questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

trip from 7 - 18 april 2016

Trip from 7 - 18 April 2016

Family of four arriving Narita Airport 3pm and wish to cover the following place :

7/4. Tokyo - straight using night train to Kyoto
8/4. Kyoto - Arashiyama area and golden pavillion, night visit to Pontocho or Gion area
9/4. Kyoto - Nara and Southeast Kyoto
10/4. Kyoto - Osaka day trip
11/4. Kyoto - Northern and Southern Kyoto
12/4. Kyoto - Tokyo using night train
13/4. Yokohama day trip
14/4. Gala Yuzawa
15/4. Shibuya/ Shinjuku area
16/4. Kurobe Alpine Route -
17/6. Harajuku/Takeshita Dori/ Meiji Shrine, Yoyoji Park
18/6. Asakusa area, Flight is 5pm

Pass need to purchase :
1. Tateyama Kurobe Open Ticket 9000 yen
2. Hokuriku Arch Pass 24,000 yen

  1. May I know is it possible to book night train on arrival to Kyoto using Hokuriku Arch Pass
  2. Will use HAP to travel to Nagano then use TKOT for the alpine route and again HAP back to Tokyo, is my understanding on this route right?
  3. Can HAP use for day trip to Nara, Arashiyama, Yuzawa and Yokohama?
  4. Or maybe I should get JR Pass for7 days instead of HAP



Hi there,

I would recommend using a JR Pass instead of an area pass for your travels. Firstly because the night train is not included in any area pass, such as the Hokuriku area pass and secondly because the route traveled using an area pass between Tokyo and Kyoto is much longer.

Instead I would use a 14 day JR Pass for travel to Kyoto, Tokyo, Galayuzawa, the Kurobe Alpine route and local travel in many places.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,

The reason for us to take the night train/ bus is the minimize the cost of accommodation as we intend to stay 4 nights in ryokan in Kyoto.

This season is super peak and hotel stay is far more expensive but to get the experience while in Japan we use the night travel to compensate the ryokan stay.

Getting the 14 day JR Pass and Alpine route ticket come up to 55,390 yen so maybe we can use night bus to cut the cost.



Hi there,

Having used the night bus and train several times, its something I can't personally recommend. That is unless you are sure that you can sleep. Otherwise losing the next day to fatigue is a high price to pay for savings a bit on accommodation, especially if you are in Japan for a short time.

Expert button 2

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