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JR Pass Worth It for Roundtrip Tokyo-Kyoto?


I will be in Japan for a week and was planning on buying a 7 day JR Pass. I will be be landing at Narita, so I was hoping to use the NEX to get into Tokyo. I will spend the second half of my week in Kyoto and then return to Tokyo Narita for a flight. Is the JR Pass worth it? When I search trains on hyperdia.com, it says that the SHINKANSEN NOZOMI goes directly from Tokyo-Kyoto and Kyoto-Tokyo but I do not think the JR Pass covers the SHINKANSEN NOZOMI, so I would have to take another route with more stops/transfers. I feel like I am running around in circles, any help would be much appreciated!


  • Hi,
    It's not hard.
    The short answer is that with the N'Ex trip plus the round trip to Kyoto and back, you do make the 7 day pass pay off.

    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
    Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train using the pass.

    There is perhaps however, a better deal for you. You could use the japanican ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto and back - you can take the Nozomi with it, and it is much cheaper than the JR Pass.

    You can't use it from Narita, but the 1000 yen bus from Narita to Tokyo is very cheap.

    Now if you want to stop off along the way or go beyond Kansai, it'd be better to stick with the JR Pass. For example, you might want to go see Himeji beyond Kyoto, with Japan's best castle. The Kokoen Garden next door is very good too. It's up to you.
    Whichever you choose, you should at least make half a day open to see Nara - it has some of Japan's very best sights.

    You can see previews of some of the best places to see in Japan on:

  • Hi, we are staying in Narita for one night before traveling to Kyoto. It would have been better to fly into Osaka first but it wasn't until after we booked our flight to Tokyo that we arranged to meet up with family in Kyoto. Can you please tell me the simplest and most efficient way to get to Mukomachi station using our JR rail ticket? I've tried using the Hyperdia site but they don't make it easy! The station I need to get to isn't recognised by their search engine. Thanks!
  • Hi,
    First, it's better to start a new thread and not piggyback your question on someone else's.
    I don't know what trouble you had - I used Hyperdia and got the results in 2 seconds. See for yourself:


    Please note that there could be a line of people trying to activate their pass at Narita Airport, taking half an hour, and you must have seat reservations for the N'Ex (they're free with the pass).

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