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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Choosing A Japan Rail Pass

Above, two JR Rail Passes I used during prior trips. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Yesterday, I ordered my 7-day JR Rail Pass for next month's trip to Japan. I plan to visit several places west of Tokyo for work on the updated The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.

The cities include Atami (where the end of King Kong vs. Godzilla took place at Atami Castle),

Nagoya (Mothra vs. Godzilla and Gamera The Brave), Osaka (Godzilla vs. Biollante and Godzilla Raids Again) and Kyoto (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II and Gamera 3).

I purchased the JR Rail Pass as I plan to do a lot of shinkansen (bullet train) travel.

There are other options (and money-saving) with regional Rail Passes.

Tokyo Cheapo has a new article on the different types of Rail Passes to choose from.

They begin it with:
Japan Rail (JR) Passes are available to anyone visiting Japan on a short-term tourist visa. They provide a fantastic discount on regular rail travel, but if you don’t have any experience with Japan’s rail transport system, it’s difficult to know if you need one and which pass you should get.  To add to the confusion, the various regional companies that constitute JR (JR East, JR West, JR Central, JR Hokkaido, JR Shikoku and JR Kyushu) all have their own passes! Each is priced differently and has different conditions. To put some of the confusion to rest, we’ll try to explain the exact conditions of the main JR Pass and those of the two biggest regional companies: JR East and JR West.
I saved a lot of money when I bought the JR Rail Pass in 2007 for my trek down to Kyushu to see Kumamoto, Mount Aso, Nagasaki, Sasebo and Fukuoka and back to Tokyo. Along with the shinkansen rides to and from Tokyo, I made use of the JR Rail Pass for rides on regional JR trains while in Kyushu.

To see what types of Rail Passes, what they cover and their prices, go here

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