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21 days Rail Pass worth it?

Hello, We are planning our itinerary for our trip to Japan and was wondering if the 21 day JR rail pass was worth the cost or if there are better options. We are also open to all suggestions to see the most of the country.

Day 1- Iwakuni
Day 2- Hiroshima
Day 3- Miyajima

Activate Rail Pass

Day 1- Iwakuni to Osaka
Day 2- Osaka
Day 3- Osaka to Kyoto
Day 4,5- Kyoto
Day 6- Kyoto to Iwakuni
Day 7- Iwakuni to Nagoya
Day 8- Nagoya
Day 9- Nagoya to Fuji
Day 10- Fuji to Yokohama
Day 11-Yokohama to Toyko
Day 12,13,14,15,16- Toyko
Day 17- Open
Day 18- Open
Day 19- Open
Day 20- Open
Day 21- Back to Iwakunki

Thank you in advance!


  • edited February 2017
    Yes, you do make a 21 day pass pay off with your above plans, particularly by using the bullet trains as much as possible, but honestly I don't understand why you are backtracking to Iwakuni on Day 6.

    For going to the Fuji area, the most convenient for you would be to see Hakone. You can get off the bullet train from Nagoya at Mishima Stn. From there the JR Pass is useless, but a Hakone Free Pass can save you some money.
    On your return, you can catch the bullet train from Odawara and go to Shin-Yokohama.
    You can really get some savings from your undecided days. You didn't say when you are traveling, but you could take a number of day trips and get even more savings. There are no shortage of good places in the Tokyo area, including Nikko, Karuizawa, Izu, Kusatsu, the Hitachi Seaside Park..even Sendai is a possibility.

    On your way back down south you can also go by way of Kanazawa and see Takayama/Shirakawago. And of course there is nothing stopping you from seeing Hiroshima/Miyajima, and going even farther south from Shin-Iwakuni Stn and seeing the Akiyoshido Limestone Cave which is spectacular, and Shimonoseki.

    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
  • Thank you for the information. We are going back to Iwakuni to celebrate the New Year with Family.

    Would it be wise to identify the trains we need to take so we can reserve seats on the day we activate the pass?
  • Travel around New Year's can get very crowded - since seat reservations are a free perk thrown in with the Pass, it would definitely help you out to make the seat reservations ahead of time. You can do it in any JR office.
    Just make sure of the train you plan to take. Going to Shin-Iwakuni by bullet train is the fastest way. Use Hyperdia to look at schedules - but under More Options, uncheck Nozomi since you can't ride that train with the pass.
  • hi
    we are interested in 2 - 14 day passes. we are from australia and would like to know if it is possible to buy a pass after arriving in Japan
    Cheers Leigh
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