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7- or 14-day JR pass utility?


We are traveling to Japan for our first time, in March. There is a bewildering assortment of travel passes/options. When does a JR Pass make sense, if one does?

The outline of our itinerary is:

1. Arriving in Narita Airport 17 Mar. Need transfer to Tokyo.
2. Tokyo until 20th, then travel to Kyoto. We are staying near touristy areas so either a JR Pass on Yamanote line or a Tokyo Metro/IC card will be useful?
3. Kyoto from 20th to 23rd (with day trip to Nara).
4. Travel to Kumamoto/Mt. Aso region for a ryokan in Aso on 23rd. Seems like a long day on train, and then bus/taxi to the mountains, but it would be a nice experience. 2 days in mountains.
5. Conference in Kumamoto 26th to 29th. Fixed, no extra excursions.
6. FLY back to Tokyo on 29th. Tix already purchased (train trip too long).
7. Leave Japan on 31st.

Thanks so much.


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