questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

why kind of pass best suits us?

Why Kind of Pass Best Suits Us?

We will be travelling to Japan for cherry blossom, below is the tentative itinerary. We would like to see if we will have more cost saving by using 5 Day JR Pass + Hokkaido Pass / Discount Ticket? For travelling from Sapporo to Tokyo, we want to save time and prefer to travel at night time. Alternatively, we may take a flight.

Re the itinerary, please let us know if you have any better suggestion about the routing.

Thanks so much!

30-Apr DAY1 HK>Tokyo>Morioka
1-May DAY2 Morioka>Kakun>Aomori
2-May DAY3 Aomori>Hirosaki or Kanagi>Aomori
3-May DAY4 Aomori>Matsumae>Hakodate
4-May DAY5 Hakodate
5-May DAY6 Hakodate
6-May DAY7 Hakodate>Sapporo
7-May DAY8 Sapporo>Otaru>Sapporo
8-May DAY9 Sapporo>Tokyo
9-May DAY10 Tokyo>HK


We will be arriving Tokyo at 1605 on the first day, we are not sure if it is too risky to go to Morioka which takes 4 hours if we miss last train from Narita Airport at 1848?


Hello there,

There's two options here that work and the crux is whether you fly back from Sapporo to Tokyo or take the Shinkansen back. The 7 day JR Pass works great if you use it from day 1-7 and then fly back to Tokyo, while a 14 day JR Pass works very well if you make the trip back from Sapporo - Tokyo by rail. Note that the latter does almost take 10 hours of train travel so it's a bit long for most people.

As for your arrival, it is indeed a bit tricky. Under normal circumstances it should be no problem getting through customs and getting on the train at 18:48. At the same time, if your flight is delayed, it is busy at customs and/or there's a long queue at the exchange point for the JR Pass, then you may not make it in time. So you may want to stay the first night in Tokyo if you want to play it save.

Note that there are almost no night trains in Japan and you'll have to do most travel by day.

Hope this helps,

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