Ultimate JR Pass Singapore Guide — Step-by-Step Guide and New Updates (2024)

Plan your Japan Rail itinerary with this updated JR Pass guide, incl. tips for what to do now that prices have increased!

First published: 21 May 2017

Whole Japan JR Pass - JR Pass Guide

Train travel is one of the quintessential experiences when travelling in Japan so it’s no surprise a JR Pass might be the first thing you look to get. And you’ve probably heard — JR Pass prices have increased from 1 Oct 2023.

Train Conductor at Shinkansen South Tohoku - JR Pass Guide

Other than Whole Japan JR Passes (from ~S$456 for a 7-day pass), there are regional passes which can be half the price of the Whole Japan JR Pass.

During an eight-day trip exploring the Kansai region, we travelled with the 5 Day Kansai-Hiroshima JR Pass (~S$157) and managed to cover nine cities while saving a total of ¥20,880 (~S$189) — as compared to travelling on single-trip tickets.

Unlimited rides on the shinkansen aside, some JR passes also cover unlimited transport on the local JR Trains, JR ferries as well as JR buses.

The biggest problem though is planning your route and deciding which of the 20 over different JR passes you should get. Follow these nine steps and you’ll never have to google elsewhere for answers to your JR Pass!

Purchasing a JR Pass

Whole Kyushu JR Pass - Japan Kyushu Itinerary

1) Plan Your Japan Route

Map of Shinkansen Lines - JR Pass Guide

Photo credit: Japan-guide

The first thing to decide is which cities you want to visit. If two or more fall under shinkansen lines that aren’t adjacent to each other, chances are, you’ll need a Whole Japan JR Pass.

Even with the price increase, you might still be able to save some money if you’re planning to travel across multiple regions in Japan!

Kansai-Hiroshima JR-Pass - Travelling Around Japan

Check out our JR Pass itineraries:

5-Day Kansai Hiroshima Pass: 8-Day Japan Itinerary: 9 Cities in Kansai — Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Okunoshima, Naoshima, Kyoto, Nara
7-Day Whole Japan JR Pass: 10-Day Japan Rail Itinerary For First Timers — Tokyo, Hakone, Kamakura, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto
7-Day Whole Japan JR Pass: 8-Day Japan Winter Itinerary — Tokyo, Fox Village, Kawaguchi, Nagano Snow Monkey Park, Takayama, Shirakawago, Osaka.

2) Find out which JR Pass you need

Kansai Hiroshima JR Pass - Travelling Around Japan

There are over 20 different JR Passes — with varying days, time flexibility and regions covered. Most people gravitate towards the Whole Japan JR Pass — you get unlimited rides on most of the JR trains and free seat reservations. But it also comes with a hefty price tag!

Whole Japan JR Pass

JR PassArea CoveredValidity
(from Oct 2023)
JR Pass
(Ordinary Car)
All of Japan7
¥50,000 (~S$453)
¥80,000 (~S$725)
¥100,000 (~S$906)
JR Pass
(Green Car)
All of Japan7
¥70,000 (~S$634)
¥110,000 (~S$997)
¥140,000 (~S$1,269)

If you’re planning to cover cities across different regions e.g. Tokyo in the Kanto region and Osaka in the Kansai region, the Whole Japan JR Pass is the only pass that covers this journey.

However, with the price increase, it’s no longer worth it to get the pass for a round trip from Tokyo to Osaka if you’re not going to explore other cities along the way. So you might want to consider single-trip tickets instead.

Read also: 10-Day Japan Itinerary — Tokyo to Osaka With the JR Pass for S$1.1k

Tokyo Tower - Travelling Around Japan

Japan is huge and perhaps the best way to really get the most out of your trip is to explore in regions. If you plan your route well and know the specific areas you’d like to cover, the regional passes are definitely more cost-effective.

Regional JR Pass: Hokkaido

JR PassArea CoveredValidity
(from Oct 2023)
JR Hokkaido
Rail Pass
All JR Hokkaido trains
(excl. Hokkaido Shinkansen)
10 [NEW]
¥20,000 (~S$183)
¥26,000 (~S$238)
¥32,000 (~S$292)
Sapporo-Noboribetsu Area PassSapporo, Otaru, Noboribetsu4¥9,000 (~S$82)
Area Pass
Asahikawa, Furano
4¥10,000 (~S$92)

Consecutive Day Passes: 5 or 7 Day JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
Includes reserved and non-reserved seats on the JR Hokkaido Limited Express/Express, local trains, and rides on designated JR buses within Hokkaido for five or seven consecutive days.


Collection: An electronic exchange order will be sent via email/Klook app before your trip. Present the mobile voucher at the JR ticketing office to redeem a physical pass.

Flexible Day Passes: 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass
Includes all Shinkansen in the area between Tokyo and Sapporo via Hakodate but not the JR buses for six consecutive days.

Collection: A physical exchange order will be mailed to your address in Singapore before your trip. Present the voucher at the JR ticketing office to redeem the pass.

Togakushi Cedar Avenue - JR Pass Guide

Togakushi Cedar Wood Forest in Nagano

Read also: 8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary — Spring Road Trip Under S$1k and Hokkaido Food Guide — 9 Must-Eats on Your Next Japan Itinerary

Regional JR Pass: East Japan

JR PassValidity
(from Oct 2023)
JR East Pass
5¥30,000 (~S$272)
JR East Pass
(Nagano, Niigata)
5¥27,000 (~S$245)

🚆 Consecutive Day Pass: 5 Day JR East Pass (Tohoku Area)
Popular cities covered: Tokyo, Yokohama, Fukushima, Sendai, Aomori and Yamagata

JR East Pass Tohoku Area - JR Pass in Singapore

Unlimited rides on the Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen as well as non-JR trains in the Izu and Nikko areas for five consecutive days.

JR East Pass Niigata Area - JR Pass in Singapore

🚆 JR East Pass (Nagano/Niigata Area)
Popular cities covered: TokyoNiigata, Nagano, Karuizawa and Gunma

Unlimited rides on the Joetsu Shinkansen as well as non-JR trains in the Izu and Nikko areas for five consecutive days.

Collection for both passes: An electronic exchange order will be sent via email/Klook app before your trip. Present the mobile voucher at the JR ticketing office to redeem a physical pass.

Read also: 5D4N Japan Itinerary — A First Timer’s Experience in Niigata and the Remote Sado Island

Regional JR Pass: Kansai Area

Kansai wide - JR Pass in Singapore

🚆 5 Day JR Kansai WIDE Area Pass
Popular cities covered: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, and Himeji.

Five consecutive days of unlimited rides on Sanyo Shinkansen, Limited Express, Rapid Service and local trains throughout Kansai, Kurashiki, Shirahama, Kinosaki Onsen, and Takamatsu.

🚆 5 Day JR Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
Popular cities covered: Similar to JR Kansai WIDE plus Hiroshima and Miyajima.

Five consecutive days of unlimited rides on Sanyo Shinkansen, Express Trains, Rapid Services, local trains, and the JR West ferry to Miyajima Island.

Miyajima floating Torii gate - JR Pass Guide

🚆 7 Day JR Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass
Popular cities covered: Similar to JR Kansai WIDE plus Kanazawa and Toyama.

Seven consecutive days of unlimited rides on Sanyo Shinkansen, Hokuriku Shinkansen, Express Trains, Rapid Services, and local trains.

Collection for all passes: An electronic exchange order will be sent via email/Klook app before your trip. Present the mobile voucher at the JR ticketing office to redeem a physical pass.

Rabbits in Okunoshima - Travelling Around Japan

Hanging out with rabbits on Okunoshima (Bunny Island)

Read also8-Day Japan Itinerary: 9 Cities in Kansai for Under S$900

Regional JR Pass: West Japan

JR PassValidity
(from Oct 2023)
JR West / Central
(Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass)
5¥19,800 (~S$181)
JR West
(Kansai Area Pass)
1¥2,800 (~S$25)
JR West
(Kansai Wide Area Pass)
5¥12,000 (~S$111)

🚆 7 Day JR Sanyo-San’in Area Pass
Popular cities covered: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka as well as San’in region, including Matsue, Hikone, and Maibara.

Seven consecutive days of unlimited rides in Sanyo and San’in region.

Read also: 11 Things to Do in San’in and Sanyo — Japan’s Hidden Gems For Road Trippers

Setouchi Area Pass - JR Pass in Singapore

🚆 7 Day JR Setouchi Area Pass
Popular cities covered: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka, including ferry services to Naoshima and Shodoshima.

Five consecutive days of unlimited train rides on the Sanyo Shinkansen, Okayama Electric Tramway, Express Trains, Rapid Services, local trains in the area as well as buses and ferries including the Okaden Bus, Onomichi Bus, Ryobi Ferry, Shodoshima Ferry, and more.

Collection for both passes: An electronic exchange order will be sent via email/Klook app before your trip. Present the mobile voucher at the JR ticketing office to redeem a physical pass.

Bento in Train - Travelling Around Japan

While eating on local trains is usually shunned upon, ekibens on longer distance trains are generally alright!

Regional JR Pass: Central Japan

Kumano-Ise Touirst Pass - JR Pass in Singapore

🚆 5 Day JR Osaka – Nagoya ‘Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Pass
Popular cities covered: Osaka, Nagoya, Ise, Kumano and Wakayama.

Five consecutive days of unlimited train rides between Osaka and Nagoya, plus four reserved rides on Wide View Nanki, Kuroshio, and Mie Express.

Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass - JR Pass in Singapore

🚆 5 Day JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass
Popular cities covered:
Nagoya, Takayama and Toyama.

Five consecutive days of unlimited rides on JR Limited Express, Express, Rapid, and local trains through Nagoya, Toyama, Shinano-Omachi, and the Alpine route.

Takayama Hokuriku - JR Pass in Singapore

🚆 5 Day JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass
Popular cities covered: Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Takayama and Kanazawa.

Five consecutive days of unlimited non-reserved rides on JR Hokuriku Shinkansen, JR Limited Express, Express, Rapid, and Ordinary trains between Nagoya and Toyama, and Osaka and Kanazawa as well as up to four reserved seats on JR Conventional lines including Limited Express Wide View Hida and Limited Express Thunderbird.

Collection for all passes: A physical exchange order will be mailed to your address in Singapore before your trip. Present the voucher at the JR ticketing office to redeem the pass.

Udon - Travelling Around Japan

Grab a quick meal at udon shops within the station if you have a long wait between trains

Regional JR Pass: Kyushu

Kyushu - JR Pass in Singapore
JR PassValidity
(from Oct 2023)
JR Kyushu
(Northern Kyushu)
¥12,000 (~S$110)
¥15,000 (~S$136)
JR Kyushu
(All Kyushu)
¥20,000 (~S$185)
¥22,500 (~S$208)
¥25,000 (~S$231)
JR West
(Southern Kyushu)
3¥10,000 (~S$92)

🚆 JR Kyushu Rail Pass (North/South/All Kyushu area)
Popular cities covered: 
North (from ~S$94 for 3 days) — Shimonoseki, Mojikō, Kokura, Hakata, Yufuin, Beppu, Oita, Kumamoto, Aso, Saga, Nagasaki, Huis Ten Bosch, and Sasebo

South (from ~S$75 for 3 days) — Southern Kyushu areas plus Kumamoto, Misumi, Hitoyoshi, Kirishima-onsen, Kirishima-jingū, Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Nishi-Ōyama, Miyazaki, Obi, Nangō, and Nobeoka

All (from ~S$159 for 3 days)— Northern Kyushu areas plus Misumi, Hitoyoshi, Yoshimatsu, Kagoshima-Chuo, Kirishima, Ibusuki, Miyazaki, and Miyazaki Airport

All Kyushu passes include reserved and non-reserved seats on all local trains, limited express trains, and Shinkansen (Mizuho, Sakura, and Tsubame) for three, five or seven consecutive days within the designated area. The pass cannot be used for the area between Hakata and Kokura.

Collection for all passes: An electronic exchange order will be sent via email/Klook app before your trip. Present the mobile voucher at the JR ticketing office to redeem a physical pass.

JR Handy Tool - JR Pass Guide

*Pro-tip: Still unsure of which JR pass to get? Use this handy tool on Klook — select the areas you’re travelling to and hit “search”, it’ll show you the various options available!

3) Purchase Your JR pass in Singapore

JR Kyushu Rail Pass - JR Pass Guide

Plan at least two weeks ahead before your trip and order your passes online via Klook — they’re definitely cheaper than getting from Japan.

Some passes like the Whole Japan JR Pass will require a physical exchange voucher (received via mail in Singapore) while others can be collected straight in Japan by showing an electronic exchange voucher. More on collection in point (6).

After Purchasing: How to use your JR Pass

1) Collecting Your JR Pass in Japan

JR East Travel Service Center - JR Pass Guide

Whole Japan JR Pass: Prepare your passport and physical exchange voucher (mailed to your address in Singapore) and head to the nearest JR Travel Service Centre. There’s usually one at the airport and major stations like Tokyo or Shin-Osaka station. You will be asked when you’d like to activate the pass so you can collect it first and have it start later on the trip.

Regional JR Pass: You’ll need to confirm when booking but most JR West Passes don’t require a physical exchange order. If you’re ordering from Klook, it will be sent to you electronically once the booking is confirmed. After which, head to a rail service counter in Japan with your QR code ready in hand. These passes only activate on your first ride out.

Redeem JR Passes at Green Ticketing Machine - JR Pass Guide

Things to note:
1) Physical exchange order — Klook no longer has a pick-up option. You have to book 14 days in advance and it’ll be mailed to you.
2) Electronic exchange order — You’ll receive it via email or on the Klook app, attached with a QR code.

*Pro-tip: For a fuss-free method, you can also use the green-ticketing machines at certain train stations to redeem your regional JR Passes by scanning the QR code.

Train Routes on Japan Travel App - JR Pass Guide

Some trains don’t arrive frequently so failing to plan your route can result in a 1-2 hour wait at the station (which could be spent exploring instead). While Google Maps does a pretty good job when you’re on the go, it doesn’t show you which transport pass is valid for which trains.

Japan Travel Search Bar - JR Pass Guide

On the other hand, Japan Travel by Navitime has a Tourist Pass option so you can plan your route according to the train pass you have. It also shows the train timetable as well as other transport options like buses, taxis, and ferries. What’s more, the service is free and comes as a website and app (available on iPhone/Android)!

*Pro-tip: Use the app instead of the website as the app shows additional details such as which train platform number and carriage to board from.

3) Trains covered by JR Pass

Boy in Train - Japan Itinerary

When searching for trains via Japan Travel, you’re likely to see different types of Shinkansen trains with varying durations — Nozomi/Mizuho, Hikari and Kodama.

Nozomi trains are the fastest as they make the least stops, followed by Hikari and Kodama which stops at every station. JR Pass holders are only allowed on Hikari and Kodama trains. To get an idea, here are the stops each train makes from Tokyo to Osaka.

Nozomi (2.5hrs): Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka

Hikari (3hrs): Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Gifu-Hashima, Maibara, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka

Kodama (4hrs): Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Odawara, Atami, Mishima, Shinfuji, Shizuoka, Kakegawa, Hamamatsu, Toyohashi, Mikawa-Anjo, Nagoya, Gifu-Hashima, Maibara, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka

4) Making Seat Reservations

Hokkaido JR Pass - Hokkaido Itinerary

Seat reservations can only be made when you have collected your JR pass and are free for Whole Japan JR pass holders. Regional JR pass holders might need to pay a top-up fee for reservations, depending on the type of pass.

To reserve, just head to any “Travel Services”, “Train Reservation”, or green ticketing machines at any major JR station with your start/end station and time.

If you have a change of plans, changes/cancellations to the reservation are free for Whole Japan JR pass holders.

5) Entering the Station With Your JR Pass

Using Ticket Gantry - JR Pass Guide

You no longer need to show your JR pass to the ticketing officer to enter the station (for both Whole Japan and Regional JR pass holders). Now, simply insert your ticket into the gantry machine and walk in!

Note that JR Stations are separate from the local metros so if you’re travelling on a metro, you’ll need to exit and locate a separate JR Station gantry.

6) Finding the Right Platform and Seat

Train Platform Signs - Travelling Around Japan

At the entrance gantry, look out for the large overhanging electronic board. This will tell you what platform your train is at.

Once you’re on the right platform, the electronic boards here will tell you which “cars” are for non-reserved ticket holders. Always check the time of departure because there are always multiple trains departing from the same platform.

Train Car Number - Travelling Around Japan

If you have reserved tickets, check the car number on the floor. This could be different for different trains (e.g. Hikari or Kodama).

Kodama 692 non reserved JR Train - JR Pass Guide

If you arrive early and would like to queue up for non-reserved seats, there are usually at least two separate queues. Check the edge of the platform to make sure you’re in the right queue.

Frequently Asked Questions About JR Pass

1) Osaka Station Vs Shin-Osaka Station

You might realise some of the stations have “Shin” in front such as Shin-Osaka and Shin-Kobe, which are in fact different stations from Osaka and Kobe Station.

Local lines can bring you to the Shin-xxx stations but the Shinkansen will leave from the Shin-xxx station. When you arrive at Shin-Osaka via a local train, you will need to enter a separate gantry for the Shinkansen platform.

Dotonbori street in Osaka Japan - Travelling Around Japan

Dotonbori, Osaka – A Gastronomic’s heaven

2) Ordinary Car Vs Green Car

Green Car basically means more premium and spacious seats, which are usually available on the Shinkansen (bullet train) and Tokkyū (limited express) trains. Kind of like first-class seats on flights!

Honestly, the Ordinary cars are already quite spacious and comfy but if you’re holding on to an Ordinary Car Japan Rail Pass and would like to experience the Green Car, you can pay a top-up fee at the JR counters for a single upgrade too.

3) I’m travelling from Tokyo – Osaka/Kyoto – Tokyo and nothing else in between. Is it still worth getting a Whole Japan JR Pass?

Sunrise Izumo train from Osaka to Tokyo - JR Pass Guide

Probably not! With the price increase, a round trip between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto (~S$127 one-way) is now way cheaper than the 7 Day Whole Japan JR Pass (~S$456 for 7 days).

And if you’re looking to explore within the cities, opt for a Regional pass — it’s still cheaper than the Whole Japan pass and you can use it on local JR trains and buses too. Check out our 8-day Kansai itinerary for more ideas! 🙂

4) Does the JR Pass cover the ride from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station/Kansai Airport to Osaka station?

Yes to both! From Narita (NRT), you can take the JR Narita Express (NEX) and reach Tokyo station in 53 minutes for free. However, if you plan to activate your JR pass later in the trip, a cheaper (and faster) alternative is the Keisei Skyliner (~S$21) which takes 41 minutes to Tokyo Main Station.

From Kansai (KIX), both the Kansai Airport Rapid Service (65 minutes to Osaka Station) and the Limited Express Haruka (50 minutes to Shin-Osaka) are covered by the JR Pass. If you’re travelling to/from the airport without your JR pass, pre-book the Nankai Line Airport Express instead. It only takes 35 minutes from Namba station and costs ~S$12.50 on Klook.

5) Should I begin my trip from Tokyo or Osaka?

For me, the biggest deciding factor was whether I’m there for USJ in Osaka or the Tokyo Disney Parks. Since these parks take up an entire day and you won’t be using the JR Pass that day, it makes sense to activate the pass later when you’re leaving the city because these train rides will cost more.

Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Travelling Around Japan

Can’t decide which theme park to check out? Read our extensive theme park guides to find out more!

Universal Studios Japan: The Ultimate USJ Guide And Tips To Planning A Magical Experience — Universal Studios Japan
Tokyo Disney Parks: The Ultimate Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea Guide — 11 Tips & Tricks to Maximising your Tokyo Disney day
Fuji Q Highland: The Best Roller Coasters in Japan Most Tourists Miss — Fuji Q Highland Guide

We hope you found this JR Pass Guide useful, especially for those residing in Singapore!

Let us know in the comments sections below if we missed anything you’d like to know about travelling with Japan Rail Passes. That way we can keep the guide up to date! 🙂

This post was brought to you by Klook.

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  1. Hi,
    Its my 1st time booking JR pass from Klook from Singapore.
    May I ask what is the date to choose when booking? The date to collect the E-voucher or the date reached in Japan to collect the JR Pass? If to collect in Singapore, where and when to collect prior to travel?
    For using the promo code, how can I use it for everyone in the trip individually?
    Do I have to download the Klook app on their phone and purchase?
    Or can i go to the Klook website on desktop to book individually?

    Hope you can help to share your experience with me.

    Thank You.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for writing in! The date selected on Klook is the collection of the exchange voucher from Klook’s office. They will also prompt you to select a collection time after picking the date. The office address can be found on the product page.

      The pass will only be activated when you take your first ride with the actual pass (collected at the JR station in Japan using the exchange voucher). So you can actually collect it up to 90 days before your trip begins.

      The promo code only works on the account’s very first order so to fully maximise the code, it’d be better to get everyone to book with their own accounts. It works on both the app and on desktop too; you just need to sign-in to the respective accounts.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Hi, I’d like to ask about the Whole Japan JR pass.
    My family is planning to start from Tokyo, since flight tickets have already been bought, then move to kyoto or osaka. Was wondering if the 7day pass would be enough, since we’re planning on spending around 5-7days in tokyo then spending another week between kyoto and osaka. And for the passes, are they consecutive day passes like once u activate it u have 7 days to use it from activation date or are they the type where within 14days u can use it for 7 seperate days.

      • Additional question ^^””, but would it be cheaper if i took the regional passes for kyoto, osaka and use the normal railway or fly over to osaka form tokyo?

        • Not too sure about flights but if you’re only planning to travel 1 way from Tokyo to Osaka then it definitely makes more sense to buy a single ticket for around ¥13,000 and a Kansai thru pass which covers Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe as well as the airport ride to Kansai Airport in Osaka.

          • Cherie, cu went to tokyo right? cld u share bt hw u travelled within tokyo? or hw ur friends or anyone u know travelled when they were there?

  3. Hi,
    I am thinking of getting “7 Day Whole Japan Rail Pass” from Klook due to their $20 promotion discount. My question is how reliable is their Exchange Order (MCO). Is there anyway I can verify the authenticity of the MCO before I fly to Japan?

    K K Chua

    • Hi Chua!

      We have used it personally and so have many of our readers. Klook is an official partner so they will not be any problems!

  4. Hi, if I purchase a kansai Hiroshima pass from Klook, do I need to fill up an exchange order? I thought I must provid traveler info beforehand I can redeem the physical pass at KIX airport? Thanks!

  5. Hi,
    I need your advice on my japan tour. I follow my hubby for his business from 25th Jan2018- 2 nd feb 2018 From 2nd feb , we plan to go osaka n kyoto n depart on 4th feb to Hiroshima becoz our return flt is Sin-hiroshima-sin
    Kindly help me on what type of jr pass i nd to buy so that i can travel to osaka, kyoto n other places of intetest around hiroshima when my hubby is at work. What type of jr pass he needs to buy to travel to kyoto , osaka and back to hiroshima
    Appreciate your kind reply
    Thank you so much

  6. Hi Travel Intern, hope you can help advice which Pass to get.
    I will arrive in Nagoya and plan to go to Takayama, Ainokura, Kanazawa, Uji, Hiroshima and Osaka.
    Do you suggest I get the Whole Japan Pass? Or is there a more economical way ?

  7. Hi I’m landing in Tokyo and stay for ard 3-4days then Osaka then Kyoto, the whole trip is exactly 7days. Flying back to Sg from kansai airport.

    Is it better for the route to be tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto or Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka?

    Also can u advise from the itinerary, which jr pass to get? Thanks a lot

    • Hi, the only JR pass that covers the route from Tokyo to Osaka is the 7 day whole JR Pass (http://bit.ly/2r1PZsL). However, if you’re only travelling from Tokyo to Osaka one-way, you won’t be able to get the full value you’ll be paying for other than the convenience of buying single tickets while travelling on JR lines within Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka as well as the ride from Tokyo to Osaka.

      Regarding which city to begin from, unless you’re bounded by the 7 day pass, this doesn’t really matter anymore. If you’re planning to get the pass, I would suggest starting from the city you’d like to spend more time in so you can activate the pass only when leaving the city. e.g. If I plan to spend an entire day in Tokyo Disneysea, I would begin from Tokyo so that day wouldn’t be wasted on the JR Pass. Have you seen our Tokyo to Osaka itinerary? this might be useful: https://thetravelintern.com/japan-budget-guide-jr-pass-tokyo-to-osaka/

  8. Hi if im travelling one way form Tokyo to Osaka, which pass will be applicable to me!m? And would it make sense for me to get a pass?

  9. Hello Travel Intern,

    Thanks so much for this site. I would like your advice on whats the best for our itinerary.

    7/4/18 Arrival at Narita at 8 am. Intend to travel direct to Osaka on same day
    10/4/18 Osaka to Kyoto
    13/4/18 Kyoto to Tokyo
    21/4/18 Depart from Tokyo

    Is the 1 week JR pass the best for us in view of our schedule above?
    If we get the 1 week JR pass and activate it on 7/4/18, we can use the Narita Express to Tokyo and thereafter take the Shinkansen to Osaka as well? The JR pass covers Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo but wont be able to take us from Tokyo to airport on our departure day. What is the most economical way to get from Tokyo to Narita? Is using the Skyliner from Tokyo to Narita a good alternative in our case?

    Many thanks

    • Yes! The round trip from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto to Osaka itself is worth the value of the JR Pass.
      The NEX will bring you to Tokyo station where you can transfer to the Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka.
      For Tokyo back to the airport, this would be the cheapest option at ¥2200 instead of ¥3000 for the NEX: http://bit.ly/2nUYotB (it leaves from Ueno station)

  10. Hi Travel Intern!

    We are bound for Japan on May 21-26. Entry- Tokyo Exit-Osaka.
    is purchasing a JR Pass worth it? if it’s not, what can u recommend as an alternative? Thank you.

  11. Hi Travel Intern,

    I have a question about the Shinkansen seat reservation. We would be travelling to Aomori for a day during the peak season on 29 April. Planning to board the northbound train at 6:32am and return by 7pm. Is it possible for me to reserve the seats from here in Singapore? Just to make sure we can board the first train northbound. Or our only way of reservation is when we reach Narita airport on 28 and ask for it?

    I’m just concerned since it’s peak season. Hope you can help me on this. Thanks!

    • Hi JD, it’s only possible to reserve at the JR Station when you arrive on the 28 after activating/validating your JR Pass.

  12. Hi, need some advise on Whole JR Pass. Intended to visit Mt Fuji & Gotemba in Tokyo then take a shinkansen to Hakodate , then to Sapporo. Do you think its worth it than a flight? Is all these routes covered in the Whole JR Pass. TIA for your advise.

  13. Hi, I will like your advice on which passes should we get for our itinerary, or getting the whole JR pass will be more worthwhile? Activating it when on the 7th-13th?

    6/11/18 Arrival at Haneda at 6am
    7/11/18 Tokyo to Kyoto
    10/11/18 Kyoto to Osaka
    13/11/18 Osaka to Tokyo
    15/11/18 Departure from Haneda

    much appreciated

  14. Hi =) Could you kindly advise if the 7 day whole japan rail pass is the best for me? I am arriving at Narita Airport (Tokyo) and will only be travelling to Kyoto. After Kyoto I will travelling back to Tokyo for the remainder of my trip. Am I right to assume that in Kyoto I would have to use Suica as the JR pass would not be able to be used on the local buses & etc.? Once my JR pass expires when I am back in Tokyo, I can just use the Suica to travel around Tokyo?

    8th Nov – Arrive at Narita Airport at 9pm
    10th – Going to Kyoto on the earliest train
    12th – Going to Tokyo on the last train
    18th – Leaving Narita Airport back to SG

    • Yup, as long as you’re travelling between Tokyo and Kyoto both ways, the 7-day JR Pass will be worth it!
      The JR pass can also be used on the local JR trains/buses but the Suica/Icoca cards can be used on all the transports including the local subway companies. Here’s what I would do:

      8th — Activate the JR pass and take the NEX from Narita to Tokyo
      8 – 14th — Use the JR pass on the train from Tokyo – Kyoto – Kyoto as well as local JR trains & buses (lots in Kyoto)
      15th – 18th — You can get a 72 hour Subway pass for travelling within Tokyo

  15. I recenty got a JR pass to travel around in Hiroshima. When I travelled from Hiroshima to Kyoto, I was asked to top up because from Osaka to Kyoto is NOT covered by JR pass!

  16. I need your assistance to advise which train pass should I get if I intend to go to these places:

    1. Dotonbori
    2. Universal studio
    3. Rinku outlet
    4. Osaka castle
    5. Aquarium
    6. Winter ski & snowboarding
    7. Nara park

  17. Hi
    I’m target to do all 47 prefectures of Japan.
    Next Saturday I will travel from Osaka to Mie, Shiga, Tsuruga (Fukui ken)
    Can I use JR pass for these routes?

    Then from Tokyo to All Tohoku (except Yamagata which I have been)

    • wow nice, I hope to do that one day too! I’ve never been to Mie, Shiga and Tsuruga but I’m sure there are JR trains to these cities. To be sure, you might want to double check the routes on Hyperdia: http://www.hyperdia.com/

      Not too sure how long it will take to cover all 47 prefectures but the maximum number of days the JR pass covers is 21 which is probably the most value for money pass because it’s only ~$33/day compared to the 7 day pass at ~S$50/day!

      All the best on your trip!

  18. Hi Cherrie, a lot of people asking about the JR Pass, but I think you deserve praise for your wonderful and very informative posts 🙂 thanks for sharing! I am going first-time to Japan and covering Tokyo-Nagano-Kyoto-Osaka and your posts are super helpful. I am excited to explore the places you went to also. More support to you 🙂

  19. I just want to say thanks to Admin who sharing very useful information to each of us. Many people are getting confused about JS pass and for this purpose, this post is very helpful for them. Now if we talk about the country Singapore, so we all know that this is one of the most exquisite travel destinations which offer a lot of amazing adventures to the travellers. But it is only enjoyable for those who take with them all the important things for making the journey convenient and for survival in the conditions. First of all, you can start by making your holiday bookings online with the Klook Promo Code on great discounts to ensure everything gets managed well in advance. The second thing and very important thing is that to do for preparation is packing your stuff for the trip.

  20. Hi! Planning my 9 days trip to Japan and I’m quite confused as to when I’ll activate my JR pass so that on my last day I’ll be able to use it for the Narita Express. I’ll be in Japan from May 20-28. I plan to stay 5 days in Tokyo and 4 (or 3) days in Osaka. Thank you in advance!

    • You can get it activated on the 22nd then. That way you can use the pass on the JR lines during your last 3 days in Tokyo, the long ride from Tokyo to, Osaka and back to Tokyo airport. Don’t forget to get your exchange your voucher for the actual pass when you arrive in Tokyo! Head to any JR East Travel Service Centre and let them know when you’d like to start using the pass so they can stamp and validate the pass.

  21. Hello, planning a 2 week trip to Japan next year, landing in Osaka (2 nights) and travelling to Kyoto (4 nights), Nagano(2 nights) then Tokyo (6 nights) and flying from Tokyo. I have an itinerary planned but would require a pass for just 8/9 days which is not possible with the JR pass. Is it worth getting the trips separately? or paying for Osaka – Kyoto and using a pass from leaving there? or extending my Osaka stay and reducing my Tokyo stay to use the pass for just the 7 days? I feel the 14 day pass is too much for what I need.

    • Hi Hayley, paying the Osaka–Kyoto separately might be a good option! It’s only ¥500 (~S$6) so you can save on that journey and use it on the longer routes like Kyoto–Nagano and Nagano–Tokyo. Get a reloadable card such as the ICOCA (in Osaka) to supplement your JR Pass. You can also get the 24,48 or 72 hour Tokyo Subway Pass (it’s more useful than the JR Pass for getting around Tokyo).

  22. Hi! Very informative article.
    I’m going to spend 13D12N only at OSAKA/KYOTO.
    Other than Kobe, is there any other places near Osaka/Kyoto that worth a 1-day visit?
    Here’s my current planned route.
    20/12 – KIX- KYOTO.
    22/12 – KYOTO – NARA – KYOTO
    25/12 – KYOTO – OSAKA
    26/12 – Universal Studio
    30/12 – OSAKA – KOBE – OSAKA
    1/1 – OSAKA – KIX

    Need some advice on which pass should I get.
    Thanks for helping, much appreciated!

  23. Hi Cherie, hope you are doing well.
    We are looking to travel to Tokyo-Hokkaido-Niseko from 21-30 Nov. We will land in Narita airport on 21 Nov and roam around in Tokyo 4 days, will visit Disneyland (Day2) & DisneySea (Day3). Planning to take JR train to Hakodate then self drive to Niseko and flight back from Chitose airport. Will it be worth it to buy the 6days JR East – South Hokkaido Japan rail pass? Thanks in advance

    • Hey Felicia,

      a single trip between tokyo to Hakodate is already ¥23,500 so the pass might be worthwhile if you plan to take further day trips from Tokyo! However, if you only plan to stay in Tokyo, perhaps get the Tokyo Subway pass instead! the 72hr option is only ~$15 and covers more areas within tokyo that the JR trains might not cover. Then get a single ticket between tokyo to Hakodate.

  24. Hi! Ill be in Japan for 9D8N
    Which pass would you suggest! And if its the whole Japan pass, when would you suggest to activate it? Thanks in advance! <3

    2/2 Arriving in Osaka.
    3/2 USJ
    4/2 Day trip to Nara, back at Osaka
    5/2 Heading to Kyoto
    6/2 Kyoto
    7/2 Heading to Tokyo
    8/2 Disneyland
    9/2 Tokyo
    10/2 Depart from Narita airport.

  25. Hi There. My family booked flight to arrive in Osaka. Stay in Osaka for 2 nights then move to Kyoto again for 2 nights then to Tokyo for 3 nights. Departure is from Tokyo back to home country. Which JR Pass should we buy for this? Appreciate your advice. Thanks!

  26. Hi, planning 12 days trip to Japan.
    landing in Natria to Shinjuku (4 days),
    Kyoto (6 days) in between day trip to Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya. From Tokyo or Ueno (2 days) then to Natria Airport. Need an advise which pass is best option if to get reloadable card ICOCA ,Tokyo Subway Pass or the JR Pass.
    if get JP pass when to activate so that on my last day I’ll be able to use it for the Narita Express to Airport

  27. Hi,
    I’ll be going to Mishima Station from Narita Airport T1.

    From what I’ve searched.

    I’ll be taking NEX from NRT T1 to Shinagawa Station and transfer to JR Hikari.

    My lame question is. I’ll be holding 2 tickets. Travel on NEX, I’ll slot in the Nex ticket at the gantry or do I have to slot in both tickets together?

    Thank you


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