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What pass is the best option for Tokyo and Osaka?

Hi, it will be our first time in Japan and we really need advice regarding transportation options. We will be staying in Hatagaya area in Tokyo and most of the lines are used are Keio, Hibiya and Shinjuku lines. Is the JR pass going to be accepted? How can you tell if it's a JR line?

Can we use the JR pass from Tokyo to Osaka and Osaka to Kyoto? Thank you!


  • edited May 2018
    Hello Bmae.

    The JR Pass is meant to allow you unlimited use of the JR network at a flat rate.

    Did you make sure to check the price of a 7-day JR Pass? No city in the world would be that expensive to get around in, so it logically follows that the pass is meant for long distance travel, travel between cities etc. So of course, you can use the JR Pass to go Tokyo-Osaka, etc.

    It is assumed that you're making enough inter-city trips on a JR limited express or the Shinkansen, so that you offset the cost of the JR Pass. However, using any commuter line within Tokyo is relatively inexpensive, and it therefore shouldn't factor hugely whether you're having to get around on the JR or not.

    Of course, the vast majority of lines in Tokyo are subway or third sector, thus not in the JR network. Keio, Hibiya, Shinjuku, are all subway or private lines. A great way to know if a line is actually controlled by JR or not is by looking it up on Wikipedia. The Shinkansen are all JR, by the way.

    Having a JR Pass doesn't necessitate that you make sole use of JR. Use whatever is more convenient to get around the city.
  • Thanks for the information!
  • The rail pass only makes sense for long distance travel.
    As for telling if a route is JR or not, you can look it up on hyperdia.
    If the results are purple, it is not a JR line.

    If you are only going Tokyo-Kyoto round trip, then the japanican ticket is probably a better value for you.
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