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japan rail pass vs. individual tickets

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  1. #1

    japan rail pass vs. individual tickets

    Can anyone weigh in on if I plan on doing Tokyo - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Tokyo if it's better to buy an individual ticket or the pass? I'm wondering cost-wise because you you need to pay for the seat reservation either way, which is a good chunk of change. I would be looking at taking one of the shinkansen, fyi.


  2. #2

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    JR Pass for sure! Don't forget that you can use the Pass to get around as well in the trains/metro to get around in Tokyo itself (and Kyoto as well if I'm not mistaken)


  3. #3

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    You can cost up the individual journeys on here :

    http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/nor...-norikeyin.htm

    I suspect the JR pass would be a bit cheaper but you can easily check and make sure here. Traveling within Tokyo on the Metro is fairly cheap - 160 yen per short journey.... or maybe expensive if you compare to Hong Kong MTR prices


  4. #4

    Yeah, I saw the individual prices, which run to about 23,000 yen just for the ticket. Are seat reservations the same price (I assume) whether you buy an individual ticket or a JR Pass?


  5. #5

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    The JR pass should be a LOT cheaper, not a little bit cheaper!

    From my understanding, there are different types of JR passes. Some that allow shinkansen, some only in east or west Japan, etc. So make sure you get the right type.


  6. #6

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    If you get a normal ticket, the ones with reserved seats are a little higher than non reserved.

    If you dont plan on taking the train during peak time, non reserved should be fine. But I remember a couple of times I had to stand for hours in non reserved.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by thromsturmond:
    Yeah, I saw the individual prices, which run to about 23,000 yen just for the ticket. Are seat reservations the same price (I assume) whether you buy an individual ticket or a JR Pass?
    You can book a reserved seat for free with a JR Pass. Bear in mind that no JR Pass let's you use the fastest Shinkasens (Nozumi service). The Nozumi trains run throughout the name, the Kodama and Hikari ones are more limited.

    If you don't use a JR pass you can choose a non-reserved, or a reserved seat for some extra cash. If you are getting on at the start of a journey, like Tokyo you can safely choose non-reserved and you'll always get a seat.. even if you have to "skip" one train and start queuing for the next which is only 10-20 minutes away.

    However, if you are getting on mid-way through the line then it's less sure to get a non-reserved seat but it is quite rare to have to stand... I've only stood twice in a several dozen trips.
    Last edited by Geoff; 22-02-2010 at 12:15 PM.
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  8. #8

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    When I looked at this question in detail a few years back, simply for a return tokyo to kyoto and back, it was much, much better to get the rail pass. Having done it three times now in Japan, always got a seat and never made a reservation. Not being able to use the Nozumi is not a big deal - there are heaps of other trains (as noted above, every 20 mins or so) and the difference in speed is not that much.

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07:
    When I looked at this question in detail a few years back, simply for a return tokyo to kyoto and back, it was much, much better to get the rail pass.
    It definitely isn't now though, a Tokyo<>Kyoto return is quicker (Nozumi vs Kodama) and cheaper than a 7 day JR pass. With the extra journeys I suspect the JR pass is a superior option though.

  10. #10

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    What about ONE WAY Kyoto-Hakone-Tokyo? Is it cheaper with JR pass or individual ticket? I flying into Osaka n fly out from Tokyo.


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