The 7-day Japan Rail Pass is a fantastic deal that all tourists going to Japan should take advantage of, especially first-time travellers. It not only offers unlimited rides on all JR trains, ferries, buses, and most Shinkansen all over the country, it also provides convenience.
Here is a sample itinerary for a 7-day JR pass:
Day 1 – Arrive In Osaka:
Arrive at the Kansai International Airport and exchange your JR Pass voucher at the JR ticket office right inside the airport. Activate your pass by taking the JR Express Train Haruka from the Kansai Airport train station to downtown Osaka.
With Osaka as your base for the next few days, start your sightseeing around the city by taking JR trains to some of the top Osaka destinations, such as the Osaka Castle, Tennoji, Namba and Umeda.
Day 2 – Osaka to Hiroshima:
This trip takes about two hours. Once in Hiroshima, you can use the JR Pass to ride the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus, which goes to the A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Castle and Peace Memorial Park, all for free.
In the afternoon, take the JR ferry from the Hiroshima port station and arrive at the Miyajimaguchi station in less than 15 minutes.
After exploring the island, get on a JR ferry back to Hiroshima, and then a bullet train to Osaka.
Day 3 – Osaka to Himeji:
Travelling to Himeji takes less than an hour, so you have ample time to visit the beautiful castle, park and other temples and shrines in the area.
Day 4 – Osaka to Kyoto:
From Osaka, take the JR Kyoto Line Local train and visit Kyoto. The ride only takes about 45 minutes, so you can spend the whole day going to as many ancient world heritage temples and shrines as you can.
Day 5 – Osaka to Kyoto:
Set one more day aside for Kyoto as this historical city has endless attractions to offer. Don’t forget to check out the Arashiyama area, Fushimi Inari and Imperial Palace.
Day 6 – Osaka to Nara:
A day to visit Nara should also be in your itinerary as this city is home to the magnificent Buddhist temple, Todaiji, as well as numerous other temples, museums, and shrines.
Day 7 – Osaka to Tokyo:
With one final day available on your JR Pass, travel to Tokyo via the Shinkansen, with a travel time of between three and four hours.