Confusion regarding Japan Rail Pass

Aug 23rd, 2004, 07:51 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7
Confusion regarding Japan Rail Pass

Hi -

We will be traveling in Japan for 14 days and will be getting a Japan Rail pass before we depart the States.

Our confusion is whether we should be getting a 1 week pass or a 2 week pass since we will be staying in Tokyo at the beginning and end of the trip.

Following is our general itinerary (with further questions to follow):

Sun - Arrive Tokyo
Mon - Tokyo
Tue - Tokyo
Wed - Tokyo
Thurs - Hakone
Fri - Kyoto
Sat - Kyoto
Sun - Kyoto
Mon - Kyoto
Tues -Miyajima
Wed - Hiroshima return to Tokyo
Thurs - Tokyo - maybe day trip to Kamakura or Nikko
Fri - Tokyo - maybe day trip to Disney Sea
Sat - Tokyo
Sun - Depart

It would seem that if we got a 1 week pass, we would activate it on Thursday when we go to Hakone and it would finish 7 days later when we return to Tokyo from Hiroshima on Wednesday.

We've gotten conflicting reports as to whether the pass is good in Tokyo too. If it is, I assume we should get a two week pass. Or - is it only good on the trains in Tokyo but not the subway in Tokyo and therefore it's not helpful since I assume we'll really want to be taking the subway.

Lastly, assuming the pass is not helpful in Tokyo, I assume a "possible" day trip to Kamakura or Disney Sea would still not warrant buying a 2 week pass and we should just pay for tickets if we do go to either of those places.

Thanks for helping to straighten us out! We're leaving at the end of the week so need to buy our passes in the next few days.

p.s. We posted a similar question before (and thanks to all who answered) but we're posting again now as we extended our trip which has led to the confusion about which pass to buy.
lisasbabysister is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:54 PM
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I see that you have modified your itinerary some but still have not decided on Kamakura or Nikko (or both) yet.

You could take the Odakyu train to Hakone on Thursday and then activate your JR Pass at Odawara on Friday when you go to Kyoto. On Wednesday #2, you could take JR straight on through to Nikko, stay overnight, then use JR pass on Thursday to get back to Tokyo. Or stay in Tokyo on Thursday night and day trip to Nikko using the JR pass.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:57 PM
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I meant to say: Or stay in Tokyo Wednesday night and then day trip to Nikko on Thursday using the JR Pass.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for your response and your helpful suggestions. It would appear that you certainly don't think we need to buy a two week pass.
lisasbabysister is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 10:46 PM
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Buy a 2 week pass. You can use it in Tokyo too. You just can't use the subway in Tokyo. Only the JR stations. It does go to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea too.
kb9855 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 12:47 AM
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Bonjour Lisa,

My advice is to take the 14 days pass. You'll find that you can cover a lot of ground inside Tokyo using the JR lines, and the occasional subway ticket won't break the bank.

It will allow you the flexibility you need should you decide to alter your plans should you discover you want to stay longer in or around Kyoto*, for daytrips on the way, etc.

* don't miss the opportunity to visit the tourism center inside Kyoto station, as well as the Wellcome res. center (9th floor through the south elevators inside Isetan dept store in the station) for informations on what's on in Kyoto and around. Should you want to change your plans, the Welcome center will help you cancel/book accomodations for no fee.
Florence is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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It's a 15-day trip, so a 14-day pass won't cover both transfers to/from the airport, but you could use it for one.

The difference in pass prices is 17,000 JPY. Here is the ballpark of roundtrip ticket costs for the day trips you are considering:
1500 Disney
1500 Disney Sea
2000 Kamakura
5000 Nikko
3000 Narita Express one-way
+4000 (1000Y/day for 4 Tokyo days)

If you took all of the day trips, then the 14-day pass would make sense, cost-wise, but you would still be navigatiing JR and subways to do those trips. If you decided on Kamakura and Disney Sea, then it would be about 10500 JPY (1500+2000+4000+3000) you would be wasting about 6500 JPY if you had the JR Pass.

All of those daytrips are popular ones which you could arrange at your hotel.

The flexibility that the 14-day pass would give you would be the option of postponing your return to Tokyo by a day or two. The Nikko trip could cost you as much over 10,000 yen roundtrip on JR if you took the most expensive route (it would make the trip in 70 minutes each way instead of 140 minutes).

mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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Wow mrwunrfl - thank you so much for this incredibly helpful information.

I'm leaning now toward the 7 day pass as we wouldn't go to Disneyland, maybe Disneysea but more likely Nikko or Kamakura. There is also the possibility that someone may take us to the airport.

So my next question is - can you let us know how much it would cost to buy a ticket to Hakone as you suggest, if we don't start the pass until we leave Hakone? That would give us the flexibility to do a daytrip on the 2nd Thursday when we get back to Tokyo. (I guess we need to compare the cost of buying the ticket to Hakone vs buying a ticket to Nikko or Kamakura).There seems to be SO much to do in Tokyo, I suspect we won't want to take TOO many day trips.

Thanks again.
lisasbabysister is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 07:14 PM
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see my post tokyo-hakone-tokyo. if you don't want to return to tokyo, i think you would still save yen, as you will get the one way trip to hakone, and a nites stay at the hakone prince hotel for 9900Y.
kuranosuke is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 08:23 PM
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It would cost you as little as 960 JPY or 3840 on the Kodama shinkansen.

Really, 960 yen. Go to and click on the English link. Enter
Start Point: Akasaka(Tokyo)
Destination: Odawara
Time: 09:15

and see the trip via Chiyoda Line subway to Yoyogiuehara and then Odakyu Odawara Line to Odawara. Only $960
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 08:27 PM
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NOT $960, of course, just 960 JPY
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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9 hours and 15 minutes??

i hope they have alot of good ekiben along the way. itadaki-masu.
kuranosuke is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 10:21 PM
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Thanks all for your helpful input. We appreciate it and will go calcuate what's best to do!
lisasbabysister is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 05:53 AM
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The 9:15 was the departure time, AM. At the hyperdia website:

If you use Akasaka(Tokyo) as Start Point (enter exactly: Akasaka(Tokyo) with no spaces) and Odawara as Destination. Set the Time to 9:15 departure. Search and see the Y960 option.

There is only one connection for the trip, though they list three segments. In the timetable column, if you click on the clock-book icon on each of the three travel segment lines then you will see the schedules for each rail line.
mrwunrfl is offline  
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