After exploring the various options of moving around Japan and the various rail passes available, we have decided to go for the 14 day JR Pass.
We checked the train fares and routes using the Hyperdia website. It’s a really useful website because it allows you to only select JR trains (the JR pass is not eligible for private railways). You can also have the option of deselecting the Nozomi/Mizuho/Hayabusa Shinkansen as they are also not eligible on the JR pass.
A 14 day JR pass cost about 45,100yen. That’s £350. It seems like a lot of money but when we checked the fares to places we want to go, it is costing us £514 per person! So it’s really good value.
There are also various regional JR passes that you can get which is cheaper.
The JP Rail website is also very useful as it tells you how to get to certain attractions via the JR railway and it has information on various passes offered by private railway companies too.
Next stop, finding hotels! (Near the JR railway stations of course!)