The JR Pass is the most economical way to travel throughout Japan
What is the JR Pass?
The JR Pass is a discount ticket offered by the six companies that make up the Japan Railways Group (JR). It allows unlimited rail travel throughout Japan on almost any train on Japan Railways Group (JR Group) lines throughout Japan. JR is an intricate railway network and, with a total track length of about 20,000km, it reaches every corner of the four major islands making it extremely convenient.
Japan’s trains are advanced, fast, and safe. These trains are famous throughout the world for their speed, their safety record, efficiency and punctuality.
Types and Prices of JR Pass
There are two types of JR 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.
|Duration||Adult (12+)||Child (6-11)||Adult (12+)||Child (6-11)|
Prices are subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
* No credit card charges for Visa, MasterCard or AMEX. 2% credit card surcharge for JCB and Diner’s Club
* Reissue fees apply
All Passes come with a JR Pass information brochure.
Local pick-up from our office in Melbourne is available. We’ll contact you once your JR Pass is ready.
Priority post with tracking is available for $3 extra (delivery estimated between 1 – 3 days).
Express Post is available for $7 extra.
Registered Post (person to person) is available for an additional $11.30.
*We are not liable for lost or misplaced passes.
How to buy a JR Pass
You can purchase a JR Pass Exchange Order before you go to Japan. It is much cheaper to do so.
Upon arrival in Japan, you need to swap your Exchange Order for a JR Pass at a JR train station that has an exchange office. We will provide you with a list of stations where you can do this.
At the exchange office, you will be asked to fill in a short application form and to show your passport with the ‘Temporary Visitor’ stamp/sticker you received on entry into Japan.
Your Exchange Order must be converted to a JR Pass within three months of the date the Order was issued.
After exchanging your Order for a JR Pass, you can make seat reservations at a “Midori-no-madoguchi” Reservation Office.
Who is eligible for a JR Pass?
The JR Pass is available to foreign travellers visiting Japan from abroad on a non-Japanese passport for sightseeing, under the entry status of ‘Temporary Visitor’.
Australian residents travelling on a Japanese passport must meet certain conditions to purchase a JR Pass. You can only purchase a JR Pass if you are able to present the written proof required in these conditions – click to see the conditions in Japanese or English.
For a complete description of eligibility requirements, please see the official Japan Rail Pass website.
Where can I use the JR Pass?
You can use your JR Pass on the entire Japan Rail Network – including all JR Limited Express and Express trains and thousands of local trains both in the cities and rural areas. There are a few exceptions which are detailed on the official Japan Rail Pass website. The extensive Shinkansen “bullet train” network is fully covered with the exception of the “Nozomi” and “Mizuho” Shinkansen.
The Narita Express is covered so you can use your pass as soon as you land in Japan.
*You cannot use the JR Pass on private train lines, overnight trains and subway trains. You’ll have to buy a ticket to use these services.
Certain JR Bus lines are included in the scope of the pass including local lines of JR Bus (excluding some local lines) (JR Pass validity for particular routes is subject to change).
(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)
*The JR Pass is not valid for travel on express bus routes operated by JR Bus.
The JR ferry from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island is covered by your JR Pass.
Click here to see the valid train route map
Should I buy a JR Pass?
Have a look at our blog – Is a Japan Rail Pass worth it? – for a quick comparison between buying a JR Pass and one-way tickets.
We also recommend you have a look at your itinerary and do a quick search on the costs of each train journey you intend to take when you travel to Japan.
There are two sites that you can use to search for both JR and non-JR train timetables and the prices of your journeys.
The first is Hyperdia and the second is Jorudan. Use both sites to ensure that you get the most accurate information to help you to determine if a JR pass is right for you, or whether you should just buy your train tickets when you need to use them.
When you organise your package tour of Japan through us, we include the best Japan rail pass or area pass to match your itinerary.
For further information including refund policies, please read the Rail Pass Terms and Conditions