A few questions on the JR pass

Old Jul 1st, 2007, 04:12 PM
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A few questions on the JR pass

My husband and I are planning for our first trip to Japan. We are leaving in October and our route will be Tokyo-Kyoto-Nagoya with probably a daytrip or two scheduled in there. We are doing some research but are having some difficulty so I'm hoping someone here could clarify a few things for me.

I'm assuming that the JR pass does not include the price of the seat reservations. Is this a correct assumption? If seat reservations are not included are they mandatory? We would probably be using the Shinkanzen trains for several of the routes, with the exception of the Nozomi since it is not covered under the rail pass.

Thanks!
Tracy
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Old Jul 1st, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Seat reservations are not required except on some special airport trains and sleepers. They are minimal in cost, average about ¥500 per person per trip, but with a JR Pass they are free of charge. You can make them once you are in Japan at any station. Sometimes reserved seats are sold out. You can always ride in the non-reserved cars, even if there are no seats.

A 7 day pass is ¥28,300.

Were you to buy tickets, Tokyo - Kyoto is ¥13,520 on Nozomi and ¥13,220 on Hikari. Kyoto - Nagoya is ¥5640 on Nozomi and ¥5440 on Hikari. Even with a couple of day trips, unless you intend to go to Hiroshima or somewhere else pretty far, it would make financial sense NOT to buy a pass as the individual tickets you need are cheaper.
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Old Jul 1st, 2007, 05:08 PM
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You can check fares on hyperdia.com. The price you pay if you buy tickets is the total price, fare plus charge. The charge is partly seat reservation if you select reserved seat, and mostly the price you pay for better and faster trains above the local, which is the fare..if you took locals, you'd spend a loooongg time on trains.
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Old Jul 1st, 2007, 08:12 PM
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If the 7-day JR pass costs ¥28,300 and the cheapest round-trip Shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto costs ¥26,000, will it make more sense to get a 2-day package (round-trip train ticket and 1-night hotel) at ¥19,500?

http://act.jtbgmt.com/itdt/scripts/s...gp=Y&t_no=S310
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Old Jul 1st, 2007, 11:19 PM
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Seems to make sense to me to buy the package if that is the only train travel you are doing and you only want to spend a short time in Kyoto...you are limited to off peak trains I think, which gives you about 1/2 day each day you are there.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. After using hyperpedia and doing some research, we decided that the JR pass is not ideal for us as we would end up spending more money than necessary.

I did read that seat reservations are not mandatory and that usually one can find a seat without them. Is this correct?

The package looks like a great deal, but we will be spending most of our time in Kyoto so this probably wouldn't work for us. Our itinerary is 2 nights in Tokyo, 4 nights in Kyoto and 1 night in Nagoya (we are flying out of Nagoya). Because our trip is so short I don't even know if we will do any daytrips, which is another reason why we decided against the rail pass.

Thanks again for the responses. I am so excited to finally experience Japan!

Tracy
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