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Best train ticket option 2019/2/21 07:47

I need some help deciding on a train ticket, first time in Japan.

I will be traveling to Japan next month, and I will be staying for 10 days in Tokyo (coming by Narita airport), and then going to Kyoto and staying there for 10 more days. After this, I have to return to Tokyo cause I'm leaving by Narita as well. Since they are pretty far away, I would prefer traveling by Shinkansen. I will need to use the trains and metro to move around these two cities, exploring the sites. During the stay in Kyoto I would like to go to Osaka and Nara for a day.

I would prefer to buy a 3 week ticket that will allow me to make all these trips, for the simplicity, but if there is a better option I am open to it. Could you tell me which would be the best and cheapest option for me? The 21 day JR pass or something else?

Thanks a lot in advance!
by BM (guest)  

Re: Best train ticket option 2019/2/21 12:40
I recommend not getting any JR Pass (7,14,21day). They won't pay off. Buy individual tickets and you can use the quickest service trains (Nozomi).
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Best train ticket option 2019/2/21 14:02
Agree with PP.
For the long travel buy individual tickets at the station (you can buy them a few minutes before departure or days/weeks earlier). For the more local travel (Kyoto-Nara etc) and city travel buy an IC card such as Pasmo, Suica or the like. Substantial they are all the same, but as you arrive and depart from Narita Pasmo or Suica would be your choice. That card doesnft really give you a discount but it makes it easy to pay for all your smaller travels.

Note that there is no pass that would cover all your travel, as you will be using different railway companies. Eg JR for Shinkansen, several different metro companies in Tokyo (yes, I know one is called METRO and the others have different names, but to make it easy to understand to OP allow me to summarize them all under the term metro/subway), maybe a private railway between Kyoto and Nara, local busses in Kyoto...

As you stay 10 days in each place the jr pass wonft work either.

Buying individual Shinkansen tickets also has the big advantage that you can take the more frequent&faster Nozomi trains.

There are some discount tickets for Shinkansen. I am no expert on that but the railway section of this webpage should explain them. But I think overall it just complicates buying the ticket as compared to a quick buy at your JR station.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best train ticket option 2019/2/21 16:07
For a discount there's the Platt Kodama. Slower, but with 10 days in Kyoto OP is not in as much of a rush as most others.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best train ticket option 2019/2/23 07:23
Thanks a lot for your answers, they help a lot!
by BM (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best train ticket option 2019/2/23 10:02
Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo should be by single tickets - no pass required.
If you have middle of the day travel times there are some advance purchase tickets that you can get (the EX Hayato 21 or EX Hayato) offer savings.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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