Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka with the JR Pass

Shinkansen bullet train

Japan is one of the most culturally rich and diverse countries of our century. When going through the streets, hills and castles of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, you will be taken through time, history and places of breathtaking views and mesmerizing moments.

In this article, you will find how to get from Tokyo to Kyoto, Tokyo to Osaka and Kyoto to Osaka (frequent train trips among travelers) with the bullet train and using just your Japan Rail Pass.

Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka by bullet train

Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are connected with by the Tokaido Shinkansen line, included with the Japan Rail Pass.

This line is the most heavily travelled high-speed rail route in the world, with has a length of 515 km (320 miles), and offers the fastest and smoothest way for travelling between Tokyo station, and Shin-Osaka or Kyoto stations.

Tokaido Shinkansen line map
Map of the Tokaido Shinkansen line

How to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto

Hikari Shinknsen Bullet train
Photo by Dough Bowman @Flickr – Hikari Shinkansen Bullet train

Getting from Tokyo to Kyoto with the Japan Rail Pass is easy. You should take the Shinkansen Hikari train from either Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station in central Tokyo, and arrive at Kyoto Station.

Three trains run on the Tokaido Shinkansen line: Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama. Take note that Nozomi trains are not part of the National JR Group. Therefore, are not included in the Japan Rail Pass.

However, the alternative to the Nozomi trains are Hikari and Kodama. Both are high-speed bullet trains. However, Kodama makes trips between the smaller towns. It runs with an operating speed of 258 km/h (175 mph). Hikari trains run between the major cities of Japan with a speed of 320 km/h (199 mph), making fewer stops.

For some great suggestions and recommendations on which places to visit and what to do in Kyoto, check out our Japan in 14 days (day 4-6) blog post.

 

Timetables and fares

A standard Tokyo to Kyoto trip with the JR Pass takes close to 2 hours and 40 minutes, taking the Hikari Shinkansen. Unlike Hikari, all Kodama trains need close to 4 hours to reach Kyoto from Tokyo. This is so since they stop at all stations before reaching their final destination.

The standard one-way fare would be 13,080 yen for non-reserved seats and 13,500 yen for reserved on both Hikari and Kodama trains. However, Japan Rail Pass holders can reserve a seat and take any of the two trains for free.

If you are confused by the difference between the different Shinkansen lines or you wish to learn more about how to find your platform or take any train, read our how to use Japanese trains article.

How to travel from Tokyo to Osaka

Osaka Dotonbori
Osaka at night –  Dotonbori area

To get from Tokyo to Osaka, you will need to take very same trains. Either the Hikari bullet train or Kodama from Tokyo or Shinagawa stations in central Tokyo. Both run on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, connecting the two cities.

Timetable and fares

The Shinkansen Hikari train leaves approximately every 30min from Tokyo and arrives at Shin-Osaka station after 2:30min. To get to central Osaka station, change to any of the local JR Tokaido-Sanyo trains. As there are direct JR connections between the two stations, all Japan Rail Pass holders will be able to make those trips free of charge.

For some interesting ideas on what to do in Osaka, read our Japan in 21 days (week 2) article.

Osaka to Kyoto and back

demachi-masugata-mall-kyoto
Photo by Toomore Chiang @Flickr – Demachi Masugata shopping street in Kyoto

Travelling between Kyoto and Osaka  is now easier than ever. Just take the already well-known Hikari train on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. You will get between Kyoto Station and Shin-Osaka Station in less than 30 minutes, traveling at a speed of 320km/h (199 mph).

Furthermore, Japan Rail Pass holders can get to Osaka station from Kansai International Airport by taking the Haruka airport express for free. For general information, the standard price for a one-way ticket is approximately 2330 yen. It takes less than an hour to reach Osaka station from Kansai Airport.

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321 thoughts on “Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka with the JR Pass”

  1. I am planning to buy JR pass for a guest who will be visiting Japan for two weeks. Where do I buy it?
    I also plan to go to Kyoto and Osaka from Tokyo. So, how do I plan to go together with someone who can use JR pass? I cannot get one since I am not a tourist in Japan.

  2. Hi,
    I’ll be travelling to Japan on November and would like to ask some stuffs.

    1. From Osaka to Tokyo by using JR Pass, could I stop at Shibuya without additional charge?
    2. How to get to Narita Airport from Shibuya by using subway?

    Thank you.

  3. Hi, on may31, we will be travelling back to Nrt airport from Osaka to connect on another flight at 1345pm out Nrt. We have JR pass. What would be the best route snd schedule of train to get preferably the fastest train to get back to Nrt airport.
    Thanks,
    Menchu

    1. Hi, on may31, we will be travelling back to Nrt airport from Osaka to connect on another flight at 1345pm out Nrt. We have JR pass. What would be the best route snd schedule of train to get preferably the fastest train to get back to Nrt airport.
      Thanks,
      Menchu

  4. Hi,
    We plan to visit Japan in June 2018. What is the best transportation from
    1. Tokyo to Mt Fuji (around 7 am from Tokyo)
    2. Mt Fuji to Kyoto (around 4 pm from Mt Fuji)
    3. Kyoto to Osaka (around 4 pm from Kyoto)

    Please advise names of trains, stations, and trip durations. Hope JRP covers all of these. We plan to buy the 7-day ordinary JRP.

    1. fyi, we hope not to spend extra fare on transportation. We rely on our JRP tickets alone.

      Thank you so much for your help.

    2. Hi Dewi!

      – Tokyo to Mount Fuji via Gotemba: take JR Tokaido line for Kozu from Tokyo Station, using your JR Pass. Once at Kozu (Kanagawa), take the JR Gotemba Line for Numazu. Get off at Gotemba Station. Once at Gotemba station, take a bus to Subashiri 5th station. The bus operated by Fujikyu which is not part of the Japan Rail Group, which means the Japan Rail Pass does not cover it.
      – Mount Fuji area to Kyoto: start your trip at Hakone-Itabashi Station and take the Hakone Tozan train for Hakone-Yumoto Station (not covered by JR). Get off at Odawara station and take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Kyoto Station (covered by the Japan Rail Pass).
      – Kyoto to Osaka is already described in this article 😉

      Enjoy your trip!

  5. Hi there!
    I will be landing at Narita airport and exploring Tokyo for about 5 days and then I plan on going to Osaka and Kyoto for 5 days. I will then fly from Kansai airport to Haneda airport back home. I am leaving next week and I still have not bought any transportation passes.

    What would be you best suggestions in terms of transportation with the train/subway? What specific lines would I have to take?

    Thank you in advance!

  6. Hi,

    My family and I will be arriving at Haneda on 23 Aug early morning. We plan to start our journey from Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo. Need some advice on utilizing JR passes base on below rough itinerary:-

    Day 1 – Arrival at Tokyo in Haneda airport around 930am. Shinkansen to Osaka with JR passes? Hotel around Umeda area and can I use JR passes on local subway line in downtown osaka?
    Day 2 – Universal studio. Which station do we alight and if JR pass works?
    Day 3 – Depart for Kyoto . Shinkansen to Kyoto station? Have not confirm hotel in Kyoto but love to have recommendation near train stations for easy commute
    Day 4 – Fushimi Inari/Arashiyama bamboo grove/Geisha District
    Day 5 – Nijyo castle/kinkaku-ji/daigo-ji temple
    Day 6 – Depart for Tokyo by Shinkansen. Have not confirm hotel but need recommendations that near commute to Narita airport.
    Day 7 – DIsney Seaworld. Which station and can JR pass works?
    Day 8 – Depart for Narita. Understand we need to reserve seats for Narita express ?

    Thanks for all your recommendations and advice in advance.

    Gillian

  7. Hi,

    Need some advice on how to go about with JR pass if we plan our free and easy FIRST trip to Japan this coming Aug. :-

    Day 1 : Arrival early in Haneda airport and depart for Osaka. Hotel booked at Umeda area
    Day 2 : Depart for Universal Studio
    Day 3 : Depart for Kyoto . Fushimi Inari
    Day 4 : Arashiyama Bamboo Grove/Geisha District/Kinkaku-ji
    Day 5 : Depart for Tokyo/Shibuya/Shinjuku/Harajuku
    Day 6 : Disney Seaworld
    Day 7 : Free and easy
    Day 8: Depart for Narita Airport

    I am still unclear if JR passes also apply to the local subway lines within osaka, kyoto and tokyo. Say to the places of interests as planned, are there additional passes I need to purchase to get ourselves there?

    Your advice and guidance are very much appreciated!

    Thanks
    Gillian

  8. Apparently there is an issue that I am unable to go straight to Kyoto from Shinagawa station after 8PM. If I decide to stay in Tokyo until the earliest Hikari train, would I have to reserve a seat?

    Thank you
    -Princess

    1. Hi Princess!

      Available seats are not guaranteed on the busy commuter trains going to and from Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. There are no crowds in the intercity Shinkansen trains so available seats tend to be available. However, it is recommended to book a seat before boarding any train during the peak seasons. Green Pass holders are also advised to book a seat in advance to guarantee traveling on a green car, otherwise they may be relocated to a standard car.

      Happy travels!

  9. Hi,

    I my wife and I have already purchased the JRP. We are landing at HND airport around 8PM. We need to head directly to Kyoto with the JRP. What is the best route to do this?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Davis!

      Haneda Airport’s Exchange Office closes by 18.30h so please consider you may not be able to exchange your voucher upon landing.

      When landing at Haneda you will be entitled to make full use of the Tokyo Monorail, heading you straight to Tokyo center. Monorail Hamamatsucho Station facilitates transfer to the JR Yamanote, which will take you to the stations that will allow you to take the Hikari to Kyoto as specified in this article.

      We hope you enjoy your stay!

  10. Hi! I have a group of 5 who want to use the Japan Rail Pass. We want to immediately head to Kyoto from HND airport. The issue that we are seeing is that we land at HND at 7:45PM Monday. This means that the JRP office is closed!

    Can you please recommend an efficient way for us to head for Kyoto by bullet train when we land at HND?

    *Please keep in mind that we are landing at 7:45PM. Can you please give us some advice on how to go about doing this in consideration to the time that we land? Thank you*

    regards,
    Em

  11. Hi! I have a group of 5 who want to use the Japan Rail Pass. We want to immediately head to Kyoto from HND airport. The issue that we are seeing is that we land at HND at 7:45PM Monday. This means that the JRP office is closed!

    Can you please recommend an efficient way for us to head for Kyoto by bullet train when we land at HND?

    regards,
    Em

    1. Hi Em!

      The bullet train between Tokyo and Kyoto costs around 13.000 yen so it may be interesting to consider exploring Tokyo and once the voucher is exchanged into the Japan Rail Pass travelling to Kyoto.

      Should you need to travel on this day without using the Japan Rail Pass, the Keikyu-Kuko train line goes directly from Haneda terminals to Shinagawa Station. From there you will be able to easily reach Kyoto as detailed in this article.

      Enjoy your trip!

  12. Hi, I will be traveling to Japan this September from the 21st-30th. What would be the best travel routes for:

    1. Arriving in Narita airport around 1:30 pm and staying in Shinjuku for two nights.
    2. Traveling from Shinjuku to Kyoto and staying three nights.
    3. Kyoto to Osaka for two nights.
    (One day in Osaka I was planning on traveling to Nara)
    4. Osaka back to Tokyo.

    1. Hi Fallon!

      All answers are spread through our articles in this blog 🙂 Given the places you want to visit, we recommend you to check the following articles that will help you solve any doubt you may have:

      Narita Express: Tokyo Airport transfer with the JR Pass
      Getting around Tokyo with the JR Pass: Metro, trains and more
      Osaka Loop Line: Getting around Osaka with the JR Pass

      Besides this, please read carefully this article you are commenting since it gives deep insight on how to travel between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka with the Japan Rail Pass.

      Happy travels!

  13. Hi,
    My family of 5, including an elderly (age 76) and two full-time students (age 22 and 23), planned visiting Osaka and Kyoto in May 2018. Following is our planned itinerary:

    Day 0: Take international flight to Osaka
    Day 1: Reach Osaka Kansai Airport at around 6am -> Take a train to Ayashirama -> Explore Ayashirama
    Day 2: From Ayashirama to Central Kyoto -> Explore Central n Southern Higashiyama
    Day 3: From Central Kyoto to Osaka Namba station -> Explore Osaka and surroundings
    Day 4: Explore Osaka and surroundings
    Day 5: From Osaka Namba to Nara -> Explore Nara Park with Bus -> Back to Osaka Namba Station
    (May swop day 4 and 5)
    Day 6: From Osaka Namba station to Osaka Kansai Airport by 7.30am

    May I know what type of JR Pass should i purchase that will fully cover above-mentioned, and the name of the trains/bus that i should book for each of the day please.

    Thank you very much for the help

    Regards
    Gary

  14. Hi,
    I am planning to visit Japan from 8th June until 16/17th June…pls guide if it is a good time or not

    Also someone told me best places to visit are Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara

    Please advise if I fly in and fly out from Tokyo and stay in Tokyo for 4 days in between visit Hakone and than I stay in Kyoto for 3 days in between visit Nara and than on last day I come back to Tokyo to catch my flight…do you think all this is possible?

    Kindly also advise if JR Pass will cover all these destinations

    Regards
    Prerak Gulati

  15. hi i forgot my last question,,,
    should i write the exact arrival date in the JR pass online purchase form ? or approximate date ? because i still didnt book my airline ticket
    thank you

    1. Hi Ali!

      The arrival in Japan is only an orientative date. Your estimated date of arrival in Japan is required in order to ensure that you will receive your tickets prior to your travel and within it validity.

      Happy travels!

    2. Please help I’m travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto staying there for three days would like to go to Nara in that time then on to Osaka for one night then onto airport to Okinawa then flying back to Tokyo which is the best travel pass please . Thank you Annette

    3. Hi Anette!

      Should you want to use your pass to travel through the whole country, the Japan Rail Pass would be the only pass that would cover your trips nation-wide. To travel with your 7-day Japan Rail Pass, means to have the unique opportunity to discover the whole country at a cheaper price than a Tokyo to Kyoto return ticket, on a Shinkansen bullet train.

      Very happy travels!

  16. hi
    i will be in (Tokyo Haneda) in april ,, will stay in (Shibuya) area ,,then travel to (Osaka shinsaibashi or other you suggest? )then( Nara ) and return back to tokyo haneda
    can you help me in name of the stations which i should go to ,,,thank you

    1. Hi Ali!

      If you are travelling with your Japan Rail Pass you will be able to fully cover your itinerary!

      – From Haneda Airport you will be able to easily reach central Tokyo in the Tokyo Monorail. To get to Shibuya area upon arrival just get off at Monorail Hamamatsucho Station: it will allow you to transfer to the JR Yamanote. The Yamanote line is fully included in the pass and is probably the most popular and convenient way for getting around Tokyo.
      – From this article you already know how to get from Tokyo to Osaka 😉
      – Begin your trip from Osaka to Nara at the JR Osaka Station. Take the Yamatoji Rapid Train to JR Nara Station.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

    2. Hello,
      We will be traveling to Japan on October 2018 with 8 persons in the group can we use the JR Pass on:
      1. Narita airport to Shinagawa Prince Hotel?
      2. Ride the Yamanote Line?
      3. Shinagawa to Hotel Fontaine in Osaka?
      4. From the Hotel Fontaine in Osaka to Kansai Airport?
      Thank you
      Josie Cruz

    3. Hi Josie!

      Regarding the best access to the accomodations you have chosen, please make sure to contact them since they will be able to better assist you. Besides this, the Japan Rail Pass grants access at no additional cost on the following lines:

      Narita Express, the most convenient Tokyo city transfer from and to Narita International Airport.
      – Unlimited rides in the Yamanote line, the most popular and convenient way for getting around Tokyo.
      – Transportation between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka as you already know from this article.
      – The Osaka Loop Line, which circles through downtown Osaka.
      – The Haruka Express, a limited express, airport rail link train service.

      Happy travels!

  17. Hi, I’m planning to visit Japan in May Andy would like to know if you give me some advice about transportation. My itinerary is as follows:
    Day1: arrival at Narita airport. Hotel in Shinagawa
    Day 2: going to Hakone ( stay a night)
    Day 3: going to Kyoto from Hakone (3 nighs in Kyoto)
    Day 6: from Kyoto to Tokyo. Hotel in Akasaka.
    I would like to know if I’ll be able to access to these many places easily with a JR pass. Thank you in advance.

    1. Dear Miki,

      The answer is yes – you will be eligible to follow your itinerary travelling with a Japan Rail Pass. This pass includes:

      – Unlimited rides in the Narita Express at no additional cost, which will take you from Narita Airport to central Tokyo. It has a stop a Shinagawa Station.
      – Access to five different Tokyo railway lines: the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Rapid Chuo Line, the local Chuo-Sobu line and other metropolitan lines that circulate on the outskirts of the city such as the JR Keiyo, Musashi, Nambu and Yokohama lines.
      – Acces from Tokyo to Hakone with the bullet train.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

  18. Hi:
    We are traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto on April 16th. Can you please recommend what route/trains to use for this trip using the Japan Rail Pass. Additionally we will be traveling from Kyoto to Hakone on April 18th, is there a japan rail train we can take for this trip and what route/train do you recommend for us to take from Hakone to Narita Airport for our return flight home on April 19th. Thank you so much for your response and suggestions.

    1. Hu Anhthu!

      The recommended itinerary to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto with the Japan Rail Pass is detailed described in this article. Please read it carefully.

      Here’s how to get from Tokyo to Hakone with the bullet train: take the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station (covered by the Japan Rail Pass). Get off at Odawara station, then take the Hakone Tozan train for Hakone-Yumoto (not covered by JR) and get off at Hakone-Itabashi.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

    2. JR Pass:

      I think you misunderstood my itinerary. We will be traveling from Kyoto to Hakone and then from Hakone to Narita Airport. What is your recommended trains from Kyoto to Hakone and what train should we take from Hakone to Narita Airport. Thank you.

    3. Hi Anhthu!

      We were hopping our itinerary base would help you move within your desired itinerary. Hakone is easily accessible from Tokyo, and from this article you know how to move between Tokyo and Kyoto 😉 Also Narita Airport is in Tokyo so just go back there and take the Narita Express.

  19. Hi, I thought there might not be enough time to get our JR vouchers delivered to America before we leave town which is Friday March 23rd. I read on the website that I can have it delivered to a hotel. Do you deliver to a hotel in Seoul, S. Korea? That’s where we will be for a few days before we come to Tokyo.

    Thanks.

  20. Hi,
    Our flight lands at Haneda at 18:55 on Sunday 26th March. It looks like the JR office will be closed then. Our hotel is in Chuo Ward, quite near to Suitengu metro station. I guess we will need to exchange our tickets on Monday 27th – which JR exchange office is closest to our hotel please?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  21. Hello,

    I arrive in Tokyo (Haneda) on 2nd April. Going to Kyoto on 6th April (may visit Osaka whilst in Kyoto). Leaving Kyoto for Kanazawa on 12th April. Kanazawa to Narita on 15th April. Would you suggest purchasing a JR Rail Pass? Thank you.

  22. From Shinjuku, Tokyo, how do I travel to Kawaguchiko station in Fujikawaguchiko, Funatsu for an overnight stay on April 10-11. Around mid day (after lunchtime) I’m leaving for Osaka.
    1. From Kawaguchiko station, how do I travel to Osaka?
    2. From Osaka, how do I travel to Kyoto station?
    3. From Kyoto station, how do I travel to Takayama?

    Regards
    Jude

    1. Hi Jude!

      To get from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo to Kawaguchiko Station, just take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki Station. There, transfer to the Fujikyu Railway Line. The trip between Osaka and Kyoto is well described in this article you are commenting 😉 . And for the last part of your trip, to travel from Kyoto to Takayama, from Kyoto Station, take the Hikari or Kodama trains on the Tokaido Line to Nagoya, then take the JR Hida Limited Express (also known as Wide View) from Nagoya to Takayama.

      Happy travels!

  23. Hi,

    I’ll be traveling to Japan for 5 days in April, I want to know if I purchase a 7 day JR pass will I need to purchase an additional ticket to travel roundtrip to Kyoto in addition to riding the local trains?

    Will the JR Pass be able to solve all of my travel needs with a single purchase? What else should I be considering?

    1. Hi Austin!

      If you travel with a Japan Rail Pass, it will itself include the roundtrip to Kyoto.

      It should mostly cover all your transportation needs, since the Japan Rail Pass covers all JR Group limited express trains, express trains, rapid and local ones. Shinkansen bullet trains are also covered, except of NOZOMI and MIZUHO. Furthermore, the JR Pass can be used on the Tokyo Monorail, the Yamanote line (Tokyo Metro); the Aoimori Railway between Aomori and Hachinohe; the JR Ishikawa Railway between Kanazawa and Tsubata; the Ainokaze Toyama Railway beween Toyama and Takaoka; Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo. It is also valid on all local JR bus lines and on the JR-West Miyajima ferry services.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

  24. i”m planning a day trip from tokyo to Mt Fuji, I found a detailed article on how to get to Mt Fuji, it says to board Limited Express Azusa on the JR Chuo line, headed to Otsuki ,is this part of JR pass.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Yes, the Azusa trains on the JR Chuo line belong to the JR Group so you can ride them for free with your Japan Rail Pass. You can check our Mount Fuji article for more information.

      Cheers,

  25. Hi,

    To go to Kyoto from Tokyo, is it more convenient to board the Shinkansen Hikari from Shinagawa Station than Tokyo Station?

    Tokyo Station seems to be quite big, would Sinagawa Station be easier to navigate?

    Thanks

    Minh

  26. Hi,

    1) can you provide a suggested itinerary to get from Sendagaya or Yoyogi Station in Tokyo to Kyoto Station (Kyoto)? We’re 8 people planning to buy JR pass to go from Tokyo to Kyoto using the Shinkansen on April 4 to arrive early in the PM.

    2) Similarly can you provide a suggested itinerary to get from Kyoto Station (Kyoto) to Narita Airport on April 8 so that we could get to the airport at around 2PM?. We will be flying out from NRT at 4PM. Again for a party of 8 people.

    Thanks

    Minh

    1. Hi Minh!

      Yoyogi is part of the JR Yamanote line, included in the Japan Rail Pass. This line will take you straight to Tokyo Station, where you will be able to travel all straight to Kyoto as described in this article you are commenting.

      To get from Kyoto Station to Narita Airport you can travel all straight to Tokyo as described in this article to Tokyo Station. Once there you will be able to take the Narita Express, included in the Japan Rail Pass, that will take you to Narita Airport.

      Enjoy your trip!

  27. Hi,
    Could you please guide us how can we reach Osaka the same day if we land in Tokyo on 23rd February, 2018 at 1730 hrs. We have purchased a JR pass and would like to reach Osaka at the earliest.

    1. Hi Malay!

      Depending on the airport you land you will have to take different transportation to reach central Tokyo: if you land at Haneda airport you will have to travel on the Tokyo Monorail, and if you land at Narita, the Narita Express. Both are included in the Japan Rail Pass.

      As specified in this article, the Hikari train that will take you from Tokyo to Kyoto can be taken either at Tokyo Station or at Shinagawa Station. The Narita Express stops at both of them, and the Tokyo Monorail only at Tokyo Station.

      We hope you have an amazing time at Japan!

  28. Hi,
    My partner and i are travelling to Japan in April for 13 days. I was just wondering how does the JR Pass work? If i buy the 14 day ticket does that mean that i can swipe my JR Pass for any JR Trips and its included in the price? or do i have to top it up once i use a specific amount of money?
    Thanks,
    Daniel

    1. Hi Daniel!

      The Japan Rail Pass is a multi-use all-you-can-ride discounted rail ticket. It gives you unlimited access to all Japan Rail National trains, as well as JR bus services, ferry services, and airport transfers during the selected validity time frame (either 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days). You don’t have any limit besides the selected time frame and the included transportation.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

  29. Good day!

    We are a family of 4 adult who will travel to Japan for the first time for 9 days. We will arrive Chubu Airport (Nagoya) from Manila at 8:30pm and will leave same airport at 9:00pm.

    I need your expert advise on the following:
    1. Do we need to stay overnight in Nagoya upon arrival or go straight to either Kyoto or Osaka?
    2. Our planned itinerary are:
    Day 1 – accomodation in Osaka, day trip Kyoto-Nara (Todaiji Temple, Nara Park, Fushimi Inari Shrine)
    Day 2 – Osaka (Universal Studios-Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
    Day 3 – Osaka Castle, Dohtonburi, Himeji Castle
    Day 4 – travel to Tokyo ( Shibuya, Akihabara)
    Day 5 – Tokyo Disneyland
    Day 6 – Sensoji Temple, Meiji Shrine, Imperial Palace)
    Day 7 – Back to Nagoya
    Day 8 – Depart Chubu Airport
    I understand that getting the 7 day JR Pass will definitely save us more on transportation cost. Can you guide us on what train line and where exactly to exit given those places that we want to see.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi WengDC!

      You will be entitled to use the Japan Rail Pass for your planned itinerary in the following lines:

      – While in Osaka, you will have unlimited access to the Osaka Loop Line.
      – As you have already read in this article you are commenting, travelling between Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto is very easy. To get to Nara you eill just need to take the Miyakoji Rapid Train, on the JR Nara line, to JR Nara Station.
      – To get to Universal Studios Japan, from Osaka Station take the Osaka loop line to Universal City Station.
      – To get to Tokyo Disneyland use your JR Pass to travel from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station, on the JR Keiyo line.
      – When traveling from Tokyo to Nagoya, the quickest option is to use the JR Tokaido Shinkansen, accessible using your JR Pass. Taking the Hikari train, you will reach Nagoya in less than two hours.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

  30. Good day!

    Your website is really a great help for us who wants to travel and see the beauty and charm of Japan. We are a family of 4 adult who will stay in Japan for 9 days. Our point of entry and exit is Chubu Airport (Nagoya). Arrival at Chubu Airport from Manila at 8:30pm and Departs Chubu Airport to Manila at 9:00pm. I understand that we really need to buy the 7 day JR railpass to save cost of transportation. But i need your advise on how we can maximize our time and cost of transportation on our stay in Japan.

    Can i have your guidance/advise on the following:

    1. We will arrive Chubu airport (Nagoya) at 8:30pm. Our itinerary includes Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo-Nagoya.
    Do we need to stay overnight upon our arrival or directly travel to Osaka on that night? Then proceed Osaka stay 3 days ( Osaka Castle, Dohtonburi Area, Himeji Castle, & Universal Studios) day trip to Kyoto & Nara (Todaiji Temple/Nara Park, Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine) back to Osaka. Osaka to Tokyo stay 3 days (Meiji Jingu Shrine, Sensoji Temple, Shinjuku Gyoen Natl Garden, Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Disneyland) then back to Nagoya 2 days. Is this itinerary possible?

    2. Can you please guide us on what train line to take and where to exit on each line.

    Thank you in advance.

  31. Hi I’m going for a 16 days trip to Japan . Will be landing at Sapporo. Thinking of going
    Sapporo-> Hakodate-> Tokyo->Kyoto-> Osaka. As my returning flight is at Osaka. So do you think is more worth to get 14 day JR pass or 7 day ? Can JR pass be used within the respective area ?

    1. Hi Kimberly!

      To assess if the 7-day Japan Rail Pass is the most cost effective ticket or if the 14-day will also help you save money for your trip, we recommend you to check at Hyperdia which would be the cost of the individual ticket. When you have this detail you will be able to compare this price to the nation-wide pass price.

      However please keep in mind the Japan Rail Pass affords access to many other transportation (besides what you already read in this article) you could take at no additional cost:

      – Transfer from main airports to city centers (for example, the Haruka Express that will take you from Osaka to Kansai Airport).
      – Transportation within Tokyo, included lines are the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Rapid Chuo Line, the local Chuo-Sobu line and other metropolitan lines that circulate on the outskirts of the city such as the JR Keiyo, Musashi, Nambu and Yokohama lines.
      – Transportation within Osaka in the Osaka Loop Line.
      – Connection between Sapporo and Japan’s main cities.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

  32. Hi!

    Just wondering should I be heading to osaka > kyoto > tokyo for 11 days, will it be more advisable and cost-efficient to purchase the 7 or 14 day rail pass as it is kinda stuck in the middle.

    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Ong!

      To assess if the 7-day Japan Rail Pass is the most cost effective ticket or if the 14-day will also help you save money for your trip, we recommend you to check at Hyperdia which would be the cost of the individual ticket. When you have this detail you will be able to compare this price to the nation-wide pass price.

      However please keep in mind the Japan Rail Pass affords access to many other transportation (besides what you already read in this article) you could take at no additional cost:
      – Transfer from main airports to city centers (Narita Express and Tokyo Monorail to central Tokyo and Haruka Express to Kyoto and Osaka).
      – Transportation within Tokyo, included lines are the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Rapid Chuo Line, the local Chuo-Sobu line and other metropolitan lines that circulate on the outskirts of the city such as the JR Keiyo, Musashi, Nambu and Yokohama lines.
      – Transportation within Osaka in the Osaka Loop Line.
      – Connection to many other areas that can be reached as a day trip from Tokyo, from Kyoto and from Osaka.

      We hope you enjoy your trip!

  33. Hi, I am going to Osaka – Kyoto – Tokyo, which JR pass should I purchase?
    And also Kansai Airport how travel to Osaka? JR pass got include Kansai Airport to Osaka? Thanks

    1. Hi bingbing!

      Yes, the Haruka Express is included in the Japan Rail Pass and fully covers the trip from Kansai Airport to Osaka. Besides this, as you have already read in this article you comment the Japan Rail Pass makes it very easy to travel between Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.

      The pass will be useful for your trip not only for these itineraries but also on the following transportation:
      – The JR Pass affords access to five different Tokyo railway lines: the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Rapid Chuo Line, the local Chuo-Sobu line and other metropolitan lines that circulate on the outskirts of the city such as the JR Keiyo, Musashi, Nambu and Yokohama lines.
      – The Osaka Loop Line, which “loops,” or circles, through downtown Osaka, is also fully included.

      Happy travels!

  34. Hello
    I’m planning to visit Tokyo on April, 17,2018 22.00 time arrival flight then I have to travel to Kyoto in the early morning for 2 days to attend Asian urological conference in Kyoto and then return back to Tokyo for one day than to return back to my country on April,21,2018. does 7 days JR pass is a perfect for my trip?

    Thanks,
    Hesham, Saudi Arabia

    1. Hi Hesham!

      The Japan Rail Pass will cover all of your planned trips:

      – Once you land in the airport, transfers to main cities are included in the pass (Narita Express from Narita Airport to central Tokyo, Tokyo Monorail from Haneda Airport to central Tokyo, Haruka Express from Kansai Airport to Osaka and Kyoto).
      – While in Tokyo, the JR Pass affords access to five different local railway lines: the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Rapid Chuo Line, the local Chuo-Sobu line and other metropolitan lines that circulate on the outskirts of the city such as the JR Keiyo, Musashi, Nambu and Yokohama lines.
      – As you have already learned from this article you are commenting, transportation between Tokyo and Kyoto is fully included.

      We hope you have an amazing trip!

  35. want a round trip from Kyoto to Osaka on 3/21.Have between 3 and 5 pm to do it, Is that possible? What Price if so? how far is Kyoto Station from the Cruise Ship Port?
    Thank You

  36. Hi
    I’m planning to arrive in Kansai in March.
    I’ll be staying in Osaka for 3 days with a day trip then Kyoto for 3 days and then staying in Tokyo for 7 days. We will then head back home from Tokyo.
    Do you recommend getting the JR pass or buy tickets individually?

    Thanks
    Jenny

    1. Hi Jenny!

      To assess if the Japan Rail Pass is the most cost effective ticket for your trip, we recommend you to check at Hyperdia which would be the cost of the individual ticket. When you have this detail you will be able to compare this price to the nation-wide pass price.

      However please note that generally when you make long-distance trips such as Kyoto -> Tokyo it tends to pay off. Transportation in Japan is not cheap.

      Have an amazing trip!

  37. Hi,
    How do you advise to move from :
    1. Haneda Airport to Gracery Hotel Shinjuku.
    2. Shinjuku to Mount Fuji and back.
    3. One way trip to Hilton Tokyo Bay from Gracery Hotel Shinjuku
    4. One way trip to Osaka from Hilton Tokyo Bay.

    Hope JR Pass covers all this. Pls advise names of trains. Tx.

    Rgds / Ali

    1. Hi Ali!

      For the routes starting/ending at specific hotels please make sure to contact them directly. Below we provide the itinerary as from one city to another:

      – From Haneda Airport you can get to central Tokyo in the Tokyo Monorail, fully included in your pass.
      – To get to Mount Fuji from Tokyo take JR Tokaido line for Kozu from Tokyo Station. Once at Kozu (Kanagawa), take the JR Gotemba Line for Numazu and get off at Gotemba Station. Once at Gotemba station, take a bus to Subashiri 5th station, the gateway to climbing Mount Fuji. This last bus will be the only part of the itinerary not covered by your Japan Rail Pass.
      – Last but not least, from this article you have already learned how to travel between Tokyo and Osaka with your pass.

      We hope you have a great trip!

    1. Hi Ramona!

      The Japan Rail Pass would be a great fit for your trip.

      – It would allow you to travel from Haneda Airport to central Tokyo in the Tokyo Monorail. The Tokyo Monorail does not directly serve Tokyo Station, but it can be reached by taking either the Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku lines from Tokyo Station to Hamamatsucho Station. Both are included in the pass.
      – When in Tokyo, the JR Pass affords access to five different local railway lines: the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Rapid Chuo Line, the local Chuo-Sobu line and other metropolitan lines that circulate on the outskirts of the city such as the JR Keiyo, Musashi, Nambu and Yokohama lines. The Yamanote line will take you straight to Shibuya, Akihabara and Tokyo Station, among other stations.
      – Travelling between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka is extremely easy with the Japan Rail Pass travelling in Shinkansen as you have already learned in this article you are commenting.
      – While in Osaka, you will be entitled to make full use of the Osaka Loop Line at no additional cost.
      – To get to Universal Studios Japan from Osaka Station, just take the Osaka loop line to Universal City Station. The park is a five-minute walk from the station.
      – You will be able to reach Kansai Airport from either Tokyo or Kyoto in the Haruka Express.

      We hope you have an amazing trip!

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