Japan Rail Pass

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An ordinary Japan Rail Pass issued in 2006 (Heisei year 18). JRpassHeisei18.png
An ordinary Japan Rail Pass issued in 2006 (Heisei year 18).

The Japan Rail Pass (ジャパンレールパス, japan rēru pasu), also called the JR Pass, is a rail pass for overseas visitors sold by the Japan Railways Group, and is valid for travel on all major forms of transportation provided by the JR Group in Japan, with a few exceptions. The Rail Pass is designed to stimulate travel and tourism throughout the country. It is only cost effective for long-distance travel, particularly by bullet train. While the savings from extensive travel can be considerable, those who travel too little may in fact lose money on a rail pass. The Japan Rail Pass is of limited use within larger cities. In Tokyo, for instance, it does cover the Yamanote Line which goes to several popular tourist areas as well as in Osaka on the Osaka Loop Line, plus in Kyoto on the Nara Line and Sagano Line.


Rail Pass

The national Rail Pass comes in two varieties, one for each class of service, Standard Car (普通車, Futsūsha) and Green Car (グリーン車, Gurīnsha) (first class car). Furthermore, the pass is time limited based on the length of pass purchased. Three time periods are available: seven, fourteen and twenty-one consecutive day passes, which provide the user nearly unlimited use of JR transportation services. The table below summarizes the prices for each pass. The amounts are listed in Japanese Yen. When purchasing the Exchange Order (see below), the purchaser will pay the appropriate amount in the purchaser's home country currency based on the current exchange rate.

Purchase before going to Japan:

Class7 Days14 Days21 Days
Green CarAdult¥39,600¥64,120¥83,390
Standard CarAdult¥29,650¥47,250¥60,450

Purchase in Japan (Trial):

Class7 Days14 Days21 Days
Green CarAdult¥44,810¥72,310¥91,670
Standard CarAdult¥33,610¥52,960¥66,200

Exchange Order

Example of an Exchange Order JRRailPass-ExchangeOrder.jpg
Example of an Exchange Order

While the Rail Pass is sold by the JR Group, it is obtained by purchasing an Exchange Order from a travel agency located outside Japan. The exchange order can also be purchased from All Nippon Airways; Japan Airlines stopped selling exchange orders in March 2017. The Exchange Order cannot be obtained in Japan. However, from March 8, 2017 to March 31, 2022 (Extended), as part of a trial basis, the Japan Rail Pass will be available for direct purchase in Japan at a select number of major airports and train stations, though at a higher price of between 10%-13% depending on the pass type. [1]

The Exchange Order will have a 90 day validity period from the date it's issued by an Authorized Seller. It then needs to be exchanged over to a Japan Rail Pass in Japan within that time period. [2]

The Exchange Order itself cannot be used for travel, and must be exchanged at a JR Midori no Madoguchi ticket office. Exchange Orders can be exchanged for a Japan Rail Pass at the following designated major JR train stations.

*These stations are on the Tokyo Monorail line. JR East maintains a Travel Service Center at Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Station, with a Tourist Information Center also available at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station, where the pass can be obtained.

**This station is on the Meitetsu Airport Line. Though there is a Central Japan Travel Center, the Japan Rail Pass cannot be used for travel on the Meitetsu Lines between Chubu Centrair International Airport and Nagoya Station.

Valid transportation

The pass is valid for travel on Japan Railways Group (JR) transportation throughout the country in the class of service indicated on the pass.


The pass is valid on all JR-operated lines, including the Shinkansen (with the exception of Nozomi and Mizuho services on the Tōkaidō, San'yō and Kyushu Shinkansen), limited express (特急, Tokkyū) trains and regular commuter services, including Local (普通, Futsū) and Rapid (快速, Kaisoku) trains.

The pass is also valid on the following non-JR lines:


The pass is valid on the local routes of the following bus companies:

It is not valid on JR highway buses and Community buses which JR Bus is entrusted.


The pass is also valid for travel on JR Ferry service on the following route:

Conditions of exchange

The Rail Pass is designed for tourist use, and therefore has conditions for its purchase and exchange.


The user must meet one of the following two conditions:

Validity period of the exchange order

The exchange order must be exchanged for a Japan Rail Pass within three months from the date the order was issued. [3]

Exchange procedure

  1. The person designated on the Exchange Order must apply for the Rail Pass at an exchange office, and there,
  2. Present the order, along with passport.
  3. Fill in the application form provided at the office.
  4. Specify the desired first day of use, which must be within one month from the date of exchange. For example, if the exchange is made on January 1, then the date of first travel must be selected before February 1. [3]

Conditions of use

The Rail Pass is valid on almost all forms of transportation (train, bus and ferry) operated by the companies of the JR Group. However, there are exceptions and conditions of use of the Rail Pass.

Other information

JR Group has announced that it will be selling Japan Rail Passes inside Japan to tourists on an experimental basis from March 8, 2017 ‒ March 31, 2022. [6]

The Japan Rail Pass also allows the holders to obtain discounts when staying at JR Group Hotels.

Regional Rail Passes are also available for JR-Hokkaido, JR-Central, JR-East, JR-West, JR-Shikoku, and JR-Kyushu lines. [7] Unlike the full JR Pass, some regional passes (in particular those sold by JR West) allow holders to travel on Nozomi and Mizuho trains. Some may have limitations on seat reservations, however.

From Spring 2020, users of the Japan Rail Pass will be able to make seat reservations for trains over the internet in four languages (English, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese) and use automatic ticket gates at stations. [8]

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  1. "JAPAN RAIL PASS sold in Japan on a trial basis" (PDF). Japan Rail Pass Web Site. Retrieved Feb 26, 2021.
  2. "Japan Rail Pass Exchange Order | Japan Rail Pass". Japan Rail Pass. 2018-10-30. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  3. 1 2 "Exchange Period - Japan Rail Pass". JRPass.com. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  4. "日本を旅する際のお役立ち情報 | ジャパン・レール・パス | JAPAN RAIL PASS". japanrailpass.net. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  5. "JAPAN RAIL PASSの購入から利用まで | ジャパン・レール・パス | JAPAN RAIL PASS". japanrailpass.net. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  6. ""JAPAN RAIL PASS" sold in Japan on a trial basis" (PDF).
  7. "Is the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) Worth It? | Footsteps of a Dreamer". Footsteps of a Dreamer. 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  8. "「ジャパン・レール・パス」Web販売サービス開始について" [Launch of Japan Rail Pass web sales service] (Press release) (in Japanese). JR Group. 18 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.

Guide JRPass - https://www.japonalternativo.com/japan-rail-pass/