JR PASS

JR PASS

Updated

Eligibility for Japan Rail Pass

Eligibility for Japan Rail Pass

The JAPAN RAIL PASS is a special ticket that is available only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing. To be eligible to purchase a JAPAN RAIL PASS you must meet one of the following two conditions.


1. 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 as "Temporary Visitor," as shown above. Only persons who have a passport bearing this stamp can use a JAPAN RAIL PASS.

CAUTION:
Even if you visit Japan with an Exchange Order, to be turned in for a JAPAN RAIL PASS, the exchange cannot be made unless you have "Temporary Visitor" status; if you enter Japan under any other official status, such as "Trainee," "Entertainer," or "Reentry Permit," you cannot change the Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL 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.


2. You are a Japanese national living in a foreign country,

  1. who is qualified to live permanently in that country, or
  2. who is married to a non-Japanese residing in a country other than Japan.

Persons meeting condition (a) must provide written proof of the following:

  • Right of permanent residence
  • That they are living in a country other than Japan

Persons meeting condition (b) must provide written proof of the following:

  • That they are living in a country other than Japan
  • That they are married to a foreign national
  • That their spouse (a foreign national) is living outside Japan

CAUTION:
If an applicant is unable to provide written proof that he or she meets condition (a) or (b) and the clerk is unable to verify compliance using electronic data or other means, the PASS may be denied.


Japan Rail Pass Pricing

There are two types of JAPAN RAIL PASS: Green (for superior-class Green cars), and Ordinary. Each of these types is available as a 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day PASS.See "JAPAN RAIL PASS validity", for services that can be used with a JAPAN RAIL PASS.

1. Price of Exchange Orders (as of February 2015)

Type Green Ordinary
Duration Adult Child Adult Child
7 Days 38,880 Yen 19,440 Yen 29,110 Yen 14,550 Yen
14 Days 62,950 Yen 31,470 Yen 46,390 Yen 23,190 Yen
21 Days 81,870 Yen 40,930 Yen 59,350 Yen 29,670 Yen

The above are yen (JPY) prices for a JAPAN RAIL PASS Exchange Order; the actual cost in local currency is calculated at the time the Exchange Order is issued. Note that the purchase exchange rate may differ from the exchange rate in effect when you actually visit Japan.

The local currency price, applicable exchange rate, and issue date for an Exchange Order are specified on the Exchange Order itself. PASS prices for children apply from age 6 to and including age 11. Prices are subject to change. The applicable price is the price valid on the date when an Exchange Order is issued.


2. Validity Period

  • Within three months from the date the Exchange Order was issued, you must turn in your Exchange Order to obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS (for example, an Exchange Order issued on April 15 would have to be turned in by July 14). At that time, you have to 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.
  • Within three months from the date the Exchange Order was issued, you must turn in your Exchange Order to obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS (for example, an Exchange Order issued on April 15 would have to be turned in by July 14). At that time, you have to 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 a starting date has been assigned to the PASS, it cannot be changed.


Validity of Japan Rail Pass

1. Transportation Services

The JAPAN RAIL PASS is valid for the railways, buses, and ferry boats shown in Table 1.


Railways All JR Group railways:
Shinkansen super express (Except "NOZOMI" and "MIZUHO"), limited express trains, express trains, and rapid or local trains. (Not usable on some trains)
Buses JR Bus companies:
Local lines of JR Bus Tohoku, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokai Bus,
West Japan JR Bus, Chugoku JR Bus, Shikoku JR Bus and Kyushu JR Bus
JR Bus Divisions:
Local lines of JR Bus Tohoku, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokai Bus,
West Japan JR Bus, Chugoku JR Bus, Shikoku JR Bus and Kyushu JR Bus
JR Highway Bus Lines:
Morioka - Hirosaki / Aomori /Towadako:
Tokyo - Nagoya /Kyoto /Osaka /Tsukuba Center;
Nagoya - Kyoto /Osaka;
Osaka -Tsuyama Car Shed /Kasai Flower Center
Ferry JR Ferry
Only the JR-WEST Miyajima ferry is covered.
(Table 1)

IMPORTANT INFO:

The Japan Rail Pass is not valid for "NOZOMI" Shinkansen trains. If you use a "NOZOMI", you must pay the ordinary fare and the limited express charge, and if in a Green car, the Green car charge. Passengers using train on non-JR lines must pay respective fares and charges applicable to sections traveled on such lines

2. Train Accomodations

Most JR trains have Ordinary Cars (coach class) while many long-distance trains also offer Green Cars (superior class). With a Green-type JAPAN RAIL PASS you can use either class, while with an Ordinary-type JAPAN RAIL PASS you can use only Ordinary Cars without paying an additional charge. Refer to the table below for details. The cars with can be used with JAPAN RAIL PASS. Use of the cars with X requires paying additional charges.


Trains Accomodations Green Ordinary
Shinkansen
(except any reserved or nonreserved seat on "NOZOMI" trains)
Green Car
Ordinary Car
Green private compartment
Ordinary private compartment
Limited express and ordinary express Green Car
Ordinary Car
Green private compartment
Ordinary private compartment
Sleeping car
Local and rapid trains Green Car
Ordinary Car

Remarks:
Green private compartments are on certain limited express trains, such as "NARITA EXPRESS" and "Super-view Odoriko."

3. Validity Period

  • The validity period of a JAPAN RAIL PASS is the consecutive 7, 14, or 21 days beginning on the date the PASS is first used.
  • Within three months from the date the Exchange Order was issued, you must turn in your Exchange Order to obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS. At that time, you have to 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 cannot be changed.

Process of Obtaining a Japan Rail Pass

  • You cannot use an Exchange Order when you travel on JR lines. Turn in your Exchange Order and obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS at one of the JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange offices. (Please note the office hours and closing days.) Your Exchange Order must be turned in for a JAPAN RAIL PASS within three months of the date the Order was issued.
  • At the time of the exchange you will be asked to fill in a short application form and to show your passport with the Temporary Visitor stamp that you received on entry into Japan. You must show your passport* and this stamp to process the Rail Pass Exchange Order.
    * Without your passport, the pass exchange will not be made. (A photocopy of your passport is also not acceptable because you must show the "Temporary Visitor" stamp in it.)* If you are a Japanese national resident in a country other than Japan and with permanent resident status in that country, please show, in addition to your passport, documents testifying to your status.
  • The type of PASS described on the Exchange Order cannot be changed.

Stations with JAPAN RAIL PASS Exchange Office

How to make a seat reservation

How to make a seat reservation

Shinkansen and most limited express and ordinary express trains have reserved Green car seats and both reserved and nonreserved ordinary car seats.

*There are no Green Cars on most HIKARI and KODAMA trains on the San'yo Shinkansen line (Shin-Osaka ? Hakata), or on TSUBAME trains on the Kyushu Shinkansen line (Shin-Yatsushiro ? Kagoshima- chuo ) A nonreserved seat can be used simply by showing your JAPAN RAIL PASS.

Seat reservations can be made without additional payment. To make a reservation, go to any Travel Service Center or a Reservation Office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at a JR station, or to the sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. There, show your PASS, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before boarding.

Warning:

Please note that during crowded periods you cannot be guaranteed a seat on a specific train. The periods when seat reservations are particularly difficult to secure are as follows:

  • December 29 to January 5 The New Year holiday period is the most popular travel time for Japanese people, for vacations and returns to hometown areas.
  • April 29 to May 5 Due to consecutive holidays in a comfortable travel season, there is large-scale travel throughout Japan for leisure and recreation.
  • August 13 to 15 Another time for traditional travel to home-town areas, called the Obon season.

Note: Do not use an automatic ticket-reading gate with a JAPAN RAIL PASS or a reserved-seat ticket. Please show the PASS at a manned ticket gate.

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