Japan Rail - help!

Old Mar 27th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Japan Rail - help!

Hi, I've searched the groups and have seen many posts about JR and went to the 2-3 websites suggested to find out if buying the JR pass is worth it, but the websites are confusing and I still don't know if I should get one or if it's more cost effective. HELP!

We are flying into Nagoya, going straight to Kyoto, staying in Kyoto but taking 2 day trips to Nara and 1-day trip from Kyoto to Hiroshima, Leave Kyot to spending 3 days in Koya San and from Koya San go straight to Nagoya airport.

From a cost perspective, is it cheaper to get a JR Pass? It sounds like if you are going to Tokyo, it may be worth it, but we are only going to a few places, close to each other

I can't tell from the websites. Help!

This is our iterinary.
1. Nagoya to Kyoto (8 days)
2. Stay in Kyoto
3. -- 2 Day trips to Nara (from Kyoto)
4. -- 1 Day LONG trip to Hiroshima (from Kyoto)
5. Kyoto to Koya San
6. Koya San to Nagoya
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 05:38 AM
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Buy a voucher for a 7-day JR Pass before you leave home. When you arrive in Nagoya, buy a ticket to Kyoto. Activate your JR Pass so that it gets you to Nagoya.

You have enough travel to justify the 28,300 yen cost of the 7-day pass:

Kyoto- Nara 740
Kyoto- Nara 740
Kyoto- Hiroshima 10990
Hiroshima- Kyoto 10990
Kyoto -Koyasan 3890
Koyasan- Nagoya 7680

That's 35030 and the 7-day pass costs 28,300

The ticket from Nagoya to Kyoto is 5640. If you skipped the side trips to Nara and Koyasan, you would just about be at the break-even point on the 7-day pass.

If you go to hyperdia.com and turn off the shinkansen options then you can get a cheaper price for Kyoto - Hiroshima of 6300 but it would take 6 hours 55 minutes and three train changes vs 1h 52 min and one change on the shinkansen with the JR Pass.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 08:30 PM
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MrWunrfl - Thanks so much for the info, it is very helpful!

I am staying for 10-11 days so probably can't buy a 7 day pass. It seem to me that I will break even on buying individual vs. a longer period pass?

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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 08:44 PM
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Buy a voucher for a 7-day JR Pass before you leave home. When you arrive in Nagoya, buy a ticket to Kyoto. Activate your JR Pass so that it gets you to Nagoya.

Buy a ticket from Nagoya to Kyoto and sightsee in Kyoto for days 1-4. Use the pass on days 5-11 to travel to Nara, Hiroshima, Koyasan, and back to Nagoya.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 09:05 PM
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You can exchange the voucher for the JR Pass and specify day 5 as the first day that it will be active.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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You said: "Activate your JR Pass so that it gets you to Nagoya."

what does that mean? Does this mean I must activate the pass in Nagoya, so that I can use the pass to head back to Nagoya airport to head home?

We are staying

Day 1-07 overnight in Kyoto
Day 8-11 overnight in Mt Koya

We can't squeeze all 2 day trips to Nara, 1 day trip to Hiroshima on the last days of Kyoto, so this will exceed the 7 days.

It sounds like I will also need to buy a separate Nagoya to Kyoto pass.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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1) on day 1, buy a one-way ticket from Nagoya to Kyoto.

2) on day 5, in Kyoto, activate your JR Pass and use it on day 5, 6, or 7 for your trip to Hiroshima.

3) on day 8, use your JR Pass to get to Koyasan

4) on day 11, use the pass to get from Koyasan to Nagoya

If you can take one of your Nara trips on day 5, or 6, or 7 (when you are not going to Hiroshima, of course), so much the better. Someone on this forum mentioned that there are non-JR trains between Nara and Kyoto that are more convenient and, I think, less expensive. If you don't use your JR Pass for either of the Nara trips, then you are still saving money if you use the pass for Kyoto- Hiroshima- Kyoto - Koyasan- Nagoya.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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hi there.

why dont you buy the seisyun 18 pass? it is a book of 5 tickets which is kind of special type of ticket in holiday season in japan. you can use 5 days or 5 people for one day trip, etc. you dont have to use 5 days straight, because the ticket is an one day pass / no limit of distination. well, it depends on when you travel though, if you travel in

mar 1 - apr 10
july 20 - sep 10
dec 10 - jan 20

you can use the ticket for 2300 yen / a day.
but you have to buy it in

feb 20 - mar 31
july 1 - aug 31
dec 1 - jan 10

I'm not sure you can buy it on the internet, but you should ask them.

and kyoto - nara is only 690yen for one way, 1380yen for round trip. you should buy the normal ticket.

if you can read japanese, visit here;
http://jreast.eki-net.com/
it is the official website of JR. you can serch the fare, discount tickets, route, and so on.

good luck!
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 08:43 PM
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Problem with the seisyun 18 pass is that it can't be used on limited express trains or shinkansen. That means it would be over 6 hours each way between Kyoto and Hiroshima. The pass is described on the following pages:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2362.html
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/seishun18.html
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 09:00 PM
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mrwunrfl: let me be one of the first to wish you happy 49.
emd
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 09:11 PM
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thank you. Happy birthday to you too! The big five-oh!!
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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mrwunrfl - Happy Birthday

Thanks everyone for the info. I'm leaving in a few weeks, and still don't know what to do.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Yeah, yeah, 50. I got the AARP solicitation two weeks ago. But they say 50 is the new 40, right? So that makes you (and Jack Benny) 39!
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Old Mar 30th, 2005, 06:32 PM
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i was checking reservations on http://www.world.eki-net.com/e_Train.../e_rResult.asp and this came up when trying to reserve tokyo-hiroshima or any route on the Tokaido&Sanyo Shinkansen line:
JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid on the 'Nozomi' trains of the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines.
JR EAST PASS is not valid on all trains of the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines.


What other Shinkansen can I use from tokyo-hiroshima without being the Nozomi?
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Old Mar 31st, 2005, 05:57 AM
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The Hikari shinkansen.

You would be making one change of trains (Tokaido line being the actual line of track from Tokyo to Kyoto and the Sanyo line from there all the way to Hakata). The Hikari train is aka Hikari Rail Star on the Sanyo line.
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 06:40 PM
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While in Kyoto, you can get a $5 one day pass for the buses there if that helps (not good on JR ones though). Also, maybe check into a 2 or 3 day Kansai thru pass for your time in Kyoto and Nara. It would be cheaper than buying a longer JR pass. There are JR buses in Kyoto too, so if your pass is already activated and your touring Kyoto in between long trips, you can use it just getting around there.
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