JAPAN RAIL PASS
What is the Japan Rail Pass?
The JAPAN RAIL PASS is the most convenient, efficient, and economical to travel throughout Japan. A regular round-trip ticket from Tokyo to Osaka costs around 30,000 yen. You can purchase a 7-day JR pass for less.
Who can buy a Japan Rail Pass?
The JAPAN RAIL PASS is a special ticket that is available only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing. You are eligible to purchase a JAPAN RAIL PASS if you meet one of the following two conditions:
1. You are a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing under the entry status of "temporary visitor"
"Temporary visitor" entry status, according to Japanese Immigration Law, allows a stay in Japan of 15 days or 90 days for "sight-seeing, etc." If you apply for a "stay for sight-seeing" when you enter Japan, entry personnel will stamp your passport "temporary visitor". Only persons who have a passport bearing this stamp can use a JAPAN RAIL PASS.
Even if you visit Japan with an Exchange Order, to be turned in for a JR Pass, the exchange cannot be made unless you have "temporary visitor" status; if you enter Japan under any other official status, such as "trainee" or "entertainer", you can not change the Exchange Order for a JR Pass.
Please note that according to strict interpretation of the Japanese Immigration Law, "temporary visitor" status differs even from other types of stays that are also for only short time periods.
2. You are a Japanese national living in a foreign country
- (a) who is qualified to live permanently in that country, or
- (b) who is married to a non-Japanese residing in a country other than Japan.
Persons meeting conditions (a) or (b) above must be required to show proof of same at the point of purchase of an Exchange Order and obtaining a JAPAN RAIL PASS. The former condition about a Japanese national "who has been living in a foreign country for ten or more years" is discontinued from 1 April 2004 purchase.
How to obtain a Japan Rail Pass
Purchase an Exchange Order before you come to Japan
You need to purchase a JAPAN RAIL PASS Exchange Order from an authorized sales agent in the US prior to your arrival in Japan. JTB USA is one of a few authorized sales agents for Japan's National Railway Group and offers a full selection of rail pass options.
* Don't forget that the JAPAN RAIL PASS cannot be purchased inside Japan
Present your Exchange Order and obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS after you arrive in Japan
Upon arrival in Japan, you need to turn in the Exchange Order to receive your JAPAN RAIL PASS at a JAPAN RAIL station that has a JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange office.
Japan Rail Pass types and prices
There are two types of Japan Rail Passes: Green (for superior-class Green cars), and Ordinary. Each of these types is available as a 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day PASS.
* Prices are subject to change without notice
* Pass prices for children apply from age 6 to and including age 11.
Japan Rail Pass Validity
- All JR Group railways: Shinkansen super express (Except "NOZOMI"),
limited express trains, express trains, and rapid or local trains. (Not usable on some trains)
- JR Ferry
(Miyajima - Miyajimaguchi), except "Beetle II" (Hakata-Pusan, South Korea)
JR Bus companies: Local lines of JR Bus Tohoku, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokai Bus, West Japan JR Bus and Chugoku JR Bus.
JR Bus Divisions: Local bus lines of JR Hokkaido, JR Shikoku and JR Kyushu.
JR Highway Bus Lines: Morioka - Hirosaki / Aomori /Towadako
Tokyo - Nagoya /Kyoto /Osaka /Tsukuba Center
Nagoya - Kyoto /Osaka
Osaka -Tsuyama Car Shed /Kasai Flower Center
*The last PASSES valid for travel on highway bus routes will be issued on March 31, 2013. PASSES issued on or after April 1, 2013, are not valid for travel on highway bus routes.
* The Japan Rail Pass is not valid for "NOZOMI" Shinkansen trains. If you use a "NOZOMI", you must pay the ordinary fare and the limited express charge, and if in a Green car, the Green car charge. Passengers using trains on non-JR lines must pay respective fares and charges applicable to the sections traveled on such lines
Many JR trains have Green cars (superior accommodations): all have ordinary cars. You can use Green cars or ordinary cars with a Green-type Japan Rail pass, and you can use ordinary cars with an Ordinary-type Japan Rail Pass, without paying additional charges.
|Trains||Shinkansen||Limited express and ordinary express||Local & Rapid trains|
* Green private compartments are on certain limited express trains, such as "Narita Express" and "Super-View Odoriko".
* Use of "Home Liner" and other "liner" trains requires an additional charge.
The valid period of a Japan Rail Pass is the consecutive 7, 14, 21 days beginning on the date the Pass is first used.
Within 3 months from the date the Exchange Order was issued, you must turn in your Exchange Order to obtain your Japan Rail Pass. At that time, you have to specify the date that you want to start using the Pass. It can be any date within one month from the date the Pass is received.
Once the Pass has a starting date written on it, the date can not be changed.
How to turn in an Exchange Order to receive a Japan Rail Pass
You can not use an Exchange Order when you travel on JR lines. Turn in your Exchange Order and obtain your Japan Rail Pass at one of the Japan Rail Pass exchange offices.
Your Exchange Order must be turned in for a Japan Rail Pass within 3 months of the date the Order was issued.
At the JR Pass Exchange offices, fill in an application form to accompany your Exchange Order, and submit it, along with your passport, when you turn in your Exchange Order.
The type of Pass described on the Exchange Order can not be changed.
How to use a reserved seat
Shinkansen and most limited express and ordinary express trains have reserved Green car seats and both reserved and non-reserved ordinary car seats. A non-reserved seat can be used simply by showing your JAPAN RAIL PASS. To use a reserved seat, apply at any Travel Service Center or reserved-seat ticket office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at a JR station, or at a sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. There, show your JAPAN RAIL PASS, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before your trip.
Please note that during crowded periods you cannot be guaranteed a seat on a specific train. The periods when seat reservations are particularly difficult to secure are as follows.
* Seat reservations cannot be made outside Japan.
Do not use an automatic ticket-reading gate with a Japan Rail Pass . Please show the Pass at a manned ticket gate.
- Dec 29 - Jan 5
- The New Year holiday period is the most popular travel time for Japanese people, for vacations and returning to hometown areas.
- Apr 29 - May 5
- Due to consecutive holidays in a comfortable travel season, there is large scale travel throughout Japan for leisure and recreation.
- Aug 13 - Aug 15 Another time for traditional travel to hometown areas, called the o-bon season.