Have a question ?
Use our forum

JR pass - undecided


here is our itinerary.

feb 7 kul - kix - osaka(city attractions)
feb 8 osaka - hiroshima(peace memrial) - osaka(dotonburi)
feb 9 osaka - kyoto(inari/bamboo/kiyomizu-dera) - osaka
feb10 osaka - nara(todaiji/kasuga taisha/deer park) - osaka
feb 11 osaka(universal studios/kaiyukan/tempozan)
feb 12 osaka - tokyo(city attractions)
feb 14 tokyo - to be decided
feb 13 tokyo - kawaguchi(fuji viewing) or gotemba(shopping + fuji viewing) - tokyo
feb 14 - tokyo - yokohama -tokyo
feb15 - nrt - cts - chitose/sapporo
feb16 sapporo and vicinity areas(to be decided)
feb18 sapporo and vicinity areas(to be decided)
feb19 cts - kul

what would be the better deal? 7-days pass + pay as we go tickets or 14-days pass?

thank you in advance.


  • Hi,
    A 7 day pass makes far more sense. If you already have air tickets for flying to Sapporo, then you are all set - although for getting around locally and for from KIX into Osaka, you could use the Icoca & Haruka discount ticket:

    I would suggest however you rearrange your plans a bit - put Hiroshima/Miyajima on Feb 10 or 11, to better your plans in Tokyo. Then you list Feb 14th twice which is confusing. But if you are looking for a day trip, you might consider Nikko. It's popular and it has some excellent sights. Yokohama is nice but it's another big city like Tokyo and Osaka which you are already seeing.

    You list a few place you'll be seeing, but I hope you have planned than that. To go to Arashiyama on the west side just for the Bamboo Forest is quite a waste - you'll be finished in 20 minutes. There are many other good places to see in the area, like Tenryuji Temple next to it and other places. Both Arashiyama and the Fushimi Inari shrine can be easily reached by a JR train from Kyoto Stn. The shrine is open 24/7 though, so if you want to avoid the big crowds, go there in the early morning or evening. To get to Kiyomizudera, it's easy to go there after seeing the shrine - go to Fushimi Inari Stn (which is not the JR Inari Stn) and take the Keihan train to Kiyomizu-Gojo Stn, then walk east about 10-15 minutes.
    You'll only be seeing 2 of the Big 3 sights of Kyoto, but you could spend 2 months there and not see it all - you can always see more in a future trip. One day in Kyoto is just sticking your toe in the water though. Even so, there are more places you can add to fill up the day.

    If you choose to go to the Fuji 5 Lakes area, the pass can get you most of the way to Otsuki Stn, but then you'll need to pay for the Fujikyu train the rest of the way. There are various discount tourist tickets for the area though.
    I suggest you get an early morning start for there, Hiroshima etc since winter daylight hours are short. Returning after dark is not a problem though.

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

    Hope that helps.
  • Hi Tenjin.

    Appreciate the prompt response.

    made some adjustments made base on your suggestions

    feb 7 kul(flight) -> kix -> osaka(JR) -> shin-osaka(check-in)
    Feb7 osaka city attractions(JR + Suica)

    feb 8 shin-osaka(JR) -> inari station(JR) -> fushimi inari-taisha
    feb 8 fushimi inari station(Suica) -> kiyomizu-gojo station -> kiyomizu dera
    feb 8 kiyomizu dera(Suica) -> kyoto station(JR) -> shin-osaka

    feb 9 shin-osaka(JR) -> osaka station(JR) -> tsuruhashi station(suica) -> kintetsu-nara station -> nara park
    feb 9 kintetsu-nara station(Suica) -> kyoto station(JR) -> shin-osaka

    feb 10 shin-osaka(JR) -> hiroshima station(Suica) -> hiroshima peace memorial park
    feb 10 hiroshima peace memorial park(Suica) -> hiroshima station(JR) -> shin-osaka

    Feb 11 shin-osaka(JR+Suica)) -> universal studios/kaiyukan/tempozan *as time permits

    feb 12 osaka(JR) -> shibuya(check-in)
    feb 12 (JR+Suica) shibuya/shinjuku attractions

    feb 13 shibuya(JR) -> ikebukuro -> metropolitan hotel(Suica) -> gotemba premium outlets
    feb 13 gotemba premium outlets(Suica) -> metropolitan hotel -> ikebukuro(JR) -> shibuya station
    *we may opt to visit gotemba. Mt. Fuji is visible for viewing from here.

    feb 14 (JR+Suica) tokyo area attractions - gyoen park/ueno park/tokyo tower/skytree/ginza*as time permits

    feb 15 shibuya(Suica) -> yokohama -> nissan hq gallery
    feb 15 nissan hq gallery ->yokohama(JR) - shibuya
    *we may consider going up north to nikko(2.5 hrs one-way) if we can shift visiting nissan gallery either feb 13 or feb 14.

    feb16 shibuya(JR) -> narita airport terminal 2·3
    feb 16 narita airport terminal 2 - 3(jetstar) -> chitose
    feb 16 chitose/sapporo(check-in) to be decided.
    Feb 16 sapporo attractions(to be decided) *as time permits

    feb17 sapporo attractions(to be decided)

    feb18 sapporo attractions(to be decided)

    feb19 chitose(flight) -> kul

    in sapporo we plan to be a less hectic sojourn and intent to visit places within sapporo city. for accommodation we may decide to be in chitose as it is near to the airport for our return to kuala lumpur. our flight out is a morning flight of feb 19. for this would a 7-day national pass as you suggest be sufficient?

    thank you and best regards.
  • Hi,
    It looks much better, but you certainly can fill up your plans more. Going all the way to Hiroshima just for the Dome is just not worth it - there are other good sights there as well, including the Peace Museum, castle, Shukkeien Garden, and Mitakidera Temple. If you have the JR Pass you can use it on the Loop Bus which goes around the city's main sights.
    Many people combine the city with a visit to Miyajima, which can be done with an early morning start.
    Aside from the Itsukushima Shrine with the giant "floating" torii, the Daishoin Temple is also a must-see place. There are several other pagodas and temples, and climbing Mt. Misen offers a fantastic view over the island and whole area. It's all a bit ambitious, but if your travel pace is not plodding, it is doable.

    You could add more for Kyoto too, as I mentioned. If you don't want to go far, there are the 2 Honganji Temples, plus the Toji Temple, which are all within walking distance of Kyoto Station. The Honganji Temples have some of the most impressive wooden buildings in the world. There is also the Kyoto Railway Museum nearby to add some variety of you want.

    I'm not sure what you will do in Sapporo - you're a bit too late to see the annual Snow Festival, which is really something.
    There is more of course,
    and you absolutely should not miss the Sapporo ramen - it is some of the finest in the whole country.
  • Hi Tenjin.

    I guess being first time visiting japan, this is "bare" minimum. We will try to "fill" the spaces as we go along depending availability of time and energy level. I am traveling with a family of 6. :)

    so, do i need a 6 7-days national pass + Suica or 6 14-days national pass + Suica?

    anyways, you are a big help.

    Thanks much!

  • hi Tenjin.

    sorry, you may have missed my question from my last entry.

    so, do i need a 6 7-days national pass + Suica or 6 14-days national pass + Suica based on the adjusted itinerary.

    thanks much for the assistance.
  • Hi,
    As I said previously, the 7 day pass would work better for you.
    I'd get the Icoca & Haruka discount ticket for getting in from KIX and local transport around Kansai, Hiroshima, Tokyo (or the subway pass), and Sapporo. All the IC cards are all virtually interchangeable. P
    lease note that since you're leaving Japan out of Sapporo, you wouldn't be able to refund any card balance when you depart. But it is good for 10 years.
    If you'd like more travel tips, tr browsing

    Have a good trip.
  • Hi Tenjin

    just to be sure.

    1. one week JR national pass. when should that one week be activated based on the itinerary? since the usage is consecutive days.

    2. Suica pass is required for all non-JR ground services, right?

    3. "I'd get the Icoca & Haruka discount ticket for getting in from KIX" - let say I purchased the Suica pass(with loaded value) online before we arrived at KIX, we could use this for the JR Haruka limted express to shin-osaka station? fyi, our accommodation is 5 minutes away from shin-osaka station.

    you have been a great help.

    thank you again.
  • Hi,
    I'd say the best way to use your 7 day JR Pass would be Feb 10-16. That covers all your long distance travel to Hiroshima, Tokyo, Gotemba, Yokohama (or Nikko), and the Narita Express train to Narita Airport (seat reservations are required for that train, which you can do in any JR office). During that period, try to take JR trains if you have a choice. Fares in Kansai aren't that high, but as long as you have the pass, you might as well use it as much as you can.

    It looks like you need to read the links I gave on the IC cards above again. There are many IC cards - Suica, Pasmo, Icoca, Pitapa, and many others - they are all regional cards. I've never seen a Suica card selling in Osaka, since it is a Tokyo area card. They are all virtually interchangeable though as I said - you can use Icoca or Suica in Tokyo, Kansai and Sapporo.
    The Icoca & Haruka discount ticket I mentioned is a special combination ticket that gives a good discount on the JR Haruka train from KIX into Kansai. Aside from that, there is no real discount for using any of the IC cards - it is just more convenient than carrying around lots of heavy coins. You are never "required" to use any IC card. You can use cash to buy tickets instead if you want.
    If you bought a Suica card before arriving at KIX, you could use it for the Haruka train, and virtually every JR and non JR train in Kansai. You would not get any discounted fare for the Haruka train, however, since you are not buying the combination ticket.

    I hope this makes things clear.
  • Hi Tenjin

    it is clear now.

    I will purchase 6 7 days JR pass.

    Thank you for all the responses.
Sign In or Register to comment.