 2 day metro passes for Tokyo
  2. Odakyu Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku to Hakone (this will be the easier in the long run, but if you wanted to go from Tokyo you could get a bullet train to Odawara and then the hakone free pass from there. you're correct that the JR lines and passes only go as far as Odawara).
  3. Single ticket from Odawara bullet train terminal to Kyoto
  4. Other tickets to travel around Kyoto as needed (eg 1 day bus pass etc - ask at the tourism information counter in Kyoto station for the best deals as they change regularly!)

I hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hi mari,

Thanks for the recommendation.

Just to clarify, is it still not worth the cost of the JR Rail Pass even taking into account the Kyoto-Osaka leg of the trip?


Hi Ruby,

Yes, I think so: the trip from Kyoto to Osaka is very short and normally costs around ¥500 ($5USD) so will not change things dramatically.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thanks mari - you've been very helpful.


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