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Is the JR Rail Pass worth it?

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Hi everyone,

We will be in Japan for 12 days in August-September. Here is a basic outline of our trip:

8/26-8/31: Tokyo (arrive at Narita Airport)
8/31-9/3: Kyoto
9/3-9/6: Osaka

After researching and reading numerous sites and blogs, I'm getting confused and need some advice.
I'm finally coming here to get your guys' thoughts and suggestions!

- If I were to get the JR rail pass, should I get the 7-day or the 14 day? Will the JR rail pass be useful in Osaka and Kyoto? I heard there is a Kansai Thru Pass, which gives you access to transportation in the Kansai area along with some discounts on major attractions. But they only offer 2-day or 3-day passes.
Don't know if it's worth getting or if it's just better to buy individual tickets there.

- I thought about getting the 7-day rail pass to use in Tokyo and to take a bullet train to Kyoto. But when I calculate the transportation costs on google or HyperDia (subway tickets and bullet train cost), the approximate total cost doesn't come close to the price of the 7-day rail pass.
I supposed if we were to take day trips outside of Tokyo, the Rail pass would be worth it?

We are beginning to add details to our trip now so we haven't decided on any day trips from these major cities yet. Would the rail pass be worth it if we took day trips? Or would individual tickets still be cheaper?

Am I missing some information here that I'm not considering?
Is there another strategic way I can use the Rail Pass?

I have a lot of questions, so thank you in advance to anyone who posts a reply. This has been a very helpful community!

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