Japan Rail Pass, Basic Things You Need to Know

Photo by Fikri Rasyid on Unsplash

Japan Rail (JR) Pass is a pass for unlimited rides to all trains operated by Japan Railways in a specific period of time.  It is economical if you are planning to visit different cities in Japan.  JR Pass is only available to a foreign tourist visiting Japan for recreational activities with a "temporary visitor" status on his/her passport upon entering.  Ensure that you have the "temporary visitor" stamp or sticker in your passport as shown below to be eligible exchange JR Pass. 

There are 3 types of duration for this pass you can purchase, 7-day, 14-day, and 21-day pass.  They are further divided into Green Cars and Standard Cars pertaining to Shinkansen Cars aka Bullet Train.  You can buy the pass at the Japan Rail Pass official website or at the ticket office in Japan.  You can also buy to their JR designated sales office or agent overseas which is cheaper than buying online site or in Japan.  You may check the accredited sales offices or agents in your region on this link, Check It Here.

Here are the current ticket prices
A.  Buying in Japan or JR Pass Online Site

7-day44,810 YEN22,400 YEN33,610 YEN16,800 YEN
14-day72,310 YEN36,150 YEN52,960 YEN26,480 YEN
21-day91,670 YEN45,830 YEN66,200 YEN33,100 YEN

B. JR Designated Sales Office Overseas

7-day39,600 YEN19,800 YEN29,650 YEN14,820 YEN
14-day64,120 YEN32,060 YEN47,250 YEN23,620 YEN
21-day83,390 YEN41,690 YEN60,450 YEN30,220 YEN
As you can see it is cheaper to buy at the Sales Office Overseas.

You can use the JR Pass to the following:
1. JR Trains - valid to all trains operated by Japan Railways nationwide including Shinkansen except for Nozomi and Mizuho trains, limited trains, express trains, rapid or local trains.
2.  Tokyo Monorail to/from Haneda Airport.
3.  JR Ferry to Miyajima.
4.  Local JR Buses JR Bus (JR Hokkaido Bus, JR Bus Tohoku, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokai Bus, West Japan JR Bus, Chugoku JR Bus, JR Shikoku Bus, JR Kyushu Bus)

Once you have your "Exchange Order" for Japan Rail Pass, present the Exchange Order together with your passport at the Japan Rail Pass exchange office in major JR stations.  They have offices in Narita, Haneda, and  Kansai Airports so you can use your JR PASS immediately.  Narita Express is covered by JR Pass which is around $30.  For the list exchange offices, you may check the complete list here, JR Exchange Offices

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