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Essential for Traveling in Japan – The Japan Rail Pass (Part 2)

Have you ever heard of the Japan Rail Pass?

It is a specific type of travel card that is provided for tourists in Japan who are non-Japanese nationals. With this pass, you can travel on the 6 JR Group railways and buses throughout the entire country, and therefore can provide quite a significant saving.

This article introduces the multiple ways on how you can purchase the Japan Rail Pass. This article is split into two parts, so be sure to check out part 1 as well!

Buying the Japan Rail Pass

There are certain conditions of use of the JR Rail Pass. It is recommended that if you wish to purchase the pass, that you click here and follow the purchase procedure.

We will introduce the various ways to buy the JR pass. The JR pass can be bought outside of Japan prior to your trip. However, if you are already in Japan and have forgotten to buy, or didn’t know about the JR pass, you can refer to the below link, which introduces certain places where the JR pass can be bought in Japan during limited periods. For more information, you can refer to the information in this website.

Obtaining the purchase receipt for the Japan Rail Pass

If you are purchasing the ticket outside Japan, you will need to buy an exchange ticket in advance from a designated office, such as JTB, Japan tourist agencies, Tobu Top tours, Japan airlines, ANA, and branch offices etc)

Exchanging the purchase receipt for the Japan Rail Pass

Once you have arrived in Japan, you will need to present your purchase receipt in order to exchange it for the JR pass. It can be exchanged at many major JR railway stations, but you will need to ensure that along with the purchase receipt that you present your passport and proof of eligibility to purchase (such as your stamped passport showing tourist status).

For more information on places to exchange the purchase receipt for the JR pass, you can follow this page.

※ Please ensure that you check the opening times during the holiday periods such as during the new years’ period.

Japan Rail Pass Validity period/Purchase receipt validity period

The validity period of the Japan Rail Pass is from 7, 14 or 21 days after the first use. If you purchase and obtain the purchase receipt outside of Japan, the validity period is within 3 months of purchase. For example, if the purchase receipt was purchased on 15 April, it would be available to be exchanged for a JR pass up until 14 July.

It is also possible to decide the start date of the pass when you exchange the purchase receipt for the JR pass, and this date can be chosen within a 1 month period after the pass is issued.

Are you ready for travel Japan?

By buying a Japan Rail Pass, it is possible to travel almost wherever you please within Japan. It is highly recommended in particular for those who wish to travel by Shinkansen and wish to avoid the heavy Shinkansen fees. Just be sure to check the small print as described above before using, and enjoy! Be sure to read part 1!