questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

transportation options with a jr rail pass

Transportation Options with a JR Rail Pass


I'm a little disappointed now that I've purchased our 7 Day Rail Pass. Only because I now see that Nozomi Shikansen is by far the most available and quickest way for us to get to and from Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto and back to Tokyo. You had previously told me that the cost for individual Shinkansen tickets from all of the mentioned locations would have saved us about 28,300 yen but when I went into the Hyperdia Website and calculated the cost to catch a Nozomi Shinkansen the total difference was less than 1,000 yen. Tell me something that will make me feel better now that I have spent $576 to purchase our two JR 7 Day Rail Pass.

One person told me that we can use the JR Rail Pass to catch a Ferry that will take us to Miyajima Island since we already have the pass and will be spending a couple of days in Hiroshima. If that is correct that is a good thing.

The only other way that I can see us benefiting is using the JR Rail Pass to catch Subways and Buses while in Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto and even Tokyo. What do you think? Can we use the JR Rail Pass to accomplish this without having to spend more yen to buy additional tickets. In Tokyo, on our last trip we got around by purchasing the SUICA Card and loading it with Yen at the different Stations if needed. Can the JR Pass be used to catch the various subways in Tokyo and the other locations mentioned above.




Hi Mike!

Sorry to hear that you are disappointed, however I think this comes from confusion and I really do think that the JR helps you make some great savings with the JR Pass.
Referring to our previous post. Here I gave you a break down of ticket costs and possible savings and they still match up (¥ 18610 in savings). It is true that the JR Pass does not allow for travel on the Nozomi but you can take the Hikari or Sakura Shinkansen instead. These are the same trains as the Nozomi but make a couple more stops on the way, for instance the difference in travel time between Osaka - Hiroshima is just 4 minutes!

If you post your own calculations here I can see how you came to a difference less than 1,000 yen.

As for local travel in Osaka, Tokyo and other cities. The JR Pass is valid on the local JR Network in both Osaka, Tokyo and around Kyoto. This will cover most of your travel, especially in Tokyo and Osaka. I've added the maps of Tokyo and Osaka so you can get an idea of all that is covered. This includes lines such as the Yamonote line and Osaka loop line that both make a loop to the city and stop at many of the major stations. The Metro or subway is not covered by the JR Pass but again the JR Pass can cover most.

Let me know what you think!

Expert button 2

Hi Mike

No need to be discouraged.
The 7 day pass includes all the local JR trains, busses, and Miyajima ferry as well.
All though it doesn't cover nozomi, it's worth it. Just flash it and hop on the local trains!

Have fun!!!


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