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Is it worth it to buy a JR pass?


Hi me and my future will have our honeymoon in Japan this coming november 13-20. I bought a return flight to Narita airport. We plan to go to narita airport (10am arrival) tokyo-kyoto-osaka and then back to narita airport (8am) Total of 8 days but the last day would be an early trip to the airport. Would it be better to buy the 7day JR pass and start it on our second day? What should We use on our first day.

We will also visit the disneyland and universal studios one day each. Thank you


It sounds like your JR Pass is only going to cover one airport leg, so I’m not sure it matters which seven days you use the pass for. Although if your plan is to travel straight to Osaka/Kyoto from Narita, it makes sense to activate the pass immediately because then you can take the Narita Express to Tokyo and then hop on a Hikari.

For getting to and from Narita, the Keisei Skyliner is cheaper (~$25) than the JR East Narita Express for comparable journey time (~45 minutes), while taking local trains halves the cost but doubles the time.


I just wrote a blog post on this very topic a couple of days ago. If I were in your shoes I’d do the online purchase of the Keisei Skyliner + 24 Tokyo Subway pass and then activate the JR pass on the second day of your trip.


I strongly recommend using this tool to determine if the pass is worthwhile for your itinerary!

If you’re only doing straight shots between Tokyo Kyoto and Osaka, and/or flying out of Kansai other than Narita, you may be better off buying tickets as you go.


Hi, I am going to be in japan for 15 days and was wondering could i get away with buying the suica card, using that for the first 5-6 days in Tokyo and then a 7 day JR rail pass for Tokyo to Kyoto trip after that?

Sounds like as long as i don’t activate it ill be ok?..

Should also add that i also want some flexibility going to other destinations such as Osaka.


Correct; when you exchange the JR pass exchange ticket you tell the agent what day you want it to start being valid. Setting it a week after you land should be fine. Or you can wait a few days to exchange it. It’s whatever.

Tokyo to Kyoto consumes all but about 3000Y of a one-week pass value, so whether or not you need it depends on how many side trips you want to take from Kyoto. You can get between Osaka and Kyoto in half an hour for under 600Y on a local line… you COULD take the Shinkansen one stop to milk the pass for value, but it’s kinda silly at that distance.


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