Japan community

Is it worth getting a JR pass?

18 days ago

Hello, My family and I are travelling to Japan at the end of May for 14 days and I am just wondering what type of JR pass would be best. I know that there are area specific passes you can get instead of getting the pass for the whole of Japan. We are traveling and exploring Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. Is there a pass that covers this area or will I need to purchase the JR pass that covers the whole of Japan?

16 replies
Australia
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18 days ago

What airport(s) are you flying into / out of?

Australia
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13 days ago

We're flying into Osaka and flying out of Tokyo

United States of America
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13 days ago

Oh! If you only need the Shinkansen one-way you definitely don't need a JR Pass. Just buy an IC card when you land (an Icoca in the Kansai region) and keep it loaded with funds. You can use it on almost everything (though it's complicated to use it for the Shinkansen; I'd just do that separately)

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

United States of America
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18 days ago

Probably worth it for the travel between those cities.
Here is a calculator, add in all your stops and if the cost is more than the JRPass, then it is worth getting.
https://www.japan-guide.com/railpass/

Sweden
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18 days ago

Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo are covered by the same regional pass. Our experience is that the JR pass saves money especially if you also use the JR commuter trains in these cities.

Australia
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17 days ago

Fly into Tokyo and out of Osaka (KIX) or vice-versa and you don’t need to backtrack ... and don’t need a JR Pass.

AFAIK, there is no regional Pass that covers both Kyoto/Osaka and Tokyo. They are in different regions so, by definition, a regional Pass isn’t likely.

Australia
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13 days ago

There is a regional pass that covers these cities! Travellers are allowed to get these pass aswell.

Australia
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12 days ago

Please explain what REGIONAL Pass covers both Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka.

Australia
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9 days ago

Hey Tony, I have included the link for the JR Hokuriku Arch Pass purchase link https://www.klook.com/activity/2781-7-day-jr-hokuriku-arch-pass-jr-pass/

Australia
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8 days ago

If you’re doing a roundtrip between Tokyo and Kyoto / Osaka and want to go via Kanazawa, rather than using the Tokaido Shinkansen line then, yes, the Hokuriku Arch Pass works. However, it still requires a roundtrip (or other significant travel within the validity period) to make it worthwhile.

Hong Kong
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17 days ago

JR pass is great value if you travel back and forth from Tokyo to Osaka, with stops of Kyoto, Nagoya (and others) in between on the bullet train. Also figure out to use it on JR Train in Tokyo and Osaka (NOT subways, just get single trip tickets if you are using subways) will save a lot of money. I didn't use it much in Kyoto. It may seem confusing which train you can use JR pass and which not but you will figure it out after a couple days.

United States of America
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13 days ago

My opinion: budget-wise, the 7-day JR Pass is not much of a savings over just using a traditional Pasmo or Suica for a Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka trip. Not having to think about whether you're on a JR line, particularly in Kyoto (where a JR pass isn't terribly useful) makes up for the budget difference. If you would need a 14-day pass with your plan, it's definitely not worth it.

Japan
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13 days ago

Hi - Just one view from a local FYI... In Kansai, there are other train lines, also; thus more areas to visit. It often makes me sad to see visitors choose to limit to places only where the JR passes take them although I understand their reason for wanting to do so.

Australia
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12 days ago

Stephanie - if you’re considering doing any day trips from Kyoto / Osaka, you may want to look at the Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass. It’s valid for 5 consecutive days so can be good value if you do day trips to Hiroshima and Himeji etc.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_kansai_hiroshima.html

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3400.html

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3501.html

Use an IC card for local trains (both JR and non-JR), subway, buses (and at convenience stores, some cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, vending machines, left luggage lockers). If you’re arriving at KIX, you may be interested in the ICOCA + Haruka discount deal.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3501.html

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_icoca_haruka.html

Australia
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8 days ago

Thank you so much everyone for your help. I’m looking into everything everyone has suggested to find the best possible option for us. Can’t thank you all enough X

Australia
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5 days ago

If you are going to do the whole of Japan you will need a pass for the whole of Japan. If You are planning to do a lot of trips from Osaka I would suggest the kansia-hiroshima pass at about $185 Australian. You can base yourself in Osaka and do day trips from there. I would also consider getting a ICOCA card to use on local trains, saves you so much time then buying separate tickets for local travel outside of the JR lines.