The Japan Rail Pass is a train ticket that makes transportation easy and reasonable for travelers in Japan. Hopefully, you’re reading this article in preparation to your trip to Japan, because purchasing your JR Pass is actually quite a bit cheaper online than it is to buy in Japan itself. The Japan Rail Pass can be used only by foreign tourists to Japan. It is possible to buy the Japan Rail Pass in Japan, at certain major stations. Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route: To travel through this area, visitors must take a handful of different modes of transport, including buses, cable cars, and funiculars, all of which is included in the Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket. When you crunch the numbers, it's a no-brainer. Japan Rail Passes: oatautta / Shutterstock.com. Okay, I suppose I just got ahead of myself… While you can get some places within Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto for free by using your JR Pass, there are many gaps. Again, this is not an exhaustive list of places not covered. There are many places that sell these tickets; Japan Rail Pass Now is one of the companies that offer competitive rates for their tickets. The JR Trains you should reserve seats in are the Shinkansen (bullet) trains that run in between major cities. on train travel in Japan. Act like your JR Pass is as valuable as your passport. It takes between 13 to 19 minutes to Haneda Airport from Hamamatsuchō Station, which is on the Yamanote Line connecting to Tokyo Station. Yes! Typically, it is on the left-hand side of the entrance gates, and there will be a person at the booth. We learned our lesson to book seats far in advance. When you land in Japan, you’ll be guided through immigration where you’ll get a tourist visa in your passport. Get info on Japan Rail Pass 2020 prices, class types & itineraries. Are you confused about train travel in Japan? Other nationalities: If you’re not sure if there is a fee or not, it’s always good to double-check on your embassy's website. Note: These estimates don’t include the JR metro lines we used within Osaka and Tokyo, which saved us additional money. Narita Express (between Tokyo and Narita Airport), some metro lines in cities like Osaka and Tokyo, denoted as JR lines, some ferries around the country, like the ferry from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island, Nozomi and Mizuho Shinkansen lines are NOT covered in the JR Pass, some other private train lines are not covered, the majority of buses and ferries around the country are not covered. 3. Check out our Ultimate Japan Travel Guide for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below. We have TONS of resources on travel in Japan and destinations throughout the country. Overall, we were very happy with the service and can highly recommend them to anyone else looking for a trustworthy company that sells JR Passes. We always encourage readers to do their own research before making big purchases. You may have noticed we’ve referenced “local trains”, “regional trains”, and “Shinkansens” a few times in this article. Buying and using a Japan Rail Pass is simple and easy. Don’t be that person who is talking loudly to your partner or watching Netflix without headphones! If the reservable seats on a train you want are completely full, you are still in luck! They will look at your pass and wave you through. Look at your ticket, which has the car and seat number. If you’ve ever ridden the trains in India, this is the exact opposite! ), they do come at an additional cost. Alternatively, you can choose to have your JR voucher be delivered to your hotel in Japan. ), and kids between the ages of 6-11 are eligible for a cheaper rate: 7-day Pass: Standard Pass= $137 USD, or Green Pass= $182 USD, 14-day Pass: Standard Pass= $217 USD, or Green Pass= $294 USD, 21-day Pass: Standard Pass= $277 USD, or Green Pass= $382 USD. Now you're going to Japan! JAPAN RAIL PASS, a joint offering of the six companies comprising the Japan Railways Group (JR Group), is the most economical means of travelling throughout Japan by rail. As I alluded to above, a JR Pass 7 days in duration costs ¥29,110, and is valid for seven calendar days, starting the day you activate the pass. We seek adrenaline rushes, good food, authentic experiences, and adventures off the typical tourist path. What if you didn't buy a Japan Rail Pass In the validity period of your rail pass you will be able to use as many JR trains in Japan as you wish, with the exception of the fastest Shinkansen (bullet trains) called Nozomi (don’t worry the slower Shinkansen trains are still ridiculously fast, they just stop at a couple more stations). Shop Now & Save Repeat this process for all major routes that you plan to take within Japan. Alright, let’s get into the nitty gritty. You enter through a gate at a station and you can sit anywhere on the train that you like. How much money the JR Pass saved us: We saved $190 USD each! *Cue the pouring of champagne!*. © Copyright 2020. Only the original document is accepted. What it boils down to is this: The Japan Rail Pass will likely save you money if you are visiting two or more cities in Japan. On each Shinkansen train, there are three train cars that have non-reservable seats (first come, first serve) at either the front or back of the train. In Osaka, getting to Dotonbori, the popular downtown district, it takes a bit longer with just the JR Pass. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, you may have heard about the Japan Rail Pass. There are a handful of companies out there, but with any purchase this big, we like to be sure we are going through a reliable, trustworthy source. Before your trip to Japan, make sure you know which days and times you’ll be making your longer train journeys, and write down the information so you can easily reserve your seats in person. (Here is a list of the JR Exchange offices and hours). Helpful Tip: When navigating transportation, knowing the Japanese word for “excuse me” can come in quite handy. That said, even the fastest route (15 minutes!) This is a good idea if you are ordering your pass last minute, or just don’t want to risk forgetting to pack it! If you are a man (or traveling with one), be extra mindful about this. Many local Japanese people travel on these routes so they tend to book up. Here are the reasons you should buy online from Klook: 1. 6. However, there is a 220 yen fee to refund the deposit, so if you have more than 220 left on the card, the fee will be subtracted from the balance and then you will be refunded the remainder. ), 21-day Pass: $609 USD (vs. $544 USD online, a $65 savings!). Plus, riding in one of those famous Shinkansen bullet trains is a bucket list experience in itself! During both trips, we had a Japan Rail Pass, and both times it saved us money. We'll explain exactly when you should purchase the Japan Rail Pass and if it is worthwhile for your route. If you have it, you won’t need to pay for individual ticket per journey, which can mean BIG SAVINGS, supposedly. It works just like an Oyster card in London, where you tap in and out of the metro gates. You can buy your Japan Rail Pass via this website in a few easy steps. That's a great question. Buy the Official Japan Rail Pass online from an authorised Australian agent (2020). You will need to present your exchange order along with your tourist visa (stamp in your passport) at the train station, as explained below. The trains look super sleek and are really nice inside. Tip: Our suggestion would be to book further in advance so you don't freak out as we did! This ticket will tell you the departure time, station, car, and seat. De Japan Rail Pass is de ideale en de voordeligste reisformule om Japan per trein te ontdekken. Responsible and Adventurous Travel on Any Budget. If Europe has its own famous train pass called as ‘Eurail Pass‘, then so does Japan and it is called as the Japan Rail Pass (or JR Pass). Just take a look at this sample costs for someone visiting just Tokyo and Osaka: Just those two tickets add up to be $271 USD. That's it. Kansai Airport to Osaka using the JR Pass: The Kansai Airport still out on its own airport island in the middle of Osaka Bay. Below are just a few areas worth noting, but it certainly is not an extensive list: Hakone: This small mountain town known for onsen and views of Mount Fuji can be reached by JR trains, but once you’re there, getting around the area is not covered. Yes, you can ship out a voucher to a temporary address in Japan, like your hotel. Once you are done riding the metro, go to any JR station and they can refund your balance and 500 yen deposit. For example, if you are a backpacker and are planning to do some hiking or WorkAways to keep costs low on your trip to Japan, the JR Pass might not be the best option for you. Unless the train is very empty with plenty of seats, don’t set your belongings on the seat next to you. Take a quick look over this list to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself on the Japanese trains! We condensed a lot of this article into this video below. Once you’re in Japan, exchange your order for the REAL pass! Not only do you get unlimited train rides on the famous Shinkansen bullet trains (one of the fastest trains in the world), but you can also utilize some of the local buses, subways and ferries throughout Japan. You cannot reserve seats on a regional JR Train. If you can’t make it on the Haruka Express or want to connect to other stations, you can use the Kansai Airport Rapid train which takes 50 minutes to get to Tennoji and then you have access to the JR Osaka Loop line, which you ride for free with the JR Pass. If you’re traveling to Japan, the JR Pass can be a huge money saver. Keep reading to see if you fit into any of these categories: These cities are very close together and the most time-consuming journey between the two is just shy of an hour and can be as cheap at 400 yen ($3.70) depending on which train line you take. I told you trains in Japan are expensive. But for now, there are a few more steps involved. Train travel in Japan is really easy. Like with everything in Japan, it is a little confusing at first glance, so we’re delving into the different options in Tokyo and Osaka, and we’ll help you determine which are best (and cheapest!) All Rights Reserved. Can I Buy Japan Rail Pass In Japan? But one thing to note if you choose to do this is you will have to pay for your transportation from the airport into the city, as you won’t have your physical JR Pass with you. Please wait until you get off at the station. Once you have made the exchange and received your physical pass, you're almost ready to start exploring Japan! When you think about it, it’s pretty crazy that foreign tourists get a better deal on the trains than locals! How Much Does a Trip to Japan Cost: Budget Travel Tips, 45 Foods to Eat in Japan: Guide to Japanese Cuisine, Ultimate Japan Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know for Your First Visit. You’ll start with putting 2,000 yen ($18.45 USD) on the card at first, 500 yen of which is a deposit, so you’ll have 1,500 yen for riding the metro. between them is inexpensive at just 1420 yen ($13 USD). You’ll need your tourist visa stamp to exchange the ticket voucher for the real Japan Rail Pass. By the way, going through Japan immigration is one of the smoothest processes we’ve ever had! Check out this FAQ page or shoot us a message with the subject: “JR Pass Question”. Ohhh, so satisfying. Other than that, it is strictly prohibited. Don’t just take our advice! Cheapest prices: Klook has the lowest Japan Rail Pass prices for both the passes themselves and delivery (with no extra charges).On average, Japan Rail Passes from Klook cost 1% … Travelers in Japan are eligible for a special pass that gives you unlimited train access at a steeply discounted rate. Privacy Policy. Japan Rail recently (as of March 8th, 2017) started selling the passes a higher price at major stations and airports for a trial period. Do you want to save money when traveling in Japan? We are working hard to get your tickets to you on time. Since we were traveling around so much of Japan, we knew the pass would be well worth the money. It kind of stinks that you have to fork over a (big) chunk of change before you even board your flight, but that's just how it is. When it comes to different vendors, the prices are within dollars of each other. Plugin the date, time and cities you’ll be traveling between. So buy before you travel, to save money. In general, Japan is a pretty expensive country to travel, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be trying to find every way possible to cut your costs in order to maximize your travel budget! The 5 steps of buying and using the Japan Rail Pass is as illustrated in this picture. The seats on the train tend to face all one direction, but sometimes they don’t. It’s important to note that only tourists to Japan, who are visiting Japan on a tourist visa for a maximum duration of 90 days, are eligible to buy the JR Pass. That’s one hell of a savings if you ask me! This has been done in response to many women reporting inappropriate incidences on the trains. Roughly the size of California, Japan is a relatively small country, yet it is packed with an uncanny number of places to visit. However, if you only need to get one way (aka you’re flying in and out of different airports), this cuts your train cost in half, meaning the JR Pass will in fact be more expensive than the single train journey. So bookmark it, take screenshots, or pin it for later! More often than not, the JR Trains you will ride will be within the same city or will be labeled as regional or local trains. Activate the pass when you ride your first train! Just be mindful of your neighbors and don’t eat anything too smelly. Trains are very punctual, meaning they don’t have time to spare at stations. It is exactly the same card as described above for the Suica card, but the sole difference is the ICOCA card can only be refunded in the Kansai region at JR stations. The simplest way is to say "sue-mee-mah-sen” (sumimasen). Language is hardly ever a problem, stations have signs & departure boards in English as well as Japanese… Budget: Medium, but still trying to be mindful of our spending, Itinerary: Osaka > Mount Koya > Kii Peninsula > Hiroshima > Nara > Osaka > Kanazawa > Takayama > Alpine Route > Matsumoto > Magome  > Kamakura > Tokyo**. Below, we’re sharing exactly how to do this: Open Hyperdia (website) or the Japan Official Travel App. Enter your digits for payment, confirm your information and submit your order. This is everything you need to know including where to buy the rail pass. The fastest way to get from Kansai Airport to Osaka is on the Haruka Express. 9. Having the Green Pass means you don’t have to deal with waiting in lines or crowded cars. Can you buy a Japan Rail Pass in Japan. We then issue a Japan Rail Pass Exchange Voucher. Signup for our newsletter and we'll send you helpful travel tips! The less expensive it is on the train -- trash included -- and take it with when! 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