questions & answers: using the japan rail pass




My boyfriend and I have planned a 2 week trip with the itinerary:

Tokyo - 3 nights
Kyoto - 4 nights (day trips to Nara & whisky distillery)
Hiroshima/Miyajima - 1 night
Kagoshima - 2 nights
Himejii - 1 night
Overnight ferry from Tokyo-Oshima
Oshima - 1 night
Tokyo 2 nights (possible day trip to Hakone/Nikko/Kamakura)

It seems a lot to fit into 2 weeks but we are an energetic couple visiting Japan for the first time and want to see the most of everything we can! Does this seem reasonable? I know people may say we're spending too much time in Tokyo but our flight arrives in the evening on the first night and leaves in the morning when we return to the UK.

We had considered staying the penultimate night in e.g. Kamakura and just staying the final night in Tokyo...

Another question: would we be better off only getting a 7 day JR pass starting on the trip from Kyoto - Hiroshima (and paying a single fare from Tokyo-Kyoto) or would it be more cost-effective to get a 14 day pass? Can the pass be used on city transport around Tokyo and Kyoto?

Many thanks in advance for your advice!



Hello Corinna,

It is indeed somewhat busy...but hey you have to get the most out of Japan while you are there!

As for Oshima, do you mean Izu Oshima or somewhere else? In any event, I would go for a 14 day JR Pass. Simply because it gives you extra flexibility of traveling whenever you like and you will make stellar savings over normal tickets anyway, because of the trip to Kagoshima. A one way Tokyo - Hiroshima pays for more than the difference in price between a 7 and 14 day JR Pass.

Hope this helps!

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