What JR pass do you suggest?

Aug 10th, 2008, 06:03 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 70
What JR pass do you suggest?

OK, I am getting totally confused.
I thought the JR West Kansai pass would be best for us, but JTB suggests the Sanyo 4 day pass which on the web site doesn't seem to cover the Haruka express train to Kyoto from KIX. Here is the itinerary I've been working on which includes travel with our fourteen year old grand- daughter and eleven year old
grand-son. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Day 1 Thursday-
arrive KIX @ 4:30 PM after a LONG flight.
Haruka express to Kyoto station, taxi to Hyatt Kyoto Hotel. Eat and collapse.

Day 2 and Day 3 Friday and Saturday-
Early start to visit Kyoto sites which I am mapping out.

Day 4 Sunday- Heminji castle and Hiroshima (recent postings outline how to's)

Day 5 Monday- Nara

Day 6 Last day in Kyoto- departing KIX flight leaving at 10 PM. (I have reserved a room for this day so we have a place to relax and clean up before leaving.)

It seems that since a 4 day San-yo pass at 20,000 yen, would only cover just four days and not include KIX to Kyoto while a regular 7 day JR pass at 28,000 yen would (I think!) cover the trips we want to make. Please correct me if I've got this all messed up.

My first inclination is to just take the MK limo service that hawaiian traveler has suggested back and forth to the airport.


northshoreauntie is offline  
Aug 10th, 2008, 08:32 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,343
IMHO you would need the 7 day JR Rail Pass for 28,300 yen.

The JR West Kansai pass is not good to Hiroshima and will only take you on the local trains anyway so will be very slow. You can take the Haruka Express in the unreserved section only so that part is ok.

How much is the MK Taxi service for your group?



hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 09:15 AM
  #3  
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MK taxi web site says 3500 yen per person and 1000y for additional bag
which seems reasonable.
northshoreauntie is offline  
Aug 11th, 2008, 10:07 PM
  #4  
 
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a few thoughts......

It would be nice to take the MK Taxi from KIX to Kyoto after your flight. Much easier and less worries about learning about the trains, jet lagged, and on the first day in Japan. May cost a little more but well worth it with children imho

You then wouldn't need a pass as you would only be catching the train r/t Kyoto-Hiroshima and Kyoto Nara r/t. No need for a pass there, just buy the tickets at the station or at the travel desk in the Hyatt. They will make the reservations for you at the Hyatt and will be better than the stations as they should speak English well

If you join the free Hyatt Gold Passport Club you can get a late checkout for free(up to 4:00). That way you might save paying for a room on the last day. You will need to be at KIX at 7:00pm for a 10:00pm flight. It should be just right leaving Kyoto via the MK Taxi at about 4:30 or 5:00. Here is some info about the club

http://goldpassport.hyatt.com/gp/en/index.jsp

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 12th, 2008, 12:03 AM
  #5  
 
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Posts: 15,642
Kyoto-Himeji-Hiroshima-Kyoto would be around 25,000 yen for reserved seats on Nozomi shinkansen trains. Two 1-day Kansai Area passes to use for KIX-Kyoto and Kyoto-KIX (unreserved) is 4000. About 1500 for Kyoto-Nara-Kyoto.

That is about 30,500 yen compared to the 28,300 for the 7-day JR Pass (which would require changes of train at Shin Osaka to/from Hiroshima).

Actually, I think you can get the Himeji, Hiroshima ticket for a bit less - about 22,500 which would be the cost of a Kyoto-Hiroshima roundtrip which includes the two reserved seat fees (you are allowed a stopover on this 380km trip, see Validity:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_001.html).
Plus another 500 or 700 for a third reserved seat fee. So, maybe 23,000

So it comes out to be right around the JR Pass price. Not getting the JR Pass would mean you could use MK Taxi for the airport transfer(s).

btw, you are doing a heck of a lot of traveling in such a short time.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Aug 12th, 2008, 05:39 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,343
I think bottom line is that if you get the MK Taxi service you do not get a JR Pass.

It will be easier and cheaper for you to just buy the tickets you need and if you don't want to go to Hiroshima one day because you are too tired you don't have to.

You will also save the time and hassle of actually buying the exchange order at home and redeeming the exchange order for the actual rail pass at a JR station when you get to Japan.

Sounds like you have everything about set. When is it you are planning on going again?

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
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