The JR Pass is a special pass available only to those entering Japan on a tourist visa. It allows for unlimited travel around Japan on JR lines usually at a price much less than purchasing individual tickets.
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Many thanks to Kaoru, again, as this was the second holiday she'd helped me on. This was not just for finding well located hotels that suited me very well, but also for much v. useful advice regarding my planning of the trip - important for me, travelling solo & a non-speaker/reader of Japanese. The rail pass was excellent for convenience and still for me worth the money even though, for this trip, I suspect that it was marginal at best re cost saving. The Data sim was most useful too, especially for downloading map info - an important issue for me as I was several times "out in the sticks" and not in a free Wi-Fi area.