Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

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You may be overwhelmed by train system in Tokyo. It is very complicated because there are many train lines and many different railway companies. There are lots of deals available but you may not be able to find the coverage of the pass.

In this post, I will show you all subway lines and JR lines in downtown core of Tokyo. And I will also tell you about train system surrounding in Tokyo too. Because some of trains that come from outside Tokyo go to downtown Tokyo via subway line. This is actually one of the reason why it is so difficult to understand train system in Tokyo

Let’s see and learn it together!

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Overview of train system in Tokyo

Please see the map below:

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

I show you all subway lines, all JR lines and most of major private railway’s lines in downtown Tokyo on this map. But there are too many stations to show in this map. Only major stations, junctions and the nearest station to major tourist spots are shown in this map.

When you visit the tourist spots in Tokyo, such as Shinjuku, Ueno, Harajuku, Ginza, Asakusa, Skytree, Odaiba, Tsukiji Market, you have to find the locations, the nearest station and route. And you can choose your deal to visit these places. If you will use JR Pass, JR East Pass, Tokyo Wide Pass or other regional pass, you have to make sure the coverage of your pass. And you will find the additional fare on top of these pass if you visit the place where is not covered by your pass.

For the travellers who use Suica, Pasmo, ICOCA or other IC cards

You can take all railway’s trains in the map above. IC card makes your trip be very easy. You can tap your card when you enter and exit the ticket gate. But it does not give you any discount. If you intend to make many train trips, unlimited ride pass, such as subway pass is cheaper.

I would like to show you the coverage of major deals one by one from next chapter.

JR train network and coverage of JR deals

JR train network in Tokyo is much more simple than subway network. There are only three major lines that you need to know. Those are Yamanote line (loop line), Chuo line (Tokyo-Shinjuku-Mitaka), and Keiyo line (Tokyo-Maihama). you can access to many places in Tokyo by JR train only, such as Akihabara, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa, Mitaka and Maihama.

Some of you are thinking about using JR Pass, JR East Pass or Tokyo Wide Pass. These deals are national or regional deals and those cover Tokyo and many more areas. You can use these passes to take JR trains in downtown Tokyo. But using these deals while staying in Tokyo, please understand that the base fare to travel within downtown Tokyo is quite small. For example, the base fare for Tokyo to Shinjuku by JR local train is only 200 yen. Mostly base fare is around 200 yen. Traveling by these passes do not help to get worth very much. If you have any other trips to be covered by these passes, you should use the pass for other trip.

Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass)

This is most popular rail pass to cover throughout Japan. The coverage of this pass in downtown Tokyo is shown in the map below:

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

This pass covers JR trains and Tokyo Monorail (Hamamatsucho-Haneda) only. Subway and other private railway lines are not covered.

JR East pass

This pass covers JR East service area, such as Tohoku, Niigata, Nagano, Tokyo and surrounding area. Please see the map below to find the coverage of this pass.

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

This pass covers JR trains, Tokyo Monorail (Hamamatsucho-Haneda) and Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Rinkai Line. Rinkai line can take you Odaiba. This is only and the biggest difference between JR East Pass and JR Pass. Subway and other private railway lines are not covered.

But on April 1st, 2016, JR East Pass will be divided into two passes, JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) and JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area). In Tokyo, the coverage of these two passes are exactly same. Please see the map below:

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

Rinkai Line will not be covered. You cannot get Odaiba by new JR East Pass.

Tokyo Wide Pass

Tokyo Wide Pass covers Tokyo and surrounding area for 3 days. Please see the map below to find the coverage of this pass.

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

This pass covers JR trains, Tokyo Monorail (Hamamatsucho-Haneda) and Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Rinkai Line. Rinkai line can take you Odaiba. This is a big benefit for sightseeing in Tokyo. Subway and other private railway lines are not covered.

Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass)

This is one of JR local deals. It covers JR lines only in Tokyo 23 wards. If you do not use any other JR deals but you want to have unlimited ride of JR trains, this suits your plan. The price is 750 yen for one day. Please see the coverage of this deal in the map below:

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

It covers downtown Tokyo but you cannot visit the places where are outside coverage area, such as Tokyo Disney Resort, Ghibli Museum. Please find some more information about this deal at the link below:

Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.

Subway network in Tokyo

Subway lines network in Tokyo is very complicated but it is most convenient train system in Tokyo. It covers whole part of Tokyo and you can go almost anywhere in downtown Tokyo. Therefore understanding subway system is a key to travel in downtown Tokyo smoothly. First of all, please see the all subway lines in the map below.

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

As you see, there are so many lines. As long as you know which station you need to go, you will be okay. I think some of you worry about language and it is very hard to remember station name. But in Tokyo subway system, all station is shown by code. Please see the full subway map at the link below:

Tokyo Subway Map

As you see the map, all stations have code, like “M17” for Tokyo station. This is shown at the station too. I wrote about these signage at the other post. If you worry about Japanese, please refer the post below:

Signage and announcement in the station and train

You may have already noticed that different name stations are located at same place. For example, Yurakucho and Hibiya are same location and you can transfer these subway lines very easily. We can find same thing in JR and subway stations, like Hamamatsucho and Daimon, Mita and Tamachi.

Two subway operation companies

Actually there are two different subway companies, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. There are many kinds of subway passes available. Before choosing the deal, you have to know these subway companies.

First, Tokyo Metro operates nine subway lines. Please see the map below.

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

Toei Subway is operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Bureau of Transportation. It has four lines and the network is much smaller than Tokyo Metro. Please see the map below:

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

Toei Subway operates only four lines but Oedo line gives you direct access to Tsukiji Market. Tsukijishijo station is the nearest station to get there. And Asakusa line is very useful because this subway line gives you inter-connected through service with Keisei line from Narita and Keikyu line from Haneda. I will tell you this shared track service later.

Now I would like to show you subway deals.

Tokyo Subway Ticket

This covers both subway line, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. This is the best deal for subway in Tokyo. It is basically sold for overseas travelers. It is sold at both Haneda and Narita airports. And also you may purchase at some of retail stores, such as BIC Camera, Laox. But you cannot purchase this special deal at subway stations in Tokyo. But some of hotels in Tokyo and Japanese travel agencies outside Kanto area may offer this deal. Please refer Tokyo Metro official site to find the detailed information of this deal.

Tokyo Subway 1-Day Ticket – Adult: 800 yen, Child: 400 yen
Tokyo Subway 2-Day Ticket – Adult: 1200 yen, Child: 600 yen
Tokyo Subway 3-Day Ticket – Adult: 1500 yen, Child: 750 yen

This deal must be used in consecutive days. But it is way cheaper than common subway passes. Regular subway pass is sold at 1000 yen for one day. There is no two days pass.

*Tokyo Subway Ticket will be 24hr, 48hr and 72hr ticket on March 26, 2016. Currently this pass is valid midnight to midnight. So even if you start using it at 23:00, you spend one day for just one hour. But new ticket will be available for 24 hours basis. If you start using 24hr pass at 23:00, ticket is valid until 22:59 on day 2. This will effect on March 26. So if you start using 3 days ticket on March 25, your pass is valid for just 3 days. You must start to use it after March 26.

Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro Lines Common One-Day Economy Pass

This covers both Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines. The coverage is exactly same as Tokyo Subway Ticket above. But the price is a bit higher. It is 1000 yen for one day. Only one day pass is available. This pass can be purchased at any subway subway stations. You can purchase it at even vending machine.

Average subway fare is around 200 yen. If you make 5 or more trips by subway, this pass is cheaper than single fare or using IC card, like Pasmo, Suica.

Toei One-Day Economy Pass

This deal covers Toei subway lines and other public transportation by Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The price is 700 yen for one day. If you make 4 or more subway rides, it’s paid off. But you can take only 4 subway lines.

Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket

This deal covers all lines of Tokyo Metro 9 lines. The price is 600 yen for one day. This deal has bigger coverage area than Toei subway deal above but the price is cheaper. You may be able to get the worth by 3 subway rides.

*Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket will be Tokyo Metro 24 hours ticket on March 26, 2016. Currently this pass is valid midnight to midnight. So even if you start using it at 23:00, you spend one day for just one hour. But new ticket will be available for 24 hours basis. If you start using 24hr pass at 23:00, ticket is valid until 22:59 on day 2.

Other deals

There are some combined deals, like JR and subway, airport access train and subway.

Tokyo One-Day Free Ticket, Tokyo Tour Ticket, Tokyo Free Kippu, Tokyo Combination Ticket

This deal is called by several different names but it is same. This covers all subway lines and JR lines in Tokyo 23 wards. So it is combined of Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro Lines Common One-Day Economy Pass (1000 yen) and Tokyo Tokunai Pass (750 yen). But the price of this deal is 1590 yen. Actually this is not easy to get the worth of this pass. You have to make train trip at least 8 times. If you visit many places in one day and need to take both subway and JR trains, this pass will work. Otherwise this is not recommended. You may find the detailed information and conditions at JR East official site.

Airport access ticket and subway pass combination deal

There are many types of deals for travelers who arrive at Haneda and Narita airport. Keisei railway (Narita), Keihin Kyuko Railway (Haneda) and Limousine bus (Narita/Haneda) offers transportation to downtown Tokyo and subway pass combination deal. Please find more information at Tokyo Metro official site.

Inter-connected through service (shared track)

There are many many train lines in Greater Tokyo. And also many train companies share the track for the commuter’s convenience. Since trains come from outside city go through subway into the center of Tokyo, commuters can get the work place by minimum transfer. This is “Inter-connected through service”. This makes you be confused. For example, JR train goes through subway line and JR train run on subway track as subway train. Do you understand what I mean? If you cannot understand it at this point. it is okay. I would like to show you some inter-connected services in this chapter. If you understand these services, you can get the place where you want quickly and less transfers.

Narita – Asakusa – Ginza – Shinagawa – Haneda route

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

This route is probably most useful route for overseas travelers. Keisei Railway, Toei Subway Asakusa line and Keihin Kyuko Railway share the track. Some train connect Natita airport and Haneda airport directly via Oshiage (Tokyo Skytree), Asakusa, Higashi-Ginza, Sengakuji and Shinagawa. If you stay the place along subway Asakusa line, such as Asakusa, Ginza, this route takes you the place to stay directly.

Ikebukuro – Shinjuku – Shibuya – Osaki – Tokyo Teleport (Odaiba) – Shin Kiba route

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

This is the easiest way to get Odaiba from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya. JR Saikyo line train runs on same route as Yamanote line to Osaki. (But Saikyo line train skips several station on Yamanote line.) JR Saikyo line train goes through Rinkai line to Shin-Kiba via Tokyo Teleport (Odaiba). Rinkai line is not JR line but it is operated as a part of Saikyo line. All JR Saikyo line train run on Rinkai line.

But Rinkai line is covered by only Tokyo Wide Pass. Other JR deals do not cover Rinkai line.

Toride – Kitasenju – Otemachi – Meiji Jingu – Yoyogi Uehara – Hon Atsugi – Hakone Yumoto route

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

JR train, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line and Odakyu Railway share the track. When you go to Hakone, Odakyu Railway is very convenient. Odakyu Railway has limited express train “Romancecar” that depart from Shinjuku. But a few Romancecar depart from Kitasenju and goes through Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line until Yoyogi-Uehara. You may find the timetable at the link below:

Odakyu Railway Romancecar timetable between Kitasenju and Hakone-Yumoto

But if you intend to use Hakone Free Pass, you have to purchase the pass in advance because this pass is sold at Odakyu Railway station. You cannot purchase it at any subway stations. In this case, you have to purchase Hakone Free Pass from Yoyogi-Uehara. 2 days pass is 5140 yen and 3 day pass is 5640 yen. This does not include subway fare. You can purchase subway ticket to Yoyogi-Uehara. On the way back, you can pay extra charge for subway when you exit subway station. You can show Hakone Free Pass and subway station staff can understand you need to pay the fare from Yoyogi-Uehara.

How to access to major spots in Tokyo by train

I would like to show you the nearest station to major sightseeing spots in downtown Tokyo. All places below are shown on the map below:

Click map to view larger.
Click map to view larger.

Akihabara

Nearest station

  • JR Akihabara
  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Akihabara
  • Toei Subway Shinjuku line Iwamotocho

Iwatamotocho station is not located in the center of Akihabara. But it is only 5 minutes away from JR and Hibiya line Akihabara station. You can access to Akihabara easily.

Asakusa

Nearest station

  • Tokyo Metro Ginza line Asakusa
  • Toei Subway Askausa line Asakusa
  • Tobu Railway Asakusa

All stations are located in the center of Asakusa. Senso-ji temple is very closed from these stations.

Ghibli Museum

Nearest station

  • JR Mitaka

Please see the detail information at the link below:
Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.

Ginza

Nearest station

  • Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Ginza
  • Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Yurakucho
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza line Ginza
  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Ginza
  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Hibiya
  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Higashi-Ginza
  • Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line Yurakucho
  • Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line Ginza-Itchome
  • Toei Subway Asakusa line Higashi-Ginza
  • JR Yurakucho

There are many stations in Ginza area. Even if you have only JR deals, you can access to Ginza from Yurakucho station very easily.

Harajuku

Nearest station

  • JR Harajuku
  • Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line Meiji-Jingumae
  • Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line Meiji-Jingumae

Tokyo Metro Meiji-Jingumae stations are located at same place as JR Harajuku.

Imperial Palace

Nearest station

  • JR Tokyo
  • Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Otemachi
  • Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line Otemachi
  • Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line Otemachi
  • Tokyo Metro Tozai Otemachi
  • Toei Subway Mita line Otemachi
  • Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line Nijubashimae
  • Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line Sakuradamon
  • Toei Subway Mita line Otemachi

Imperial Palace is a huge place and you can access from many stations. You should check which part of Imperial Palace you will visit before you go.

Odaiba

Nearest station

  • Yurikamome Odaiba-Kaihinkoen
  • Yurikamome Daiba
  • TWR Rinkai line Tokyo-Teleport

There is no subway and JR stations in this area. Any subway and JR deals do not cover Odaiba area. Only Tokyo Wide Pass by JR covers Rinkai line to get Odaiba. Yurikamome has one day pass but it is too expensive to have only round trip to Odaiba from Shinbashi.

If you have Suica, Pasmo, ICOCA or other major IC card, you can use it to take both Rinkai line and Yurikamome.

Roppongi

Nearest station

  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Roppongi
  • Toei Subway Oedo line Roppongi

Shibuya

Nearest station

  • JR Shibuya
  • Tokyu Railway Shibuya
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza line Shibuya
  • Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line Shibuya
  • Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line Shibuya

Shibuya is one of the hub stations in Tokyo. There are five stations but actually four station because Tokyu Railway (not Tokyo Railway) share the track with subway.

Tokyu Railway Denentoshi line – Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line
Tokyu Railway Toyoko like – Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line

Shinjuku

Nearest station

  • JR Shinjuku
  • Odakyu Railway Shinjuku
  • Keio Railway Shinjuku
  • Toei Subway Oedo line Shinjuku
  • Toei Subway Oedo line Shinjuku-Nishiguchi
  • Toei Subway Shinjuku line Shinjuku
  • Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Shinjuku-Nishiguchi
  • Seibu Railway Seibu-Shinjuku

Shinjuku is the busiest station in the world.

Seibu Railway and Keio Railways are not shown in the map. These are major private railway lines in Tokyo.

Suibu-Shinjuku station is a bit away from other Shinjuku stations.

Keio Railway has two stations in Shinjuku. This railway shares the track with Toei Subway Shinjuku line at one of these Shinjuku stations.

Shiodome

Nearest station

  • Yurikamome Shiodome
  • Yurikakome Shinbashi
  • JR Shinbashi
  • Toei Subway Asakusa line Shinbashi
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza line Shinbashi

Shiodome area is connected with Shinbashi station by shopping arcade. It is 10 minutes away from Shinbashi by walk.

Tokyo Disney Resort (Disneyland and DisneySea)

Nearest station

  • JR Maihama

The entrance of Disneyland is very close from Maihama station. You can also access to the gate of DisneySea by walk. But it is about 15 minutes walk away. You may take Tokyo Disney Resort Line (Monorail) to get these entrance.

Tokyo Disney Resort Line (official site)

You also can find some more information about Disneyland at the link below:

Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea in 2015 spring, Part 1. Preparation and access from Narita.

Tokyo Dome City

Nearest station

  • JR Suidobashi
  • Toei Subway Mita line Suidobashi
  • Toei Subway Mita line Kasuga
  • Toei Subway Oedo line Kasuga
  • Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Korakuen
  • Tokyo Metro Namboku line Korakuen

You can also find the access information at Tokyo Dome City official site.

Tokyo Skytree

Nearest station

  • Tobu Railway Skytree
  • Tobu Railway Oshiage
  • Keisei Railway Oshiage
  • Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line Oshiage
  • Toei Subway Asakusa line Oshiage

There are actually three stations because of shared track.

Tobu Railway – Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line
Keisei Railway – Toei Subway Asakusa line

There are only two “Oshiage” station. If you go to Tobu Railway Oshiage station, that is also Tokyo Metro Hazomon line Oshiage station. If you go to Keisei Railway Oshiage station, it is Toei Subway Asakusa line Oshiage station.

Tobu Railway has two stations near Tokyo Skytree. You can access from these two stations.

Tsukiji Market

Nearest station

  • Toei Subway Oedo line Tsukiji-Shijo
  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Tsukiji

You can access from both stations. But if you want to go to the inside of market, Tsukiji-Shijo station is located just next to the market and much closer than Tsukiji station. If you go to Tsukiji to eat fresh seafood, you can access from both stations easily.

Ueno Park

Nearest station

  • JR Ueno
  • Keisei Railway Keisei-Ueno
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza line Ueno
  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya line Ueno

Ueno is also one of the hub stations in Tokyo. But it is much easier than other hub stations, like Tokyo and Shinjuku. All stations are located in same place. Ueno Park is located just next to the station.

187 thoughts on “Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?”

  1. Hi Takeshi-san, I am visiting Japan in April 13 – 22 2017 with other 4 adults. My itinerary is as follows:-

    1 – arrive Haneda Airport. Stay Shinagawa Ward (1 day).
    2 – depart Shinagawa Ward for Mount Fuji, Yamagisi Ryokan, Fujikawaguchiko (1 day).
    3 – depart Fujikawaguchiko for Kyoto AirBNB (2 days)
    4 – depart Kyoto for Osaka AIRBNB (2 days)
    5 – depart Osaka to Hotel Grand Palace, Tokyo (4 days)
    6 –fly out from Narita Airport.

    Can you advise should we get the Japan rail pass ?

    1. Hi Lee san,

      You may use 7 days JR pass for the first 7 days. But you may start using on 2nd day because Keihin Kyuko railway is better to get Shinagawa than other railways. Keihin Kyuko is not covered by JR pass.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/how-to-access-from-haneda-airport-to-downtown-tokyo.html

      And also you need to add the fare for taking Fuji Kyuko railway from Otsuki to Kawaguchiko and bus from Kawaguchiko to Mishima on the way to Kyoto. Please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      In Tokyo after JR pass expired, please see the links below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/narita/the-list-of-deals-for-access-to-downtown-tokyo-from-narita-airport.html

      Cheers,

      TAkeshi / JPRail.com

  2. hi Chloe. Thankyou for yur very thorough post but i still feel overwhelm with the diff lines, diff companies.

    I’m planning our day to day itinerary for our travels in March. I’ll be travelling also with my tod who is 2yrs old so i really need to figure out where and how im going/ For disneyland we opt to take bus from Shinjuku bus station.

    I plan a day to go to Asakusa to wander through sensoji and the surrounding shopping area and then walk across to skytree.
    Goin there the plan is Shinjuku JR Chuo Line-to Kanda station transfer to Ginza line- reach Asakusa Station and take exit 1

    Going back i dont wan to walk back to Asakusa station. Whats the easiest way from Skytree back to Shinjuku. Our airbnb is abt 8 mins walk south of Shinjuku JR exit fyi.

    1. Hi sharreb,

      You have chosen the correct routes. But when you go to Asakusa from Shinjuku, you can take Toei subway Oedo line from Shinjuku-Nishiguchi to Kuramae. And then take Toei subway Asakusa line to Asakusa. You also can take same line from Oshiage. Oshiage is the nearest station to Skytree. Please see the subway map below:
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/subwaymap/pdf/routemap_en.pdf

      If you take this route, you can use Tokyo Subway Ticket and all subway trips are covered.
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel/index.html

      If you take JR Chuo line, Tokyo subway ticket does not cover JR. So you need to pay single fare or using Suica instead of cash pay.
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html

      P.S. You asked a wrong person. Chloe is a reader and she cannot answer your inquiry. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Gd morning Takeshi. My apologies aft i send the comment (which i did in a rush) then i realise wrong name but coukdnt retract it. Thankyou for your response n taking the time to do so.
        We r using Suica as our frens who came back from Japan lend us theirs.
        Can u let me know from Oshiage station to Shinjuku station is there any transfer,change of line?
        Thanks 🙂

        1. No worries, Sharreb.

          If you want to use Suica, the easiest route is as follows:

          Oshiage (Toei subway Askausa like) Asakusabashi (JR Sobu-Chuo line) Shinjuku. You can use this route to go to Askausa from Shinjuku.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thankyou Takeshi for being so helpful n take time to help out countless faceless strangers. It will b my second visit to japan, but the first for vacation really looking forward to cherryblossoms hospitality of japanese the food and the culture. Hav a great week ahead 🙂

  3. Hi Takeshi-san, I am visiting Japan in early June 2017. My planned itinerary is as follows:-

    Day 1 – arrive Haneda Airport. Stay Shinjuku. Visit Tsukiji and Odaiba.
    Day 2 – Visit Tokyo Station, Akihabara, Ueno, Asakusa.
    Day 3 – Visit Kawaguchiko and return via Otsuki to Mitaka Station for Ghibli Museum.
    Day 4 – Travel Shinjuku to Nagano and visit Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Stay Kanazawa.
    Day 5 – Day trip to Shirakawa-go and maybe Takayama.
    Day 6 – Travel Kanazawa to Kyoto.
    Day 7 – Day trip to Kinosakionsen.
    Day 8 – Travel Kyoto to Hiroshima and Miyajima Island. Overnight Osaka.
    Day 9 – Day trip to Nara and fly out from Kansai Airport.

    Can you advise which rail pass option is better value?
    1. 48 hour Tokyo Welcome subway pass and 7 day JR Rail pass
    2. Tokyo Wide Pass and Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass? (I am aware that Kansai Hokuriku will not cover Hiroshima and Miyajima so I will visit Kobe instead.)

    1. Hi Gwen san,

      It depends on how much you want to go to Hiroshima and Miyajima. If you really want to visit there, your choice is option 1. But even if you give up Hiroshima and Miyajima, Tokyo Wide Pass is not enough. You need to pay for Sakudaira to Nagano. This segment is outside of Tokyo Wide Pass coverage area.

      So I recommend you to keep this itinerary and use JR pass and subway pass. This combination is the best way for your trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you Takeshi-san. Also read on another post on your website that the Kansai-Hokuriku pass does not allow seat reservations. In this case, I think I will stick to JR Pass to get the most flexibility. You have a really informative website, thank you for all your work and effort.

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    From the 23rd of April until the 5th of May I will be in Japan with a friend. I know it will be a busy period, so my first question is, if we buy a JR pass is it wise to buy the green pass?

    I’m not sure if we should buy a 7 or a 14 day pass. If you look at the itinerary what would you suggest?

    23rd of April arrival Tokyo Narita airport we take the Keisei
    line to our accommodation.
    27th of April Tokyo – Yudanaka
    29th of April Yudanaka – Kyoto
    3rd of May Kyoto – Koyasan
    5th of May Koyasan – Osaka
    We fly from Osaka to Tokyo
    6th of May Tokyo – Narita airport (Keisei line)

    Thank you,
    Susan

  5. Hi Takeshi,
    I’m going to Tokyo in early march with my husband and 6 years old son.
    After much reading about your detailed post, i want to confirm if my plan and understanding is correct:
    Day 1 – from Narita to our airbnb in Nippori ( Kensei Skyline)
    Day 2 – Disneyland (Pasmo)
    Day 3 – Shinjuku/Ueno/ Asakusa (24 hours tokyo metro card)
    Day 4 – Gala Yuzawa ( JR Wide pass)
    Day 5 – Yokohama / Odaiba ( JR Wide pass)
    Day 6 – tokyo and haneda airport ( JR Wide pass)

    Does it look okay to you?

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Great! Got one question though, if i buy the 24 hrs tokyo metro at narita, i can start use it on day 3, right? the 24 hrs activation start from point of use, not purchased, right?

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            I checked on the skyliner + toei subway/tokyo metro promo (2800 Yen). Can i use this pass for toei lines buses too? since i’ll be staying around Nippori, i see there’s bus lines too. but how do I know the bus from my homestay is toei lines or not?

          2. Hi Safina,

            It covers Tokyo Metro subway and Toei subway only. Bus is not covered at all. You need to pay a regular fare if you want to take a bus.
            There are so many bus lines in Tokyo. Actually I don’t know bus in Tokyo very much. Please ask your accommodation which bus you need to take. You may use Google map. It gives you some suggestions too.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    Please give some advice.
    We will split from our tour on 7 April after lunch time, go from Maihama Station to Hatchobori Station for check in at other hotel in Ginza.
    Then we plan to go around to Imperial Palace, Ueno, Tokyo skytree, tokyo tower, Tsukiji. (on the 7 Apr afternoon & 8 Apr morning). We think to use Tokyo Metro Line for this trips.
    Then around lunch time use the Nozomi to Shin-Osaka. (we would love to stop at Mt Fuji/Kyoto if possible for couple hours). We plan to stay around Namba.
    On the 9 Apr we plan only to go to USJ then back to Hotel.
    On the 10 Apr morning we want to go around Osaka (Castle, Temple, tower, etc).
    Then at evening we go to Kansai Airport from Namba Station using Nankai.
    Can we use one way ticket to cover the whole trip from tokyo to kansai? What other ticket that we should buy?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Penople,

      First of all, you cannot use one base fare ticket to Kansai because you will take Nankai railway that is not JR. So you will use one base fare ticket from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka. After arriving Shin-Osaka, you will purchase single ticket for taking subway to Namba.

      Couple of hours is not enough to see Kyoto or Fuji. If you want to see Fuji, you have to go into Hakone. You will spend at least half day. If you just want to see Fuji, you can view from Shinkansen (bullet train) on the way to Shin-Osaka.

      For Kyoto, I recommend you to spend at least half day too. Even one full day is not enough to see just major spots. There are many many places to see in Kyoto.

      You may add subway pass in Tokyo and some deals in Osaka. You can find the info about Tokyo Subway Ticket in the post above. You can find some deals in Osaka at the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you Takeshi.
        Can we use the Yokoso! Osaka Ticket On the 10 Apr for go around Osaka (Castle, Temple, tower, etc) and then at evening we go to Kansai Airport from Namba Station using Nankai ?

        For Nozomi, Can we buy the reserve ticket on the train station (ticket master?) on 7 Apr for travel on 8 Apr?
        Does the Green class make the chance bigger to get the ticket ?
        Thank you for your help.

        1. Hi Penople,

          You cannot use Yokoso Osaka ticket. This is sold at Kansai airport only. That means this is available for incoming passengers only.

          The ticket for Nozomi is sold at most of JR stations in advance. Please see the link below:
          http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-reserve-seat.html

          You don’t need to buy Green seat. It’s not hard to get a seat on Nozomi.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    Sorry one more question here. We are staying in Taito-ku area, nearby Asakusa Station. Where is the nearest place for us to buy Tokyo Wide Pass and Tokyo Subway Pass? Are these passes available in Asakusa Station? Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Chloe

  8. Hi Takashi,

    We spend six days in Tokyo. First three days we plan to go Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko, Disneyland, and Shirakawago Village using JR Wide Pass. The remaining days we use Tokyo Subway Pass to go around places in city such as Imperial Palace, Tsukiji Market, Ueno Shopping Street, Shibuya Takeshita street etc. Is that alright? Please advise.

    Thanks,
    CHLOE

    1. Hi Chloe,

      I think you meant Tokyo Wide Pass for the first three days to visit Fuji, Disneyland and Shirakawago. But this is wrong choice. Shirakawago is way far from Tokyo. You must have Hokuriku Arch Pass.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/tokyo-osaka-hokuriku-arch-pass-user-guide-clarify-valid-trains-coverage-area-and-compare-single-fare-and-pass.html

      You have to get either Toyama or Kanazawa by this pass. And then you need to take a bus. Bus fare is not covered by Hokuriku Arch Pass. Please see the links below to find the information about day trip to Shirakawago.
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1-day/sample-itinerary-of-day-trip-to-kanazawa-and-shirakawago-from-tokyo.html
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/highwaybus/shirakawago.pdf

      You may use Hokuriku Arch Pass to take JR local trains in Tokyo. But subway is not covered by Hokuriku Arch Pass. Some places, such as Tsukiji market cannot be accessed by JR trains. Please see the post above to make sure which place you cannot go by this pass and find out you need to purchase subway deal or not.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. thanks for the valuable info! I believe we need to amend our places again. So first three days using JR Wide Pass to go Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchiko, Disneyland, karuizawa or nikko. The remaining city tours just using Tokyo Subway Pass, except for that wet market. Sounds great?

        thanks for your help takeshi!

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