Hi my family and I will be arriving at Narita on the 28th Aug 2019, spending 3 nights in Tokyo, then going to Kyoto for 2 nights, then to Osaka for 2 nights, then onto Kobe for 1 night, then onto Hiroshima for 2 nights, then back to Nagoya for 1 night, then Toyota for 1 night and then back to Tokyo bay for last night. We are trying to work out if we should purchase a 14 day JR rail pass and activate it when we arrive and get a suica card for tokyo or will the JR pass cover this.
If you want the freedom, flexibility and comfort, then the 14 day pass would be fine. Since you have the pass, you should take the Narita Express to and from the Airport. For travel within Tokyo, you probably can’t avoid getting a Suica/PASMO as most of the lines in central Tokyo are not JR lines. The same goes for Kansai.
Seeing your itinerary plans, the 14 days pass would work for you. Another recommendation: if you have already your itinerary mapped out, make seat reservations for your entire stay in Japan.
With the Japan Rail Pass, this option is free of charge. If I were you, I would do it.
The first time I travelled to Japan, I was a bit confused about this pass as well. Maybe this guide can be helpful for you: https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/how-to-use-japan-rail-pass
Have a great trip with your family!
Curious if it is possible to make JR Rail Pass seat reservations online? Or does one have to go to a ticket booth or something, which would be quite inconvenient for every trip. Thanks!!
Seat reservations are available online for certain trains at the JR-East Train Reservation Service (Ekinet). You can book a seat on a JR train up to a month in advance, so if you already have your itinerary mapped out, you can make seat reservations for your entire stay in Japan.