Japan Rail Pass

Japan Rail Pass

Shinkansen Bullet Train.
Ride the rails in comfort and style with a Japan Rail Pass

The Japan Rail Pass makes long-distance travel around Japan much more affordable. The Japan Rail Pass cannot be purchased inside Japan, so must be purchased overseas and reserved from 3 months before intended use.

  • Valid for all JR Group local & regional trains throughout Japan except for the the super-express Nozomi on the Tokaido and Sanyo shinkansen bullet train and except for the super-express "Mizuho" on the Kyushu shinkansen line.
  • Usable on JR-operated local and highway bus services
  • Usable on the Miyajima to Miyajimaguchi ferry (Hiroshima Prefecture)
  • To be able to purchase a Japan Rail Pass, you must show that you will be a temporary visitor to Japan, and show your passport containing a Temporary Visitor visa stamp before coming to Japan.

    In your home country, first buy an Exchange Order online, or at a JR licensed travel agent. Once you arrive in Japan, exchange it for a Japan Rail Pass at any Japan Rail Pass Exchange Office in Japan, including at Narita International Airport. At that time you must specify the date on which you intend using the Pass - a date within a month of receiving your Pass.

    Prices below are in Japanese yen. These prices are automatically converted to, and charged in, your local currency on the JR sales website.

    The Japan Rail Pass also entitles the bearer to a 10% discount at JR Group hotels.

    Purchase a Japan Rail Pass.

    Period Green Car (Adult) Ordinary (Adult) Green Car (Child 6-11 yrs) Ordinary (Child 6-11 yrs)
    7 day 38,880 29,110 19,440 14,550
    14 day 62,950 46,390 31,470 23,190
    21 day 81,870 59,350 40,930 29,670
    Shinkansen bullet train at Nagoya Station
    Shinkansen bullet train at Nagoya Station
    JR Ticket Office.
    Shinkansen tickets can be purchased at the JR ticket office or from a machine
    JR Ticket machines.
    Ordinary shinkansen travelers buy their tickets at the JR ticket office or from a machine

    The Japan Rail Pass can also be used on JR buses throughout Japan.

    Should I buy a Japan Rail Pass?

    Purchase of a Japan Rail Pass is highly recommended if you are planning to visit Japan on a Temporary Visitor (typically 90 days) visa, and if you are planning to travel considerable distances within Japan.

    The Japan Rail Pass gives you almost unlimited use of the lines of the six regional companies that make up the the Japan Rail (JR) Group: JR Kyushu, JR Shikoku, JR West, JR Central, JR East, and JR Hokkaido - covering the whole of Japan, as well as many JR buses, and even a JR ferry (Hiroshima to Miyajima Island.)

    The Japan Rail Pass allows you travel around Japan, as you like, at a fraction of the price it would cost to buy a ticket for every leg of your travels. For example, even the most expensive Japan Rail Pass option: the 21-day Green (1st class reserved) pass at 79,600 yen is still much cheaper than if you were to buy the cheapest unreserved shinkansen (bullet train) seats for Tokyo-Sapporo-Kyoto-Fukuoka and back to Tokyo (which comes to over 100,000 yen.) So for even a short stay in Japan, buying a Japan Rail Pass before you come is sure to work out cheaper, not to mention more convenient, if you are intending to travel around the country.

    Japan Rail Pass.
    Japan Rail Pass

    Validity of the Japan Rail Pass

    The Japan Rail Pass can be used on all Japan Rail lines and many JR buses.

    Train

    The Japan Rail Pass can be used on all shinkansen (bullet trains) except for two classes of high-speed shinkansen: the Nozomi express (on the Tokaido and Sanyo shinkansen lines) and the Mizuho express. Of course, it can also be used on all regular limited express, ordinary express, rapid, and local trains on JR lines across Japan.

    However, with both the Green and Ordinary Japan Rail Pass, surcharges apply if you want a sleeping car, a private compartment, or the "GranClass" (airplane-style business class). More about exceptions to the Japan Rail Pass.

    Bus

    The Japan Rail Pass is valid on the following JR buses: local lines of JR bus companies (JR Hokkaido Bus, JR Tohoku Bus, JR Kanto Bus, JR Tokai Bus, West Japan JR Bus, JR Chugoku Bus, JR Shikoku Bus, JR Kyushu Bus) and some JR highway bus services (Sapporo-Otaru; Morioka-Hirosaki; Tokyo-Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Tsukuba Center; Nagoya-Kyoto, Osaka; Osaka-Tsuyama, Kasai Flower Center). More about using the bus with the Japan Rail Pass.

    Types of Japan Rail Pass

    A Japan Rail Pass is available in either "Green" (1st class reserved cars) or "Ordinary," for an adult or a child (half-price), and for 7, 14, or 21 days. Children aged 6 or under travel free.

    Eligibility for the Japan Rail Pass

    You must have Temporary Visitor immigration status in order to be given a Japan Rail Pass. The Temporary Visitor visa is called tanki-taizai (短期滞在) ("tan-key tie-zye") in Japanese. Please ensure that this is the status by which you will be entering Japan. The Temporary Visitor visa is typically for 90 days, but may be for 15 or 30 days. Temporary Visitor Visas for all three periods are eligible. However, other short-term visas, such as "Trainee" or "Entertainer" are not eligible for the Japan Rail Pass; neither is a Re-Entry Permit.

    Japanese citizens are eligible to purchase the Japan Rail Pass only if they have the right to reside permanently in a country other than Japan, or if married to a non-Japanese citizen who resides outside of Japan. Documentary evidence of current residential status is required.

    On arrival in Japan, the bearer of an Exchange Order must present a passport bearing the Temporary Visitor immigration stamp in order to receive the Japan Rail Pass. A photocopy of a passport will not do. It must be an actual passport bearing an actual immigration stamp.

    Exceptions to the Japan Rail Pass

    The Japan Rail Pass (Green and Ordinary) cannot be used for:

    -the Nozomi express (the fastest train on the Tokaido and Sanyo shinkansen lines) and the Mizuho express (the fastest train on the Kyushu shinkansen line).

    -an ordinary private compartment or a Green private compartment on a shinkansen or limited express train, but an ordinary private compartment or a Green private compartment can be reserved upon the payment of a surcharge and the necessary limited express charge.

    -the GranClass, but GranClass seats can be reserved upon the payment of a surcharge and the necessary limited or ordinary express charge.

    -a limited express or ordinary express sleeping car berth, but a berth on a sleeping car can be reserved upon the payment of a surcharge and the necessary limited express charge.

    -a so-called "Home Liner" train. There are few such trains, but they are basically commuter trains designed to ensure that people on long commutes can get a seat, so unlikely to be of much use when touring Japan.

    -the JR ferry from Hakata to Pusan (Korea).

    The Aoimori Railway Line between Aomori and Hachinohe, being a non-JR line, involves some restrictions. The Japan Rail Pass is only good between Aomori and Hachinohe stations:
    -if the passenger stays on the train the whole way between Aomori and Hachinohe stations, or
    -if the passenger changes at Noheji Station (on the Aoimori Railway Line) to the JR Ominato Line.
    In other words, the Japan Rail Pass is good for non-stop transit only between Aomori and Hachinohe. However, the Japan Rail Pass cannot be used at all for sleeper cars on the Aoimori Railway Line.

    Using the Bus with a Japan Rail Pass

    Some JR highway bus services can be used with the Japan Rail Pass. They are:
    -Sapporo to Otaru, on the Sasson Line of JR Hokkaido Bus Co.
    -Morioka to Hirosaki, on the Yodel-go Line, served by four different bus companies: Konan Bus, JR Tohoku Bus, Iwate Kenpoku Bus, Iwate-ken Kotsu Bus.
    -Tokyo to Nagoya, JR Tomei Highway Bus
    -Tokyo to Kyoto, JR Dream Kyoto-go Bus
    -Tokyo to Osaka, JR Dream Osaka-go Bus
    -Tokyo to Tsukuba Center, JR Tsukuba-go Bus
    -Nagoya to Kyoto, JR Meishin Highway Bus
    -Nagoya to Osaka, JR Meishin Highway Bus
    -Osaka to Tsuyama, JR Chugoku Highway Bus
    -Osaka to Kasai Flower Center, JR Chugoku Highway Bus

    Where to buy the Japan Rail Pass

    The Japan Rail Pass cannot be purchased once you arrive in Japan, but only beforehand, outside of Japan, in the form of what is called an Exchange Order. A Japan Rail Pass is obtained in Japan by presenting the pre-purchased Exchange Order.

    An Exchange Order for a Japan Rail Pass can be purchased only from outside Japan, from a number of Japan-related or Japanese travel agencies worldwide. The Exchange Order for a Japan Rail Pass must be purchased 3 months or less before you plan to start using the Japan Rail Pass.

    Vendors of an Exchange Order for the Japan Rail Pass (by definition, outside of Japan):
    -JAL offices (however sale of the Japan Rail Pass is limited to passengers on a JAL flight).
    -ANA offices (however sale of the Japan Rail Pass is limited to passengers on an ANA flight).
    -JTB Corporation authorized travel agents
    -KNT (Kintetsu International) authorized travel agents
    -Nippon Travel Agency authorized travel agents
    -Toptour Corporation authorized travel agents
    -JALPAK Group authorized travel agents
    See a list of some Japan Rail Pass reservation offices in various countries.

    Japan Rail Pass route at Narita Airport Station.
    Narita Airport Station ticket gate channel for Japan Rail Pass holders

    How to Exchange an Exchange Order for a Japan Rail Pass and Activate Your Pass

    Once you are in Japan, to receive a Japan Rail Pass you must present your Exchange Order, pre-purchased overseas, within three months of the purchase date, to a Japan Rail Pass Exchange Office. At this time, you must show your passport, containing a Temporary Visitor visa stamp. Japan Rail Pass Exchange Offices are typically within a railway station at the Midori no Madoguchi ("Green Window") desk, but also available at several airports. See a list of main Japan Rail Pass Exchange Offices.

    Once you have submitted the Exchange Order and received your JR Rail Pass, you must then specify an activation date from when to use your Pass. The activation date must be within 30 days of the Pass being issued.

    Seat Reservations with a Japan Rail Pass

    Reserving train seats using your Japan Rail Pass doesn't cost you anything. You only pay extra if you want to upgrade your seat from what your Pass entitles you, for example, from a seat in an ordinary car to one in a Green Car, or to a seat on a super-express shinkansen (Nozomi or Mizuho).

    Japan Rail Pass Refunds

    No refunds are available for the Japan Rail Pass. For example, if you have a Green Japan Rail Pass (a Japan Rail Pass for the first class section or Green Car) and choose to travel in a non-reserved seat, you cannot get a refund for the price difference. If you try to reserve a seat with Green Japan Rail Pass but no reserved seats are available, you may not get a refund for having to travel in a non-reserved seat.


    Other JR Passes

    If you plan to limit your touring of Japan to a certain area, or to just a few days, consider one of the following.

    JR Tokyo Wide Pass

    The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is for

  • Tokyo and environs - the "environs" comprising a very broad area in all terrestrial directions for about 150 km surrounding Tokyo, including Narita Airport, Nasu Kogen, Nikko, Kinugawa, Kusatsu, Gala Yuzawa, Karuizawa, Kofu, Mt. Fuji, Yokohama and the Izu Peninsula.
  • Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) services within the eligible area
  • Local and regional JR trains
  • Not valid for JR buses or the Tokaido shinkansen.
  • In other words, it is for travel in the broad area around Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures. The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is a 3-day pass for free travel on trains, and free seat reservations (if seats are available).

    Prices in Japanese yen.

    Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
    3 day 10,000 yen 5,000 yen

    JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area)

    NOTICE! THIS AND THE "JR EAST PASS (TOKOKU AREA)" REPLACE THE "JR EAST PASS" WHICH IS NO LONGER ON SALE IN JAPAN AND WILL NO LONGER BE ON SALE OVERSEAS AFTER JUNE 30 2016

    The JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) is for

  • Tokyo, Nagano, Niigata, and other of the skiing areas near Tokyo such as Echigo-Yuzawa, Karuizawa, Nikko, Kuroiso.
  • Tohoku, Yamagata Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) services
  • Local and regional JR trains
  • Not valid for JR buses
  • In other words, it is for travel in the belt of Honshu that extends from the Tokyo on the Pacific Ocean side to Nagano and Niigata on the Japan Sea side. The JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) is available as 5-Day Flexi Pass (any five days within 14 days of the day it was issued, including the day it was issued).

    Prices in Japanese yen.

    Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
    5 day 18,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    17,000 yen (purchased overseas)
    9,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    8,500 yen (purchased overseas)

    Read more about the JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area).

    JR East Pass (Tohoku Area)

    NOTICE! THIS AND THE "JR EAST PASS (NAGANO, NIIGATA AREA)" REPLACE THE "JR EAST PASS" WHICH IS NO LONGER ON SALE IN JAPAN AND WILL NO LONGER BE ON SALE OVERSEAS AFTER JUNE 30 2016

    The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) is for

  • Tokyo, Yamanashi, Kanagawa, certain parts of Nagano and Niigata nearer to Tokyo, and all the prefectures in northern Honshu: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Fukushima, Yamagata, Miyagi, Iwate, Akita and Aomori.
  • Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) services within the eligible area
  • Local and regional JR trains
  • Not valid for JR buses
  • In other words, it is for travel in the broad area around Tokyo, but not the Japan Sea side, all the way up to the very north of Honshu. The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) is available as 5-Day Flexi Pass (any five days within 14 days of the day it was issued, including the day it was issued).

    Prices in Japanese yen.

    Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
    5 day 20,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    19,000 yen (purchased overseas)
    10,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    9,500 yen (purchased overseas)

    Read more about the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area).

    JR East - South Hokkaido Rail Pass

    The JR East - South Hokkaido Rail Pass offers free travel over the same area as the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area), as well as the whole of Hokkaido.

  • Tokyo, Yamanashi, Kanagawa, certain parts of Nagano and Niigata nearer to Tokyo, and all the prefectures in northern Honshu: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Fukushima, Yamagata, Miyagi, Iwate, Akita, Aomori and Hokkaido.
  • Shinkansen (bullet train) services within the eligible area
  • Local and regional JR trains
  • Not valid for JR buses.
  • In other words, it is for travel in the broad area around Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures, excluding areas near the Japan Sea, all the way up Honsho to Hokkaido. The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) is available as a 6-Day Flexi Pass (any six days within 14 days of the day it was issued, including the day it was issued).

    Prices in Japanese yen.

    Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
    6 days 27,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    26,000 yen (purchased overseas)
    13,500 yen (purchased in Japan)
    13,000 yen (purchased overseas)

    Hokuriku Arch Pass

    The Hokuriku Arch Pass offers free travel to the Hokuriku area from either Tokyo or Osaka.

  • Tokyo, Yamanashi, Kanagawa, certain parts of Nagano and Niigata nearer to Tokyo, and all the prefectures in northern Honshu: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Fukushima, Yamagata, Miyagi, Iwate, Akita, Aomori and Hokkaido.
  • Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) services
  • Local and regional JR trains
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • JR Ishikawa Railway
  • Ainokaze Toyama Railway
  • Noto Railway
  • Not valid for JR buses or shinkansen lines other than Tokaido.
  • In other words, it links the Kansai (biggest city, Osaka), Hokuriku and Kanto (Tokyo) regions (this route forming an "arch" if traced on a map), so is ideal for those wishing to visit the alps and coast on the Japan Sea, and then go on to either Tokyo or Osaka. The JR Hokuriku Arch Pass is available as a 7-Day Consecutive Day Pass (seven consecutive days from the first day of use).

    Prices in Japanese yen.

    Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
    7 days 25,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    24,000 yen (purchased overseas)
    12,500 yen (purchased in Japan)
    12,000 yen (purchased overseas)

    Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket

    NOTICE: ON SALE ONLY UNTIL NOVEMBER 9, 2016 - USABLE ONLY UNTIL NOVEMBER 13, 2016

    The Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket is a cheaper way to traverse the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. This Pass provides transport between JR Nagano Station and Dentetsu-Toyama Station for cheaper than if you were to buy each requisite ticket. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route involves taking the Toyama Chiho Railway from Dentetsu Toyama Station to Tateyama Station, then the Tateyama Cable Car to Bijodaira, then the Tateyama Highland Bus to Murodo, then the Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus to Daikanbo, then the Tateyama Ropeway to Kurobedaira, then the Kurobe Cable Car to Kurobeko, then a 1.5 km walk to Kurobe Dam, then the Kanden Tunnel Trolley Bus to Ogizawa, then an Alpico express bus (or local bus) to Nagano. Paying for each ride separately costs 12,090 yen for adults, but only 9,000 yen with the Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket. This is a one-way ticket available only to those who already have a JR pass (e.g., the Hokuriku Arch Pass). It must be used within 5 days of purchase.

    Prices in Japanese yen.

    Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
    5 days 9,000 yen 4,500
    Shinkansen bullet train 700 series
    JR Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train 700 Series
    JR Shinkansen Entrance.
    Entrance to the shinkansen at Nagoya Station
    JR Ticket machine.
    JR ticket machine which can be used in both Japanese and English

    JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass

    The JR West Sanyo Area Pass was discontinued on February 28, 2015 and replaced by the Sanyo Sanin Area Pass and the JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass.

    The JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass gives you unlimited use of the following services throughout the Sanyo region (Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata/Fukuoka area) for seven consecutive days.

  • All Shinkansen services (including Nozomi trains)
  • All local and regional JR trains
  • Miyajima to Miyajimaguchi ferry (Hiroshima Prefecture)
  • Local and regional JR trains
  • The pass is 1,000 yen more expensive if bought within Japan at a major railway station
  • Prices in Japanese Yen.

    Period Adult Child [6-11]
    7 days 19,000 9,500

    JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass

    The JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass offers five consecutive days of unlimited travel on designated JR train lines (including unreserved seats on shinkansen and limited express trains) in the Kansai region of western Japan and along the Sanyo Coast to Hiroshima.

  • All Shinkansen services (including Nozomi trains) except for the Tokaido Shinkansen between Kyoto and Osaka
  • All local and regional JR trains
  • Miyajima to Miyajimaguchi ferry (Hiroshima Prefecture)
  • Local and regional JR trains
  • The pass is 1,000 yen more expensive if bought within Japan at a major railway station
  • Prices in Japanese Yen.

    Period Adult Child [6-11]
    5 days 13,000 6,500

    Kyushu Rail Pass

    The Kyushu shinkansen now connects Hakata Station with Kumamoto and Kagoshima.

    JR Kyushu offers a two rail passes specific to the southern island of Kyushu: these are the Northern Kyushu Pass and the All Kyushu Area Rail Pass.

    The All Kyushu Area Rail Pass covers the whole island while the Northern Kyushu Pass does not cover Kyushu south of Oita or Kumamoto, though it does include the main cities of Fukuoka, Oita, Beppu, Nagasaki and Kumamoto.

    Read more on the Kyushu Rail Pass

    Northern Kyushu Area All Kyushu Area
    Hakata - Kumamoto Hakata-Kagoshima-chuo
    3 DAY PASS 3 DAY PASS 5 DAY PASS
    7,000 Yen 14,000 Yen 17,000 Yen

    "Youth 18 Ticket"

    In spite of its name, the Seishun Juhachi Kippu (literally Youth 18 Ticket) is not limited to young people. It is available to people of all ages. The Youth 18 Ticket is an excellent alternative to the Japan Rail Pass if your travel requirements cover a five-day period. The Youth 18 Ticket includes the use of night trains. Read more about the Seishun Juhachi Kippu and night trains.


    Some Japan Rail Pass Reservation Offices

    Australia

    Japan Rail Pass Now
    Web: www.japanrailpass.com.au
    Tel 1300 635 500

    AWL Pitt Australia Pty Ltd
    Shop RP1.09, The Galeries Victoria, 500 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
    Tel 02 9264 7384 Fax 02 9264 8223

    New Zealand

    JTB New Zealand Ltd
    Level 5, 191 Queen Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
    Tel 09 303 2887 Fax 09 366 0772

    Europe

    USIT CAMPUS (LONDON)
    Tel 020-7730-7285 Fax 020-7730-5739

    Kintetsu International Express (Europe) B.V. (FRANKFURT)
    Tel (069) 1381-0510 Fax (069) 1381-0570

    Intia-Keskus Ltd. (HELSINKI)
    Tel 096803180 Fax 09611970

    Kintetsu International Express (SPAIN) S.A. Madrid
    Tel (91) 559-5112 Fax (91) 559-8713

    Asia

    Japan rail pass.

    Seoul Travel SVC (SEOUL)
    Tel 822-755-9696 Fax 822-753-9076

    NTA Travel (HONG KONG) Co., Ltd
    Tel 852-2721-1348 Fax 852-2724-3271

    Diners World (SINGAPORE)
    Tel 65-292-5522 Fax 65-294-1863

    JTC Thailand (BANGKOK)
    Tel 66-2237-7498 Fax 66-2237-2291

    Sen Travel (TAIPEI)
    Tel 8862-2100-1986 Fax 8862-2100-1820

    North America

    JTB International (Canada) Ltd. (VANCOUVER)
    Tel 604-688-0315 Fax 604-688-9031

    JTB International (Canada) Ltd. (TORONTO)
    416-367-5824 Fax 416-367-4859

    JTB Corp. USA Inc. (TORRANCE)
    Tel 310-618-0961 Fax 310-618-1294

    JTB Corp. USA Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO)
    415-986-4764 Fax 415-986-3989

    JTB Corp. USA Inc. (NEW YORK)
    212-698-4919 Fax 212-586-9686

    JTB Corp. USA Inc. (NEW JERSEY)
    Tel 201-288-5007 Fax 201-288-5048

    Middle East

    Bahrain International Travel (BAHRAIN) Tel 973 17223315

    Al-Rashed International Travel Co. (KUWAIT) Tel 965 2246 5360

    Saudi Tourist & Travel Bureau (DHARAN) Tel (3) 8641792

    Saudi Tourist and Travel Bureau (JEDDAH) Tel (2) 6674405

    U.A.E. Al Futtaim Travel and Tourism (DUBAI) Tel (4) 228-5470


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    Buy A Japan Rail Pass For Your Journey To Japan.