Japan rail pass: all you need to know

One of the ways to move in Japan is the Japan rail pass, a pass that includes trains and buses made only for tourists. Its high cost will be one of the biggest expenses you will face for your trip to Japan. Today we are going to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of this pass.

 

Tokyo station
Tokyo station

WHERE TO BUY A JAPAN RAIL PASS

The Japan rail pass can be purchased online or at the airport upon arrival. There is no official page, there are many official retailers but choose a reliable page, I recommend this one.

The prices are less the same if you choose to buy the pass online. Once your booking has been confirmed, you will receive an email containing your booking voucher. Please print it out to the airport where they will give you the official Japan Rail Pass. Japan rail pass is available for 7, 14 and 21 days, the price depends on the change of currency but normally the price is:

Fares
Fares

HOW TO USE

You must indicate the full names and passport numbers of every person for whom you are buying a ticket when making the reservation. To validate your voucher, you must present your passport with your tourist visa and entry stamp to Japan. After receiving the Exchange Order voucher, you need exchange within the following 3 months. Once activated, ticket validity cannot be altered.

Once it has been delivered you can use it starting from the date indicated you can immediately use it. I validated it at the airport to take the Narita Express that takes you to Tokyo station (read here how to reserve seats).

At each station, you will be asked to show tickets, both at the entrance and at the exit. Always remember that all trains have wagons for reserved and non-reserved seats. I only booked on the train from Tokyo to Kyoto, in the others there was no need.

 

Hiroshima
Hiroshima

INCLUDED IN JR PASS

  • Japan Rail Pass for the selected duration.
  • Unlimited use of JR national trains (Tokyo and Kyoto area), including bullet trains and Narita Express.
  • Unlimited use of most JR local buses.
  • Unlimited use of JR Miyajima ferry.
  • Hiroshima Sightsee bus.
  • Unlimited use of Tokyo monorail.
  • Japan Rail Pass paper guide.
  • Delivery to a home address or hotel.

 

Nozomi trains
Nozomi trains (not included) Hikari trains (included)

NOT INCLUDED IN JR PASS

Nozomi and Mizuho trains on Tokyo, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines.
Express highway buses.
Subways and local buses.
Rinkai Line in Tokyo (in Koto District)
Fujikyuko Line (for Fuji destination)
Some train lines in Kyoto like the Keihan Main Line or Hankyu-Kyoto Line.

In conclusion, would you like to know if buying Japan Rail is worth it? Read the next post.

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