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Which JR pass for 13 day (Kansai-Kyoto-Tokyo-Osaka)

Hi,

My family of 4 (2 adult, 2 children aged 10 &13) is travelling to Japan on Nov 24, leaving Dec 6.

24/11 - arrive Kansai Airport at 4pm (need to travel to hotel in Kyoto, Choyama station)
25/11-27/11 - travelling around Kyoto
28/11 - Train to Tokyo (need travel to hotel in Shinjuku)
29/11 - 2/12 - Travel ard Tokyo including DisneySea
3/12 - Train to Osaka (hotel in Namba)
6/12 - Train back to Kansai Airport

Appreciate your advice
- Is 7-day JR pass more worthy or opt for regional Kyoto, Tokyo , Osaka pass?

Thank you in advance,
Nicky

Comments

  • Hi,
    For the Kansai area I recommend getting the Icoca & Haruka discount ticket.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_icoca_haruka.html
    It gives good discounts for the trains to/from the airport. There is no real discount for the IC card, but fares are not high and there is almost no Kansai area pass that is really easy to make worthwhile.

    You can use a 7 day pass for getting to Tokyo and back, although you'd still be a bit short from breaking even. That said, you're in Tokyo long enough and you have the time and chance to take a good day trip or two - and there is no shortage of great places. You could spend a day to see Nikko, Kamakura/Enoshima, Kusatsu, Karuizawa, Izu, Takao, Okutama, the Boso Peninsula, and many more.

    You'll be traveling during the autumn colors seasons which is one of the best times to be in Japan. Some popular places might be more crowded, but they are something special to see. There is a list of some popular places at:
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2014.html

    While in Kansai you should definitely allot at least half a day to see Nara also, which has some of Japan's best sights.

    You can see previews of some of the best places to see in Japan on:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/thejapanfaq/videos

    Hope that helps.
  • Hi,

    My family of 4 (2 adult, 2 children aged 10 &13) is travelling to Japan on Nov 24, leaving Dec 6. I am getting more confused as I tried to settle on which pass to get, as even there are so many different types of JR Pass (i.e. WHOLE Japan, WEST Kansai, WIDE Kansai, etc) Below are my plan / itinerary. Appreciate you recommendations for best option.

    Use Icoca & Haruka discount ticket OR Kansai Thru Pass 3 Day?
    24/11 - arrive Kansai Airport at 4pm (travel to hotel in Kyoto)
    25/11-27/11 - travelling around Kyoto

    Use JR Whole Japan Pass 7 days PLUS Pasma & Suicca?
    28/11 - Train to Tokyo (travel to hotel in Akihabara)
    29/11 - 2/12 - Travel ard Tokyo including DisneySea
    3/12 - Train to Osaka

    Use JR West Kansai 3 day pass OR just Icoca & Haruka will do?
    4/12 - 5/12 - Travel around Osaka including Universal Studio
    6/12 - Leave Japan via Kansai Airport.

    Thank you for your help.
    NICKY
  • Hello,
    Generally speaking, unless you are doing some long distance travel, it is very hard to make a Kansai regional pass pay off.
    With the Icoca & Haruka discount ticket you do get good discounts off of the Haruka train to/from KIX, but the regular fare between cities is not really discounted - yet the card is convenient to use. If you get one IC card, you _do not_ need to get any other like Pasma or Suica. You can use the Icoca card in Tokyo as well.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html
    If you plan to go to somewhere long distance in the area (like Himeji), then the Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Area Pass can be worthwhile. If not, I would say sticking with the Icoca & Haruka ticket will likely serve you better.

    Same thing for the full JR Pass - if you plan to take at least one good day trip from Tokyo (Nikko, Izu, Kusatsu, Takao, Karuizawa, etc) then the 7 day JR Pass can pay off well for you. Otherwise, just regular tickets are fine. Or, if you want to save a little money, there is also the Hokuriku Arch Pass.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_arch.html
    It is cheaper than the 7 day JR Pass, although it will also take a couple hours longer each way. That said, Kanazawa is along the way and a very nice city to visit - plus it has Japan's best historical traditional garden, Kenrokuen.
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