questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

transportation help plan in japan

Transportation help plan in Japan

I am trying to plan my trip to japan but I'm still not sure about transportation,
I will be there for 10 days:
2 April arrival: Kansai airport to Kyoto
2 to 6 April: I will be in kyoto traveling around(north, south, west and east) including Nara and Osaka.
6 to 7 April: I'm going from Kyoto to hiroshima/Miyajima.
7 to 12 April: From Hiroshima to Tokyo (including yokohama Mt Fuji)

I need to know if JR Covers all these cities including buses in Kyoto.
and how to get a pass for 10 days only or there is another way?

Or i should get JR pass for 7 days starting Hiroshima trip? and get bus pass for kyoto?

Should i get the 14 days pass? I want to travel in kyoto by buses the most, i'm not sure JR covers Buses in Kyoto, and Kyoto to NARA/OSAKA.

What is the best to do so i can travel easily between these cities in 10 days?

Thank you.


Hi there!

I would recommend buying normal tickets, local passes for the first couple of days when you are in Kyoto, Nara and surrounding area and use a 7 day JR Pass for your travel Kyoto - Hiroshima - Tokyo and on.

For your arrival a Haruka + ICOCA would be perfect. It gives you a discounted ticket on the Haruka Express to Kyoto and you can use the ICOCA card for travel to Nara and around Kyoto.

Coming back to the JR Pass, Kyoto - Hiroshima is ¥ 10,790 and Hiroshima - Tokyo ¥ 18,050 this alone would more than pay for the 7 day JR Pass and any additional travel would add to your savings.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Yes Thank you this was really helpful, but i still have some questions if you don't mind.

I checked the site of ICOCA and somewhere it says:This is not a ticket for unlimited travel. The ticket is collected when leaving through the ticket gate.

does it mean i can only use it once? I am spending 4 days in kyoto and i was wondering if i can use the icoca round trip type during my stay between kyoto osaka and nara for several times.

and what kind of buses i can use with this card?

as for my 7 days pass on JR I should request it to my country in advance and then activate it in japan. when should i activate it if I arrive on the 2nd of April but i want to use it starting the 6 th of April? i mean can i activate it in kansai airport on the 2 nd of April and start using it on the 6th?

Thanks a lot for your quick help :)


One more question, does my JR pass cover Tokyo buses too and trains?


Hi again!

The ICOCA card basically is a prepaid travel wallet, you put money on it and pay tickets with it as you travel.
You can however use it as many times as you like, as long as there's money on it and it is always possible to recharge it.

You can use the ICOCA card for travel to Osaka and Nara.

You can buy the JR Pass inside Tokyo on both JR Lines and JR Buses these are generally enough to get you around the city. However for some area's you may have to use other transport methods such as the Tokyo Metro.

For activating your JR Pass at Kansai Airport, you can start using the pass right away or select a date for later use. Both options are possible. More information can be found in our blog:

Hope this helps too!

Expert button 2

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