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JR pass: 7 or 14 days? Itinerary set

Posted by KIJ25 on 14/7/2017 at 05:53

Hi everyone,

Accommodation is all booked - we just can't decide if we need a 7 day or 14 day JR pass for the following itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo Narita airport - Tokyo
Day 2: Tokyo area
Day 3: Tokyo - day trip to Kamakura
Day 4: Tokyo - day trip to Nikko
Day 5: Tokyo - Takayama
Day 6: Takayama - Kyoto
Day 7: Kyoto area
Day 8: Kyoto area
Day 9: Kyoto - day trip to Arashiyama
Day 10: Kyoto - day trip to Nara
Day 11: Kyoto - Hiroshima
Day 12: Hiroshima - Miyajima
Day 13: Miyajima - Hiroshima to get the train to Himeji Castle - go back to Tokyo
Day 14: Tokyo area
Day 15: Tokyo - Fly out of Tokyo Narita airport

Also, which day is best to activate the pass?

Many thanks in advance!

#1 KIJ25 has been a member since 14/7/2017. Posts: 2

Posted by gecktrek on 14/7/2017 at 18:23

hey, just depends if you are trying to save some money, i think the 14 day is roughly $520 and the 7 day is $330, but very convenient. when i last travelled there, i stayed in places for 3-4 days at a time, which made booking individual train/bus tickets cheaper than the cost of the jr railpass for me... you can check the prices for the individual sectors on hyperdia, a very useful website!

#2 gecktrek has been a member since 24/3/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 139
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Posted by janamay03 on 18/7/2017 at 19:40

This website has a calculator where you input your itinerary and helps you identify which legs are the priciest and whether a rail pass saves you money. It's not quite as accurate as hyperdia but more user friendly.

I did a similar itinerary with a rail pass, but think I would have been better off buying individual tickets. The rail pass is very convenient though. Also make sure you don't wait until the last minute to buy it; they mail you a physical registration paper that you have to take with you to redeem it. Have a good trip!

#3 janamay03 has been a member since 23/12/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by KIJ25 on 13/9/2017 at 04:47

Thank you both for your advice. We're going with the 14 day pass and activating on Day 2 :)

#4 KIJ25 has been a member since 14/7/2017. Posts: 2

Posted by somtam2000 on 13/9/2017 at 06:32 admin

That sounds like a wise decision. I'm in Japan at the moment and have come up short because I decided to buy the 7-day pass and try to cram all the travel I wanted into the first seven days, and it hasn't worked out. I so should have bought the 14 day pass.

Live and learn!

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Posted by gecktrek on 16/9/2017 at 18:56

hey, for future reference there is a great faq link on the use of the jr passes on thorntree - JR Pass FAQ

#6 gecktrek has been a member since 24/3/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 139
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Posted by somtam2000 on 16/9/2017 at 23:43 admin

Yes, that is a really good link - thanks.

Agree the Rail pass not for everyone, but in my case, coming towards the end of the trip, by 7-day pass has saved me at least US$1,150—which I spent on sushi ;-) This trip has not been a typical one—I came here intentionally just to sit on trains—but it highlights the importance of doing the math up front and figuring it out. The Hyperdia app is excellent for this purpose.

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Posted by gecktrek on 17/9/2017 at 00:40

wow, $1000 on sushi, is that your version of a mid-life crisis? i like it! what did you tell the wife when you got home?

#8 gecktrek has been a member since 24/3/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 139
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Posted by somtam2000 on 17/9/2017 at 01:46 admin

ha ha still eating! Somewhere between Wakkanai and Asahikawa in Hokkaido at the moment :)

Choo choo!

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Posted by somtam2000 on 17/9/2017 at 01:51 admin

This is what I went to climb. Mount Rishiri on Rishiri island off the far north coast of Kokkaido. Trip report soon :)
japan.jpg

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Posted by gecktrek on 17/9/2017 at 03:40

looks like a spectacular trek... did you manage to catch a glimpse of uncle kim's firework display overhead?

#11 gecktrek has been a member since 24/3/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 139
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Posted by somtam2000 on 17/9/2017 at 07:01 admin

Sure did! Got these two emergency alerts as I was boarding the ferry. I thought they were to tell me I had ran out of phone credit but I put them through Google Translate and they were regarding the missile launch! Quite freaky, but none of the locals seemed all that bothered.

You can see Russia from the peak, but not North Korea ;-)

japan2.jpg

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Posted by gecktrek on 19/9/2017 at 00:05

hey, it's a bit like something out of a disaster movie... the chinese and the russians are doing some joint military manoeuvres up there at the moment, that should spice things up a bit...

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