Buy Japan Rail pass or not?

Old Mar 5th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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kdd
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Buy Japan Rail pass or not?

Hi,

I am not sure if it makes sense for me to buy the Japan Rail pass...here is the travel requirement on trains.

Travel within Tokyo and Kyoto cities
Tokyo to Nikko and back
Travel Tokyo to Kyoto - on the Nozomi train which is not covered by the JR Pass
Kyoto to Nara and back
Kyoto to Mt Koya
Mt Koya to Osaka airport

Will having a JR pass make it convenient and cheaper or no point getting one?

Please help!
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 05:59 PM
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With that itinerary the JR Pass would not be a worthwhile investment....maybe if you used it for Tokyo to Kyoto - why can't you take the Hikari - it isn't that much slower.

You can use hyperdia.com to figure out the exact costs of your trips. Make sure you use Total Fare which includes Fare and Seat Fee - which really is the Express charge that is required...
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 07:18 PM
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kdd
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I suppose we could use Hikari, but Nozomi is the fastest one so we thought would be nice to experience that.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 07:20 PM
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Another question - which of the above mentioned journeys can be done using the JR pass? I understand that some are regional trains not run by JR and so I dont know if the pass will be honoured on those trains.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 08:14 PM
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In actuality I think it is pretty much of a draw as to which is better - JR Pass or separate tickets - not sure if you trip would be within the 7 days of the pass.....even so, you might as well just go with separate tichets...
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 08:48 PM
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No point in getting a JR Pass for that itinerary. Not even if you fit all of that travel into 7 days and tried to take JR as much as possible. The only significant JR trip is the one-way from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Tokyo - your use of JR would be marginal. Shinjuku to Tokyo, for example, is only ¥190.

Kyoto - no JR use.

Nikko - Tobu Railways is less expensive than JR. Depending on where you stay in Tokyo JR might be more convenient or might not be. You could take JR on that trip but it still won't add up to a pass. Here is some Tobu rail info: http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/pass/w_heritage_pass.html

Tokyo to Kyoto - sure, take the Nozomi. Nozomi trains are a bit faster but, better than that, Nozomi departures are more frequent. Look for a discount option.

Koyasan - Would/could be JR from Kyoto to Osaka and then non-JR train to Koya. There is this for Nankai Railways: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_012.html

Nara - It is about ¥1,500 roundtrip on JR, IIRC.

Koyasan to "Osaka airport" - If you mean Osaka Kansai Airport then that trip can be Nankai Rail (non-JR) all the way or part JR at a JR cost of under 900 yen.

This Kansai region pass might fit into your plan: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357_005.html
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 09:28 PM
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It would be quicker to get to Kansai Airport from Kyoto or Nara (80 min) than from Koyasan (150 min).
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