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JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR PASS) | How to Use, Prices, Where to Buy and What Includes. Practical information


JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)

Practical information to best organize your trip to this destination with details on when to go, necessary documents, how to get around and much more

WHAT IS the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)

The Japan Rail Pass (also known as the JR Pass) is a multi-use ticket that allows unlimited travel on Japan's national network. It is valid for travel on all domestic JR trains, including the famous Shinkansen and Narita Express "bullet trains", the Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka subways, and the JR Bus and JR Ferry line. You can choose between a validity of 7, 14 or 21 days, and between a first class Pass (Green Pass) or a Standard Pass. Please note that the Nozomi and Mizuho trains are not part of the JR national group and therefore are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

Order your JR Pass online and you will receive an Exchange order that you can exchange for a JR Pass at ticket windows when you arrive in Japan.

The Japan Rail Pass or JRP is a type of pass with which you will have unlimited access to all trains on the Japanese national rail network, including the famous Shinkansen bullet trains, all local trains,

Although until recently it could only be purchased outside of Japan, it can currently be purchased even when you are already in the country, although it is much more expensive, so I would recommend booking the 7, 14 or 21 day JRP with shipping included from your country of origin.

Generally speaking, in our opinion it is worth purchasing the JR Pass, especially if your travel itinerary passes through the essential places to see in Japan.

HOW TO USE the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)

How to use the Japan Rail Pass is one of the most frequently asked questions when starting to plan a trip to Japan (we asked ourselves the same question). The JR Pass is considered the best way to travel around Japan, both for price and ease of use.

WHAT JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass) INCLUDES

All Shinkansen trains* - All Shinkansen lines

  • Tokaido Shinkansen

Rapid and local trains - Main local train lines

Among others, also:

  • Yamanote Line (Tokyo)

  • Chuo-Sobu Line (Tokyo)

  • Keihin-Tohoku Line (Tokyo)

  • JR Nara Line (Kyoto)

  • Sagano JR Line (Kyoto)

  • Osaka Circular Line (Osaka)

  • Tozai Line (Osaka)

JR Bus Services - How to get to major attractions

Among others, also:

  • Mount Fuji

  • Nara

  • Nikko

  • Fushimi Inari

  • Himeji Castle

  • Miyajima Island / Itsukushima

  • Kanazawa

  • Tokyo Disneyland

Selected Ferries - Major Airport Transfers

  • From Narita to Tokyo (Narita Express)

  • From Haneda to Tokyo (Tokyo Monorail)

  • From Kansai Airport to Osaka (Haruka Express)

  • From Kansai Airport to Kyoto (Haruka Express)

WHERE TO BUY the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)

We recommend that you purchase your Japan Rail Pass outside of Japan, directly from your home country. You can book it here with shipping included.

Shipping to Europe is free for a minimum order of around 500 euros, children from 0 to 5 years travel for free and children from 6 to 11 years have a 50% discount.

Remember that you must activate the JRP within 90 days of the purchase date, so this must be the maximum time in advance of the trip with which you can purchase the Japan Rail Pass.

At the time of purchase you will be asked for the date of arrival in Japan.

Free Delivery in 24/48 hours

  • Home delivery worldwide

  • Possibility to receive the pass in Japan

  • Delivery within 2 working days

  • Confirm via email and online tracking number

Safe and Fast Delivery

  • With the express and secure services of UPS and FedEx to make deliveries all over the world. After placing your order, you will receive a confirmation email containing your unique tracking number.

HOW MUCH DOES the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass) COSTS

The price of the Japan Rail Pass may initially seem expensive, but we assure you that it costs much less than purchasing the various train routes separately.

Japan Rail Pass (JRP) 7 days from €322 (price updated December 2023)

Japan Rail Pass (JRP) 14 days from €533 (price updated December 2023)

Japan Rail Pass (JRP) 21 days from €645 (price updated December 2023)

You can also upgrade to 1st Class (Green Pass): You have more space, separate toilets and exclusive smoking areas on some bullet trains.

HOW TO USE the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)

The first thing you need to do to use the Japan Rail Pass is to activate the 7, 14 or 21 day JRP you purchased previously.

Remember that what you will receive at the address you provided will ONLY be a voucher and you will have to redeem the Japan Rail Pass at any JRP office, there are in all major cities in Japan, at stations and airports.

Once you arrive at the JRP office, you will need to show your passport and Japan Rail Pass voucher (the one you received at home) and indicate the day you will start using it (from here the 7, 14 or 21 days will start counting) .

Please note that the start date of the JRP must be within 30 days of when you exchange it for the voucher you received.

With the 7, 14 or 21 day JRP you can get on any train included in the JRP, regardless of whether you have a reserved seat or not. If you do not reserve a seat, you must board the carriages marked "without reservation", which are usually full. Despite this, you can always access the train, even if you don't have a reservation.

HOW TO BOOK TICKETS with the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)

After exchanging your voucher for the 7, 14 or 21 day JRP, you can get train tickets in several ways:

Book all the tickets for your trip to Japan (recommended if you have a defined itinerary):

This is the option we recommend if you have a decided and defined itinerary and you are clear about the dates and times in which you want to carry out each of the routes. In this case, at the same office where you purchased the JRP you can ask to make a reservation for all routes (local trains, such as the one from Kyoto to Nara, do not require a reservation).

Please note that the Japan Rail Pass includes unlimited travel, so if necessary, you can make multiple reservations or travel on the trains you want without a reservation during the validity period of the JRP.

Once you have made all the reservations, they will give you all the train tickets, in which you will be able to see all the information, including the vehicle and the reserved seat.

Book just a few tickets (recommended if you are unsure of your route through Japan):

This is the most recommended option if you are not clear about the route you want to take during your trip to Japan or you have doubts about some routes. In this case you can use your JRP to book only the routes that are decided or do it when you need it.

Book from time to time or travel on carriages without reserved seats available.

This option is not the most recommended, especially in high season or on holidays, due to the presence of many people.

HOW TO ACCESS THE TRAIN with the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)

Once you get the 7,14 or 21 day JRP and train tickets, if you have made the reservation, you need to follow the steps below:

Remember to always have your Japan Rail Pass handy both to access the platforms and on board the train.

To access the platforms there are machines into which you have to put tickets to open the barriers. Having a Japan Rail Pass (JRP) does not give you the right to skip lines or have priority of any kind. In Japan it is essential to always respect the queues and wait for the staff to give permission to pass.

Once you have passed the barriers, you have to look at the information panels on the platform from which your train departs, whether it is a shinkansen or a local one. Keep in mind that, depending on the type of train, it will depart from one area of the station or another.

Once you know which platform your train leaves from, all you have to do is follow the instructions you will see on the signs.

After following the instructions, in some cases, depending on the type of train, you will have to show your JRP again to access the platforms.

Once you are on the platform, you need to look for the information panels, where you will see the name of the train, the number of carriages the train has and the carriages you can go in if you do not have a seat reservation.

IS IT ADVISABLE to BUY the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass)?

Besides how to use the Japan Rail Pass (JRP), the most important question is whether or not it is advisable to purchase the JPR and for how many days it is the best option.

Let's start from the fact that there is no general rule, everything depends on the type of itinerary you take. To find out if the JR Pass is advantageous in your case, we recommend carrying out a simulation of your route, noting all the routes and their prices.

The most convenient app to do this Hyperdia. Available in English, Japanese and Chinese, Hyperdia lets you choose departure and arrival stations and travel times.

When you have the price of each individual train you need, all you have to do is compare the total prices with the Japan Rail Pass prices, to see which option is best suited to your needs.

You can purchase the 7,14 or 21 day JRP with shipping included here.

In case the price difference between individual tickets is very small, we recommend thinking about the convenience of the JRP, given that it also includes the Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka subways, as well as the JR Buses and JR Ferry lines.


TRAVEL TIPS for USING the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass) in JAPAN

Although we believe we have already explained the most important aspects of the Japan Rail Pass, we want to leave you with some tips on how to use it or on some situations you might find yourself in to make the whole process as easy and intuitive as possible.

At least the first time you use the Japan Rail Pass (JRP), get to the station early because even though the process is much simpler than it might seem, the first time it is not intuitive and maybe it takes a little more time to understand all good (also, many stations are really big).

If you don't have a reservation, before accessing the platforms, check the carriages marked as unreserved to go directly to the area where they will stop and go to the station in advance to make sure you find a seat.

Remember that your pass is valid for 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days. Once activated, the dates cannot be changed.

 

Consult the Practical Information for the trip

 

CHEAP CAR RENTAL in JAPAN

To travel far and wide in Japan you can do it by train, alternatively if you want to venture out with a guide you will need a rental car. We have chosen to rely on DiscoverCars.com, the best car rental website where you can search, compare and save up to 70%, a real bargain right? They will help you choose the perfect car for your next trip, without having surprises of car delivery surcharges, and where it suits you best. Then just download their App to manage your booking wherever you are.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE for JAPAN

Before any trip it is good to take out insurance to cover any inconveniences that could ruin the experience. We always rely on HeyMondo which allows you to choose the right insurance for every need. We recommend that you always protect yourself with health insurance and coverage for any cancellations, delays and, if you use them, for theft or breakage of electronic equipment. Medical treatment in Japan can be very expensive. Health insurance in this country is not mandatory by law but is strongly recommended; without it, even a routine visit can make you shell out staggering amounts.

You will get an immediate Discount

 

INTERNET & PHONE CALL in JAPAN - eSIM CARD

How many times do we go abroad and the first thing we do is call home to say we have arrived. How often are we in a city on vacation and we need to find a place to eat using Google Maps or the internet. How many times do we need to send messages and photos on WhatsApp without spending a salary.


Tired of spending millions when abroad calling or using the internet?

Here is the SOLUTION we use: Holafly, a new technology with eSIM. Order your eSIM on the website and within minutes you will receive an email with a QR code. Just scan it and you'll be connected to the internet right away. You save time, stress and above all do something good for the environment by not having a physical SIM. If you are in a hurry and have to leave tomorrow and have not thought about the internet problem, you can solve it very quickly with this eSIM, and there is no problem that you could accidentally lose it or damage it while traveling. Most importantly, with the eSIM you don't have to change or remove your regular SIM card, you can leave it in the phone and use the eSIM instead of the physical one.


Don't waste time and above all don't spend millions, activate your Holafly eSim.

It is very easy, but how to do it? It only takes 3 steps and voila!

Holafly also offers data plans with unlimited data to many of the main destinations in the world: for example USA, Indonesia, Europe, Mexico, Thailand and many more.


This is a "new" technology and not all devices are compatible with it, but you can check which phones are already compatible with the eSIM at this link: https://esim.holafly.com/how-to/esim-phones.


You will get an immediate discount of 5% with the "WORLDMAPPERS" Discount Code

 

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