JR Pass coverage map
The JR pass only covers railroad lines owned by any one of the six JR companies.
,Coverage map from Japan Rail Pass official site From the map above, the solid lines are the lines covered by JR Pass.
The thick brown line is the Hokuriku shinkansen/bullet train line, while the blue lines are the regular non-shinkansen lines.
This means if you take a Shinkansen/bullet train from Tokyo or a limited express train from any other cities, it will be covered by JR Pass.
,The JR pass does not cover local trains that are owned by non-JR companies such as the IR Ishikawa Railway or the Hokuriku Railroad.
On the map, this is shown as the dotted lines in the map above.
,Soyu bath house in WakuraonsenSo if you plan to travel from Kanazawa to Wakuraonsen up north, there are two options:,take the limited express Noto Kagaribi from Kanazawa - this is fully covered by JR Pass,take a local train from Kanazawa to Tsubata, then take another train from Tsubata to Wakuraonsen - youu2019ll need to pay for the Kanazawa-Tsubata segment, but Tsubata to Wakuraonsen is covered by the JR Pass,Restaurants and shops line the pedestrian way just outside Kenrokuenu2019s Katsurazaka Gate Transportation within the city is mostly covered by bus and taxis.
The JR pass does not cover the bus rides but theyu2019re quite cheap at a flat rate of 200yen per ride.
The exception will be the JR bus from Kanazawa station to Kenrokuen.
Does the JR Pass cover Tokyo subway
In what metro stations does the JR Pass work in Tokyo?The JR pass works in all JR stations, there are hundreds of JR stations in Tokyo.
Notably on the JR Chuo, JR Yamanote, and the JR Keihin-Tu014dhoku lines are all covered.
,The JR pass doesnt work on any other train station, of which there are thousands in Tokyo.
None of the Tokyo Metro subway or the Toei Subway.
,Overall if you arenu2019t interested in the fastest route and are wiling to walk a bit further, the JR pass can suffice for local transport in Tokyo.
It might save you $3u20136 per day you use it in Tokyo.
Maybe $10u201315 if you are taking day trips to far flung places like Kamakura.
Is Japan Rail Pass worth it
Note 1 - If you are in Japan on a student visa, you cannot use the JR Rail Pass.
,Note 2 - If you are on a landing permit or tourist visa, it might pay off, depending on where you go.
You need to check the cost of the pass versus the cost of regular fare tickets.
If you want to see rail fares, schedules, and transfer info, see Hyperdia.
,Note 3 - Be sure to look at the various regional rail passes too - you might find a better money saver.
Japan Rail Pass Calculator
It is by days.
If you want it to be activated it on Dec 1, it will actually be activated on Dec 1 00:00:00 and it will end on Dec 3 23:59:59, regardless whether you have actually used it on Dec 1 morning / afternoon / evening.
Where to buy Japan Rail Pass
Buying a Japan Rail Pass in Tokyo is possible with a few options.
Where to buy it from comes down to cost and convenience.
Do you want the cheapest Japan Rail Pass? Or, do you want one from the easiest place to buy it from?Better still, you can get the cheapest option with an easy pick up in Tokyo!Option 1: Buy a Japan Rail Pass online at the cheaper overseas price and either:,a) pick it up for FREE within 30 minutes in Tokyo (the agents office in Ikebukuro),b) get FREE 7-days delivery to an address (hotel etc.
) in Tokyo.
Or, get it delivered within 48 hours for around US$20u201330,Both options 1 a) and b) work out cheaper than buying a Japan Rail Pass from within Japan at a JR sales office (Option 2, below).
Plus, youu2019ll get FREE or the cheapest delivery price for one or more passes.
If you require multiple passes youu2019ll get a huge discount!,And picking it up in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is more convenient in most cases than queuing up at a JR station sales office.
,Find out more about buying discounted Japan Rail Passes in Tokyo (and the rest of Japan).
,Option 2: Buy a Japan Rail from a JR sales office in Japan,Japan Railways has recently extended their trial for purchasing Japan Rail Passes from within Japan till 31 March 2020.
,Buying a Japan Rail Pass from a JR sales office at a station or airport costs on average 12% more than the overseas price (Option 1 above).
For eligibility, prices and qualifying dates.
,In Tokyo, you can purchase them from 10 JR stations: Narita Airport (Terminal 1), Narita Airport (Terminal 2 & 3), Haneda Airport (International Terminal), Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Hamamatsucho, Shinagawa.
For a full list of offices in Tokyo and the rest of Japan.
,Hopefully, that dispels the myth that you canu2019t buy a Japan Rail Pass in Japan.
And better still shows you how to save money as well!
JR Pass Tokyo to Osaka
Your plans are a bit unclear, but I presume you are leaving Japan through KIX?,In any case, the smart thing to do would be to use the rail pass for as much long distance travel as possible to maximize your savings.
If you do that, you can use a 7 day JR Rail Pass plus a few local passes, and donu2019t need the JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass at all.
,So for example -,If arriving through Narita, use the 1000 yen bus to go to Tokyo, and a 2 or 3 day subway pass to get around.
Alternatively, look at getting a Keisei+Metro Package.
,For Nikko, use a Tobu Nikko Free Pass.
,Use a 7 day JR Rail Pass for Days 5u201311 - but during that time, include going to Kobe and Hiroshima, Miyajima, and if you like even Iwakuni which is a bit past it.
And to give a suggestion, 4u20135 days in Osaka is serious overkill - in fact, since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day.
After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5 PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening.
At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
Instead, take a day youu2019d use for Osaka and go to Himeji on the Rail Pass for a day to give you even greater savings.
The castle is Japanu2019s finest, plus the Kokoen Garden next to it is great and you could go up to Mt Shosha to see the huge temple complex there.
,If you like, you could also go to Koyasan for a day and overnight for a more deeply spiritual side of Japan - a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket can save you a lot of money.
,On another day, seeing Hikone Castle is well worth it too - it also is one of the few surviving original castles, and not a reconstructed fake.
,Going around Kyoto, Nara and Osaka is not that expensive, so save that sightseeing for the very end.
You might get a Icoca & Haruka ticket to get around, if youu2019re leaving from KIX.
The former gives no discounts but itu2019s a prepaid card that is convenient, and you do get a good discount for the Haruka train to KIX.
,On a side note, since you are going to Takayama, some people are saying that it is getting just too touristy.
If that matters, you might go to Hida-Furukawa about 15 minutes away by train - less people and more atmosphere.
The real gem of the area though is Shirakawago - but youu2019d need to pay for the bus to go there.
,You can easily look up rail fares, transfer info, and schedules on Hyperdia.
Japan Subway Pass
Assuming that youu2019re an international traveller flying in to Tokyo u2026,The very first thing you should do once you land is to figure out, based on your itinerary in Tokyo, whether you need a rail pass or a subway pass.
If so, you might want to get the pass at the Tourist Information Center at the airport.
,There are many types of passes and combo tickets, and some of them can cover your trip between the airport and the city.
,24/48/72-hour pass offered by Tokyo Metro: To Customers Visiting TokyoVarious combos of Tokyo subway pass + tickets between the airport and downtown: For Customers Traveling Between the Airport and City CenterSkyliner + subway pass: Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway TicketIC card: Tokyo Metro | PASMO (IC Card) If you wonu2019t be taking the subway much in Tokyo, it might make sense to just get a rechargeable IC card that could be used to pay for transportation nationwide, vending machines, convenient stores, some restaurants, etc.
,,Once you are in the city, youu2019re probably both excited about seeing Tokyo, and yet a bit exhausted from the long-haul flight.
Your stomach is probably growling and complaining about the lack of proper attention it received in that last hours.
,My personal favorite is to grab a bowl of ramen once I drop off my luggage at the hotel.
Ramen places are pretty easy to find (some are even open 24/7, e.
Ichiran ramen ); itu2019s fast and inexpensive, and it doesnu2019t require much knowledge to know what to order (u2014 although you might have to figure out how to order if the place uses a vending machine).
Nothing recharges me faster than a bowl of hot, fatty, tasty ramen.
Itu2019s such an emblematic dish of Japanese food that, in my mind, serves as a great introduction to the (culinary) culture of Japan.
,After the ramen, you should then have the energy to explore Tokyo.
Or u2026 you might fall in a deep food coma that you just want to head to the hotel and sleep.
Either way, youu2019ve got one thing checked off your must-do list in Japan!