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JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

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Melbourne
posts: 162
reviews: 17
JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Hello all,

So I'm planning my trip to Japan, and that includes:

Tokyo > Yokohama > Nagoya > Takayama > Kyoto > Kobe (Osaka) > Nara (Osaka)

I am thinking of getting the 7 day JR Pass for the Yokohama > Nagoya until I reach Osaka at the end of my Nara day trip.

I have tried to check Hyperdia to see if it's worth it but am getting a little bit confused. Would my route be covered by the JR Pass? And is it worth it, or should I just buy individual tickets?

Also, how far in advanced can I book JR tickets for my journey?

18 replies to this topic
Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 30,006
reviews: 64
1. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Please post your complete itinerary - day by day, including arrival and departure airports. Then we can advise as to which pass(es) are best for your proposed itinerary.

Tokyo, Japan
posts: 3,889
2. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

JR Pass (7 days) is not worth it, if that's all travel you are planning to do.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,072
reviews: 76
3. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Unless you are traveling during peak Japanese travel seasons, there is no need to book tickets way in advance. For many of these routes, you can just walk up to the ticket counter and buy tickets minutes before your departure. If you have firm plans, then purchase in advance once you reach Japan.

Using Hyperdia, Shinkansen trains that aren't Nozomi or Mizuho are covered by the JR Pass. Also, any trains that start with just "Ltd. Exp" is covered by JR Pass. Anything else that starts with "JR" is also covered by JR Pass. There might be a few exceptions here and there but these rules generally hold true. Remember that "Seat Fee" is the express fee you have to pay on top of the base fare so individual tickets would have to include this fee in the total as well.

Melbourne
posts: 162
reviews: 17
4. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Thanks everyone...

Dave148, itinerary is:

Yokohama

Nagoya (1 night)

Takayama (1 night)

Kyoto (3 nights)

Kobe (day trip, stay at Osaka)

Nara (day trip, stay at Osaka)

Osaka

Thinking of using the JR pass from Yokohama - Nagoya until the day we reach Osaka after Nara. So 7 day pass is not worth it? A bit confusing, because I think the amount I calculated from Hyperdia is about the same amount as the 7 day pass. If that's the case, is it not worth the pass (and convenience)?

Would love to hear your thoughts :)

And Sammyfloyd, thanks for that. Very useful information! :) Seat fee isn't included in JR pass?

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,072
reviews: 76
5. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

"Seat Fee" is included in the JR Pass. Remember it's really the express train fees on top of the base fare. What I meant was that to calculate individual ticket price, be sure "seat fee" is included.

You are a couple thousand Yen behind the cost of a JR Pass at this point. If you aren't really going elsewhere, then JR Pass is probably at best break-even.

Townsville...
posts: 3
6. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Hi littlemisslooksee,

Your itinerary looks very nice. I love Takayama, it really is beautiful.

I think a 7-day JR pass will be worth it if you are planning to get to Takayama using JR. As you mentioned, the cost of a 7-day pass will work out for you to be about the same as purchasing individual tickets, but JR pass will save you some time and effort at JR stations.

Melbourne
posts: 162
reviews: 17
7. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Thank you Sammyfloyd for the explanation. If that is the case, is there another Pass that I might use when in Kansai area that might be useful/cheaper for my Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe-Osaka-Nara-Osaka trip?

And thanks MizueJ. Yes, I've heard so many lovely things about Takayama, I can't wait to visit. And yes, saving time and effort is the reason why I'm thinking of going with JR pass (IF it breaks even).

Townsville...
posts: 3
8. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

For the Kansai-region part of your trip, you may be interested to check out Kansai Thru Pass. I don't know much about the details, but it sounds both useful and economical :-)

surutto.com/tickets/kansai_thru_english.html

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,072
reviews: 76
9. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Kansai Thru Pass does not pay off for you planned itinerary.

With a JR Pass, you can take JR trains between Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe. For subway rides, just buy single tickets or get ICOCA stored value card.

Melbourne
posts: 162
reviews: 17
10. Re: JR Pass (7 days) worth it?

Thanks Sammyfloyd and MizueJ.

So, *if* I take the JR train in Kyoto as well, I might break even, hopefully? Because if not, of course, I'd just buy individual tickets as we go.

ICOCA card? If I am getting a SUICA card, would I need to get an ICOCA card or can I use the SUICA all over Japan?

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