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Regional vs National Pass?


I'm planning to go to Tokyo in August for about 13 days and for some of that time i'd like to do a trip from Tokyo-Osaka-Okayama-Naoshima-Okayama-Kyoto-Tokyo

Is my best option a national pass or a combination of regional passes?


  • You can check regular rail fares on:
    And there is a list of regional passes on:
    A 14 day full JR Pass doesn't look like it would pay off for you - but if can add Hiroshima/Miyajima, which are well worth it, then you'd at least break even.
    If not, the only regional pass that might help is a JR Kansai Wide Pass
    but it's valid for only 5 consecutive days.
    Nara is also well worth at least half a day. Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5 PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
  • Thanks so much Tenjin thats really helpful!
  • Hi, I'll be in Japan in this November and stay for 12 days. Arrive at Kansai airport and will directly to Kobe and stay there for 5 days. Does the Japan Rail Pass (not the regional pass) can be used from Kansai airport to Kobe? please advise. Thx
  • Hello, Emmo.

    The JR Pass does cover you for the entire trip to Kobe City from Kansai Airport. It will require a transfer or two, depending on where in Kobe you're staying.

    Have you already purchased the JR Pass? Are you making any other trips or are you simply to remain in Kobe?
  • Getting the full JR Pass would be a terrible mistake if you're only staying in the Kansai area.
  • Hi Emmo,

    Buying the national JR Pass would cost you much more money than buying train tickets when you're there if you're only going to Kobe!

    The Kansai Area Pass could be a better option, it covers the journey between KIX and Kobe, and is available as a 1, 2, 3, or 4-day pass depending on how much you'll be travelling.


    Japan Experience
  • I am planning to go to Japan for skiing at Niseko in December Plus sight-seeibng, bullet train and onsen hot spring experience. Would want to cover Takayama (Shirawakago). I understand the Shirawakago is not so accessible by JR Pass? Should I get JR pass to cover it or regional pass? Thanks
  • First, it's better to start a new thread and not piggyback your question on someone else's.
    You are correct that you cannot use the JR Pass to go to Shirakawago. There is no rail access to it - you have to take a bus.

    You don't give any info on your whole itinerary, so nobody knows if a JR Pass would work for you. There is a regional pass for the area, the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass which does cover the region including the bus for Shirakawago.

    It may or may not help. See how it fits in your plans.
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