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sydneyswans (Offline)
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: sydney
advice on the best use of a Japan Rail Pass - 06-04-2009, 06:27 AM

Hi there
I will be in Japan for 16 days in mid July - early august.

Im new to Japan and would really appreciate anybodys comments

I was hoping to get some advice on the best way to use a Japan Rail Pass for what i need.

The trip is as follows:

Saturday, 18 July – Arrive Osaka
Sunday 19 July – 1/2 day on osaka - in afternoon, leave for Koyasan;
Monday, 20 July – koyasan
Tuesday 21 July – leave koyasan in afternoon for Kyoto
Wednesday 22 July – Kyoto
Thursday 23 July – Leave Kyoto for Mt Fuiji – Fujinomiya 5th Station, ready for early morning start
Friday 24 July – early morning ascent of Mt Fuiji, then spend day resting and onsen
Saturday 25 July – leave for Tokyo early – see team mates - Yoyo, shizu, kengo etc
Sunday 26 July – Tokyo
Monday - 27 July – Train to Kagawa, Shikoku
Tuesday - 28 July – Shikoku
Wednesday - 29 July – Shikoku
Thursday - 30 July – Shikoku
Friday - 31 July – Shikoku
Saturday - 1 August – Shikoku
Sunday - 2 August – Shikoku
Monday - 3 August – leave Shikoku in afternoon for Osaka – fly out 8.55pm

So my questions are as follows:

1) For the amount of travelling i will be doing, is it worth getting a Japan Rail Pass. My investigations suggest yes - Buying individual tickets seems expensive - Do you agree ?

2) I understand once you start a 7 day or 14 day pass you cannot stop it (say at Day 3, freeze it, and then start Day 4 later in trip). Is that right ?
Ive looked at the option of buying 2, 7 day passes but it doesnt work with my timetable due to the length of time i spend in Shikoku - which i cannot change.

3) I understand green and ordinary JPR can use Shinkasen (just not nozomi). Is that right ?

4) What is the difference between green and ordinary passes ? Is it just a little bit more comfortable. Can i still catch the same number of trains ? Is it ok to get seats on the ordinary carriages ? I will go the cheaper option of the ordinary pass if comfort is the only difference.

5) Due to my itinery, I m looking at getting a 14 day pass. I would start the 14 day pass on Tuesday 21 July – at koyasan, leaving in afternoon for Kyoto.
This would mean im covered for the rest of my travels including the train from Kagawa back to Osaka. Do you think this is the best approach ? Of course this means i will have to pay separately for the Osaka to Koyasan trip.

6) Is there any problem starting the pass at the nearest station to koyasan, or do you have to start it at a major train station - like Osaka or Kyoto ? If so, I will have to rearrange my trip dates slightly.

7) How expensive will it be to go from Osaka to Koyasan ? Which i will have to pay outside of my 14 Japan Rail Pass. Would it be better to get a 21 day JRP. My investigations suggest not. Am i right ?

8) Do you recommend reserving seats - for ordinary seats - due to the crowds ?

I really do appreciate any advice. Thankyou so much
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