Regional JR Passes

By Kathy Wilhelm
This item appears on page 12 of the October 2020 issue.
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I have not found the full Japan Rail Pass to be cost effective for my trips, as I travel slowly. Instead of the main pass, good on Japan Rail trains for the whole country, I’d like to mention that rail passes are also available just for sections of the JR network.

On my last visit to Japan, in 2016, I bought a JR West Sanyo-San’in Area Pass (www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/sanyo_sanin), which saved me money traveling only in western Honshu. I was able to buy it after I arrived in Japan. There was a discount for buying online, although I needed to collect it in person.

For a full list of available regional passes, you can go to www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357.html.

As for other forms of transportation in Japan, in mid-October 2016 I didn’t find the buses in Kyoto as “notoriously crowded and unpleasant” as did the writer of the letter “Benefits of a Japan Rail Pass” (Aug. ’20, pg. 12), and since the metro’s range is very limited, riding them was often necessary.

I was pleased to discover, when I was paying in cash, that Google Maps would tell me how much a particular bus ride would cost, so I didn’t have to wait for my stop to find out how much change I would need.

KATHY WILHELM
Cary, NC

 

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I have not found the full Japan Rail Pass to be cost effective for my trips, as I travel slowly. Instead of the main pass, good on Japan Rail trains for the whole country, I’d like to mention that rail passes are also available just for sections of the JR network.

On my last visit to Japan, in 2016, I bought a JR West Sanyo-San’in Area Pass (www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/sanyo_sanin), which saved me money traveling only in western Honshu. I was able to buy it after I arrived in Japan. There was a discount for buying online, although I needed to collect it in person.

For a full list of available regional passes, you can go to www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357.html.

As for other forms of transportation in Japan, in mid-October 2016 I didn’t find the buses in Kyoto as “notoriously crowded and unpleasant” as did the writer of the letter “Benefits of a Japan Rail Pass” (Aug. ’20, pg. 12), and since the metro’s range is very limited, riding them was often necessary.

I was pleased to discover, when I was paying in cash, that Google Maps would tell me how much a particular bus ride would cost, so I didn’t have to wait for my stop to find out how much change I would need.

KATHY WILHELM
Cary, NC