Guide to plan your trip. Fare Calculation

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This website shows you a lot of the train passes. But some of you plan to buy a regular ticket. Even if you will use the rail pass, you may have to compare the price of the pass and the regular fare to make sure that you can get the worth of it or not.

In this post, I would like to share the information about the fare calculation with you.

Hyperdia

You can get a fare very easily. (click to view larger image)

This is the easiest way to get the fare and the timetable of most trains in Japan. Please refer the link below to learn more:

Google map

Google map can show you the train and the public bus routes. It also shows you the fare.

JR’s rule on passenger’s ticket

JR companies have the biggest train network in Japan. If you travel between major cities, you will take JR train in most cases.

The fare rule is so difficult to understand for the tourists from overseas. Even some travel agents in Japan do not understand the rule completely.

I wrote about this rule as simple as possible in the post below. You can learn the rule of purchasing and using a regular ticket.

JR company’s official site

Some JR companies have the timetable and fare search engine in their official sites.

JR Hokkaido official website

This website offers you the fare and timetable search of most JR trains.

JR West English website

This website offers you the fare and timetable search of most JR trains.

JR Shikoku English website

This website shows you the fare table of most of JR Shikoku lines.

Comments

  1. Ho Wing says:

    Dear takeshi,

    We plan to arrive Narita on 21 Nov 2012 and visit Hokkaido for eight days.

    I will take JR from Tokyo to Aomori, Hakodate, Noboribetsu then Sapporo.

    I will stay one night in either Aomori or Hakodate.

    I think a Japan Rail Pass 7 days is a good choice but I don’t know if there are any additional fee for us to travel from Tokyo to Sapporo and is it necessary to change train at Aomori as Hayste shinkansen from Tokyo stop at Shin-Aomori.

    Thank you very much,

    Ho Wing

  2. b737ngcaptain
    Mike says:

    Hi Takeshi!

    I am interested in going from Sasebo to Huis Ten Bosch and return. I note from the Hyperidia website you mentioned that the one way fare is Y 270. There is a one month commuting fare of Y 8,050. A few questions if you don’t mind…

    1. is the 1 month commuting fare a one way fare or a return fare?
    2. is the normal day return fare twice the one way fare or is there a special return fare?
    3. The trains on the route which are of interest are the JR Omura and the JR Seaside LIner. If I have a commuting ticket, is the one ticket valid on both trains?
    4. Sorry to ask this simple question but can I buy a ticket on the day a few minutes before departure or do I have to book the day before for a specific departure time?
    5. I don’t speak any Japanese. Will the staff at the ticket office in Sasebo speak enough English to be able to understand my requests do you think?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Mike,
      Are you going to stay in Sasebo for one month? If so, monthly pass is a good idea. You can ride as much as you like, any day, anytime. It is a round trip pass. You can take liner train because this is a kind of local train. You can take any kind of local train.
      About Q4, do you ask about a regular ticket? If so, reserved seat ticket is sold usually 10 minutes before departure time.
      Most of station staff don’t speak English very fluently. However, they try to understand what you talk about. Don’t be shy and try!
      Cheers,
      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • b737ngcaptain
        Mike says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        We have decided on a monthly pass which I believe is called a “Commuting Ticket”. Does this pass start on the 1st of the month or on the date you buy it? IE if I buy it on the 30th of July will it expire on the 31st July or around the 30th of August?

        Will I have to fill out an application form or just ask at the ticket desk?

        Thank you again in advance for your reply.

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
          JPRail says:

          Hi Mike,
          The ticket will be started on the day of purchase. And it will be available for one month. So your example is right.
          You need to fill out an application form at the station. It is written in all Japanese.
          Cheers,
          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • b737ngcaptain
            Mike says:

            Hi Takeshi,

            I thought I would say “thank you very much” for all your help. The station staff in Sasebo spoke sufficient English to issue us with a monthly pass and the only form we had to complete was a blank sheet of paper with our names on it!

            Your help and advice on these pages – including information about how to search for the times and prices of JR trains – is invaluable and is much appreciated.

            Planning next visit already………

            • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
              JPRail says:

              Hi Mike,

              I’m very glad to hear that you really enjoyed your trip. 🙂
              I’m looking forward to hearing about your next trip!

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. lynn says:

    hi! i would like to ask if JR pass covers the train trip from narita to osaka? we will be arriving on 15 June at around 630pm at Narita. Which train to osaka shall we take? Is there an additional fee we have to pay if we already have a JR pass?
    thanks.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi lynn,
      It is fully covered by JR Pass. However you may not be able to get Osaka on arrival day.
      The last Hikari (Shinkansen) depart from Tokyo at 20:03. It takes one hour from Narita to Tokyo by Narita Express. But if you take this Hikari, you need to take Narita Express that departs from Narita at 18:48. It is only 18 minutes and I’m sure it is impossible to go through custom and immigration in 18 minutes.
      There are some overnight transfer between Tokyo and Osaka. See the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/overnight-transfer-between-tokyo-and-kyotoosaka.html
      Overnight bus and train are very popular. It is no surprise if it’s sold out.
      So I recommend you to stay in Tokyo on arrival day.
      Cheers,
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Angeline says:

    Hi,

    We will be in Japan from 30th Aug till 6th Sept.

    Day 1: Landing at 10.30pm at Haneda. How can we get to Kyoto and which pass?
    Day 2-3: Tour Kyoto (Kyoto 2 days pass)
    Day 4-6: Planning to get Kansai thru pass to visit the Kansai region. I looked through the Kansai thru pass map. Am confused. Can take all lines except the grey line right?
    Day 7: Back to Tokyo. Any advice on the pass/ ticket to get from Osaka/ Kyoto?

    Do advise on the tickets/ fare. Where can I get the passes?

    Thank you in advance! Cheers

  5. Maria says:

    We are planing to travel to Japan next week.

    I am trying to find the most economical transportation pass to buy. We were thinking of purchasing a Kansai area pass good for four days. Since we have purchased a Beppu ticket from JR east when we stayed in tokyo almost a year ago and was thinking if I could used it for Himeji to okayama, himeji to hiroshima to go to Miyajima?

    We are hoping to determine the best pass to get.

    Day 1: Narita Airport take a bus with 2 hours travel to go to tokyo check in hotel to visit sanrio puroland on day 2
    Day 2: commute from tokyo to kyoto
    Day 3,4,5: Tour Kyoto
    Day 6,7,8,9 : utilize kansai pass then use beppu ticket from himeji to okayama, himeji to hiroshima.

    How much is the trip back and forth for
    Himeji to Okayama
    Himeji to Hiroshima
    Okayama to Hiroshima
    Hiroshima to Miyajima

    Thank you!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Maria,

      First of all I combined your two comments because these comments are very similar.

      I just want to make sure the ticket that you bought a year ago. Is it a regular ticket to Beppu? If so, it is expired.

      I think Japan Rail Pass 7 days is the best choice for your trip from Day 2 to Day 8. Kansai area pass is not a good choice. If you focus on Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Kansai Thru Pass is better choice. If you travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima directly, the fare is almost 18000 yen. But you will make a stop at Kyoto and travel to Hiroshima, MIyajima and Okayama. 7 days pass is 28300yen. But it is very easy to get your money worth.

      Even though the pass do not cover your 9th day, Japan Rail Pass 7 days is still give you the best value.

      If you need the exact fare for the travel Hiroshima, Miyajima and Okayama, try to find it at Hyperdia.
      http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. RachaelK says:

    Hello there,

    I will be flying into the Ibaraki, Japan airport. From there I believe I will need to take a shuttle bus to the Tokyo Station. Do you know how I can connect from Tokyo Station to Shinagawa Station? From the Sinagawa Station I will be travelling on the Keikyu Line all the way to Yokosuka where I will finally end up on the Navy Base. Please let me know if you know of any easier routes? Also, can I book my tickets online?

    Thank you!

  7. Josephine says:

    Is there a direct train from Kyoto to Takayama (0 transfer) and time of departure? Where can I purchase this ticket and can I purchase it online? How much is the fare? Does the train provide baggage compartment?

  8. EP says:

    Hello Takashi san
    i just want to understand if i am correct in this trip where narita to nagoya.
    the basic fare is 7140
    narita to tokyo no need unreserve charge
    but tokyo to nagoya need 3980 unreserved surcharge so total payable is 7140 +3980=11,120.
    Question 1) if i dont buy JR pass, how do i buy the tickets that covers the above mentioned?
    Q2) if i have the JF pass( exchange for tickets already ), i dont have to do anything right?
    thank you

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi EP,
      1) You can buy a ticket on the spot. JR East have an online reservation site. But they don’t sell a ticket to the west.
      2) Yes. But you can make a reservation for Shinkansen or other limited express trains after you turn in the pass.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • EP says:

        thanks for your reply.
        is my fare calculation above correct?

        if yes, seems like i need to buy JR Pass for my trip from Narita to nagoya
        from Nagoya to takayama
        at takayama, will take Nouhi buses not covered by JR pass.

        from Takayama go back to Tokyo.

        Takeshi San do you think i need 7Day JR pass?

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
          JPRail says:

          Hi EP,
          I think you misunderstand it. Once you have a pass, you should take express trains as much as you can. Because it cover it fully.
          So…
          Narita Express Narita>Tokyo
          Shinkansen Hikari Tokyo>Nagoya
          Wide View Hida Nagoya>Takayama
          If you take these trains, Japan Rail Pass 7 days is way cheaper.
          You can take commute rapid train from Narita to Tokyo. But it does not make a great save.
          7 days is the best choice.
          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • EP says:

            ok i understand now.
            initially i did not know that for on the spot ticket, i also need to pay the seat fee even if it is unreserved.this will make the total fare expensive..
            ok now i will buy the JF pass
            thank you for your patience

            • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
              JPRail says:

              Don’t worry EP. As long as you take express trains, non reserved seat fare is not much different from reserved seat fare. It is only a few hundred yen. So purchase JR pass and take express trains as much as you can.
              Takeshi / JP Rail

          • EP says:

            Takeshi San
            Q1) is it necessary to reserve seat ?
            Q2) can we do it online before we deaprt for japan?
            Q3) or we can do it at the train station?

            thanks

  9. Sarah says:

    Hi,
    My friends and I are wanting to travel by train from Sapporo to Tokyo but we were unaware that we had to purchase a JR pass before we left Australia. We are already in Japan. What train line do I research to find out a price etc.
    Do you know if we are able to purchase a JR pass or similar whilst within Japan?

    Thanks in advance!

    Sarah

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Unfortunately you cannot purchase Japan Rail Pass. And there is no discount ticket from Sapporo to Tokyo one way. If you have a round trip from Sapporo to Tokyo, you can buy “Tokyo Waribiki kippu” (Tokyo discount ticket) at 14,500yen. This ticket cover a basic fare only. You need to add express surcharge when you take an express train.
      If you don’t care about transportation, check Skymark airline or Air Do. These LCC airlines sometimes sell the seat at very reasonable fare.
      http://www.skymark.co.jp/en/
      http://www.airdo.jp/share/eng/index.html
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  10. I want to know the best way to travel from Takayama to Kinosaki in November. I have a JR pass. According to Hyperdia- the fastest is via Nagoya and Kyoto- which still takes over 6 hrs. Is there anything more direct?

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