questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

what pass should i use?

What pass should i use?

This is my 1st Japan trip and I will be flying to Osaka on December
There are total 3 of us travelling.

I had drafted my itinerary as below:

Day 1 - 3 (4-6 Dec)
Arrival at Kansai Airport (8am)
Proceed to Osaka for leisure trip.
Stay Osaka

Day 3 -5 ( 6-8 Dec)
Proceed to Kyoto
Stay: Kyoto

Day 5- 6 ( 8-9 Dec)
Proceed to Nagoya
Stay: Nagoya

Day 6-7 (9-10 Dec)
Stay: Shirakawa-go

Day 7-8 (10-11 Dec)
Stay: Nagoya

Day 8-14 (11 -17 Dec)
Stay: Sapporo

Day 14-17 ( 17-20 Dec)
Stay: Tokyo
Proceed to Haneda airport to checkout.

Please suggest:
1) What passes are recommended?
2) Should i use flight to Hokkaido?
3) May I know the JR Pass valid to use in metro at Osaka,Kyoto,Nagoya?

Thank you.
Lee Wei


Hi Lee Wei,

Thank you for writing down your itinerary so carefully, this makes it much more easy for me to look at possible options.

When a JR Pass is would be beneficial depends on if you fly to Hokkaido or take the train. Flying is a lot quicker but may cost more and you do have to go trough flying procedures a couple of times (Personally I find that rather frustrating). To give you an idea of rail travel. The full trip Tokyo - Sapporo takes 10 hours, you can however make a stop at any time and get to see more of Japan. Nice stops directly on the route include Sendai, Hachinohe, Hakonedate and Nobori-bestsu. Whether plane or train is better is up to you, the JR Pass does cover all train travel to and within Hokkaido.

The JR Pass does not cover the metro/subway, it does however cover the local train network in both Osaka and Tokyo, which is more than enough to see most of both cities.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

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