As I mentioned in a previous post, Kyoto will be the base from where we will make many excursions. And a good way to come and go on the same day and to move quickly through the country are the Shinkansen or what is the same the Japanese AVE / TGV. In Japan, like here, the bullet train is not economical, but as the Japanese think of everything, they have created the JAPAN RAIL PASS. The Japan Rail Pass is a JR-train voucher that allows you to travel unlimitedly through the rail network, some JR bus lines and the ferry with which you reach Miyajima. The only train that cannot be used is the Nozomi that goes from Tokyo to Hakata, but the Hikari does the same route and it does enter. The Japan Rail Pass is only for foreigners and therefore can only be purchased abroad, in Japan is not sold.
The operation is simple, it is bought in the country of origin and is validated once it arrives in Japan. There are 1, 2 and 3 weeks, yes, they are counted as consecutive days. Many people do that when they arrive at Narita airport, they go to the Travel Service Center, show their passport (I have already said it was for foreigners) and the ticket purchased in Barcelona and they exchange it for you. It is not necessary to start it the same day you redeem it, you can say from what day you want to start using it.The prices are those of the table (2008 prices):
The "Green", which is the most expensive, is for first class travel, and the "Ordinary" are for tourist class. No need to reserve a seat, you just get on the train and sit down. But honey, you don't feel first class, because a friendly reviewer will come to throw you out. In Barcelona you can buy them at the JALPAK that is in Consell de Cent, 333 5th floor. There the price of the two-week voucher, which is what we will buy, comes out for € 284 according to the website and € 300 according to a forum (the change of the yen is a bit patillero). Although in the travel forum mentioned in the previous sentence, I discovered that they also sell it at JR GROUP located inside the Hotel Barcelona Sants (inside the Sants station, Pl. Països Catalans, s / n) and that there goes out for € 270 (This change is fine).
Personally I have my doubts if on our route it will be cheaper to buy the voucher or pay the single tickets, although it is clearly much more practical.