JR Pass
Shinkansen (Bullet train)

When the air tickets are getting cheaper (some under 300 SGD ~ 228 USD), you can easily travel to Japan at any time of the year. However, the domestic travel in Japan is much more expensive, which makes tourists’ exploring many nearby cities quite difficult. But do not worry too much – Living Nomads will help you discover the very popular public transport in Japan is JP Pass, not only convenient but also extremely save! Now, let’s explore Japan Rail Pass (also known as JR Pass, JR Pass Shinkansen, JR Shinkansen) from what is JR Pass, where to buy JR Pass (where to purchase JR Pass) to how to cancel JR Pass, how to reserve JR Pass… in this article: Top 11 things to know about JR Pass you need to know below.

jr pass regional
Japan Rail Pass
jr pass regional
jr regional pass
Map of Japan displaying Japan Rail and their respective areas of validity
Map of Japan displaying Japan Rail and their respective areas of validity

Do not worry too much – Living Nomads will help you discover the very popular public transport in Japan. It is JP Pass, not only convenient but also extremely money saving!

The available list of JR Pass (Japan Rail Pass)

The whole Japan (All Japan Rail Pass)

Japan Rail Pass JR Pass Shinkansen japan rail pass jr pass jr shinkansen
Japan Rail Pass for the whole country

Japan Rail Pass 7 Days
Japan Rail Pass 14 Days
Japan Rail Pass 21 Days

The whole cities

Shikoku

jr pass shikoku
jr pass shikoku

2 Days JR All Shikoku Rail Pass
3 Days JR All Shikoku Rail Pass
4 Days JR All Shikoku Rail Pass

JR Shikoku 8000 Series Anpanman Livery 002
JR Shikoku 8000 Series Anpanman Livery 002

Hokkaido

jr pass hokkaido
jr pass hokkaido

3 Days JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
JR Hokkaido Rail Pass Flexible 4 Days
7 Days JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
5 Days JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
6 Days JR East – South Hokkaido Rail Pass

JR Hokkaido Shinkansen Bullet Train from Tokyo to Sapporo
JR Hokkaido Shinkansen Bullet Train from Tokyo to Sapporo

JR central

5 Days JR Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Pass
5 Days JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass
5 Days JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass
Fuji Shizuoka Area Tourist Pass Mini

5DayJRTakayama-HokurikuAreaTouristPass JR Pass Shinkansen japan rail pass jr pass jr shinkansen
5 Days JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass

Kansai

kansai jr pass
kansai jr pass

1 Day JR-West Kansai Rail Pass
2 Days JR-West Kansai Rail Pass
3 Days JR-West Kansai Rail Pass
4 Days JR-West Kansai Rail Pass
5 Days JR Kansai WIDE Area Pass
5 Days JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass

Kansai-Hiroshima JR Pass JR Pass Shinkansen japan rail pass jr pass jr shinkansen
Kansai-Hiroshima JR Pass

JR West

7 Days JR Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass
7 Days JR Sanyo-San’in Area Pass
4 Days JR San’in Okayama Area Pass
4 Days JR Hokuriku Area Pass
5 Days JR Setouchi Area Pass
5 Days JR Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass

JR West pass
JR West pass

JR East

JR East Pass (Tohoku area)
JR East Pass (Nagano / Niigata area)

Travel Tohoku With a JR East Pass
Travel Tohoku With a JR East Pass

Kyushu

3 Days Northern Kyushu Area Rail Pass
5 Days Northern Kyushu Area Rail Pass
3 Days All Kyushu Area Rail Pass
5 Days All Kyushu Area Rail Pass

JR Kyushu Pass
JR Kyushu Pass

We are sure that you will be confused by this above list. Thus, Living Nomads will summarize all of them to help you to imagine easier!

What is JR Pass and who can use it?

japan-rail-pass JR Pass Shinkansen japan rail pass jr pass jr shinkansen
japan rail pass

Like the EZ-Link card in Singapore, the JR Pass is a personal travel ticket exclusively for international travelers. With this ticket in hand, you will be able to get all the train lines provided by Japan Railways, including all trains on the JR railway network such as JR Kyushu, JR Shikoku, JR West, JR Center. , JR East and JR Hokkaido. You can also use this card to get other means of transport such as JR Bus, JR Ferry, and monorails.
In addition, JR Pass can be used 24/7, too economical and convenient right?

Japan-JR-Pass-Worth-It-5

JR Pass
Both covers of JR Pass

Allowed conditions to use JR Pass: Am I eligible to use JR Pass?

things to know about jr pass JR Pass Shinkansen japan rail pass jr pass jr shinkansen

JR Pass allows visitors with a “temporary visit” status stay in Japan. This means that you are allowed to stay in Japan for at least 3 months. In other words, the JR Pass is limited to those who are non-Japanese nationality and come to Japan for travel purposes. JR Pass does not apply for business or military reasons.

JR Pass terms and conditions
JR Pass terms and conditions
JR_Rail_Pass
JR Rail Pass ordinary

Japan Rail Pass types & prices

jr-pass-1

There are several types of JR Pass and each type meets different needs. For example, if you plan to travel throughout Japan, it is best to purchase the Whole Japan Rail Pass, which allows you to take all the JR train lines in Japan.

[OrdinaryCar]7DayWholeJapanRailPass
[Ordinary Car ] 7 Day Whole Japan Rail Pass
If you just want to go around the city, you should buy a ticket used within the city will be more appropriate.

JR Regional Pass
JR Regional Pass

These JR Passes are also different in term of duration. For example, you can choose between a 7-day, 14-day or 21-day Whole Japan Rail Pass. Therefore, you can travel comfortably within the specified period. Note that the start date is calculated from the first trip on your ticket!

jrpass
jr pass price list

Which JR Pass to buy? Which JR Pass should I buy for my trip?

which jr pass should i buy JR Pass Shinkansen japan rail pass jr pass jr shinkansen
Which JR Pass should I buy?

The first important thing is to plan your trip before ordering the JR Pass and see how many tickets are available to choose from.

For example, if you plan to go to Osaka and visit Nagoya while you are in Japan, you should buy Central Passes. Then you can easily go to the central region of Japan.

Jr-pass-type JR Pass Shinkansen japan rail pass jr pass jr shinkansen

JR Pass_ Osaka – Nagoya “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist
JR Pass: Osaka – Nagoya “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist

Or you just want to stay in a city, such as Hokkaido, for example, you should buy JR Hokkaido Rail Pass.

JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
JR Hokkaido Rail Pass. Image by: jr pass shinkansen blog.

As mentioned above, if you are coming to Tokyo for two weeks but you have a plan to get around other regions of Japan, you’ve better to book a Whole Japan Rail Pass 14 days!

Where to purchase JR Pass?

Where to buy JR Pass Where to purchase JR Pass

You can buy JR Pass at various airports and ticket stalls in Japan. However, buying JR Pass at airports or in Japan is usually quite expensive so Living Nomads recommends to book online tickets, and be careful before buying tickets because not all websites are allowed to sell these tickets!

JRGreenCounter
JR Green Counter
JR Pass Online Booking Form
JR Pass Online Booking Form

Differences between Green car tickets & Ordinary car tickets

Green car ticket is often seen on Shinkansen (high – speed train) and Tokkyu (limited fast train). The green car is like the business class seats on the plane so it, of course, will be more expensive. With excellent service, guests can relax with spacious chairs, read magazines, private luggage storage and even set up a radio!

The Green Cars on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen are first class, with more spacious seats.
The Green Cars on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen are first class, with more spacious seats.
Green car interior
Green car interior. Image by: jr pass shinkansen blog.

Moreover, the green car is a popular choice during peak hours because it has its own seat. This also means you can book your seat for each trip in advance!

Ordinary car tickets
Tokkyu Ordinary Car Seats (JR Haruka Airport Express)
Tokkyu Ordinary Car Seats (JR Haruka Airport Express)

Besides, the standard JR train services are quite good for your trip. However, the green car’s booking and general benefits (which are private, and do not have to huddle with the crowd) may be a good reason to buy a green car pass ticket.

Reserved or non-reserved seats

Reserved seat ticket for Shinkansen
Reserved seat ticket for Shinkansen

There will be several JR trains that offer private seating, but you still have to buy your own express ticket to get a seat. For trains that don’t require express tickets, you can reserve your seat when you pick up your ticket. This means that every time you buy a JR ticket, you can sit anywhere without reservation.

The private seats board
The private seat board. Image by: jr pass shinkansen blog.

For example, if you want a private seat on the Kansai Airport Express Haruka and other express trains on the West Kansai Rail Pass, you need to buy an express ticket.
However, for special express train services, express, and local train services on regular JR-West lines, you can have a seat when receiving JR Pass already.

Sample of Reserved Ticket
A sample of Reserved Ticket
Make sure to note which cars are non-reserved to figure out where to board
Make sure to note which cars are non-reserved to figure out where to board

Where and how to exchange JR Pass?

After booking successfully, you will receive the Exchange Order sent to your address in Vietnam, you use this Exchange Order to convert to JR Pass in Japan, and you can easily exchange tickets in many places. You need both your Exchange Order and your passport to be able to change your ticket.

Exchange order for a JR pass
Exchange order for a JR pass
Japan Rail Pass exchange office
Japan Rail Pass exchange office. Image by: jr pass shinkansen blog.

How to activate the JR Pass?

When exchanging tickets, you have to select a start date of use. This is exactly the official date when your JR Pass will be activated, so pay close attention to plan carefully! Note that each voucher is valid for 90 days from the confirmed booking date! Hence, do not forget about it.

An image of JR Pass with detail information
An image of JR Pass with detail information
JR station
JR station

Cancel JR Pass: Can we cancel the JR pass or not?

After purchase, it is possible to cancel your Japan Rail Pass and be refunded under certain conditions. If your voucher has not been exchanged, your Japan Rail Pass can be refunded within a year from the date of purchase.

The cancellation cost is 15% of your order (excluding shipping charges).

Please note that if your voucher has already been exchanged for the Japan Rail Pass and/or you have already used it to take the train, a refund will no longer be possible.

JR pass with user guide helps tourists plan their trip carefully
JR pass with user guide helps tourists plan their trip carefully

Is worthy using JR Pass or not?

JR-Pass Image by: jr pass shinkansen blog.
Image by: jr pass shinkansen blog.

Of course, it is worth! With the complex train lines in Japan, having a JR Pass in hand will really make your trip easier and more saving, unless you are fine with spending a lot of money for each trip!

Pros and cons of using JR pass

Pros and cons of using JR pass

Pros and cons of using JR pass

Living Nomads hope that all above useful information will help you have the wonderful experience during your trip!

kyoto-cherry-blossom japan dates 2018
Kyoto cherry blossom

Are you finding more top things to do in Japan: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out at here.

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