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Choosing Regional and Subway/Buses Passes


We'll be visiting Japan this November for the first time.

The planned route is as follows:

20/11 - from Narita to Tokyo (Ueno district, staying in Tokyo for 3 days)
23/11 - from Tokyo to Koyasan (staying for the night at Kumagaiji monastery)
24/11 - from Koyasan to Nara (staying for the night near the JR station)
25/11 - from Nara to Kyoto (staying for the night near the JR station)
26/11 - from Kyoto to Odawara& Hakone
27/11 - from Hakone to Yokogama
29/11 - from Yokogama to Narita and flying back home.

We are planning to buy JR pass - just to save time.

Please advise me will it be usefull to buy some other passes?
M.b. for the busses or undeground in Tokyo and other cities?
We are ready to spend money for moving faster.

Will really appreciate your advices!


  • You do have some choices.
    You could take the Keisei Skyliner from Narita to Ueno. There is a combo ticket you can get with a 24 or 48 hour subway pass.

    If you used a 7-day JR Pass for Nov 23-29, you would get some modest savings off it. It is not as fast as paying cash and riding the Nozomi bullet train though, which would get you there 30 minutes sooner.
    You cannot take JR Trains to Koyasan however. But you could get a regional pass and save some money that way - the Koyasan World Heritage Ticket.
    Be sure to see the Okunoin Cemetery there - it is the crown jewel of the area.

    Be aware though it will take you at least 5½ hours by trains to get to Koyasan in total - rather painful. You might consider seeing something else in Kansai first.

    Likewise, for Hakone, if touring the sights you can get a Hakone Free Pass.
    You can then use the JR Pass on the last day to take the Narita Express back to Narita.
    You can check on train info on Hyperdia - you can see regular fares, routes, and schedules.
    Under "More Options", with a full JR pass, be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train using the pass.
  • Dear Tenjin, thank you so much for such a detailed answer!
  • And many thanks for your advice about the cemetry in Koyasan - we've just booked the night excursion there!
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