You are planning a trip to Japan and wondering about the Japan Rail Pass.
Should I buy the Japan Rail Pass? The quick and easy answer is likely: NO
The rail pass is expensive and restrictive. It is HIGHLY doubtful you would use its full value unless you plan on going to a bunch of cities in a short span of time.
If you are planning on going to Tokyo for a few days and then onto Osaka, Kyoto, or some other place… YOU SHOULD NOT BUY THE RAIL PASS. You will lose money and a lot of money.
Let’s do some math… The Japan Rail Pass is good for 7 days.
You arrive in Tokyo on day #1 and decide to spend 3 nights in Tokyo and then 3 nights in Kyoto and then fly out of Tokyo on day #7.
Narita to Tokyo = 2200 Yen
Tokyo to Kyoto = 8500 Yen (each way) = 17000 Yen
If you are lucky, your pass has not expired and you get your final trip to Narita on the Japan Rail Pass = 2200 Yen (This rarely happens)
There are instances where you can use the JR Rail Pass in the cities (instead of the metro) and this would save you 200 Yen on those trips… Lets assume you used it 10 times = 2000 Yen.
Total: 17000 + 2200 + 2200 (questionable – last trip to Narita) + 2000 (questionable – usage instead of metro) = 23400
The Japan Rail Pass costs: 27000 Yen… you just wasted 3600 Yen (~$36) in the best case and 8000 Yes (~$80) is the most common example.
Don’t buy the rail pass unless you absolutely are going to use the train A LOT in 7 (SEVEN) days… otherwise you will realize you should never have bought it. I wish I did not buy it and would never buy one again…
A lot of people on the internet are pushing them because they want you to click their affiliate link (so they get paid)… Do the math for yourself.