Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) – Everything you need to know

Japan Rail PassJapan

[addthis tool=”addthis_inline_follow_toolbox_r6l6″]

If you are planning your trip to Japan and want to save money on trains,
then you will definitely want to know what the Japan Rail Pass is.

Japan’s rail system is run by many different companies, but most of it is operated by the JR group. With a JR Pass, you can travel on most of their trains from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

JR Pass eligibility

The Japan Rail Pass is only available to non-Japanese citizens visiting Japan for short stays.

It can also be used by Japanese nationals who can prove that they have been residing abroad for at least 10 years. If that’s your case,read the japanese article on our page

How to get a Japan Rail Pass


There are two ways to get a JR Pass:

Buy it from outside Japan (Cheaper)

You can purchase your JR pass in advance throughseveral

After you place your order, you’ll receive a JR Pass Exchange Order,
which you’ll need to take with you.

The Exchange Order is only valid for three months.
The name on the Exchange Order must be the same as it appears on your passport.

Once in Japan, take your Exchange Order and passport (photocopy not accepted) to a pick-up location across Japan.Check here all the locations

When they give you the pass, you need to write down the date you will start using it

Make sure you choose carefully, you cannot change the start date after selecting it.

The Japan Rail Pass is a personal pass and can only be used by the person
whose name is printed on the pass.

Buy it once you’re in Japan

In this case you’ll need to bring your passport to one of the exchange points (listed above)and
fill out the application in person.

How much does a Japan Rail Pass cost?

The JR Pass is valid for 7, 14 or 21 days.

TypeOrdinaryGreen Car
7 days¥29,650
($108/ €105)
14 days¥47,250
21 days¥60,450

Advantages of the Green Car (First class)

Standard class seats are quite large and comfortable. However, there is usually not a lot of space for large luggage, and the carriages with unreserved seats are very crowded during the high season.

All seats in the Green Car are reserved and tend to be less crowded than the standard class.

It offers larger, more spacious seats and more luggage storage.
Most of the times you’ll be offered a hot or cold towel (oshibori), a drink and a magazine.

What is included in the Japan Rail Pass?

As a general rule the Japan Rail Pass is valid on JR trains including shinkansen
(except for the Nozomi and Mizuho), limited express, express, rapid and local trains.

Please check the complete list here

How to use the JR Pass


Before 2020, you needed to show the JR Pass to the station staff located at the ticket gate.
However, you can now insert the Japan Rail Pass in the gate.
After passing through the gate,don’t forget to collect your pass .


How to reserve seats?


You can reserve your seat at ticket machines or ticket offices Midori no Madoguchi across Japan. For most routes, seat reservations aren’t required.

When we used the JR Pass we had a specific schedule so we booked each seat in advance.
I would recommend booking seats, especially during rush hours and busy travel periods.

For more information click here

Other types of JR Pass


If you’re planning on focusing on one area of ​​the country,
it’s worth considering buying aregional Japan Rail pass .

The great thing about Regional JR Pass is that several of them
allow you to use the pass on non-consecutive days.

Is a Japan Rail Pass worth the money?

It depends on your itinerary! The JR Pass can save you a lot of money if you plan on visiting
many cities. If you decide to stay in just one city, it may not be of much use to you.

However, train tickets, especially Shinkansen tickets, are very expensive.
A round trip from Tokyo to Kyoto will cost roughly the same price as the 7-day pass.



Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)