Japan Rail Pass Worth It?

You’re planning a trip to Japan and you are wondering about this JR Pass that I wrote about in the last post. If you don’t know what this JR Pass is, it is an unlimited ride pass that allows you to take Japan Rail trains throughout Japan, which includes the shinkansen (bullet trains) and local JR trains. My personal experience is that the pass is well worth it! Below is my math and my experience of using the JR Pass.

PRICE: $243 USD for a 7 Day Ordinary Pass. There is a first class pass option as well and a 14 and 21 Day pass as well, but for my short trip, I opted for this pass. This pass must be bought outside of the United States and can be activated at the airport on a specific date.

ROUTES: On this trip, I went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima with use of the seven day pass.

  1. Tokyo to Kyoto – 13,080 yen
  2. Kyoto to Osaka – 1,420 yen
  3. Osaka to Hiroshima – 9,710 yen
  4. Hiroshima to Miyajima (Round Trip) – 820 yen (Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi) + 360 yen (Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima)
  5. Hiroshima to Tokyo – 18,040 yen
JR Pass with Shinkansen Tickets!

Total: 43,430 yen = $370.55 (as of Dec. 23, 2016 currency conversion)

(This total price excludes the times in Kyoto and Tokyo where I took the local JR)

Overall, my experience is that the pass is super convenient. You are able to go to the JR office at the train station and book your ticket in advanced for a reserved seat. More importantly, I saved over $100 USD on the whole trip. I recommend travelers who are looking to doing a round trip experience from Tokyo to Kyoto, the 7 Day Pass is worth the price.

Any questions about Japan travel? JR Pass questions? Put them in the comments below and I will get to them!

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