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10 Days in Japan


I'm looking at purchasing a 7 day Rail Pass for myself and my family however we are looking at staying in Japan over 10 nights (11 days).

Our basic travel plans are as follows:
Day 1: Fly into Narita Airport (Terminal 3) and travel to Shinjuku
Day 2: Local trips around Shinjuku
Day 3 & 4: Disney World
Day 5: Travel to Omiya
Day 6: Travel to Kyoto
Day 7 - 10: Local Trips plus Nara
Day 11: Travel to Narita Airport

I plan to use the JR Pass from Day 5 when we plan to go to Omiya Bonsai Village for the day and use the pass from there onwards for the remainder of our trip.

I see that the N'Ex operates between Narita Airport and Shinjuku station - I think this may be the easiest method for us to get to Shinjuku station. We are staying at the Hotel Gracery @ Shinjuku which I understand is close to the station so we should be able to walk. Can I obtain tickets from Narita Airport for the train? Do I need to reserve a seat for the train? If so, how do I do that?

When I activate my JR Rail Pass, where do I activate the pass at Shinjuku station? As I plan to use the pass on the day, is it active immediately or is there a time delay before I can use it?

Do you have any other suggestions on the best way to travel for the first few days while in Tokyo when we don't have a JR Pass?




  • edited January 2017
    Yes, using your JR Pass for Days 5-11 make the most sense. You can see where you can activate your pass at:

    There are different ways you can get to Omiya for the Bonsai Village. See:
    Be aware that the places are closed on Thursdays.
    For getting from Narita to Shinjuku, you can either pay the ¥3000 for the N'Ex to Shinjuku (yes advanced seat reservations are required - do it at the station), or if you want, you can save ¥1800 and take the ¥1000 yen bus to Tokyo Stn
    and then pay ¥200 for the subway to Shinjuku.
    Please remember also that the day you activate it for counts as Day One - which starts and ends at midnight. So if you activate it to use it at 6 PM, your first "day" is just 6 hours long.

    You can also exchange your order for the pass and designate a future date to start on it - so for example to start using your pass from the earliest train possible (sometimes departing before the office even opens) or to leave from another station where you can't exchange your order for the pass, you can set the first day as tomorrow, or 3 days from today, or whenever. Please note that the exchange order must be turned in for the pass within three months of the date the order was issued. So if you want to start using the pass in mid-Sept, you should not buy the exchange order until after the middle of June.

    For your time in Tokyo, you can look at getting a 2 or 3 day subway pass to save money.
    But if you're only sticking close to Shinjuku, it might not be worth it. It won't cover all the way to the Disney Parks either.
    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.
    On another evening, you could also go and see Kobe.
    Instead, take a day and see Himeji, with Japan's finest castle. The Kokoen Garden next to it and Mt. Shosha are very good also.
  • Thank you Tenjin for the information.
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