Created for expats living in Japan

What is Japan Rail Pass and How to Get One

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The Japan Rail Pass is a joint offer by the 6 Japan Railways Group (JR) companies and is a great value and convenient ticket for rail travel throughout Japan for tourists. The Japan Rail Pass offers excellent value for transportation in Japan. If you take a Shinkansen even once, say from Tokyo to Kyoto, this pass is well worth having.

There are 2 types of Japan Rail Pass - one for Green Cars (1st class) and one for standard cars - and they are valid for 7 days, 14 days or 21 days as you select. The Japan Rail Pass is valid on all JR Group lines - Shinkansen bullet trains (except Nozomi and Mizuho), express trains, rapid trains, local trains, buses and ferries. You can also reserve seats for Shinkansen and limited express trains.

There are other conditions and regulations other than mentioned below, also prices and sales methods are subject to change, please check the official page to get the latest information.

Who can Buy a Japan Rail Pass?

1. Foreign Tourists

Foreign passport holders visiting Japan for the sightseeing purpose with "Temporary Visitor" entry status.

If you wish to stay in Japan for 15 or 90 days for the purpose of sightseeing, under the status of "Temporary Visitor", you will receive a Temporary Visitor stamp/seal on your passport upon entry into Japan. Please do not forget to apply for this stamp/seal.

2. Japanese Nationals

Japanese nationals residing abroad who have a Japanese passport and a document that confirms that the period of stay is 10 years or more in a row, such as one obtained at a diplomatic mission abroad.

Note: Even if you have already purchased a pass through the website or have an exchange voucher, you will not be able to receive or exchange it for the Japan Rail Pass if you do not meet the eligibility requirements, so please check carefully beforehand.

How / Where to Buy a Japan Rail Pass

How and where to buy a Japan Rail Pass differs for international tourists and Japanese nationals. The purchase is an 'exchange voucher' and must be exchanged for a 'Japan Rail Pass' in Japan at a later date. Without this procedure, you will not be able to use the Japan Rail Pass.

1. Foreign Tourists

A) Purchase via JAPAN RAIL PASS Reservation website

B) Purchase at an exchange counter / sales office in Japan (available until 31 March 2024)

C) Purchase at designated JR sales offices/ agents overseas

2. Japanese Nationals

Purchase at designated JR sales offices/ agents overseas

Purchase via JRP

Japan Rail Pass, S.L. is a company based in Spain and sells Japan Rail Pass as well. You can get the exchange voucher in your country or in Japan. It is convenient to purchase one. Please note that in addition to the ticket price, shipping and handling fees will be charged.

Where to Collect a Japan Rail Pass

1. If you purchased via website

After arriving in Japan, collect your Japan Rail Pass at one of the designated counters. At the counter, you will be asked to confirm your eligibility. Please present the passports of all passengers, including those accompanying you.

2. If you purchased abroad

Exchange your voucher for a Japan Rail Pass upon arrival in Japan. To obtain a Japan Rail Pass, submit your exchange voucher, passport and proof of eligibility to purchase a Japan Rail Pass to an exchange office. You will receive a pass in exchange. The voucher must be exchanged for a Japan Rail Pass within 3 months of purchase, you can exchange the voucher 1 month prior to the date of use as well.

How Much is a Japan Rial Pass?

Prices differ slightly when buying on the official website, in Japan and buying abroad.

Purchasing via official website or in Japan

Purchasing abroad

JAPAN RAIL PASS Route Coverage

The Japan Rail Pass is valid on all JR Group lines, Shinkansen (excluding the Nozomi and Mizuho), limited express trains, rapid trains, local trains, buses, ferries and Tokyo Monorail. It cannot be used on subways and private railways. Nationwide JR Route Map is a helpful map to see where you can go with the pass.

For more conditions, please check Japan Rail Pass website.