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. Dan says:

    Hello,

    I will be traveling to Japan this month. Im planning to visit tokyo,, nikko, gunma, kanazawa, kyoto, osaka, nara and back to tokyo.

    It is cheaper to buy separate ticket such ask one way and kansai region ticket?

    thanks

  2. CHRISTINE says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    I would like to purchase a 1day pass but unsure which will suit me better? I already have a JR 7 days pass nationwide.
    This will include in my 1 day trip.
    1) Shinjuku sanchomme-> Asakusa
    2) Asakusa->Shimbashi
    3)Shimbashi->Odaiba
    4)Odaiba-> Tokyo station
    5) Tokyo station->Shibuya->Shinjuku

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

      Hi Christine,

      You don’t need to purchase any passes. Just try to use JR pass as much as you can. And pay regular fare as you need when you take other than JR.
      Shinjuku Sanchome is closed to Shinjuku. So you can take JR Yamanote line from Shinjuku to Ueno by JR pass. And then take subway to Asakusa by single ticket.
      Go back to Ueno from Asakusa and then take JR Yamanota line to Shimbashi. Pay single fare to take Yurikamome from Shinbashi to Odaiba. Go back to Shimbashi and then take JR Yamanote line from Shimbashi to Tokyo. You can take Yamanote line to get Shibuya and Shinjuku.

      So need to pay for subway and Yurikamome. Even if you have other pass, such as Tokyo subway ticket, Yurikamome is not covered and you cannot get the worth.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Shreyosi Kanta – Dehradun, India – An erstwhile physics teacher, now settled in Dehradun, a valley town in the foothills of Himalayas, I enjoy travelling, meeting new people and learning about the history and culture of their place.
    Shreyosi says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    My husband and I will be travelling to Japan for 15 days this month. We will be staying in the Shinjuku area. I was planning to buy the Narita express round trip ticket on arrival at 15:00 hours. Will it be valid on the 15th day at 6:00 hours?
    Thank you and regards.

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

      Hi Shreyosi.

      Unfortunately it’s not valid on 15th day. It doesn’t matter what time you start to use it. It’s valid for 14 days.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Shreyosi Kanta – Dehradun, India – An erstwhile physics teacher, now settled in Dehradun, a valley town in the foothills of Himalayas, I enjoy travelling, meeting new people and learning about the history and culture of their place.
        Shreyosi says:

        Thank you Takeshi.

  4. Julian says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    We are coming to Japan in December and travelling to multiple cities from Osaka to Tokyo. People have told me that going one-way from Osaka to Tokya might be cheaper if you buy JR single tickets. So I used HyperDia to see if this was true. Here is my itinerary:

    Day 1 Arrive at Osaka ITM Airport (stay in Osaka-fu, Tanimachiyonchome Station)

    Day 2 Osaka
    – walking

    Day 3 day trip to Nara
    TAANIMACHIYONCHOME to KINTETSUNARA
    – via Kintetsu lines and Osaka city Subway
    – 1520Y Roundtrip x 2

    Day 4 travel from Osaka to Kyoto (stay in Kyoto-fu, Gojo Station)
    TANIMACHIYONCHOME to GOJO(KYOTO)
    – via Osaka City subway – LTD. EXP SUPER HAKUTO 4 – Kyoto City Subway
    – 1,970Y one-way reserved seat x 2

    Day 5 Kyoto
    visiting shinkyogoku, taramachi, nishiki
    – Kytoto city bus pass 500Y x 2

    Day 6 day trip to Fushimi Inari Tasha and Gion
    – Kytoto city bus pass 500Y x 2

    Day 7 day trip to Arashiyama, Monkey Park, Kinkakuji Temple
    – Kytoto city bus pass 500Y x 2

    Day 8 travel from Kyoto to Hakone
    – via SHINKANSEN KODAMA 642 – 11,900Y one-way unreserved seat x 2
    OR
    – via SHINKANSEN HIKARI 516 – 11,900Y one-way unreserved seat x 2

    Day 8 then travel to Tokyo (stay in Roppongi, Akasaka station)
    – via Hakone Tozan Railway – Odakyu Odawara Line Exp – Tokyo Metro Chiyoda
    – 1,130Y one-way x 2

    Day 9-12 Tokyo
    – Tokyo Subway 72-hour Ticket – Adult: 1,500 yen x 2

    Day 13 Leave from Haneda Airport

    TOTAL = 19,520 Yen per person

    Hyperpedia indicates this would cost two people about 40,000Y for the entire trip. So this would indeed make buying JR single tickets cheaper than buying two 7-day JR passes + 72hr Tokyo Tickets (63,000Y for 2 people). Any other tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Julian

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

      Hi Julian san,

      JR pass does not work as you have calculated. You cannot get the worth and single ticket and local deals are cheaper.

      When you travel from Tanimachiyonchome to Gojo, do you really need to take limited express Super Hakuto? It’s only 30 minutes ride from Osaka to Kyoto. But you have to spend 1,170 yen for just a seat. It’s okay if you like.

      When you go to Hakone, I recommend you to get reserved seat if you want to take Hikari. Most of seats will be taken at Shin-Osaka. You may get a seat at Kyoto station but most of solo travelers take window side seat. It’s hard to find two seats side by side. If you take Kodama, it’s easy but you will spend many extra minutes.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Evelyn says:

    Hi Takeshi-san, I am planning for 12 days solo trip from Tokyo-Hakone-Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe-Nara-Osaka. Need your advice on the most suitable travel pass/deal (if any) to cover the costs, or just simply use Suica/Pasmo/ICOCA card. Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance. Here’s my draft itinerary:-

    Day 1~3: Arrive at Narita Airport @ 7:30am. Staying at Nippori area. Take Keisei Skyliner Limited Express to Nippori Station (2,200 yen for online purchase).

    Get a Suica/Pasmo card (2,000 yen: 1,500 yen value + 500 deposit) and top up another 1,500 yen. Total 3,000 yen enough? Going to areas such as Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Ueno, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Odaiba, Ginza, etc. via Yamanote Line mostly.

    Day 4: Day trip to Hakone. Take JR Chuo Line from Nippori Station to Shinjuku Station (or should I take Yamanote Line?)

    Get 2-days Hakone Free Pass (5,140 yen) and round-trip Odakyu Romance-Car (890 yen x 2) between Shinjuku Station to Hakone. All the fares in Hakone are covered by the free pass, right?

    Day 5~7: Move on to Kyoto. Staying around Kyoto Station. Take Yamanote Line from Nippori Station to Tokyo Station. Take Shinkansen to Kyoto Station (one-way reserved seat @ 14,110 yen for Nozomi, or 13,800 yen for Hikari)

    Going to places such as Arashiyama, Nijo Castle, Fushimi Inari, Gion, Higashiyama, etc. Should I buy Kansai One Pass (ICOCA special for tourists only with some attractions’ discount in Osaka) ? Do I need any day pass for buses (500 yen)? How much is the estimated total fare for 3-days in Kyoto?

    Day 8: Move on to Osaka. Staying in Namba. Take JR Kyoto Line (rapid or local train @ 560 yen) to Osaka Station and transfer to subway line. Going to places such as Umeda/Osaka Station area, Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori.

    Day 9: Day trip to Nara. Take Kinetsu Railways from Osaka-Namba Station to Nara (Kintetsu Nara Station) via normal express @ 560 yen. Also, get Nara 1-day Bus Pass @ 500 yen.

    Day 10: Day trip to Kobe and Arima Onsen. Take Hanshin Railways from Osaka-Namba Station to Kobe-Sannomiya Station (410 yen). Going to places such as Chinatown, Ikuta Shrine, Kobe City Hall.

    Take Kobe Subway to Tanigami, and connect there to the Kobe Arima Line (need to transfer at Arimaguchi station to Arima Onsen line @ 1,000 yen.

    Get Kobe Meguri 1 Day Coupon (950 yen) or Hanshin extended version (1,580 yen) that includes unlimited use of Hanshin trains from Osaka.

    Day 11: Within Osaka City via Subways.

    Day 12: Within Osaka City. Take Nankai Limited Express Rapi:t (web purchase one-way reserved regular seat @ 1,130 yen) to Kansai Airport.

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

      Hi Evelyn,

      You have researched very well. It’s impressive!

      I would like to give you a few suggestions.

      For Tokyo to Kyoto trip, if you are okay with spending more trip time, you can use Platt Kodama to save your cost.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/platt-kodama-one-way-deal-among-tokyo-nagoya-kyoto-and-shin-osaka-by-shinkansen.html

      Otherwise regular fare is fine.

      In Kyoto, it’s hard to say how much you spend. But city bus pass is recommended. The bus fare is 230 yen. City bus pass is 500 yen for one day. So if you take a bus 3 times, it’s paid off. You can go almost anywhere in Kyoto by bus. Please see the route map.
      http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/koho/eng/access/img/pdf/ENG160319(map).pdf

      You may use Kansai one pass. But don’t use it for taking bus. You may use it when you take subway or train. Train and subway is much faster than bus in Kyoto.

      Fro day 8, 9 and 10, Kansai thru pass is easy choice. This does not cover JR trains. But when you go to Osaka-Namba from Kyoto, you can take Kintetsu railway, Kyoto to Yamato-Saidai to Osaka-Namba. You can change trains at Yamato-Saidaiji. It’s much much easier to change trains than Umeda. You don’t need to exit the station. And also other trains, such as Hankyu, Kobe railway, subways in Osaka and Kobe, and city bus in Nara and Kobe are covered. Whole part of your trip are covered by only this pass. Please see the coverage map.
      http://www.surutto.com/images/ticket/kansai_thru_pass/english/en_map.pdf

      And also this pass covers Osaka subway so you may visit some places in Osaka after trip to Kobe and Nara if you want.

      In other part of the trip, I agree with your choice.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. mysalestuff
    Doug says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to work on this web site. May I ask you about my own proposed itinerary? We plan to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto and stay two nights in Kyoto.

    Tokyo to Kyoto
    Shinkansen Hikari 463

    Then we have to get to Miyazaki. Taking the train seemed like a good way to see the country at the same time. I’m travelling with my father who is older, so I’ve made a plan with only two transfers, and found a way to have about 1 hour at each transfer point so we are not rushing for the next train, Here is my plan:

    Kyoto to Shin-Kobe (8:23am-8:51am)
    Hikari 495

    Shin-Kobe to Kagoshima-Chuo (9:31am-13:31pm)
    Sakura 549

    Kagoshima-Chuo to Miyazaki (14:19pm-16:20pm)
    Ltd. Exp Kirishima 12

    Hyperpedia indicates this would cost about 41,000 Y for standard class, or $56,000 Y for Green class. So a 7-day JR pass seems like it would be more economical. And I’m thinking about getting a Green pass to make the travel easier for my father. Does all this make sense to you? Thanks!

  7. Hello Takeshi,

    I’ll be travelling in Japan in November and I plan to purchase the JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass (costs JPY 19,000 for 7 days) for the following route:

    1 = Kyoto Station to Yura Station
    – Around Tottori
    2 = Around Tottori
    3 = Around Tottori
    – Tottori Station to Nakatsu Station (Osaka)
    4-6 = Around Osaka
    7 = Around Osaka
    – Nakatsu Station to Nara Station

    I’ll be staying in the Kansai/Chugoku area mostly. I’d appreciate your advise if this is the cheaper option or if other passes should be considered.

    Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Emily Jane

  8. Emily says:

    hello Takeshi,

    I’m planning my travel to Japan in December and I plan to purchase the JR Pass (Hokuriku Arch Pass cost JPY 24,000 for 7 day use) for the following route:

    day 1: Kansai airport to Shin Osaka
    day 2: Osaka to universal studio (round trip)
    day 3: Osaka to Kyoto (round day trip)
    day 4: Around Osaka
    day 5: Osaka to Kanazawa (Thunderbird express)
    day 6: Takayama & Shirakawa go (separate bus tour package)
    day 7: Kanazawa to Tokyo (hokuriku train)

    Really appreciate your help to advise if this is ok or any better/cheaper pass to consider?

    Thank you in advance!
    Emily

  9. Elaine says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We are going to Osaka this coming November. We are wondering if it is worth buying the 7 day JR Kansas Hokuriku Area pass if we are planning to visit the following places:
    Day 1: Osaka – Himeji – Osaka
    Day 2: Osaka – Kanazawa
    Day 3: Kanazawa – Shirakawago – Kanazawa
    Day 4: Kanazawa – Kyoto
    Day5: Kyoto – Osaka

    I checked the fares using hyperdia and for some routes,was getting 2 prices: basic fare plus unreserved/reserved/green fee. Do I have the correct understanding that the JR KansaiHokuriku Pass only covers the basic fare and we need to pay the unreserved/reserved/green fee?

    Thank you for your help.

    Elaine

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

      Hi Elaine,

      Kansai Hokuriku area pass covers basic fare and non reserved seat fee. So when you take limited express train, such as Thunderbird from Osaka to Kanazawa, you can get a seat in non reserved car without any extra charge by this pass.

      Kansai Hokuriku area pass works for your trip. But actually there is better deal. You may use Kansai Wide Area Pass and Hokuriku Area Pass.
      http://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/kansai_wide/
      http://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/hokuriku/

      These two passes cover same area as Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass. But total cost of these two passes are 1000 yen cheaper than Kansai Hokuriku area pass. You can take non reserved seat by these passes too. It’s same condition. The only difference is validity days. It’s valid for 5 days but it’s not an issue because you will travel during 5 days only.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Cheryl says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I will be travelling to Japan next year. I will reach Japan in the morning 6.20am at Haneda Airport. And we will straight go to Osaka Universal Studio for a 3days 2nights Wish to check with you how to take the bullet train and will it cheaper if i purchase 2way tickets? Thank you. 🙂

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