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Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/26 22:18
My husband and I are travelling to Japan for the first time. We arrive March 20 at the Haneda International Airport late afternoon and travel to Itabashi and Saitama for 3 days before heading to center of Tokyo. We are in Tokyo 3 days then head to Kyoto where we will stay for 4 days, then on to Onomichi for 4 days before heading back to Haneda to catch our plane. We are wondering if it is best to get the 14 day pass or just the 7 day pass. Please advise. Also, we are staying in Onomichi until the morning of our flight which is late afternoon. Will we have enough time to make it to the HND airport by noon given the train system? Thank you so much! Looking forward to our travels.
by Carol (guest)  

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 09:40
Hi!

I am not sure of you exact departure date, but I put in April 5th and April 6th in Hyperdia in case there were different train options. The earliest you can make it to Haneda Airport while using a rail pass is 12:11. I don't know when your flight is, but that might be cutting it a bit close.

I personally wouldn't risk it, it's an over 5 hour trip and it's really easy for something to go wrong.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 09:51
7-day pass.
Returning to Tokyo on the day is fine. Even if you were in Tokyo, you can have problems getting to airports.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 09:53
Sorry, I mis-read the time schedule. The 7-day pass doesn't cover the duration properly.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 09:54
A JR Pass is next to useless within Tokyo and completely useless within Kyoto. Itfs definitely not worth springing for a 14 day pass just because youfre technically going to be in Japan that long. Whether to get a 7 day pass or none at all, Ifll leave that for others to figure out.
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 09:56
And from Onomichi to Haneda Airport, arrival time around 10:30 am is possible.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 10:34
Hi!

@JapanCustomTours, could you please show me the routing that gets in earlier without using a Nozomi or flying? i've been trying to find it and can't and I want to try to figure out what I'm doing wrong to not get this connection.

I found Nozomis and flights that will get you to Haneda before noon but 12:11 was the earliest I found using a Hikari/Kodama.

This is all opinion, I personally just wouldn't feel comfortable traveling 5 hours before my flight. It does't happen often but occasionally there are train delays and I would rather be traveling a shorter distance.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 10:47
Thank you. This has been very helpful.
by Carol (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 13:42
Neither a 7 day (\29,110) or a 14 day (\46,390) JR Pass will work.

The Pass is of virtually no use in and around Tokyo so is only useful for your long distance trips -- Tokyo to Kyoto (\13,910), Kyoto to Onomichi (\8,940) and Onomichi to Haneda (\17,870). Those trips total \40,720 so a 7 day Pass would, prima facie, be worthwhile. However, you say that you will "head to Kyoto where we will stay for 4 days, then on to Onomichi for 4 days before heading back to Haneda to catch our plane."</a>. If I'm counting the days correctly, that's 9 days so the 7 day Pass won't cover the return trip to Haneda (or the outbound to Kyoto). You could get a 14 day Pass but that's more than the cost of the individual tickets. If you just buy the tickets, you can use the Nozomi Shinkansen, which will help get you back to Haneda quicker on your departure day.
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 14:46
@ rkold - I did put in a really early start time, and five hours to get to an airport is not really that much. From my house here in Tokyo it can easily take me three hours to get to Narita. If I spent lots more (double) the travel time would be a bit less - I did help the JR staff at my local station help someone that was going to be hopelessly late for their check-in by telling them the fastest way, and with some helpful queue-jumping they managed to get their express tickets and both trains with a couple of minutes to spare. Anyway, I'm not about to stay near the airport because of the delays on the local trains. Even during the snowstorm last January when most/many trains were cancelled for the day I watch the situation before heading out (that day just to Haneda.

Anyway, travelling Hiroshima or Kyoto to Narita/Haneda is not really a problem, and we have guests catching an afternoon flight travelling from Takayama - longer duration than Onomachi.

And, for train routing, excluding Nozomi doesn't necessarily add extra transfers as Hikari services do start from Hiroshima and Okayama.
With Nozomi: 05:49 begin ONOMICHI JR Sanyo Line for MANTOMI arrive 06:08 at FUKUYAMA
06:24 SHINKANSEN NOZOMI 108 to SHINAGAWA arrive 09:56
10:15 depart Shinagawa to HANEDA AIRPORT INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL arrival 10:36.

Without Nozomi, there is a Hikara 460 from Mihara at 6:41 or Shin-Kurashiki 7:17. Both require a local train around 6 a.m. and a 12:06 (ish) arrival time. Two transfers.
But, for an earlier arrival, local train to Shin-Kurashiki to get the Kodama 722 - this will get you to Shin-Osaka at 7:44 a.m. There is a 30 minute wait for the Hikari 512 for an 11:03 arrival in Shinagawa and 11:35 at Haneda. Three transfers.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/27 23:07
@JapanCustomTours, Thank you! I kept trying to put in 6:00 am on Hyperdia but I couldn't get anything earlier without a Nozomi.

I'm not saying I would stay at the airport, but I admit, I like being in Tokyo the night before I leave from Narita. (I've not been fortunate enough yet to get a flight to Haneda) I've seen a few minor delays on train lines on trips (I'm looking at you Hokuriku shinkansen) when there is no obvious reason for the delay and a small 15-20 minute delay can be enough to miss an important connection. In June last year I am not sure if it was the rain or the recent earthquake or some combination, but there were horrific delays on the local lines and it took several hours to get from USJ to Kyoto Station.

I mean personally, if I was OP, I would swap the order of Onomichi and Kyoto and just fly from Tokyo out to Hiroshima and then work your way back to Tokyo. Getting from Kyoto to Tokyo has a lot more frequent train options. It's still further than I would want to be, but it shaves 2+ hours off the route. And again, this is a personal opinion, but I find I don't want to travel 5 hours on a train and then sit 12 hours on a plane. I don't mind it on arrival as much because I have the adrenaline of having just arrived, but going home I am usually a little exhausted and adding a long train trip first is an added stress. I understand that you have guests in Takayama their last night, but it's not something I would personally want or feel comfortable with.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Should we get 7 day or 14 day JR Pass? 2019/2/28 08:35
I'm probably not a typical train user, but I understand the reliability of mot services, alternatives and how the system works. With billions of passenger movements each year, the vast majority of people get to their destinations on time or slightly after. I get my share of delays for all sorts of reasons, both locally and long distance because I travel all around the country for my work, while most tourists come once or maybe once a year.

Yes, lots can go wrong - just reading this morning 6,000 delays more then 30 minutes on the trains last year (up 10% from a year ago). And it does depend on tolerance and familiarity with the train system. It also works the other direction to - I had my family trying to get from Narita Airport to the city last October and both train lines were out for the evening (halted 6/7p.m.) I got them a hotel near the airport for the night rather than them waiting 4+ hours for a bus and then having to get across Tokyo possibly after the last train of the night. (I have also had delays on the N'Ex heading to Narita, including while on the train, so there are still no guarantees).

However, in the context of the number of actual train services and the percentage that are delayed, it is very small. And if, for some reason there is a major disruption, there are alternatives - including flying.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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