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Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/14 11:49
Hi, I am planning to go to Japan this year or maybe next year and I have a strict budget line that I would like to follow. I will be travelling from Sapporo to Nagoya by flight. After Nagoya, I will go to Osaka and Kyoto and lastly Tokyo.
As I don't know what transportation should I take to go from Nagoya to Osaka, Osaka to Kyoto and from Kyoto to Tokyo with the cheapest fare.
can somebody help me with it? Because it is pretty confusing and the system is not the same as the Korean rail system.
I look up the Jr pass and Suica. I don't know if that is the only cheapest option and I don't know how it works. Well, the Jr pass is kind of expensive for me but might be the cheapest option? Please help me to get through this and help me to be in my budget because I need to know how much I need to save for the entire trips. I still need to find accommodation, eat and etc.
by deens (guest)  

Re: Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/14 13:33
JR pass covers all JR trains - but note that there are many non-JR trains in Japan. Without knowing exactly where you are going, it's impossible for us to tell if it's better to get a Suica pass or JR pass. Note that the JR pass is great value if you are travelling long distances.

This link will help you work out general costs for trains: https://www.japan-guide.com/railpass/

This link has further information on budget travel in Japan: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2028.html

Also note that Japan is not that expensive if you know how to travel in the country, but it's also not a SE Asia price destination for backpackers either.

If time is not that important, then catching buses is probably the cheapest way to get around the country. There are also bus passes available. Look up the transport section on this site for transport
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/14 15:32
Just doing Nagoya to Osaka, and Osaka to Tokyo. Not JR pass would pay off. Even the cheapest seven day pass.

So you can forget about passes. And investigate cheaper options. Yeah buses from Nagoya to Osaka make sense. But you could also do the same leg on a local/rapid service for a faction of the shinkansen price.

Osaka or Kyoto to Tokyo though. The bus takes a long time, so it might be worth paying top dollar for shinkansen or another cheap flight.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/14 15:41
Agree with PPs.

Just to add, Suica,Pasmo and the like are not offering a discount on fares (or really only minimal in the few yens range). Those cards are simply an easy way to pay your fares in practically all public transport youfll encounter. (Yes there are some trains, busses in Japan that you canft pay with an IC card but they are few and at your destination I think not applicable)
For budget control, you can see each time you pass through a ticket gate (or also at a ticket machine) how much money is remaining.

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

Re: Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/14 21:15
If you are so concerned with budget that it becomes a nuisance, why don't you wait until you have more funds and then travel without worries?
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/15 05:13
If the only long-distance train rides you will take are Nagoya to Osaka and Kyoto to Tokyo, then the 7-day JR pass probably will not "pay off." From Kyoto to Tokyo possibly take a nighttime highway bus and save on one night's lodging. If you're really on a tight budget, it might be the least-cost solution.

However, try to think more broadly about the JR pass before dismissing it outright on a "tickets vs. pass" cost basis. Among other things, having a JR pass will let you economically "commute" from any lodging near a JR station to anywhere within reasonable day trip distance. (And what is a "reasonable" day trip could change based on many factors, including whether it's raining in Kansai but not an hour or two away by fast train.) The JR pass can also be used on short-distance JR transit. If you want, you can build an entire itinerary, including local sightseeing, around the pass. There is no reason why you have to follow the usual approach of setting up a fixed sightseeing agenda (for example, "top ten" sites in Kyoto/Osaka), with no regard for which train lines serve the places you want to go, and then paying with an IC card (at no discount). There are so many wonderful places to see in Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo (and within an hour or two by JR from these cities) that you can pick ones that are accessible by JR and have a fabulous trip using a JR pass strategically. (Or if you really MUST go to tourist magnets that are not reachable by JR, make strategic use of non-JR passes. It's a total myth that none of the day passes in Kyoto pay off, for example. You just have to devote a lot of time to figuring them out and planning your routes.)

Here's a little-known fact that can save you money on lodging: there has been a huge hotel building boom in Kyoto in the last five years, and there are now so many rooms in the lower and middle budget range that the vacancy rate on weekdays during non-busy seasons is staggering. Hundreds and hundreds of rooms are available in late May and early June, for example. Kyoto has become a bargain bonanza if you go at the right time, especially if you can avoid Saturdays. The prevailing wisdom these days is that Kyoto is completely inundated with tourists and is just ridiculously crowded and expensive. Well, during cherry blossom season and fall foliage season, that is true. However, at other times, and if you avoid the major tourist magnet sites, lodging there can be surprisingly cheap (of course, you do have to shop--but it's a lot easier than in Tokyo or even Osaka).

So think broadly about your money-saving, and at least consider getting a JR pass. If you can save say 1000 (or more) a night for five nights staying in Kyoto over some other city that doesn't have dozens of brand new hotels (and guest houses and hostels) competing viciously, and you pick sightseeing venues that are on JR so you can use the pass to get to them (saving maybe another 500 or so yen per day), it could offset the cost of the pass enough that it's actually cheaper than the typical approach.

Just something to think about. In the end, when you go and where you stay will probably be bigger cost considerations than whether you get a JR pass or not. But you need to be prepared to do a lot of research on your own, to reap the rewards. It sounds like you are at the beginning of your planning. Nobody here is going to figure everything out for you, but you can get specific questions answered as you go along. Just keep working at it and you'll get there eventually.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/15 13:01
Going from Nagoya to Kansai, and then to Tokyo would not make a 7 day JR Pass pay off - it's just that simple.
Although you'd be close if you included a side trip to Himeji - it is very worthwhile.

And if you see Nara also, which you should while in Kansai, you'd just break even with the pass.

If you just want the cheapest way, then either the highway bus or perhaps a Kintetsu Rail Pass might work for you.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Strict Budget Alert 2019/3/17 05:04
If you are on a "strict" budget, then you might consider not moving about so much. Stick within a single region and more fully experience it, which saves a ton of money. The highest costs will be your trips between the regions. You mention Sapporo, Tokyo, Kansai and Nagoya. If you picked only one or two of those regions, you would save a bunch.

Even if you are not on a strict budget, I think moving about the country rapidly is not the most enjoyable trip anyway. You spend as much time moving luggage on the trains/planes as you do actually having fun and experiencing Japan.
by jw (guest) rate this post as useful

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