Sunday, April 27, 2014

Japan Rail Pass

Shinkansen bullet train. JR pass. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Ultra modern Shinkansen Bullet train. JR pass rocks!
Imagine having Sushi breakfast in Tokyo, Takoyaki for lunch in Osaka, and dinner in Fukuoka, without worry too much the pricey cost of Shinkansen bullet train. With careful planning prior to your trip, travel with Japan Rail Pass is definitely one of the best way to budget and save money.



- To read about my recommendations of affordable, Reasonable, Convenient hotels in Tokyo, visit: Affordable Cheap Reasonable Hotels in Tokyo
- To read about my recommendations of affordable and reasonable hotels in OSAKA, visit: Osaka Reasonable Affordable Hotels
- To read about my recommendations of reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels in KYOTO, visit: Kyoto reasonable, affordable, and convenient Hotels
- To read about how to plan your trip to Tokyo, visit Planning for your trip to Tokyo
- To read about one of the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo, visit Sushi Dai: One of the most popular sushi restaurants in Tokyo





In May 2010, I traveled through Japan using the 14-day Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass). From Kumamoto in Kyushu to Asahikawa in Hokkaido, it was my first self-planned trip outside of the Tokyo area. The cost of the 14-day Japan rail pass was about $500 USD in 2010, it was a great deal because the rough estimate of the total of cost of transportation would have cost me close to $2000 USD. (round trip ticket between Tokyo and Osaka by itself would cost $300)

If you plan to visit many cities in Japan during a trip that is longer than 5 days, I highly recommend purchasing JR pass for your trip.

Other than the cost of train travel, addition advantages include easily hop on and hop off at many of the bullet train, easy access through the non-automated gate, and being able to meet fellow JR rail pass travelers on the train. JR rail pass will also cover most of the Japan Railway company operated routes such as Narita Express and JR Ferry.

The price might seem a bit steep at first but the total cost of train  travel could be outrageously high without the all-you-can ride JR rail pass. With the new currency exchange rate, one-week JR rail pass will cost you around $250, two-week pass costs around $390, and three-week pass costs $500.




JR Ferry to Miyajima

Miyajima Torii. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult
Miyajima Torii, taken from the JR ferry.
Miyajima JR Ferry. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Miyajima JR Ferry. Included in the JR pass.
One of the perks for JR rail pass is it covers the ride on the famous ferry to Miyajima, a world heritage site and one of the most popular destination near Hiroshima. JR rail pass could be used on most JR operated trains but is limited to certain bullet train types/routes. In general, the option of Nozomi and Mizuho bullet train are excludedThe general rule is that for bullet train routes west of Tokyo, seat reservations are not generally required, travelers could just hop onto the non-reserved seat train carts. For routes east of Tokyo, certain prior seat reservation will be required. Making seat reservations are free of charge with JR rail pass. Just walk up to the reservation desk window, tell the staff the destination and time frame of your trip, the staff will print out a reserved-seat ticket for your desired bullet train trip.

Kamome train. Hakata. Fukuoka. Nagasaki. JR pass. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Kamome train, Nagasaki. JR pass rocks!
Kamome train. Hakata. Fukuoka. Nagasaki. Interior. Inside. JR pass. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Nice leather seats inside of the Kamome train in Nagasaki. JR pass rocks!
If you are not sure whether reservation will be required, I recommend you to make reservations for bullet train before your travel dates.

Travelers should always look up train schedule on Hyperdia, as it is one of the most useful websites for traveling on public transportation in Japan.





To read about The Introduction to my JR Rail Pass Experience and Itinerary, visit:
Japan Rail Pass Route. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Japan Rail Pass Route

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