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[Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima] Is JRPass worth it?

[Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima] Is JRPass worth it?

Old Nov 1st, 2009, 05:29 PM
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[Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima] Is JRPass worth it?

Hello

We'll be travelling in Japan this November by flying into Tokyo and catch the train to Kyoto the same day to spent about five days there, then on to Hiroshima for a couple of days, and then head back to Tokyo for about five days before flying home.

I know that JR only manages the Yamanote in Tokyo, which it means that we'll have to take a local pass to use the metro + bus lines, so I guess the JRPass isn't that useful in Tokyo. But that might not be true for the rest of the trip.

For those of you who have done the same trip, would you say buying a two-week JRPass makes sense, or should be get local passes in each city instead?

Thank you.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:00 AM
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It is not either JR Pass or local passes. You could use both.

What time does your flight arrive at Narita Airport?

The JR Pass is for getting from city to city. You can use it some in Tokyo (Yamanote line, yes, also, at least the Chuo Line). It is not useful in Kyoto or Hiroshima.

But which JR Pass you need depends on when you are actually traveling.

For a 7-day pass your itinerary would be something like this:
Day 1 Tokyo -> Kyoto
Day 2 Kyoto
Day 3 Kyoto
Day 4 Kyoto
Day 5 Kyoto
Day 6 Kyoto -> Hiroshima
Day 7 Hiroshima -> Tokyo
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:40 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. So, basically, the JRPass makes sense for long-distance travels, and to ride the Yamanote in Tokyo. Other than that, we'll have to get tickets/passes.

Does someone know how much the tickets cost for Tokyo-Kyoto (Nozomi and Hikari), Kyoto-Hiroshima, and Hiroshima-Tokyo?

Thank you.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 03:30 AM
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More than a 7-day JR Pass (28300 yen):
Tokyo - Kyoto: 13520 yen (Nozomi), 13220 yen (Hikari)
Kyoto - Hiroshima: 11090 yen (Nozomi), 10790 yen (Hikari)
Hiroshima - Tokeo: 18550 yen (Nozomi), 18050 yen (Hikari)
So between 43160 yen and 42060 yen.
If you intend on staying 5 nights in Kyoto and 2 nights in Hiroshima, a 7-day pass will expire the day before your journey back to Tokyo. So you either have to shorten your stay in Kyoto or Hiroshima by one day, or get a 14-day pass at 45100 yen. In which case you can activate it as soon as you land in Narita, and use it to travel to Tokyo and back to Narita (which would normally cost 2980 yen x 2 on Narita Express) and for side trips, such as to Nara, Himeji etc.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 05:21 AM
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The Yamanote line is pretty useful for getting around Tokyo
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. It looks like we won't save much by buying the JRPass since we'll spend most of our time in the city, with occasional trips around Kyoto.

I'll see what kind of day-pass is available for Tokyo. Hopefully, there's one that includes JR + metro + buses.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 10:54 PM
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What time do you arrive at Narita Airport?

The sample itin I gave above should have said:
Day 1 Narita Airport -> Kyoto

Alec explained it well. The ticket costs that Alec gave sound right: about 42,000 yen vs a 7-day JR Pass that costs 28,300 yen.

So, spending that second night in Hiroshima will cost you about 14,000 yen.

In addition to paying the 42,000 yen for the travel from Narita Airport to Kyoto to Hiroshima to Tokyo, you will also pay about 3,000 to get from Tokyo back to the airport.

That is now 45,000 yen - the same price as a 14-day pass. In addition to the Yamanote line you would also be able to use the Chuo line and a couple of other Tokyo lines that might be of use, depending on where you stay. Additionally, you could use that pass for day trips: Hakone or Kamakura or Nikko.

I would get a JR Pass for this trip. You won't have to wait in ticket lines and will only need to go to the reserved seat lines - to get your free reserved seats.
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