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Need an enlightment on JR Pass usage PLEASE...

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Hey all..

I am planning my next trip to Japan on May 2014. A friend and I heard about the JR Pass and we tried to look it online on how to use the pass. However, I am a bit lost on how exactly to use it. Our trip will be Tokyo - Osaka - Tokyo with maximizing day trips in between. We are planning to have full 10 days there and might visit mt. Fuji, Gotemba, Hakone, Nara, and Kyoto. The question is: is the JR Pass can be used in ANY kind of train transportation? Like we say, between stations, or is it only can be used on shinkansen? We tried to google it, but apparently we cannot find any explanation. Next, is it easy to use? One of our concern is being totally lost in translation. Both of us cannot speak any Japanese. Lastly, is it cheaper to buy the pass or should we just buy the tickets on the spot? What is the payment mechanism? We pay per trip or we just deposit some money and the ticket price will be deducted on a card?

Thank you travelers... Hope i can hear from you soon...


Regards,

Julie

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