questions & answers: using the japan rail pass



I'm traveling this week to Japan and I need a bit of guidance regarding how to use the JR pass. I've purchased it and received it in the mail but there's so much information and so little time that my head is swimming! I will be arriving in Tokyo on Aug 8. I understand that I should be able to use the JR pass for busses and trains while in Tokyo, correct?

I would like to leave from Tokyo to Kyoto on Aug 11 (early morning). How can I check the train status? What train would I get on?

I would then travel from Kyoto to Nara on Aug 13 for a day trip (early morning). Then depart from Nara in the early evening for Tokyo on Aug 13th.

How long can I anticipate each leg of the journey to be? Will I be able to use the pass in Kyoto and Nara on city trains? Is it safe for a woman to travel by herself in the evening from Nara to Tokyo?

Any help you can offer would be great. Thanks!


Also, if I wanted to see make a pit stop to see Mt Fuiji, how could I accomplish that using the current itinerary? If it's too much of a hassle, I can disregard that aspect.


Hi there,

Yes the JR Pass is valid for JR trains and buses in Tokyo, in addition to the Tokyo Monorail. In Kyoto and Nara bus transport is not included in the JR Pass.

Trains between Tokyo - Kyoto depart every 30 minutes, you can check timetables and other route information using

Trains travel between Tokyo - Kyoto is about 160 minutes, Kyoto - Nara 60 minutes and Nara - Tokyo 180-200minutes.

Japan is a very safe country and you will be fine travelling alone from Nara to Tokyo. Gender does not make a difference :)

Lastly for Fuji, this may be hard to fit in. My advice would be to make a day trip from Tokyo to Fuji if you can. Fuji Five Lakes is very beautiful and very doable as a day trip.

Hope this helps!

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