The Japan Rail Pass

September 4th, 2012By Category: Travel

Japan’s rail services are one of the best in the world. They are extremely efficient and go just about everywhere in Japan. If you plan to do a lot of travelling in Japan then you should consider the Japan Rail Pass.

The pass allows for unlimited travel on the national JR network, including the shinkansen (bullet trains) excluding the Nozomi superexpress.

This pass can only be purchased outside of Japan and will save you travel money in Japan.

If you plan, like most tourists to travel the Golden Route of Tokyo – Kyoto – Osaka – Hiroshima it is well worth looking at this pass. You must be travelling in Japan under the visa status of “temporary visitor” to be eligible.

The pass must be purchased outside of Japan, and once in the country, be validated at a JR Travel Centre (located everywhere in Japan). When validated, reservations can be made at any Green Window at major stations.

The Japan Rail Pass comes in two varieties, one for each class of service, Standard (普通車) and Green car (グリーン車) also called first-class. The pass is time limited with three time periods available.

Japan Rail Pass Prices

Note: Children aged 6-11 travel at half the above prices

Check out the Japan Rail Pass website for more details and information.

If you already live in Japan then you might want to check out one of the regional area passes such as the JR Kanto Area Pass.

I’d love to hear from you if you have used any other passes and can recommend them to our followers. Please leave a comment below.

Author of this article

John Asano

John Asano is a blogger, web developer and freelance writer living in Gifu, Japan. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he writes about the must see sights and attractions in Japan at Japan Travel Advice, as well as about Japanese culture and events on his blog Japan Australia.

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  • Daniel says:

    Just to add Japanese Nationals who hold a Permanent Residency outside of Japan can purcahse a JRPASS. At the last second after some careful research I found out my Wife from Japan was elegible. Some people may find this very useful.

  • leslie nguyen says:

    I am surprised the pass does not have a year’s worth duration, but then I guess it equates to buying it every 21 days if needed. I can imagine the cost of that though, wow!


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