Do You Know about the Japan Rail Pass?

December 4, 2017

by Mina Ito, Aina Sasaki and Hinako Uematsu

Have you ever used Japanese transportation. It can be very complicated even for Japanese people, and it can also be a common problem for foreign tourists as well. Nowadays, we can go almost places by train, bus, or ferry in Japan, but it can be quite challenging to make a transfer or buy a ticket from a vending machine. ,However, nowdays, large stations are making guides that tell you what to do available in front of ticket vending machines. In addition, Japan Railways (JR), the main railroad company in Japan, has started selling very special and useful tickets to foreign tourists.

This wonderful ticket is called the ‘Japan Rail Pass’ or more commonly called JR Pass, and it is a very cost effective rail pass for long distance train travel in Japan. It can be used by foreign tourists only, and offers unlimited use of JR trains.

This map shows where you can go with your JR Pass. Actually, JAPAN RAIL PASS cannot be used for travel on NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines. However, this ticket covers all over Japan as you can see. We will explain how to buy it below.

Different Types of Train Passes

Buy your tickets (called Exchange Order) online in a safe and easy manner. You can choose between 7-, 14- and 21-day passes, beginning once the Pass is used. This service was especially created for tourists visiting Japan, so it can only be used if tourists have a temporary tourist stamp in their passport. You can take shinkansen (bullet train) and, can go anyplace in Japan.

Once you order online, you can get your JR pass in just two days via UPS delivery. In your package, you will receive an “Exchange Order”, which you will need to validate once you arrive in Japan.

When arriving in Japan, search for the nearest JR Pass Exchange Office, where you will be able to get your actual Japan Pass. You will be required to present your passport, together with your order. As I described earlier, you will never be able to get it if you don’t have the tourist stamp, so please make sure you have ask for a tourist stamp in your passport when you go through immigration.

Type Ordinary Green Car
7 days 29.110 yen 38,880 yen
14 days 46,390 yen 62,950 yen
21 days 59,350 yen 81,870 yen

Here is the list of fees for each kind of ticket. It looks a bit expensive, but it is of great value to be able to travel all around Japan. Many foreign tourists tend to visit Tokyo or Kyoto because these are the most famous places, but there are still many other beautiful places in Japan. We recommend that you go anywhere in Japan by using this ticket. You will discover many attractions that Japan has.