JR Move Finances Alternate options — How one can Discover Japan With out Paying ¥50,000 for a 7-day Move


ICYMI, the JR Move will improve by round 70%, from ¥29,650 to ¥50,000 (~S$280 to ~S$470) beginning October 2023. However thankfully, there are cheaper choices.

Hokkaido JR Pass Train - Transportation alternatives for sightseeing in Japan

It’s no secret that we love Japan — we’ve truly been there greater than 20 occasions! And on many events, utilizing the Japan Rail (JR) Move has been actually cost-effective for us. On a earlier journey, we saved S$100 with the 7-day Entire JR Move 😎

However in October 2023 when the price of the JR Passes improve, travellers would possibly discover it tougher to maximise the worth of the JR Move.

Fortunately, there are extra budget-friendly options to getting round Japan!

Learn additionally: JR Move Information — 9 Issues You Want To Know Earlier than Getting Your First Japan Rail Move

Click on to leap to every part: Japan Rail Move Adjustments | Regional Move | Kinds of Regional Passes | Non-JR Passes Alternate options | Selecting the Proper Move | Journey Suggestions

Adjustments to the Japan Rail Move

Whole Japan JR Pass - JR Pass Alternatives

For the unfamiliar, the Japan Rail Move comes within the type of 7, 14, and 21-day passes — protecting the entire of Japan from the Hokkaido (northern) to Kyushu (southern) area.

From October 2023, these are the adjustments in costs:

Table showing price changes of the JR Pass after October 2023

The worth hike apart, there are some added perks like:

– with the ability to board the Mizuho and Nozomi Shinkansen (beforehand you wanted a separate ticket)
– extra discounted costs for chosen vacationer sights (to be introduced)

*Observe: To trip the Mizuho and Nozomi Shinkansen trains, you’ll nonetheless must improve your ticket at a further price. Particulars have but to be confirmed.

*Professional-tip: Get your JR Move earlier than October 2023 should you’re heading to Japan on the finish of the yr — it may be activated as much as three months after the difficulty date!

What then, is the JR Move different?

Kansai Wide Area JR Pass Train Station - Japan Itinerary

Briefly — Regional Passes.

In contrast to the Japan Rail Move which covers the entire of Japan, regional passes solely cowl a sure properly.. area. This refers to particular areas in Japan like Kanto, Kansai, Kyushu, Hokkaido, and extra.

The upside is that they’re all beneath S$300 (vs. JR Passes which begin from S$470). If the route is deliberate properly, you may positively maximise it for lots extra financial savings.

Sadly, it’s been introduced (since 26 July 2023) that chosen regional passes can even improve in value from 1 October 2023. Right here’s a fast replace:

Regional Japan JR Passes - JR Pass Alternatives

Which is the best Move for me?

JR Map - JR Pass Alternatives

Photograph credit score: Klook

The passes are break up into areas — JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Kyushu, JR Shikoku — and fluctuate in days and areas coated. We’ve rounded up the passes for every in a straightforward desk so you may determine which most accurately fits your Japan itinerary!

*Observe: The costs acknowledged listed below are earlier than the worth improve in October 2023.

1) JR Hokkaido

Otaru Canal Landscape - JR Pass Alternatives

Fashionable cities: Sapporo, Asahikawa, Hakodate, Otaru
Highlights: Sapporo TV Tower, Niseko Ski Resort, Hokkaido Moerenuma Artwork Fireworks, Otaru Canal
Beneficial go: Hokkaido Rail Move

Hokkaido is one in all Japan’s most well-known areas ― recognized for its volcanoes, scorching springs and ski resorts! There are many adventurous actions right here like mountain climbing up Mount Asahidake (Hokkaido’s highest mountain at 2,290m) or snowboarding at Niseko Ski Resort.

As Japan’s second largest island (after Honshu), there are additionally many issues to do within the cities too. A few of our favourites embody visiting the long-lasting Sapporo TV Tower, hopping on a ship trip alongside the Otaru Canal, and feasting on Asahikawa’s soy-based ramen (the noodles are chewier than Sapporo ramen)!

Sapporo TV Tower During Autumn - Hokkaido Itinerary

Whereas Hokkaido is best explored by automobile, the Hokkaido Rail Move is a helpful different for non-drivers to go to fashionable cities like Sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa, Furano and Niseko. With the go, you’ll be entitled to reserved seats too so that you don’t need to battle for seats within the non-reserved areas!

There are additionally a few passes to contemplate for touring Hokkaido and past:

Transport Move Value Protection Validity
Hokkaido Sapporo-Furano Space Move ~S$85 Sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa, Furano 4 days
(consecutive)
Hokkaido Rail Move From ~S$180 Sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa, Furano, Niseko, Hakodate, Nemuro, Abashiri 5 or 7 days (consecutive)
Tohoku-South Hokkaido Rail Move ~S$227 Sapporo, Akita, Morioka, Yamagata, Karuizawa, Tokyo 6 days
(consecutive)
JR East Space & South Hokkaido Rail Move ~S$255 Sapporo, Hirosaki, Yamagata, Nikko, Tokyo 6 days
(consecutive)

Steered itineraries and guides:
Hokkaido Finances Information: 11 Tricks to Save on Transport, Lodging, Meals and Actions
6D5N First Timer’s Hokkaido Itinerary — A Stress-free Getaway for S$1.2k
6D Hokkaido Itinerary for Beneath S$1k — Should-Eat, See and Dos in Sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa and Biei
Hokkaido Meals Information — 9 Should-Eats on Your Subsequent Japan Itinerary
The Final Sapporo Metropolis Information: 18 Issues To Do-See-Eat In The Gateway To Hokkaido

2) JR East

Fashionable cities: Tokyo, Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwate, Aomori, Akita, Niigata, Nagano 
Highlights: Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo, Nagano Snow Monkey Park, Genbikei Gorge, Lake Tazawa
Beneficial go: Tokyo Huge Move

Railway strains of JR East primarily cowl Japan’s Kanto and Tohoku areas, in addition to different areas like Niigata, Nagano, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka.

In case you didn’t already know, Japan’s capital metropolis Tokyo is within the Kanto area! Most individuals would head right here on their first journey to Japan. In spite of everything, it’s recognized for fashionable landmarks just like the Tokyo Tower, Shibuya Crossing and naturally, Tokyo Disneyland.

Then again, the Tohoku area is full of scenic landscapes and distinctive festivals. Try the Daito-Ohara Water Throwing Competition in February — the place males in loincloths run alongside the streets whereas passersby splash them with ice-cold water.

Men in Loincloth Running Under Water - Tohoku Region

Photograph credit score: Tohoku Tourism

For first-timers to the Land of the Rising Solar, get the Tokyo Huge Move to see what Japan’s principal metropolis has to supply. Plus, it additionally offers you entry to vacationer areas reminiscent of Mt. Fuji, Izu, Nikko, Karuizawa, or GALA Yuzawa ski resort!

However for many who want much less touristy areas like Tohoku, Niigata, Nagano and Hokuriku, try these different Japan Rail passes:

Transport Move Value Protection Validity
Tokyo Huge Move ~S$96 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kamakura, Akihabara, Mt. Fuji, Karuizawa, Kusatsu, Nikko, Yokohama and extra 3 days
(consecutive)
Nagano/Niigata Space Move ~S$170 Nagano, Niigata, Karuizawa, Tokyo 5 days
(consecutive)
Tohoku Space Move ~S$189 Tokyo, Fukushima, Yamagata, Sendai, Akita, Morioka, Hachinohe, Aomori 5 days
(consecutive)
Hokuriku Arch Move ~S$229 Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Fukui, Hokuriku, Nagano, Tokyo 7 days
(consecutive)

Steered itineraries and guides:
7D6N Japan Itinerary Beneath S$1.5k — Highway Journey from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji and Past
10-Day Japan Itinerary For First Timers Beneath S$900 — Tokyo to Osaka
5D4N Japan Itinerary — A First Timer’s Expertise in Niigata and the Distant Sado Island
Iwate Prefecture: 9 One-of-a-kind Experiences to Attempt in Japan’s Tohoku Area
6D5N Nagano Itinerary — The Romantic Getaway 3 Hours from Tokyo (Kamikochi, Norikura and Matsumoto)

3) JR Central

Climbing Mount Fuji - JR Pass Alternatives

Fashionable cities: Nagoya, Takayama, Kanazawa, Mt Fuji, Shizuoka, Hokuriku, Shirakawa-go
Highlights: Mt Fuji, FujiQ Highland, Shirakawa Village, Toyama Port Commentary Tower
Beneficial go: Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Space Vacationer Move Mini OR Takayama-Hokuriku Space Vacationer Move

One of many must-visit locations within the JR Central area is undoubtedly Shizuoka, the place you’ll discover the elusive Mt Fuji — Japan’s highest mountain at 3,776m! We beforehand did a highway journey from Tokyo to Mt Fuji however for non-drivers, the Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Space Vacationer Move Mini consists of varied transportation routes to simply get across the space too.

*Professional-tip: Verify the 24/7 Mt Fuji stay stream earlier than going because the climate may be unpredictable.

Learn additionally: 9 Finest Mt Fuji Viewing Spots — Should-visits and Lesser Recognized Information to the Finest Photograph Spots

Gassho Zukiri Houses in Shirakawa-go - Japan Winter Itinerary

Or should you’ve already checked Fuji-san off your record, go for the Takayama-Hokuriku Space Vacationer Move! The go covers transport to Shirakawa-go, recognized for its distinctive gassho-zukuri (thatched roof) conventional villages, in addition to the underrated Hokuriku space — drop by Toyama Port Commentary Tower to catch panoramic views of the Japan Alps.

Transport Move Value Protection Validity Perks/Remarks
Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Space Vacationer Move Mini ~S$43 Mt Fuji, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka 3 days (consecutive)
Osaka – Nagoya ‘Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Space Move ~S$106 Ise, Kumano, Wakayama 5 days (consecutive) – Free Ekirin bike leases at Wakayama, Kii-Tanabe, Shirahama stations
– 4 reserved rides on JR strains (incl. Huge View Nanki, Kuroshio, Mie Categorical)
Takayama-Hokuriku Space Vacationer Move ~S$135 Kanazawa, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Gero, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Fukui, Toyama 5 days (consecutive) – 4 reserved rides on Restricted Categorical Huge View Hida, Restricted Categorical Thunderbird
Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Space Move ~S$200 Takayama, Matsumoto, Gero, Nagoya, Kiso Fukushima, Toyama, Shinano Omachi 5 days (consecutive)

Steered itineraries and guides:
Day Journeys from Nagoya — Gateway to the Hidden Gems of Mie and Gifu Prefectures
13 Causes To Go to Nagano Even When It’s Not Winter Ski Season — Scenic Gems in Kamikochi and Norikura
17 Issues to Do in Hokuriku, Japan — First Timer’s Information to Fukui, Ishikawa and Toyama
13 Unforgettable Issues to do in Central Japan with the Takayama-Hokuriku Space JR Vacationer Move

4) JR West

Kyoto Fushimi Inari Shrine Hike - Japan Itinerary

Fashionable cities: Himeji, Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Okayama, Hiroshima, Miyajima
Highlights: Kiyomizudera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Nara Park, Dotonbori, Okayama Fort
Beneficial go: Kansai WIDE Space Move

Apart from Tokyo, locations like Kyoto, Osaka and Nara are actually fashionable with vacationers too! These cities are positioned within the Kansai area which is roofed by the JR West rail strains.

Iconic sights embody Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine (a temple with over 1,000 torii gates), Osaka’s Dotonbori Road (scrumptious avenue meals and the well-known Glico working man signal), in addition to Nara’s Deer Park (lovely wild deers)!

Okayama Castle Near River - Things to do in Okayama

On our final journey travelling round Osaka and surrounds, we managed to save ~S$72 with the Kansai WIDE Space Move. With the go, we might additionally head out additional to new locations like Okayama and Kurashiki too.

Alternatively, select the JR West All Space Move to not solely discover acquainted favourites within the Kansai area but additionally lesser-known gems within the Hokuriku, Sanyo and San’in areas!

Transport Move Value Protection Validity Perks/Remarks
Kansai Move From ~S$23 Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Kobe, Nara and extra 1, 2, 3 or 4 days (consecutive)
San’in Okayama Space Move ~S$43 San’in, Okayama 4 days (consecutive)
Hokuriku Space Move ~S$48 Fukui, Komatsu, Kanazawa, Toyama 4 days (consecutive)
Kansai WIDE Space Move From ~S$90 Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Kobe, Nara and extra 5 days (consecutive) – Hi there Kitty Shinkansen
– Reserved seats on Categorical Trains (Haruka, Kuroshio, Thunderbird, Kounotori, Tremendous Hakuto, Tremendous Inaba)
Hiroshima Yamaguchi Space Move ~S$123 Hiroshima, Miyajima, Onomichi, Hagi, Yamaguchi 5 days (consecutive) – Hi there Kitty Shinkansen
Kansai Hiroshima Space Move ~S$141 Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Himeji, Wakayama, Okayama, Miyajima, Hiroshima 5 days (consecutive)
Okayama-Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Space Rail Move ~S$142 Okayama, Hiroshima, Kurashiki, Yamaguchi 5 days (consecutive) – Free Ekirin bike leases
– Hi there Kitty Shinkansen
Kansai Hokuriku Space Move ~S$160 Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Himeji, Wakayama, Kanazawa, Joetsu-Myoko 7 days (consecutive)
Setouchi Space Move ~S$179 Hakata, Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Takamatsu, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara 7 days (consecutive) – Hi there Kitty Shinkansen
Sanyo-San’in Space Move ~S$189 Hiroshima, Takamtsu, Tottori, Himeji, Osaka 7 days (consecutive)
JR West All Space Move ~S$217 Kansai, Hokuriku, Sanyo, San’in, Hakata 7 days (consecutive) – Hi there Kitty Shinkansen

Steered itineraries and guides:
8-Day Japan Itinerary: 9 Cities in Kansai for Beneath S$900
7D Japan Itinerary Beneath S$1.3k — Osaka and Different Epic Cities within the Kansai Area
6D5N Kyoto-Primarily based Japan Itinerary — Issues to do Past Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nara Deer Park
13 Finest Issues to Do in Osaka — New and Should-visit Sights in 2022
Osaka Transport Information — Maximising Your Transport Passes for Travelling In And Round Osaka

5) JR Kyushu

YUfuin Kinrinko lake - JR Pass Alternatives

Fashionable cities: Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Oita, Beppu, Kagoshima, Miyazaki
Highlights: Mount Aso, Beppu Jigoku Onsen, Kyushu Nationwide Museum, Sengan-en Backyard
Beneficial go: Kyushu Move

Enjoyable reality: Do you know that the biggest energetic volcano in Japan, Mount Aso, may be present in South Kyushu?

Moreover volcanoes, Kyushu can also be well-known for its scorching springs! Go to Beppu Metropolis within the North for its Jigoku Meguri tour or Hells of Beppu — that includes eight distinctive scorching springs. Some embody Chinoike Jigoku (blood pink pond) and even Oniyama Jigoku (the place crocodiles are saved) 😱

Beppu Hells Blood Pond Hell - Japan Kyushu Itinerary

With the Kyushu Rail Move, you may select between getting the South, North or All Kyushu choice relying on which cities you wish to go to.

Considering of travelling from Kyushu to discover different areas? Then go for the Sanyo-San’in-Northern Kyushu Space Move, it’ll cowl hidden gems just like the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Akiyoshido Cave (manufactured from limestones).

Transport Move Value Protection Validity Perks/Remarks
South Kyushu Rail Move From ~S$76 Southern Kyushu areas and Kumamoto, Misumi, Hitoyoshi, Kirishima-onsen, Kirishima-jingū, Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Nishi-Ōyama, Miyazaki, Obi, Nangō, Nobeoka 3 days
(consecutive)
North Kyushu Rail Move From ~S$95 Shimonoseki, Mojikō, Kokura, Hakata, Yufuin, Beppu, Oita, Kumamoto, Aso, Saga, Nagasaki, Huis Ten Bosch, and Sasebo 3 or 5 days
(consecutive)
All Kyushu Rail Move From ~S$159 Northern Kyushu areas and Misumi, Hitoyoshi, Yoshimatsu, Kagoshima-Chuo, Kirishima, Ibusuki, Miyazaki, Miyazaki Airport 3, 5 or 7 days
(consecutive)
Sanyo-San’in-Northern Kyushu Space Move ~S$218 Tottori, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and extra 7 days
(consecutive)
– Free Ekirin bike leases

Steered itineraries and guides:
6-Day Kyushu Itinerary — Chasing Autumn in a Quieter Aspect of Japan (Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Beppu)
Oita Prefecture: 9 Distinctive Experiences in one in all Japan’s Most Well-known Onsen Cities
11 Issues to Do in San’in and Sanyo — Japan’s Hidden Gems For Highway Trippers

6) JR Shikoku

Outlook Point for Unkai Sea of Clouds in Miyashi City in Tokushima Prefecture - Unique Experiences in Shikoku Japan

Fashionable cities: Matsuyama, Takamatsu, Kochi, Tokushima, Miyoshi
Highlights: Dogo Onsen, 88 Temple Pilgrimage, Shikoku Aquarium, Otsuka Museum of Artwork
Beneficial go: All Shikoku Rail Move

Shikoku is made up of 4 prefectures — Ehime, Kagawa, Tokushima and Kochi — every with its personal appeal. For instance, Ehime is house to Dogo Onsen, one of many oldest bathhouses in Japan (since 1894). Whereas Miyoshi boasts a magical sea of clouds from varied viewpoints within the metropolis!

For these up for a problem (and self-reflection alongside the way in which), attempt the 88 Temple Pilgrimage. It’s a 1,200km route which circles Shikoku island with 88 temples in between. It’s stated to have been established by Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi, the founding father of Shingon Buddhism.

People on Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage

Photograph credit score: Go to Kochi Japan through Fb

Whether or not you’re right here to sightsee or go on a temple pilgrimage, we advocate getting the All Shikoku Rail Move. It’s one of the vital handy methods for travelling round Shikoku, protecting all 4 prefectures for as much as seven days — greater than sufficient time to find this lesser-known island!

Transport Move Value Protection Validity Perks/Remarks
All Shikoku Rail Move From ~S$113 Ehime, Kochi, Kagawa, Tokushima Prefectures  3, 4, 5 or 7 days
(consecutive)
Reductions on JR Shikoku bus, Nankai ferry and different sights

Steered itineraries and guides:
15 Distinctive Experiences in Shikoku — The Laidback Island of Japan Undiscovered By Most Vacationers
Ehime Prefecture — 9 Causes to Go to This Lesser-known Gem in Japan

Non-JR Passes

Local Trains - JR Pass Alternatives

Photograph credit score: Klook

Japan has a really advanced transport system with many railway strains operated by completely different firms. So non-JR passes can be utilized to journey on different strains aside from the Japan Railways Group, such because the Tokyo or Osaka Metro. However take notice that completely different passes solely cowl sure prepare strains (acknowledged within the desk under).

People with Deers at Nara Park - Things to do in Nara

A few of these passes would possibly even be a greater choice than JR passes, by way of comfort! As an illustration, the Kintetsu Rail Move is nice for getting round Nara’s prime sights because the Kintetsu-Nara Station is barely a 5-minute stroll to Nara Park. Whereas should you drop off at JR Nara Line, you’ll nonetheless must take a 15-minute bus trip to Nara Park.

Plus, sure passes additionally include perks like unique provides and offers — the Kansai Through Move has a 20% low cost for entry to Sakai Metropolis Museum. So make certain to perform a little research and take a look at different options to the Japan Rail passes too!

Transport Move Value Protection Validity Perks/Remarks
Hanshin Vacationer Move ~S$5 Osaka, Kobe 1 day – Free WiFi entry in any respect Hanshin Electrical Railway stations
Unique reductions for some eating places and sights
Tokyu Line 1-Day Move ~S$7 Tokyo, Kanagawa 1 day
Hankyu Vacationer Move From ~S$7 Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe 1 or 2 days (non-consecutive) Unique reductions for some eating places and sights
Kintetsu Rail Move From ~S$14 Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Nagoya 1, 2, 5 or 5 days plus (consecutive)
Kansai Through Move  From ~S$41 Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and extra 2 or 3 days (non-consecutive) Reductions at sure outlets and sights
Nankai Tokushima Free Move ~S$85 Tokushima 5 days
(consecutive)
– Nankai Electrical Railway passes (legitimate for two non-consecutive days throughout the interval)

Selecting the best journey go for getting round Japan

JR East Travel Service Center - JR Pass Japan Budget Guide (Tokyo to Osaka)

Whereas the Japan Rail Move may be helpful for travelling throughout completely different areas and cities, is it price ¥50,000 (~S$470)?

For us, we want to dig deeper in a location as the very best gems are discovered while you give your self the time to discover past the standard vacationer path.

Nonetheless, should you’re planning to go to two far-away cities on the identical journey (i.e. Tokyo and Osaka, Hokkaido and Tokyo, and even Shikoku and Tokyo), then the JR Move might nonetheless be one thing price contemplating.

*Professional-tip: Use on-line instruments like Jorudan to assist calculate the prices of your journeys.

Suggestions for Getting Round Japan

People in the Train - Travel Around Osaka

1) Verify the prepare schedule beforehand. Trains in Japan are tremendous punctual so obtain the Japan Journey by Navitime app to test the prepare timings and keep away from lacking your trip! If you happen to’re unfamiliar with the station, permit your self some buffer to find the best platform. The very last thing you need is to catch the mistaken prepare!

2) Pre-book your seat reservation. Trains may be fairly packed throughout peak hours or at fashionable stations Like Tokyo and Kyoto. Safe your seats by reserving them not less than a day upfront from the automated machines or service counters.

3) Buy Suica/ICOCA playing cards. Native metro and buses are usually not coated by the JR/regional passes. One of the simplest ways to pay for rides is through the IC playing cards (every prefecture has it’s personal however can be utilized throughout Japan). These are rechargeable transport playing cards (just like our EZ-link playing cards).

Know of some other helpful JR go options? Tell us within the feedback under!


Like what you see? Observe us on FbInstagramYouTube, and Telegram for extra journey inspiration!

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