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Which rail pass for Narita > Tokyo > Kyoto > Kurama > Kyoto > Tokyo > Narita?


A friend and I are traveling the below itinerary in October, over the course of 8 days (of course not 7!). We’re considering the Japan Rail Pass and trying to figure out which is the best one. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Narita > Tokyo > Kyoto > Kurama > Kyoto > Tokyo > Narita


Hi Laura,

Since you’re only doing one major domestic trip (Tokyo to Kyoto), I’m not sure a national JR Pass would be the most economical option. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to travel, it would probably be:

  • Shuttle bus from Narita to Tokyo
  • Round-trip bullet train ticket (look at train+hotel packages, as there are some good combos) Tokyo to Kyoto
  • And then local trains/buses between Kyoto and Kurama. If you’re doing any other side-trips from Kyoto, a regional JR pass may be viable.


Thank you so much for sharing this info! That’s kind of what I was thinking as I was looking at some of the prices. The Kyoto > Kurama trip is like less than 500 Yen so I figured it might be worth looking into individual tickets.

If we added a side trip to Nara, then would you recommend the Japan Rail pass?


I still don’t think it would be necessary, as Nara is not all that far away. :slight_smile:


One last question for you. If we’re using the rail system to get around Tokyo and Kyoto for different sightseeing, would we be able to use the rail pass for those trips as well? They might add up enough to make it worth it to get the pass. Thank you again!! I think the train system is just so much bigger than anywhere I’ve traveled before that it’s confusing.


Hi Laura,

As Frances_Maeda said, the JR Pass is not the cheapest option based on your itinerary. But, if you are considering to make some day trips, then the pass would pay off.

Some interesting day trips that I would totally recommend you are Mount Takao from Tokyo (it takes about 40 minutes one-way), Nara from Kyoto (less than an hour by train) and Osaka (less than 30 minutes).

If I have to be honest, my favorite day trip was Nara. It’s a wonderful Unesco World Heritage place to discover where you can even feed the deer with some cookies!

In case you want to check if the JRP is convenient on your finale itinerary planning:

Enjoy Japan! :slight_smile:


Thank you! I think we are going to skip the JR Pass and just book all of our tickets when we get to Narita/Tokyo Station. Thank you again for the advice!