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3 week holiday

Hi, we are travelling to Japan from the 14th April to 5th May.
Our first 4 nights are in Tokyo (14th - 18th) then we head down to Hiroshima, stopping along the way, then return to Tokyo on the 3rd of May.
Is it more affordable to buy the JR pass for 14 days (from the day we leave Tokyo - 18th) or purchasing the 21 day pass? If we get the 14 day pass it will end our train journey in Yokohama, is it more affordable if we just get the regular train from Yokohama to Tokyo or is it best to get the 21 day pass and use it to get from Yokohama to Tokyo?

Comments

  • Hi,
    You are unclear about your full itinerary. If you are going from Tokyo to Hiroshima, with some stop over in Kansai, then you are not traveling enough to make a 21 day pass pay off.
    If you are staying in one place, you are not getting anything out of a pass anyway - the pass only gives value when you are traveling long distance, particularly by bullet train. If you get the 14 day pass, and use it from Apr 18, your last day would be May 1st.
    Please remember that the day you activate it for to use counts as Day One - which starts and ends at midnight. So if you activate it to use it that day at 6 PM, your first "day" is just 6 hours long.

    I have no idea where on May 1st you'll be - but if that puts you in Yokohama, the remaining fare to Tokyo is quite cheap, unless you take the bullet train. If you are going to Yokohama, don't miss the Sankeien Garden - it is one of Japan's best.

    The price difference between 14 and 21 day pass is only about 13,000 yen, so if you add some day trips from Tokyo, a 21 day pass may pay off.

    You may or may not be aware of this, but you will be in Japan during Golden Week which is a peak season. I highly recommend you make train seat reservations as soon as you determine which train you will take. You can make them in any JR office and they are free with the pass. You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
    http://www.hyperdia.com
    Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train using the pass.

    That said, mid-April may be too late to see the cherry blossoms unless you go to the mountains or way up north, but if you like, you can still enjoy the shibazakura near Mt Fuji and in Chichibu.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6919.html
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6555.html
    Your timing is also perfect at the end to see the wisteria, and the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi above Tokyo is one of the nation's best places to see them. They are stunning.
    http://www.ashikaga.co.jp/english/
    https://goo.gl/YB6hfj

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

    There are also loads of other tips on
    http://www.thejapanfaq.com/the-best-japan-travel-tips/

    Best wishes.

  • Thank you so much Tenjin for the awesome links and advice!

    I know my information was brief, here's my itinerary:

    Tokyo: 14 - 18 April
    Fujiyoshida: 18 - 20 April
    Osaka: 20 - 23 April
    Kurashiki: 23 - 25 April
    Hiroshima: 25 - 28 April
    Kyoto: 28 - 1 May
    Yokohama: 1 - 3 May
    Tokyo: 3 - 6 May

    I was thinking of activating the rail pass on the 18th then it will expire on the 1st like you said.
    We didn't plan on taking any day trips from Tokyo as we have so many attractions to see in the city hence my thoughts on just getting a 14 day pass then catching a train from Yokohama to Tokyo on the travel date 3 May. Will a pasmo card cover that journey?

    Regards, Deb
  • Hi,
    Yes you can use a Pasmo card.
    I'd also recommend taking a day to see Kamakura & Enoshima. It has some very famous and noteworthy sights.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2166.html
    There's a good local pass you can use.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_004.html

    Yokohama is nice, but 2 days is probably enough.

    For most, 3-4 days in Tokyo is quite enough. If you can fit in, a day for Nikko is also highly recommended. It's one of Japan's very best. A Tobu Nikko Fress Pass is a cheap way to get there and get around.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3800.html
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_002.html
    And unless you have one planned elsewhere, no visit to Japan is complete without going to a hot spring (onsen) at least once. The Kinugawa Onsen is a very nice one.
    https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3875.html
    Up to you.

    Bon voyage.
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