3 reasons to purchase a Japan Rail Pass

Key benefits of using a Japan Rail Pass / Regional Rail Pass

    1. Cost-saving
      Take unlimited rides at a low cost that local Japanese can only dream of!
    2. Time-saving
      Skip the queues and the hassle of paying per ride.
    3. Free / Discounted Admission to selected places of interests

(Kansai Thru Pass/Kintetsu Wide/Yokoso Osaka Pass ONLY!)

A JR Pass is definitely worth the cost. In general, a return trip from Tokyo to Kyoto would make the purchase of a Nationwide Japan Rail Pass worth your money. Any distance less than that, you might be better off with single-trip tickets purchasable in Japan, or other Regional Japan Rail Pass would suit you, based on your itinerary.

A sample Free & Easy Golden Route 5D4N itinerary and transportation cost

  • Day 1: Haneda Airport to Shinagawa

By Tokyo Monorail & JR Line, via Hamamatsucho, 30 min: JPY 650

  • Day 2: Shinagawa to Kyoto

By Shinkansen (HIKARI), 131 mins: JPY 13,600

  • Day 3: Kyoto to Osaka

By JR Line, 29 mins: JPY 560

  • Day 4: Osaka to Tokyo

By Shinkansen (HIKARI), 153 mins: JPY 14,140

  • Day 5: Tokyo to Narita Airport

By Narita Express, 70 mins: JPY 3,020

Total cost using single tickets: JPY 31,970

Total cost using JR National Pass ordinary, 7 days: JPY 29,650

You save: JPY 2,320 with JR Pass

It is worth buying JR Pass if you make round trip to/from Tokyo

2-way from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto

  • Shinagawa to Kyoto

By Shinkansen (HIKARI), 131 mins: JPY 13,800

  • Kyoto to Osaka

By JR Line, 29 mins: JPY 3,220

  • Osaka to Tokyo

By Shinkansen (HIKARI), 153 mins: JPY 14,340

Total cost using single tickets: JPY 31,360

Total cost using JR National Pass ordinary, 7 days: JPY 29,650

You save: JPY 1,710 with JR Pass

1-way from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto

  • Tokyo to Kyoto

By Shinkansen (HIKARI), 131 mins: JPY 13,800

  • Kyoto to Osaka

By JR Line, 29 mins: JPY 3,220

Total cost using single tickets: JPY 17,020

Total cost using JR National Pass ordinary, 7 days: JPY 29,650

In this case, You will save more when you travel using single-trip tickets


Insider tips: You can check the optimum routes and the train timings with this third-party website Hyperdia
If you only travel around Tokyo and make day trips to cities nearby, Japan National Rail Pass might not be a good choice for you. Otherwise, you can benefit from other Regional rail passes.