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Japan Rail Pass vs Individual ticket purchase as needed

Japan Rail Pass vs Individual ticket purchase as needed

Mar 1st, 2014, 11:09 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Japan Rail Pass vs Individual ticket purchase as needed

Japan experts...please advise...

Need suggestions on whether we should buy the Japan Rail Pass for the following itinerary:

Day 1-We arrive in to Narita airport around 5pm.
Need transportation from Narita airport to Tokyo. Stay 1 night in Tokyo.

2)Take the Shinkansen to Kyoto. in Kyoto 4 nights.
Sight seeing around Kyoto by train, taxi, foot.

3) Take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo and spend 3 nights there.
Plan to tour Asakusa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza, Hakone, and maybe Kamakura.

4) Need Transportation back to Narita Airport

Questions I need help with...
1) what transportation should we used from/ to Narita airport to Tokyo?
2) By purchasing the Japan Rail pass, would it be the most economical and efficient way to tour Tokyo and Kyoto?
I read that the Japan Rail pass can be used on the Hikari Shinkansen ( Tokyo- Kyoto- Tokyo). This would save us from having to purchase additional tickets on the Shinkansen.

3) while touring Tokyo and Kyoto, would we be able to simply use the JRpass or would we need to purchase additional tickets? Can the JR pass be used on subways?

Any other advise, suggestions, and ideas for a fun and efficient way to get around Japan would be appreciated! Arigato minasan!
janechan is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 01:06 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,018
Transport to/from Narita: Depends almost entirely on where you are staying in Tokyo. The primary options are the Narita Express train, the airport limousine bus, and the Keisei Skyliner train. Of these, only the Narita Express is covered by the JR pass.

Hakone: The Hakone region is between Tokyo and Kyoto. If you're planning to arrive and leave from Tokyo, and also to visit Kyoto and Hakone, it makes the most sense to stop in Hakone while en route between Tokyo and Kyoto, probably spending a night in Hakone. If you do this and have a JR pass, you can use the pass to go from Tokyo to Odawara to Kyoto (or in the reverse direction). From Odawara to Hakone, you'd need a separate ticket, or the Hakone Free Pass.

JR rail pass: In Tokyo, the usual method of getting around the city is by subway or JR train, or a combination of the two. You can use the JR pass on the JR trains in Tokyo, but not on the subway.
DonTopaz is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 04:25 PM
  #3  
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Hi Don,
I read that I can purchase a E voucher on the Nozomi Shinkansen- Tokyo- Kyoto - Tokyo for a very good rate. 21,000 yen pp rd trip. So, I was trying to decide if it makes sense to do that and buy individual rail and subway passes in lieu of the JR 7 day pass which cost 37,800 yen pp. If I bought the JR pass, we would not be able to travel on the Nozomi Shinkansen, the fastest train.

Is there a site where I can see what tickets cost on the subways so I can figure out which is a better option?

We are thinking about just visiting Hakone as a day trip from Tokyo and not over night there.

Thank you for your ideas, Don.
janechan is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 04:55 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,120
The JR Pass costs 28,300 JPY for the regular seats. I don't think you can use the Evoucher for the green seats as the info says only non-reserved. But it is still 7,000 more JPY for the rail pass so if you were not planning a couple of side trips you would probably be better off with the Evoucher.

The JR Pass cannot be used on subways in Tokyo or Kyoto although there are some JR lines in both cities that may or may not be convenient to your touring.

As far as getting from the airport there are different options - here is a good listing of the options:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2027.html
Mara is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 04:58 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,018
> Is there a site where I can see what tickets cost on the subways

Hyperdia shows the subway fares between two stations.

The number of different choices is tremendous, and I'll leave you to your own devices to figure out which works well for you.
DonTopaz is offline  
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