JR HOKKAIDO PASS
Who can buy a Hokkaido Rail Pass?
The HOKKAIDO 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 HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS if you meet one of the following conditions:
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 HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS.
* Japanese living abroad can not use this pass.
Even if you visit Japan with an Exchange Order, to be turned in for a JR HOKKAIDO 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 HOKKAIDO 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.
How to obtain JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
If you purchase a PASS outside Japan
1. Purchase an Exchange Order before you come to Japan
You need to purchase a JR HOKKAIDO 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.
2. Present your Exchange Order and obtain your JR HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS after you arrive in Japan
Upon arrival in Japan, you need to turn in the Exchange Order to receive your JR HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS at an applicable JAPAN RAIL station that has a JR HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS exchange office.
If you purchase a PASS in Japan
You can also purchase a PASS in Japan (in Japanese yen only) from offices designated by Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR New-Chitose Airport Station and Travel Service Centers at JR Sapporo, Hakodate, Asahikawa, Obihiro, Kushiro stations).
Hokkaido Rail Pass Types and Prices
There are two types of HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS; Green (for superior-class Green cars) and Ordinary. Both are valid for three days.
* Prices are subject to change without notice
* Pass prices for children apply from age 6 to and including age 11.
Hokkaido Rail Pass Validity
- The HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS is valid for all the train lines offered by Hokkaido Railway Co. and bus lines of JR Hokkaido Bus (excluding Sapporo - Asahikawa / Sapporo - Monbetsu / Sapporo - Obihiro / Sapporo - Kiroro lines and irregular lines).
- With a Green-type HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS, you can use Green cars operated by Hokkaido Railway Co. With an Ordinary-type HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS, you can use reserved ordinary car seats of trains operated by Hokkaido Railway Co. If you use a sleeping car, you must pay the limited express charge and berth charge.
Many JR HOKKAIDO trains have Green cars (superior accommodations); all have ordinary cars. You can use Green cars or ordinary cars with a Green-type PASS, and you can use ordinary cars with an Ordinary-type PASS, without paying additional charges.Refer to the following table for details:
|Trains||Limited express and ordinary express||Local|
* To make a seat reservation (free of charge), the holder should apply in advance at a JR Hokkaido travel service center or Midori-no-madoguchi (Green Window).
* A non-reserved seat can be used simply by presenting your HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS.
- You must exchange your Exchange Order for HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS within three months from the date of issue. At that time, you must 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 connot be changed.
- After commencing travel with the PASS beyond the valid period, it can be used until the day following its expiration date if no stops are made. If the trains you board on that day have accommodations requiring limited express or express charges, you must pay the applicable charges.
How to make a reservation
- Seat reservations can be made without additional payment. To make a reservation, apply at any major station or Travel Service Center (Twinkle Plaza) or a reservation office (midori-no-madoguchi) at a JR HOKKAIDO station. There, present your PASS, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before boarding.
- A non-reserved seat can be used simply by presenting your HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS.
- Seat reservations cannot be made before you receive the PASS in Japan.
When seats are fully reserved, you should use a non-reserved seat. In this case, no refund can be made of the price difference between a reserved seat and a non-reserved seat.
The sign for areservation office(midori-no-madoguchi)
Other Usage conditions
- A HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS is strictly limited to the designated individual; it is not transferable from one person to another.
- You should carry your passport during travel, and be prepared to present it if requested.
- Refund of Exchange Order or HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS
- * An Exchange Order that has not been submitted for a HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS can be returned to the office where it was purchased for a refund, within one year of the date of issue. In such cases, a handling fee and communication fee will be subtracted from the refund.
- * After an Exchange Order is submitted for a HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS, the PASS can be submitted at any HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS exchange office for a refund if it is done before the the starting date of the PASS. (Ten percent of the yen price of the PASS will be charged as a handling fee.)
- * No refund can be made for any reason on or after the starting date of the PASS.
- * No refund on a HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS can be made in the event of train service delays or suspension, etc.
- Neither an Exchange Order nor a HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS can be reissued if lost or stolen.
- These and other usage conditions follow the Hokkaido Railway Group passenger transportation regulations and Japanese laws. The validity of an Exchange Order during the period before it is submitted for a HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS, however, shall follow the stipulations and regulations of the company that issued the Exchange Order.
- Please take a number ticket upon boarding bus.
A HOKKAIDO RAIL PASS cannot be used in an automatic ticket-reading gate. Please present the PASS at a manned gate.