We are mostly staying in Tokyo but want to do a day trip to Kyoto. Which pass should we buy?
These are two completely different things. You should get a SUICA or Pasmo no matter what as it’s what you use to get around in Tokyo. It’s just an urban mass transit card.
What you’re really asking is if you should get a JR Pass or buy tickets for the Shinkansen to go to Kyoto. Until the end of September, the cost of a JR Pass is just a fraction more than the cost of tickets, so if you use the pass for pretty much one more trip, it pays for itself.
However, you said “day trip” to Kyoto. I really wouldn’t recommend a day trip. Partly because the transport alone for a day trip is so expensive and will take 6 hours out of your day. It makes sense to stay there for a night or 3. If you really want to do a day trip though, you’d be better off with regular tickets as you can use the fastest and more frequent Nozomi services, which will save you time.
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