questions & answers: using the japan rail pass



hi all

should i be buying the JR Pass for 7-days (prepared to buy seperate train tickets for 1st few days) or 14-days based on my itinerary as follows:-

Day 1: Narita -> Shinjuku -> Onarimon -> Asakusa -> Shinjuku
Day 2: Shinjuku -> Disneysea
Day 3: Shinjuku -> Harajuku -> Shibuya -> Ginza -> Shinjuku
Day 4: Shinjuku -> Tsukijishijo -> Shinjuku -> Yokohama -> Shinjuku
Day 5: Shinjuku -> Rainbow bridge
Day 6: Shinjuku -> Hakone -> Shinjuku
Day 7: Shinjuku -> Osaka
Day 8: Osaka -> Kyoto -> Osaka
Day 9 to 11: Not planned yet. but i will need to go back to narita for the flight back home.


Hi there!

As the price of a 7 day JR Pass is the same as a return trip from Tokyo to Osaka by bullet, I recommend the following travel tips for you:

  1. Purchase a single Narita Express + SUICA travel card deal on arrival at Narita to Shinjuku. This will also give you ¥1500 of free metro and JR travel you can use during your trips to Yokohama and Disneysea.
  2. Purchase several (up to you, but I guess 3?) unlimited 2 day Tokyo Metro passes for use during your first week. These are a really cheap way of travelling around Tokyo, working out at ¥490/day if you use the 2 day pass. The only catches are that they only work on the Metro (so you'll need to use your SUICA to Disneysea and Yokohama) and that you must buy them at Narita on arrival - they are not available inside Tokyo (at that price)...
  3. Purchase a 7 day JR Pass and activate on day 5 until you leave on day 11. This will give you free JR travel up until you leave, including your trip to Odawara (for Hakone), Osaka, Kyoto and trip back to Tokyo and Narita on the Narita Express. Note that for Hakone, the JR Pass will get you as far as Odawara. From here you will need to purchase non-JR Odakyu tickets for travel upto Hakone itself. For day 9-10 you could consider visiting Hiroshima/Miyajima, Nikko or Kinosaki Onsen all for free!

This combination should give you excellent flexibility for your trip, and mean that you save the maximum amount while you are in Japan!

Hope this helps!

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