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Guide to plan your trip. Fare Calculation


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.


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

877 thoughts on “Guide to plan your trip. Fare Calculation”

  1. This is the first backpack trip for both me and my fren.
    We are planning a trip to Kansai area from 3/22 to 3/29 as below, but we’re cracking head on what transportation we shall take for the whole trip, could anyone help to advise?
    (For Osaka, I had bought Osaka Amazing 2 days but not sure to use in which days.)
    Would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    22-Mar Kansai Airport >Kobe ==> Thinking to transfer by Bus direct to Sanomiya station and buy Cityloop bus tickets to walk around Kobe.
    We live in Kobe at that night.

    23-Mar Kobe> Kyoto ==> Is Kintetsu railway 2 days pass suitable to transfer from Kobe to Kyoto? And use in Kyoto to visit North side & Arashiyama ?
    We live in Kyoto at that night.

    24-Mar Kyoto> Kyoto ==> use Kintetsu railway 2 days pass, visit Eastern Kyoto Full Day?
    We live in Kyoto at that night.

    25-Mar Kyoto> Nara> Osaka ==> Transfer from Kyoto to Nara for 1 day trip then move to Osaka at evening. What is the pass/ transport suitable to use? Kansai thru 1 day pass?
    We live in Osaka, Namba area at that night.

    26-Mar Osaka> Osaka ==> We had bought Osaka Amazing 2 days pass.
    We live in Osaka, Namba area at that night.

    27-Mar Osaka> Osaka==>We had bought Osaka Amazing 2 days pass.
    We live in Osaka, Namba area at that night.

    28-Mar Osaka (Namba)> ==> Will walk around Shishaibashi & Dotonbori area, to travel a limited places around, what should we get to travel to there?
    Kansai Airport==> Plan to take Nankai Line fronm Namba Station to Kansai Airport.

    Really appreciate your help.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Chris,

      I recommend you to use Kansai thru pass for March 23 to 25. Kintetsu rail pass does not cover Kobe and city transportation in Kyoto. Please see the link below to find more info about Kansai thru pass.

      Osaka amazing pass is okay for these 2 days and you don’t need any deals for the last day of your trip.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi!

    I’m planning to go to Japan on Tokyo with my boyfriend from March 15 to 30.
    Could you recommend us a pass that suits us?
    This is our itinerary:
    Day 1 – Tokyo: ginza, tokyo tower
    Day 2 – Asakusa and tokyo skytree
    Day 3 – Imperial Palace, Akihabara
    Day 4: Ikebukuro, Shinjuku
    Day 5: Chiba
    Day 6: Yokohama, Kamakura
    Day 7, 8: Kyoto
    Day 9: Nara
    Day 10, 11: Osaka
    Day 12: Kawaguchiko
    Day 13: Nikko
    Day 14: Hakone and Odawara
    Day 15: Tokyo
    Day 16: Departure

    I think the 14 day JR Pass may suit us but don’t know if there is any cheaper option or if it really is the best in money saving.
    I’m not counting the narita express fare as if I buy the 14 day, won’t be using it the day of arrival and day of departure.

    Could you please give me your recommendation?

    1. Hi Lily,

      You may use 14-day JR Pass. But I recommend you to start using on day 3. Asakusa and Skytree cannot be accessed by JR pass. Please see the link below to find the info about train in Tokyo.

      So I recommend you to use Narita airport access one way and Tokyo Subway ticket combo. You can find it in the link below:

      If you arrive in early morning on day 1, you can go for 48 hours version. Otherwise 24 hours may work.

      And you can take Narita Express on day 16.

      JR pass does not cover whole part of your trip. Please see the link below and read carefully at the chapter of “How to use JR pass in major cities and tourist spots”.


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    Could you help me to give adv, should i buy JR Pass?

    My itinerary as follows:
    Day 1 : Arrive in Osaka Kansai – Kyoto – Fushimi Inari – Kiyomizudera (stay in kyoto 1 night)

    Day 2 : Kyoto – Arashiyama Bamboo Groove – Go to Osaka – Universal Studio Japan (stay in osaka 1 night)

    Day 3 : Stay in Osaka – Osaka Castle – Dotonbori – Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade – Mie (Kuwana) – Nabano No Sato (stay in kuwana 1 night)

    Day 4 : Going to Tokyo – Mori Art Building – Sensoji Temple – Nakamise Shopping Street – Tokyo Skytree (stay in toyko 5 night)

    Day 5 : Tokyo – Kawaguchi lake – kawaguchi music forest – oishi park kawaguchiko – Tokyo

    Day 6 : Tokyo – Hitachi Seaside Park – Shibuya – Harajuku – Tokyo

    Day 7 : Tokyo – Tokyo Disneysea – Tokyo

    Day 8 : Tokyo – Ashikaga Flower Park – Tokyo

    Day 9 : Departure Narita Airport.

    Hopefully you can advice us in getting the most worth it option? Or maybe do you have other suggestions?

    We would be glad to hear from you,

    Thank you

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    I found your website very informative and you provide very good details information. GREAT JOB! I was thinking if you could help to give some advice for the travel pass (JR pass and city train deals) for my wife and I itinerary starting from the 23Dec-7Jan.

    Day 1- Arrive Narita Airport
    Day 2- Travel around Tokyo area visiting and food
    Day 3- Disneysea
    Day 4 – Travel to Shirakawa
    Day 5 – Travel to Takayama
    Day 6 – Travel to Kyoto
    Day 7 to 9 – Around Kyoto (NYE countdown)
    Day 10 – Travel to Hiroshima (Happy New year!)
    Day 11 – Travel to Osaka
    Day 12 – Visit Around Osaka
    Day 13 – Travel to Tokyo
    Day 14 – Travel to Mt Fuji
    Day 15 – Travel to Tokyo
    Day 16 – Departure Haneda Airport

    As this is our first time to Japan, we are a bit confuse if we could use the JR pass for within the same city travelling via train/ bus (by JR group) or this is just for intercity travelling? If you could shine some lights on this would be great!

    Many thanks in advance.


  5. Hi there,

    Appreciate for advice cos i want to buy JR West Pass and ICCOCA.

    My itinerary as follows:
    Day 1 – Kansai Airport to Universal City Station to Expo City to Universal City Station
    Day 2 – Universal City Station to Nara Park/Todaiji to Dotonbori to Universal City Station
    Day 3 – Universal City Station to Cup Noodle Museum to Kuromon Market & Owl Cafe to Universal City Station
    Day 4 – Universal City Station to Kyoto Station to Fushimi Inari Taisha to Kiyomizu-dera Temple to Kyoto Station
    Day 5 – Kyoto Station to Kyoto Railway Musuem to Kyoto Station to Kansai Airport

    1. Hi Renmon,

      I recommend you to use Kansai one pass and Haruka, Tennoji version.

      You can take Haruka from KIX to Tennoji and local train to Universal city. This trip is covered by Haruka portion. You don’t need to use Kansai one pass. After you arrive in Universal city, you will use Kansai one pass for all trips until day 4.

      On day 5, you will use Kansai one pass to get Railway Museum. But you can use Haruka discount ticket for Kyoto to KIX.


      Takeshi /

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    We are planning a visit to Japan later this month for 7 days (arriving in Kansai International Airport on Monday morning and departing Japan in Narita International Airport on Sunday morning). We will be staying at the following places at night:

    Osaka (Monday)
    Kyoto (Tuesday)
    Tokyo (Wednesday through Saturday)

    While staying in Osaka, we plan to go to:
    Osaka Castles
    and maybe hike the Mukogawa Gorge (Takedao Tunnel)

    While staying in Kyoto, we want to check out:
    Fushimi Inari-taisha

    While staying in Tokyo, we will be checking just surrounding areas (within 30 minutes train radius).

    Do you think that we need a JR pass, or is it better to purchase train/bus tickets as we go?

    Thank you!

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I am planning on an 8-day trip to Tokyo and Osaka
    1 x Tokyo
    2x osaka
    5 x tokyo.

    Can you advise whether the JRail pass is needed or is there a cheaper alternative?
    thks much!

  8. Dear Takeshi,

    My name is Sambika, and with my brother we are going to be in Japan from the 14/04/18 to 30/04/18!!!!
    I was reading through your blog and I find your post on the transport subject really informative! So I thought you could give us advice on choosing the best ticket to travel around Japan!

    We are trying to sort out which Pass will be more suitable (and the cheapest) for us.
    We are flying to Tokyo (I will arrive in Narita and my brother in Haneda) and we are flying back from Osaka.
    We are planning to visit Tokyo – Fuji 5 lakes – Kyoto – Nara – Osaka – Himeji – Hiroshimo – Miyajima.

    Having book some activities we are unfortunately left with some restrictions.

    Activities :
    20/04 : Miyako Odori in Kyoto (~11h)
    23/04 : Kabuki show in Osaka (~16h)

    My question is what would be the more profitable pass for us : JR Pass 14days ? JR Pass7 days ? JR West Pass + additional tickets?

    I find the 14days pass really expensive and I am not sure if it would be profitable for us even though it will give us a lot of flexibility …what is your opinion about it?

    The 7 days pass give us a lot of restrictions + we need to buy additional ticket to get to the airport-Tokyo and Osaka – airport
    {I made a planning to make all the traveling fit within 7 days:
    14/04/18-18/04/18 : Tokyo {buy ticket from airport to Tokyo + ticket for Tokyo}
    (I found that for me maybe buying the skyliner and tokyo subway ticket could be more advantageous. What would you recommend for my brother coming from Haneda? Just the Suica card should be ok right ?)
    19/04/18 : activation JR Pass —> Fuji five lakes —> traveling to Kyoto in the evening ( I notice that we will probably have to buy some ticket in Mt Fuji because it’s not totally covered by the JR Pass)
    20/04/18 : Geisha performance + traveling to Hiroshima
    21/04/18 : Miyajima
    22/04/18 : Hiroshima/Himeji (—->traveling back to Osaka )
    23/04/18 : Osaka
    24/04/18 : Nara
    25/04/18 – 27/04/18 : end of JR Pass —-> Kyoto
    28/04/18 – 30/04/18 : Osaka {Buy ticket to Osaka + ticket to airport}

    What do you think about this planning? Personally I’m not convince myself because it requires some back and forth travel + I don’t think it’s really convenient for booking the hotel….

    The final option I come up with is
    14/04/18-18/04/18 : Tokyo {buy ticket from airport to Tokyo + ticket for Tokyo}
    19/04/18 :go by bus to Fuji five lakes —> traveling to Kyoto in the evening by bus
    20/04/18 – 23/04/18 : Kyoto + 23/04 morning travel to Osaka {buy single ticket}
    23/04/18 : Osaka
    24/04/18 : activation of the JR West Pass —-> day trip to Nara
    25/04/18-27or28/04/18 : Hiroshima-Miyajima-Himeji
    28/04/18-30/04/18 : Osaka —> end of JR West Pass —> transportation to airport included

    I thing at the end this come back at the same price (maybe even slightly more expensive) as the JR Pass 7days but not totally sure about this….
    Moreover I’m having trouble to find the best ticket to travel in Tokyo (day ticket vs Suica) and in Fuji 5 lakes (JR Pass doesn’t deserve kawaguchiko if I understood well and I don’t know if there is a ticket to hop on buses to see the other lakes or go to other attractions around the Mt Fuji (some kind of day pass)

    Hopefully you can advice us in getting the most worth it option (14days/7days/JR West)? Or maybe do you have other suggestions?

    We would be glad to hear from you,


    Arun and Sambika

    1. Hi Arun and Sambika,

      For arriving Haneda, you can find the deal in the link below:

      If you use JR pass, you can do as you planned. There is no deals to cover Fuji Five Lakes.

      If you take overnight bus from Lake Kawaguchi, you can do so. In this case, you will use Kansai Hiroshima area pass for 24 to 28. You need other passes for Kyoto, Osaka and trip to KIX. Please see the link below:

      You may use the deals in the link below even if you use JR Pass. You need other deal after JR pass expires.

      Bus + Kansai Hiroshima area pass may be slightly cheaper. And you can save one night accommodation. It makes the total cost be cheaper.

      Kansai Hiroshima area pass does not cover reserved seat. JR Pass does. Please see the link below to find the difference between reserved and non reserved:


      Takeshi /

      1. Thank you very much for your reply Takeshi, and for the useful link!!!

        The actual name of the pass I was referring to is JR Sanyo Sanin area pass sorry for the confusion….I checked again the conditions and we should have access to the reserved seat option.
        So do you think the JR Sanyo Sanin area pass is better then the JR Pass for 14 days ? or should we take the JR pass 14 days?

        Thanks in advance for your advice,

        Arun and Sambika

        1. Hi Sambika and Arun,

          You should use JR pass 7 days from the day to go to Fuji Five Lake to Kyoto. 14 days pass is not your choice anyway. JR pass 7 days is better choice than Sanyo Sanin area pass.


          Takeshi /

  9. Hi Takeshi,

    It’ll be great if you can share some information on JR pass as we (2ppl) will be traveling to Japan for 9 days and the itinerary is as below in May/June :

    Tokyo x 2 days
    Kyoto x 4 days
    Nara x 1 day
    Osaka x 2 days

    Thanks in advance

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        I’m arriving in Osaka for a 7 days trip in September. My basic itinerary is Osaka-Kyoto-Lake Biwa-Yokohama-Tokyo(Airport). We will arrive in Osaka and depart from Tokyo. Will the JR pass work for me or is there any other suitable pass? Thanks so much!

  10. Hi Takeshi

    We are planning (2ppl) a visit to Japan in Aug 1 – 14.

    Tokyo 5 days
    Osaka 6 days
    Tokyo 3 days

    Whiles staying in Osaka and Tokyo we would be visiting the near by Cities/Areas.

    Whiles we stay in Osaka, we plan to go to:
    Otsu Area (mostly castles visit)
    and maybe Himeji Castle

    Tokyo :
    metropolitan areas
    Surrounding area.
    Mt Fuji

    Do you think that we need a JR pass or would normal day to day purchase do.

    1. Hi Emir,

      You may use JR pass 7 days for just Tokyo-Osaka-Tokyo. You don’t need it when you are in Tokyo. You can use the following deals in the links below:




      Single ticket is okay for Chiba.


      Takeshi /

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