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JR Pass or card

Hi we are going to Japan in a couple of months (1st time) and I am not sure is I should get a JR Pass, buy a card or pay per use. We are going to be in Tokyo for 4 days and then travel to Takayama (2days) then to Kyoto (4 Days possible trip to Nara) then Osaka (2days). I was thinking of getting the JR Pass and activate it before travelling to Takayama. I tried to do some calculation and price wise it seems very close.
Are there other benefits to using the JR Pass (eg can it be used in Takayama for travel to the shinhotaka-ropeway, and during Kyoto ?


  • The whole itinerary is a bit unclear. Are you returning to Tokyo?
    In any case, you'd still be considerably short on a one way itinerary compared to as cheaply as you can do it buying regular tickets one way.
    No, the pass can't be used for the ropeway, and for Kyoto, it's of limited use - you can use it for the Nara Line to see Fushimi Inari and Uji for example, as well as take it to see Arashiyama. But not much else. You should definitely not miss Nara however. It has some of Japan's very best places.
    There are some good previews of the places you may want to see on:
  • Hi, no will be flying out of Osaka so I won't be returning to Tokyo.
    Yes Nara is a definite and maybe Hiroshima but that will only leave me 1.5 days in Kyoto and I'm nor sure that will be enough.
  • If you go from Tokyo to Kansai, plus a day trip to Hiroshima, then a 7 day pass would pay off. You could always take a day off of Tokyo for Kyoto.
  • Dear WSWJAP,

    Hyperdia is very convenient to calculate if a Japan Rail Pass is worth buying in your case and to know which length is most cost-effective for your travel.

    Please visit hyperdia.com:

    - In search conditions, write the departure and arrival location (day and time does not really matter)
    - The search will provide you the fare for this travel (check "total price" under "take time")
    - Do the same for all your trips by train.
    - Just compare with the price of a Japan Rail Pass 7, 14 or 21 days by checking the price here : http://www.japan-rail-pass.com/jr-pass

    You want to be sure you can access to the trains for free with a Japan Rail Pass :
    - In “search details”, unclick “Nozomi, Mizuho, Hayabusa Shinkansen” and “private railway”.
    - The search result will show you all the trains you can access with a Japan Rail Pass.

    We stay at disposal if you have any further question.

    Hope this helps!


    Japan Experience
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