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What JR Passes I should get?


I am a backpacker who is planning to visit Japan in March. I start in Osaka and plan to follow this rough schedule:

4-6 Osaka (consider JR Kansai Rail pass or Kansai west rail pass)
7 Inabe
8-10 Kyoto
11-12 Nara
13-14 Free
15-24 Tokyo (When traveling to tokyo consider the JR Flexi Rail instead of normal rail as it might be cheaper

May I know if anyone has any recommendations on what passes I should get, for example maybe a combination of regional passes/single thttps://www.jrpass.com/forum/itinerary-check/posts/new#ickets? I know the schedule might be a bit all over the place but its because there are two festivals in Inabe and Nara respectively that I want to catch on those days. Please do give me any advice you have!

Thank you so much!


  • Options
    The JR passes you mention simply don't cover up to where you are going. About the best candidate would be the Kintetsu Rail Pass, which can get you almost the whole way.
    It would take you 3 hours on the Kintetsu trains one way though, plus the last leg on the Sangi Tetsudo train which is not covered on any pass. As for going to Tokyo, as far as I know, the Flex rail tickets are only round trip, not one way, so you would not make it pay off. One other idea though is the Platt Kodama Ticket, which you can get one way. It will take an extra hour though since the Kodama trains stop at every last bullet train station. You'd need to buy the ticket at least one day prior.
    Another cheap option is to fly. You can also fly on a discount airfare - this is one of the cheapest yet efficient ways.
    Any time savings though over trains pretty much goes up in smoke when you add in the times to get to/from the airports and through the Security checkpoint. The train by far is more convenient - a straight trip from downtown to downtown. There are also buses, which are cheapest, but take 8+ hours and there is no guarantee you'll sleep well at all on them. Not a great way to arrive.
    I can't access the link you gave, but you should take anything on their "forum" with a few grains of salt. It is not an objective information forum at all - it's a sales tool to try and sell you their rail pass any chance they get. They never blatantly lie to you of course, but they will never suggest to you a better way if available, like the flex tickets which they don't sell.
    Ar far as rail passes in the Kansai area, there are actually many but it is tough to break even on them unless you are taking them to their furthest limits. Aside from Kintetsu, you might consider however some of the easier passes to save money on, such as the Hankyu Tourist Pass
    or the Keihan Passes
    Ultimately it depends where you are going though.
    Hope that helps you out.
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