Should I get a JR Pass? Three ways to decide

Trains can be a very convenient form of transport. Find out if the JR Pass works for you.

This is a common question from first-time visitors wanting to travel by train, as the JR Pass costs a significant amount. The national JR pass comes in three durations:

  • 7 day, costing 29,110 yen for an ordinary pass or 38,880 for a Green (first class) pass
  • 14 day, costing 46,390 yen for an ordinary pass or 62,950 yen for a Green pass
  • 21 day, costing 59,350 yen for an ordinary pass or 81,870 yen for a Green pass.

If you are doing several long-distance journeys by JR train, there may be a national or regional JR pass that would be good value. Which option is right for you depends on your itinerary, and here’s three ways to work out the best option for your circumstances. Continue reading “Should I get a JR Pass? Three ways to decide”

Planning a trip to Japan


Planning your own trip to Japan is definitely possible. There are plenty of resources available to help you plan, and the only difficulty is likely to be choosing from many options. The most useful resources to start with are Japan Guide and the Japan National Tourist Office website.

Concern about a possible language barrier means some people think they need to book a package tour. This is unnecessary. Many Japanese tourism providers have English language websites. In hotels and other tourist places, there is usually someone with sufficient English to cover transactions such as checking in, buying tickets etc. In cities and larger towns, railway stations and trains have signs in English, and sometimes announcements too. Planning your own independent travel in Japan is a realistic option. Continue reading “Planning a trip to Japan”