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I hope this website will help you to travel by rail in Japan!

5,029 thoughts on “Forums”

  1. Hi!

    Arriving 09.00am 9th may at Tokyo (NRT) and leaving from Osaka 24th May.

    Travelling with my family, two adults and our 10month old baby.

    Looking around for different itineraries.

    Latest one is the following:
    Arrive 9th may 08.00 at Tokyo (NRT)
    Do Tokyo till 13th or 14th may then fly or take train to Hiroshima
    stay 1-2 nights and do Hiroshima&Miyajima
    15th or 16th take shinkansen to kyoto and stay there til we fly home at 24th may.

    Been looking at hakone, takyama etc. But seems to be more traveltime and hassle for takayama etc. Trying to minimize changing hotelrooms/stays because of the firsttime traveling with our child.

    Biggest concern now is if its worth to get JR pass for Tokyo > Hiroshima, Hiroshima > Kyoto
    Or simply take flight from tokyo > Hiroshima (cost 10 000yen) and one way ticket shinkansen Hiroshima > Kyoto.

    1. Hi Linus,

      If you are sure to take the Shinkansen to Hiroshima, JR Pass is recommended. You can use JR pass to get Miyajima, and also you can take JR local train in Tokyo and Kyoto. It is easier than using many tickets and deals.

      On the other hand, there is no direct Shinkansen trains from Tokyo to Hiroshima which is covered by JR Pass. The direct Shinkansen trains to Hiroshima is called “Nozomi” which is not covered by JR Pass. You have to take Hikari and Sakura. In most train connections, you have to change trains at Shin-Osaka.

      If you take a flight, as I mentioned above, you have to buy a train ticket one by one. And also the airports are not located in downtown. Especially Hiroshima airport is 45 to 50 minutes away from downtown Hiroshima by the bus. The flight itself is a direct and seems to be a quick trip. But you have to take a bus or a train at the both end. You have to be airport earlier.

      Please consider these things before choosing your transportation choice.


      Takeshi /

      1. Ok! Thanks alot!

        Would you recommend activating it when we arrive to be able to use it for Narita express, JR yamanote in tokyo, shinkasen > hiroshima, Ferry to mijayama, shinkasen to kyoto on day 7

        or activating it on day 5 when we go to hiroshima and use it for ferry, Nara trip in kyoto and other trains in kyoto?

        day 1-5 tokyo
        day 5-7 hiroshima (leaving to kyoto on this day).
        day 7 – Kyoto and surroundings, Nara etc.

        Activating JR Pass when we arrive day 1 at narita airport to use NRT express JR pass and JR yamanote during our stay at tokyo and JR mijayama ferry etc.

        Or activating it when leaving to hiroshima so use it for Hiroshima + kyoto?

  2. Hi,
    We are travelling from Iiyama to Kansai on the 16/2/2019 to catch a 7 pm flight.
    On hyperdia it shows an option to Tokyo, Shin Osaka, Kansai for 22,200 yen but if I try to buy tickets online the cost is much higher. Can I only buy these tickets at a ticket office in Japan? Can you suggest any other option?

    1. Hi Ron,

      You can purchase a ticket at the Midori no Madoguchi in any major JR stations after you arrive in Japan.
      By the way, if you take the following route, total fare is around 15,000 yen.

      Iiyama (Hokuriku Shinkansen) Kanazawa (Limited Express Thunderbird) Shin-Osaka (Limited Express Haruka) Kansai airport.

      Please try to search the route in earlier schedule. You may find this route in hyperdia.


      Takeshi /

  3. Takeshi-San, can you please tell me if a Kyushu North pass is right for my itinerary. I am confused about the passes.
    Here is my itinerary:
    Day 1) Fukuoka – Dazaifu – Tosu Premium Outlet
    Day 2) Day trip Fukuoka to Nagasaki
    Day 3) Mojiko retro district.
    Thank you.

  4. Hello Takeshi

    I am a railway enthusiast from Australia spending time in Nagoya in May 2019.

    I have seen the Meitetsu two day pass advertised for ¥4000. I notice on the brochure is says the one day pass is available first class 1000-1600 but not the two day pass; is that correct?

    Do supplements have to be paid on any of the trains if using the two day pass?

    Can the two-day pass be purchased in advance? Since I will be staying at Kuwana, I expect I will have to purchase the Meitetsu pass at Nagoya station?

    (I will have my Kitaca from a previous trip for when I am not using a local rail pass).

    1. Hi Paul,

      I have never used these passes before. But I googled and I found several local tourists bought the pass in advance. I think you can do it.
      As you understand, only one day pass covers first class. You have to pay surcharge on top of the pass if you take first class by 2-day pass.


      Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi san,

    We will be going to Sapporo by train from Narita and will be using JR Pass. Can we make seat reservation for our Shinkansen trip from Tokyo to Hakodate earlier before we fly in to Narita?
    I have read that you can only make reservations once you have exchanged the voucher for a JR Pass at the airport; and that will be the same day of our travel to Sapporo from Tokyo. I’m concerned that because of short time notice, we might have difficulty making reservations for our Shinkansen trip to Sapporo and might not be able to get seats.

    Thank you very much,


  6. Hi Takeshi,

    Your articles are really comprehensive but I am confused as there are so many options available out there! Upon arrival at Kansai Airport we plan to head directly to our hotel in Arashiyama, Kyoto. We will be staying there for 2 nights before moving to another hotel in the Gion area for 3 nights. After 5 nights in Kyoto, we will head to Osaka and stay there for 4 nights, though we plan to make a day trip to Kobe on one of those days. At the end of our trip we will then need to return to Kansai Airport to catch our flight home. May I know which pass would be most suitable based on our itinerary?


    1. Hi Sharon,

      You may use Kansai one pass and Haruka.

      You can use Kansai one pass to take train and subway in Kyoto and train to Osaka from Kyoto.

      In Kyoto, you can add all day bus pass if you take a bus more than 3 times a day. If not, use Kansai one pass.

      In Osaka, there are a few deals available. You may choose it by your trip plan.

      For the trip to Kobe, Hanshin tourist pass is the best deal:

      At the end, you may choose one of the deal in the link below for Osaka to Kansai airport:


      Takeshi /

    2. Hi!Takeshi,
      Thank you for this article were planning to go in Japan on June for 4-5 days.
      Places to go TOKYO/OSAKA/KYOTO & HOKKAIDO.
      CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US IN OUR ITINERARIES regarding the transportation.
      Thank you so much!

      BEST Regards,

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I am planning a trip to Kiso Valley in April 2019. I don’t think there’s any JR Pass that suit the below itinerary? Or if there is any that I missed? Total expenses if buy individually is around JPY19K (no seat selection).
    Day 1 – Kansai Airport to Nagoya (LTD. EXP HARUKA 36 + SHINKANSEN NOZOMI 244)
    Day 2 – Nagoya to Nakatsugawa (LTD. EXP. (WIDE VIEW) SHINANO 5)
    Day 3/4 – Hike in Magome/Tsumago
    Day 5 – Tsumago to Kyoto (Bus + LTD. EXP. (WIDE VIEW) SHINANO 2 + SHINKANSEN NOZOMI 13)
    Day 6 – Kyoto to Osaka to Kansai Airport (JR Special Rapid Service for HIMEJI + JR KANSAI AIRPORT RAPID SERVICE for KANSAI AIRPORT)

    Thank you so much for the help.

  8. Takeshi-san, you are AMAZING! You have created a fantastic resource. I am a frequent visitor to Kansai and use trains a lot, but your site has taught me many things I never knew. THANK YOU! I will definitely refer anyone I know visiting Japan to this site.All the best to you!

  9. Hi there – I am confused about travelling in Japan. We arrive Sat 12 Jan to Narita and go into Tokyo for 2 days sightseeing. We then travel to Kyoto for 3 days and then return to Tokyo for 2 days to meet my husband. Then we go to Nozawa Onsen for 1 week and then come back to Narita to fly back to Australia on 26 January. Me and my 3 children are there for 15 days so should I get a 1 way ticket from airport on 12th to tokyo and then buy a 14 day pass for the rest of our travel when we go to Kyoto that will cover the rest of our trip? Melissa Tuffley

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