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Enroh Aug 12th, 2013 09:29 PM

Japan Rail Pass - JR Kansai Pass
I'm not sure which pass or passes, if any, we should be buying for our upcoming trip to Japan.

Itinerary: 9 nights/10 days
-flying into Osaka - staying at the Sheraton Miyako (Uehommachi Station) for 4 nights
- planning day trips to Nara, Kyoto and spending a day in Osaka
- bullet train to Tokyo - staying at the Westin Tokyo (Ebisu Rial and Ebisu Subway) for 5 nights
- planning a day trip to Mt. Fuji, Hakone) and the rest of the time around Tokyo
- flying out of Narita

In reading through the various forums, it sounds as the JR Pass wouldn't be worth it as we are only going 1 way from Osaka-Tokyo and not return?
Not sure about getting the JR Kansai Pass for the first 4 days?
Plan on getting the 2 day Hakone Free Pass for our day trip to Hakone.
Should I be looking into getting a Prepaid IC card for Tokyo?

Many thanks for help in trying to work through the various rail pass options.

mrwunrfl Aug 16th, 2013 08:49 PM

You are correct that you do not need a JR Pass.

I didn't bother with a pass when I stayed several nights in Osaka. But it may do you some good. Kyoto-Nara is 690 each way. Kyoto-Osaka is 540 each way. Both on JR special rapid trains. Getting around Osaka is not epensive.

Yes on the Hakone Free Pass with a one-way trip on the Odakyu train at a reduced cost.

Yes, you should look into a prepaid card. It might be convenient. I have not yet used one.

mrwunrfl Aug 16th, 2013 08:53 PM

Oh, Osaka-Nara is 780 each way.

bdsbeautyblog Aug 21st, 2013 04:05 AM

Sorry to hijack the thread, but it's basically the same question :p

My husband and I live in Paris and are looking at visiting Japan in February. It is likely that we would fly into and out of Tokyo as this looks to be the cheapest route, but we would consider an open-jaw option (Paris-Tokyo, then Osaka-Paris) if it was equally good value. We'd be looking to only stay one or two nights in Tokyo, dividing our remaining 6 nights between Kyoto and Osaka (proportion not yet decided). So, if we are looking at getting the train from Tokyo to Osaka and then Kyoto, before heading back to Tokyo for our return flight, is it worth getting the pass?

Thanks :)

mrwunrfl Aug 21st, 2013 05:59 PM

Day 1 of a 7-day pass would be the day you travel to Kyoto. After 6 nights in Kyoto/Osaka you would return to Tokyo or Narita Airport. That would be 28,300

Tokyo to Kyoto to Osaka is about 14,250
If you return to Tokyo on day 7 then your total is 28,500.

Osaka to Narita Airport would be about 17,000
So that is about 31,500 if you pay as you go.

If you make a side-trip out of Kyoto (like Nara for about 1500 roundtrip) then the JR Pass would cover it. Hiroshima would be a 20,000 yen side trip.

Having a JR Pass would mean not having to get tickets like you would if you paid-as-you-go. Though you would want to get the free reserved seats.

At worst, the JR Pass would be break-even. It means you would be limited to non-Nozomi shinkansen for Tokyo<->Kyoto, but that is not a hardship esp if you pick your trains right (so that you don't have to change trains to/from Tokyo).

mrwunrfl Aug 21st, 2013 06:03 PM

After 6 nights in Kyoto/Osaka you would return to Tokyo or Narita Airport <b>on day 7 of the pass</b>.

I assume that you would be flying the next day (day 8). If it is a morning flight, maybe early afternoon, then I would stay the night before at Narita Airport. In that case, I would definitely get the pass to get to Narita on day 7. Otherwise, with an afternoon flight you could spend your last night in Tokyo and go to the airport the next day.

bdsbeautyblog Aug 24th, 2013 08:45 AM

Thanks guys :)
Yes, if we returned to Tokyo on day 7 of the pass, we would be staying overnight there and flying the next day, day 8.

I suppose my question was more focused on whether the pass would be worth it if we decided to fly back to Paris from Osaka, even though we'd flown in to Narita...i.e., we then WOULDN'T be backtracking back to Narita from Osaka.

Our trip in that situation would go something like this:
Day 1, arrive in Tokyo. Stay overnight in Tokyo.
Day 2, purchase the 7-day pass. Travel to Kyoto and check into hotel.
Days 3 and 4: overnight in Kyoto
Day 5: travel from Kyoto to Osaka. Check into hotel in Osaka.
Days 6 and 7: overnight in Osaka
Day 8: fly back to Paris from Osaka

(NB timings are VERY approximate! Nothing's booked yet.)

So if we followed something like that itinerary above, would it still be worth getting the pass? We don't have any special desire to visit Hiroshima, although Nara is a possibility.

I get that if we flew into and out of Tokyo, it would definitely be worth getting the pass.

mrwunrfl Aug 24th, 2013 10:27 AM

Oh, I thought it was obvious that you would not need a JR Pass if you didn't return to Tokyo. You won't need a pass if you fly back from Osaka.

bdsbeautyblog Aug 31st, 2013 08:02 AM

^^ Thought as much! Just wanted to check though :) Thanks so much :)

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