About JPRail.com

I believe that a train is the best way to explore in Japan. Because many trains run very punctual and it is so reliable.

This website JPRail.com is unofficial website. JPRail.com does not have any connections with any railway companies in Japan. I started this website in 2009. When I started this website, I focused on how to use Japan Rail Pass. I tried to explain you to use Japan Rail Pass to its maximum! However many travelers want to learn many kinds of the rail pass other than Japan Rail Pass. Now I write the articles about other rail passes too, such as JR East Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass, Tokyo Wide Pass, Tokyo Metro Pass, Kyoto City Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, Suica, ICOCA and many other rail passes and the deals.

If you have any questions about Japan Rail Pass or rail travel in Japan, please do not hesitate to leave your response. If you cannot find any information in regards to the rail travel that you are looking for, please leave your comment on Forum page. I am very happy to give you some advice. But I am not your personal travel agent. Please do not ask me to make your travel plan. Please try to enjoy building your trip plan. The planning is the first step of your travel and it is lots of fun!

Thank you very much for visiting JPRail.com. I hope this website helps you to build your trip plan to Japan!

Administrator and Webmaster, JPRail.com
Takeshi Shimomura (下村猛)

197 thoughts on “About JPRail.com”

  1. Hi Takeshi san. Could I please ask for your opinion on the following itinerary, starting in mid-March:
    Day 1 – Day 4: arriving at Haneda airport, sightseeing in Tokyo
    Day 4 – Day 9: sightseeing in Kyoto and surrounding areas
    Day 9 – Day 14: sightseeing in Osaka and surrounding areas including Himeji
    Day 14 – Day 15: returning from Osaka to Toyko, departing at Haneda airport

    I am wondering if JP 14 day pass is worth the costs to cover the journey, or if I should buy bullet train ticket at regular fare and purchase different passes for Osaka and Kyoto.

    Thank you so much for your assistance.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Michelle san,

      I don’t think you can get the worth of 14-day pass by this trip plan. If you add one or two more long day trip, you can use 14-day pass. The day trip must be one full day trip by the limited express train, such as day trip to Nikko from Tokyo, day trip to Kanazawa from either Osaka/Kyoto or Tokyo, day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima from Osaka. I have some sample trip plans in the links below:

      If you don’t want to add any long day trip like above, you may use a regelar ticket to take the Shinkansen.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi san,

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply.
        I would like to follow up with the question: If I don’t use the JP 14-day pass, which rail pass(es) you would recommend to tour Osaka and Kyoto and surrounding areas for 10 days.
        Thanks again,


  2. Are you aware of any list of all the tourist trains in Japan (JR and private railway)? We have traveled the entire Shinkansen network and have been on most of the JR East tourist (Joyful) trains as well as all but one of the JR Kyushu tourist trains. After watching Japan Railway Journal. it appears that many of the private railways have tourist trains also. We would like to ride them. Thank you.

  3. Hi! Thank you for your site. Would like your help on this.
    We are flying in Fukuoka (to visit Nagasaki) and fly out from Osaka.
    I see that one way JR ticket from Fukuoka to Osaka is around JPY 14,000
    Can you suggest a cheaper way? Is it possible to get the Kyushu pass and then transfer to the Kansai pass? Thank you so much for your time!

    1. Hi Mary,

      There in no one way deals for Hakata to Osaka unfortunately. If you get Kyushu Rail Pass ans Kansai Area Pass, you still have to pay for Hakata to Osaka. It doesn’t work.

      If you intend using the pass for Hakata to Nagasaki round trip and some sightseeing in Osaka, such as travel to Kyoto, Nara, you may use Sanyo San’in Nothern Kyushu Pass.

      It costs about 10,000 yen. So you can get the worth of this pass by round trip to Nagasaki and Hakata to Osaka one way trip.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi- San,

    For Cup Noodle Museum Osaka Ikeda and Minoo Park from Osaka, do you recommend us to get any pass to travel? In addition, is it worthwhile to get the Osaka metro pass for travelling around Osaka ?

    1. Hi Melvin,

      Osaka Metro Pass does not cover Minoo and Noolde Museum. You have to pay a regular fare to take Hankyu Railway. If you look for the deal to visit the places in downtown Osaka, Osaka metro pass may suit your trip plan. Please see the link below to find the deal in Osaka in the link below:


      Takeshi / JPRail.com


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi
    Our plan for 10 days in Hokkiado
    -Dec 20 (Arrive New Chitose Airport – Domestic Terminal – 2.05pm) head on to Noboribetsu onsen *can we take Donan Bus?* – Stay 1N
    -Dec 21 – Noboribetsu Onsen to Otaru Station – Stay 1N
    -Dec 22 to 24 – Private Tour
    -Dec 25 – Odori Station and visit Sapporo Area like Chocolate Factory / Asahi Brewery / Central Wholesale Market – Stay till Dec 27
    -Dec 26 – Odori Station to Lake Toya – Usuzan Ropeway and back to Odori Station
    -Dec 27 – Odori Station to Chitose Station – stay 2N and visit like Chitose aquarium
    -Dec 28 – Chitose Station – Visit Northsnow Land
    -Dec 29 – Chitose Station to New Chitose Airport

    Should we use JR Pass or IC card? If IC card will do, Kitaca or Suica? Appreciate your help and your advise. Thank you, May

    1. Hi May,

      The round trip fare to Toya and one way fare from Noboribetsu to Otaru are slightly higher than Hokkaido Rail Pass 3-day at 17,400 yen. But you don’t do this trip within 3 days. So your choice is a regular fare for these trips.

      Kitaca covers New Chitose – Sapporo – Otaru segments only. You cannot use it for the trip to Lake Toya and Noboribetsu.

      When you go to Noboribetsu from New Chitose, the last bus departs from New Chitose at 14:45. You have only 40 minutes. You might miss it. If you miss it, you have to take the following route:
      New Chitose airport station (Rapid Airport) Minami-Chitose station (limited express Super Hokuto or Suzuran) Noboribetsu (Local bus) Noboribetsu onsen

      Please keep it in your mind.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for your advise. If I revise as follows?

        1. Dec 20 (Arrive New Chitose Airport – Domestic Terminal – 2.05pm) head on to Otaru Station – Stay 2N

        2.Dec 22 to 24 – Private Tour

        3.Dec 25 – Odori Station and visit Sapporo Area like Chocolate Factory / Asahi Brewery / Central Wholesale Market – Stay till Dec 27

        4.Dec 26 – Odori Station to Lake Toya – Usuzan Ropeway and back to Odori Station

        5.Dec 27 – Odori Station to Chitose Station – stay 2N and vist Noboribetsu and back to Chitose

        6 Dec 28 – Chitose Station – visit like Chitose aquarium & Northsnow Land

        7 Dec 29 – Chitose Station to New Chitose Airport

        8. Suica or Kitaca can both be use for my trip?

        9. Can IC card be use to travel

        10. Which is better if future to use in other part of japan?

        11. Any IC card for child age 10 – child fare?

        1. Hi May,

          You cannot get Suica in Hokkaido. Only Kitaca is sold in Hokkaido. Basically Kitaca and Suica are same. Please see the link below. You can find child IC card info too:

          As I mentioned in the previous reply, you cannot use Kitaca or any IC cards for the travel to Noboribetsu and Lake Toya. You may use Hokkaido Rail Pass 3-day for Lake Toya and Noboribetsu.

          Even if you use this pass for 2 x day trip to Noboribetsu and Lake Toya, you can get the worth of it. It covers only trains. You cannot use this pass to take a bus.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Dear Takeshi San,

    I hope you are doing fine.

    I had benefited greatly from your advice on my trip to Japan in May and would like to thank you again.

    I am going to visit again next month and would appreciate your advice on my itinerary below:

    15/10. Arriving KIX, stay near airport
    16/10. Haruka to Shin Osaka, then Thunderbird to Kanazawa
    17/10. Nohi bus to Shirakawago
    Nohi bus to Kanazawa
    18/10. Thunderbird to Kyoto
    19/10. Kyoto
    20/10. Nara Line to Fushimi Inari Taisha, then to Nara
    Nara Line to Kyoto
    21/10. Haruka to Shin Osaka, then Shinkansen Nozomi to Okayama
    Yakumo Ltd Exp to Kurashiki
    Sanyo Line to Okayama, then Shinkansen Nozomi to Himeji,
    Then Hamazake to Kinosaki Onsen
    22/10. Kounotori to Osaka
    23/10. Osaka
    24/10. Osaka, night flight home

    I planned to use Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass on this trip. However not sure if the Nohi bus to and from Shirakawago is covered. If in case it’s not covered, how do I buy the ticket? Can I buy it when I am in Kanazawa? Or can I ask someone who speaks Japanese to contact the office to book for me and then pay them when I pick up the ticket from the office? Does the pass covered buses in Nara and Osaka? Do you think my schedule is too tight on 21/10? I planned to just walk around Bikan Area or may be a boat ride?

    Looking forward to your great suggestions.

    Thank you.


    1. Hi Hana san,

      Kansai Hokuriku area pass is a good choice. But as you guess, Nohi bus is not covered. You can book a seat online. Please see the bottom in the link below:

      This pass does not cover Kyoto city bus either. JR bus in Kyoto is covered but the route of the bus is only one and does not help you to visit the places in Kyoto. You may add all day city bus pass at 600 yen for one day.

      The bus in Osaka and Nara are not covered either. In Nara, you can reach most places by walk. In Osaka, many places can be accessed by JR local train.

      Your schedule is okay. But when you go to Kinosaki from Kurashiki, you may go to Shin-Osaka from Okayama by Nozomi to catch Konotori. Hamakaze does not run very frequently. Shin-Osaka route may be faster.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi San,

        Thank you so much for the quick response. I will adjust the route to Kinosaki Onsen according to your suggestions.

        Thank you again. You have been a great help.


          1. Dear Takeshi San,

            Sorry to bother you at this late hour. I would like to know if we could take Haruka from Kansai Airport to Shin Osaka Station by using Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass. Is it covered? We are now staying near Kansai Airport and would like to go to Kanazawa tomorrow morning.

            Thank you in advance.


              1. Dear Takeshi San,

                I am very grateful for your quick response. I feel safe whenever travelling to Japan knowing that there’s someone like you would try to help confused travelers like me anywhere and anytime in Japan.
                May God bless you and your family.

                With appreciation

                  1. Dear Takeshi San,

                    We are back from Japan, again!

                    For all the advice you had given us, both big and small, Takeshi San, we want to thank you. We couldn’t have done it without your help.

                    We enjoyed Japan so much and we hope to visit again in the near future.

                    Thank you again. You are such a blessing!

                    Hana San

  7. Greetings Takeshi
    Using the 14Day JR Pass, here is our plan for 18 days in Japan
    -Oct 8 to Oct 10 Arrive Narita and take Narita Express to Tokyo. Buy separate ticket
    -Oct 10 ACTIVE JR -Leave from Tokyo Station on Shinkansen to Nagoya and JR bus to Shinano- Omachi
    -Oct 11 Local bus from Omachi to the Alpine Route – (Not covered by JR purchase separate ticket). Alpine route ends in Toyama, travel to Kanazawa on JR Shinkansen,
    -Oct 14 Travel from Kanazawa by Bus to Shriakawa in the morning. Afternoon bus to Takayama (Not covered by JR?)
    -Oct 17 Leave Takayama and travel to Kyoto on JR trains
    -Oct 22 Leave Kyoto and travel to Hakone on JR Shinkansen
    -Oct 23 Leave Hakone and travel to Tokyo on Shinkansen JR PASS DAY 14
    -Oct 25 Tokyo to Narita – buy separate ticket

    Does this make sense to use JR 14 day pass? Appreciate your help and your comments. Thank you, Robert

    1. Hi Robert,

      You may not be able to get the worth of 14-day JR pass.

      First of all, when you go to Shinano-Omachi, your route is the following:
      Tokyo (local train) Shinjuku (limited express Azusa) Matsumoto (local train) Shinano-Omachi
      Tokyo (Hokuriku Shinkansen) Nagano (limited express Shinano) Matsumoto (local train) Shinano-Omachi
      *One trip of Azusa goes to Shinano-Omachi from Shinjuku directly.

      In my rough calculation, the total costs is around 40,000 yen. JR pass does not cover Alpine route from Shinano-Omachi to Toyama and the bus from Kanazawa to Takayama via Shirakawago. But you have lots of time in Kyoto. If you use JR pass lots when you are in Kyoto, you may be able to get the worth.

      If you don’t use JR Pass, there is no other deals available. The regular fare ticket is your choice.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Mr. Takeshi,
    We will be travelling to japan, we will stay ay nippombashi area and will use kintetsu pass, is there a direct kintetsu train from nippombashi to arashiyama station or kyoto?

    1. Hi Glad,

      There is no direct trains to get Kyoto by Kintetsu railway. You have to change trains at Yamato-Saidaiji. And Kintetsu railway does not take you to Arashiyama. You have to change to JR train at Kyoto. JR train is not covered by Kintetsu rail pass.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Dear Takeshi San,

    Hope all doing well to you 🙂

    My next itinerary will be:
    3 Dec 2019 : Arrive in Hiroshima (2 nights); Atomic Dome, Miyajima
    5 Dec 2019 : Train to OSAKA (3 nights); USJ, Museum of Housing&Living
    8 Dec 2019 : Train to NAGANO ( 3 nights); Snow Monkey, Shibu Onsen
    11 Dec 2019 : Train to TOKYO (5 nights); Disneys, Mt Fuji, Edo Wonderland

    I plan to buy JR Pass 7 days start from Hiroshima to Osaka, but unfortunately it will not cover Nozomi shinkansen (as well from Osaka to Nagano). Which pass is the better solution? hopefully i can also ride the Hello Kitty Shinkansen (Hiroshima to Osaka, if available =D )

    Thank you again and again for your help and advise


    1. Hi Chenny san,

      You cannot take Nozomi on the Shinkansen. But you can take other Shinkansen trains, such as Hikari, Sakura. It is completely no problem to travel for Hiroshima-Osaka-Nagano-Tokyo. Please see the links below to find more info:


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Dear Takeshi,

    I am a foreigner but now I live in Japan. I plan to travel to Hokkaido in August but I am not sure whether I can buy the Furano Biei Ticket or not (because my visa is not for visitor)? I read your post about this ticket as it is available for any travelers. May I ask where you get the information because I could not find any information about the eligibility of this ticket in the JR Hokkaido website.

    Thank you very much for your help.

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