Japan Rail Pass
Japan Rail is highly popular thanks to the convenience of JR’s speedy, frequent, clean, punctual and comfortable service. Equip yourself with one of Japan’s rail passes and take advantage of unlimited train travel across the JR network, JR East or Kyushu Island. Hop aboard Japan Rail and travel to destinations including Tokyo, Nagano and Mount Fuji in the East, to Beppu's hot spring and Mount Aso in the Southwest, just to name a few!
A Japan rail pass offers you flexibility and savings, not to mention the unforgettable experience to ride the high-speed “Shinkansen” bullet trains that Japan is famous for.
Select Your Japan Rail Pass
Japan Rail Pass
The Japan Rail Pass offers great value! It’s an economical way to travel throughout Japan’s extensive rail network, considered to be one of the most efficient in the world. This includes travel aboard the world famous Shinkansen ‘bullet trains’, limited expresses and local services.
JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)
Hop on a high-speed bullet train and enjoy travel between Tokyo and the North-East area of the main island, including travel aboard the Tohoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen. Make your way from Tokyo all the way to Aomori, to visit Hirosaki Castle and Park.
JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)
This rail pass is valid for travel between Tokyo and the central area of the main island to exciting destinations such as Nagano and Niigata. This 5 day flexible pass includes unlimited travel aboard sections of the Tohoku Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen.
Hokuriku Arch Pass
JR-EAST and JR-WEST offer this pass valid for 7 consecutive days of unlimited travel in the Hokuriku region. Travel between Tokyo and Osaka, including popular stops such as Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, Kansai Airport, Fukui, Kanazawa, Toyama, Haneda Airport and Narita Airport.
Kyushu Rail Pass
Kyushu is Japan's third largest island, located southwest of the main island Honshu. Choose between a Kyushu Rail Pass to explore all of Kyushu or just a selected Northern Kyushu area.
Hokkaido Rail Pass
As the second largest island in Japan, Hokkaido has a vast rail network to get you to the main destinations such as Sapporo, Hakodate, Otaru and Asahiyama, to name just a few. You will be able to travel aboard all JR Hokkaido trains (excluding the Hokkaido Shinkansen) giving you the flexibility to use this pass to its full potential, while benefiting from its great value.
Shikoku Rail Pass
Shikoku has many marvels to discover such as Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Onsen, Takamatsu city and its beautiful Ritsurin Koen garden and Kochi Castle, which represent just a sampling. This small island also features wonderful hiking trails, known for its Shikoku Pilgrimage featuring 88 temples and beautiful scenery. The Shikoku Rail Pass includes travel on all trains on 1,100 kilometers of railroad, where unlimited trips on each travel day give you the freedom to explore this enchanting island.
Japan Rail Pass Eligibility for Use:
Before buying the Japan Rail Pass, carefully check the following to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements
JAPAN RAIL PASS is 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. There are some restrictions on use; for example, JAPAN RAIL PASS cannot be used for travel on NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines.
The clerk at the location where you purchase your Exchange Order will explain the eligibility requirements for the JAPAN RAIL PASS. Be sure that you understand these requirements before purchasing an Exchange Order.
In the event that you are unable to receive a PASS because you fail to meet the eligibility requirements, the JR Group is not liable for any charges or fees associated with your use of JR lines while in Japan.
- If you are unable to receive a PASS, you can return your Exchange Order to the overseas travel agency from which you purchased it for a refund. (*Fees apply.)
- If you have any questions about the Exchange Order, please inquire directly them to the travel office where you made the purchase.
Japan Rail Pass Conditions:
The Japan Rail Pass is a special fare ticket that is available only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sightseeing. To be eligible to purchase a Japan Rail Pass you must meet one of the following two conditions
(1) You are a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing, under the entry status of "temporary visitor."
Temporary Visitor entry status, according to Japanese Immigration Law, allows a stay in Japan of 15 days or 90 days for "sight-seeing, etc."
If you apply for a "stay for sight-seeing" when you enter Japan, entry personnel will stamp your passport as "Temporary Visitor," as shown below. *In order to receive or use JAPAN RAIL PASS, your passport must bear this stamp or sticker.
Examples of the "Temporary Visitor" entry status stamp
*If you use an automated gate, no stamp will be applied to your passport. Either use a manned automated gate or ask a clerk to apply the stamp to your passport.
Japan Rail Pass Caution:
Even if you visit Japan with an Exchange Order, to be turned in for a JAPAN RAIL PASS, the exchange cannot be made unless you have "Temporary Visitor" status; if you enter Japan under any other official status, such as "Trainee," "Entertainer," or "Reentry Permit," you cannot change the Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL PASS. Please note that according to strict interpretation of the Japanese Immigration Law, "Temporary Visitor" status differs even from other types of stays that are also for only short time periods.
(2) You are a Japanese national living outside of Japan who meets the following conditions.
a. Who has the right of permanent residence in that country.
b. Who is married to a non-Japanese residing in a country other than Japan.
Note: Present the following documentation along with your Japanese passport when you purchase the Exchange Order and when you exchange it for a JAPAN RAIL PASS:
Persons meeting condition (a) must provide written proof of the following:
- Right of permanent residence*
- That they are living in a country other than Japan
Persons meeting condition (b) must provide written proof of the following:
- That they are living in a country other than Japan
- That they are married to a foreign national
- That their spouse (a foreign national) is living outside Japan
Japan Rail Pass Caution:
If an applicant is unable to provide written proof that he or she meets condition (a) or (b) and the clerk is unable to verify compliance using electronic data or other means, the PASS may be denied.
* Applicants’ residence certificate (for stays of five or more years) is subject to verification. For details on required documents, please check with your authorized sales office or agent.
JAPAN RAIL PASS Types of Pass and Prices:
- There are two types of JAPAN RAIL 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.
- Please refer to JAPAN RAIL PASS Scope of Validity regarding travel allowed with the various types of passes.
Prices of Exchange Orders (as of February 2015)
Type: Green Ordinary
Duration Adult Child Adult Child
7-day 38,880 YEN 19,440 YEN 29,110 YEN 14,550 YEN
14-day 62,950 YEN 31,470 YEN 46,390 YEN 23,190 YEN
21-day 81,870 YEN 40,930 YEN 59,350 YEN 29,670 YEN
- The above are yen (¥) prices for a JAPAN RAIL PASS Exchange Order ; the actual cost in local currency is calculated based on the Banker’s Selling Rate (BSR), etc.at the time the Exchange Order is issued.
- Note that the purchase exchange rate may differ from the exchange rate in effect when you actually visit Japan.
- The local currency price, applicable exchange rate, and issue date for an Exchange Order are specified on the Exchange Order itself.
- Children who are age 6 through 11 as of the date on which the exchange order is issued are eligible for child PASS prices.
(Prices are subject to change. The applicable price is the price valid on the date when an Exchange Order is issued. )
*Prices shown are accurate as of February 2015. Prices are subject to change.
Japan Rail Pass Validity Period:
- The validity period of a JAPAN RAIL PASS is the consecutive 7, 14, or 21 days beginning on the date the PASS is first used.
- Within three months from the date the Exchange Order was issued, you must turn in your Exchange Order to obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS (for example, an Exchange Order issued on April 15 would have to be turned in by July 14).
- At that time, you have to specify the date that you want to start using the PASS. It can be any date within one month from the date the PASS is received.
Once a starting date has been assigned to the PASS, it cannot be changed.
Japan Rail Pass Conditions of Use:
JAPAN RAIL PASS Scope of Validity
The JAPAN RAIL PASS is valid for the railways, buses, and ferry boats shown in the table below.
- All JR Group Railways-Shinkansen"bullet trains" (except any reserved or non-reserved seat on “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains) limited express trains, express trains, and rapid or local trains, and the BRT. (With some exceptions)
- JAPAN RAIL PASS holders can also use the Tokyo Monorail.
- Aoimori Railway services between Aomori and Hachinohe (but only for travel on local or rapid service trains encompassing the segments between Hachinohe and Aomori, Aomori and Noheji, and Hachinohe and Noheji. Travel is not covered if you disembark at any other station on the Aoimori Railway line other than Aomori, Noheji, and Hachinohe.)
- The IR Ishikawa Railway Line between Kanazawa and Tsubata. (However, travel must be conducted on local or limited express trains and must encompass the full segment between these two stations. Travel is not covered if you disembark at any station on the IR Ishikawa Railway line other than Kanazawa or Tsubata.)
- The Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line between Toyama and Takaoka. (However, travel must be conducted on local trains and must encompass the full segment between these two stations. Travel is not covered if you disembark at any station on the Ainokaze Toyama Railway line other than Toyama or Takaoka.)
Nationwide JR Route Map Shinkansen Bullet Train Railway Map
- Local lines of JR Bus (excluding some local lines) (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 PASS is not valid for travel on express bus routes operated by JR Bus.
- Only the JR-WEST Miyajima ferry is covered.
*Hydrofoil ferry service operated by JR-KYUSHU between Hakata and Pusan (Korea) is not covered.
Japan Rail Pass Caution:
- The JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid for any seats, reserved or non-reserved, on “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines. (The pass holders must take “HIKARI,” “SAKURA,” “KODAMA,” or “TSUBAME” trains.)
- If you use a “NOZOMI” or “MIZUHO” train, you must pay the basic fare and the limited express charge, and for a Green Car the Green Car surcharge.
- In addition, if you use the GranClass car of the Tohoku Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen, you must pay the limited express charge and the GranClass car surcharge.
- Note also that passengers using JR trains on non-JR lines must pay additional fares and charges for sections traveled on such lines. Some JR trains use the lines of private railways for direct services.
Major JR Trains Running Through Non-JR Lines and the Sections Concerned:
Train Main route Section Requiring Private Railway
Separate Fares Company Involved
Shirayuki Niigata - Naoetsu - Echigo
Joetsumyoukou/Arai Joetsumyoko/Arai TOKImeki Railway
Odoriko, Shinjuku - Tokyo Between Ito and Izu Kyuko
Super View ~ Izukyu - Shimoda Izukyu - Shimoda Railway
Odoriko Tokyo ~ Shuzenji Between Mishima Izuhakone Railway and Shuzenji Railway
Asagiri Gotemba - (Odakyu) Matsuda - (Odakyu) Odakyu Electric Shinjuku Shinjuku Railway
Nikko, Spacia Shinjuku ~ Tobu Between Kurihashi Tobu Railway
Nikko Nikko and Tobu Nikko
Kinugawa, Shinjuku ~ Between Kurihashi Tobu Railway
Spacia Kinugawa Onsen and Kinugawa Onsen
(Wide View) Nagoya ~ Shingu Between Kawarada Ise Tetsudo
Nanki and Tsu Railway
Rapid ''Me'' Nagoya ~ Toba Between Kawarada Ise Tetsudo
and Tsu Railway
Hashidate, Kyoto ~ Between Fukuchiyama Kyoto Tango
Tango Relay Amanohashidate and Toyooka Railway (*1)
Kounotori Shin - Osaka ~ Between Fukuchiyama Kyoto Tango
Amanohashidate and Toyooka Railway (*1)
Super Hakuto Kyoto - Between Kamigori Chizu Express
Tottori - Kurayoshi and Chizu
Super Hakuto Okayama - Tottori Between Kamigori Chizu Express and Chizu
Nanpu, Okayama-Takamatsu Between Kubokawa Tosa Kuroshio
Shimanto, - Kochi ~ Nakamura Nakamura - Sukumo Railway
Ashizuri - Sukumo
Hokutosei, Ueno ~ Sapporo Between Morioka IGR Iwate
Cassiopeia and Metoki Ginga Railway
Between Metoki Aoimori Railway
(*1) Referred to as the Kitakinki Tango Railway until March 31, 2015.
JAPAN RAIL PASS Train Accommodations:
- Most JR trains have Ordinary Cars (coach class) while many long-distance trains also offer Green Cars (superior class).
- With a Green-type JAPAN RAIL PASS you can use either class, while with an Ordinary-type JAPAN RAIL PASS you can use only Ordinary Cars without paying an additional charge.
- Refer to the table below for details.
- The cars with ● can be used with JAPAN RAIL PASS. Use of the cars with ★ requires paying additional charges.
Trains Accommodations Green Ordinary
“NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains
on the Tokaido, Sanyo and
Kyushu Shinkansen*1 Green Car × ×
Ordinary Car × ×
“HIKARI,” “SAKURA,” “KODAMA”
and “TSUBAME” trains on the
Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu
Shinkansen and any trains
on the Tohoku, Yamagata,
Akita, Joetsu and Nagano
GranClass *4 ★ ★
Green Car ●*2 ★
Ordinary Car ● ●
Compartment ★ ★
Limited express and
Green Car ●*3 ★
Ordinary Car ● ●
Compartment ★ ★
Compartment ★ ★
Sleeping Car ★ ★
Local and rapid trains Green Car ● ★
Ordinary Car ● ●
- The JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid for any seats, reserved (incl. Green Car) or non-reserved, on ”NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains.
- There are no Green Cars on most “HIKARI” and “KODAMA” trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen line (Shin-Osaka~Hakata), or on some “SAKURA” and “TSUBAME” Series 800 trains on the Kyushu Shinkansen line.
- If you use a “DX Green” (operated by JR Kyushu), you must pay the limited express charge in addition to the DX Green charge.
- If you use the GranClass car, only the basic fare is covered with your JAPAN RAIL PASS for both Green Car and Ordinary Cars and you must pay the limited express charge and the GranClass car surcharge additionally.
- Private Compartments are available on some “HIKARI” trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen line.
- Green Private Compartments are on certain limited express trains, such as “Super-view Odoriko.”
- Use of “Home Liner” and other “liner” trains requires an additional charge.
Japan Rail Pass Main Conditions of Use:
1) The JAPAN RAIL PASS is valid only for the person whose name appears on the pass. The user must be a foreign national visiting Japan with the entry status of Temporary Visitor. Please note also that the pass is valid only when it has a JAPAN RAIL PASS ticket attached.
2) When you begin using your pass, present it to the attendant at a manned ticket gate. The attendant will apply a stamp in the space provided for official use. When passing through the gate, always present your pass to the attendant so that the period of validity is visible.
3) While using JAPAN RAIL PASS, you must carry your passport and be prepared to present it to a station attendant or car conductor if requested.
4) The JAPAN RAIL PASS is valid for reserved and non-reserved ordinary car travel on all Japan Railways (JR) Group Shinkansen “bullet trains” (except for the “Nozomi” and “Mizuho” services), limited express trains, express trains, and local trains (Green Car passes are valid for Green Car travel) and the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit system). The pass is also valid for travel on the JR Miyajima Ferry between Miyajima and Miyajimaguchi Station, buses operated by JR Hokkaido Bus, JR Tohoku Bus, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokai Bus, West Japan JR Bus, Chugoku JR Bus, JR Shikoku Bus, JR Kyushu Bus, and the Tokyo Monorail. However, please note that JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid for travel on JR Group buses that travel on expressways and some local bus routes.
- The JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid for travel on the “Nozomi” and “Mizuho” Shinkansen services (including non-reserved seats on both).
- To board those services, you must pay in full for the basic fare and the limited express charge.
- The routes covered by JAPAN RAIL PASS are subject to change.
- When using JAPAN RAIL PASS to travel on JR Group transport services that extend through lines operated by companies other than JR Rail, JR Miyajima Ferry, JR Bus (excluding some routes such as expressway bus lines), and the Tokyo Monorail, you must pay separately for the fare and other charges of the distance traveled on such sections. However, no separate fare or charges are required when such travel extends through the following segments without stopover.
- The Aoimori Railway between Hachinohe and Aomori, Aomori and Noheji, or Hachinohe and Noheji. (Valid only for use on ordinary trains)
- The IR Ishikawa Railway between Kanazawa and Tsubata.
- The Ainokaze Toyama Railway between Toyama and Takaoka. (Valid only for use on ordinary trains)
5) If you want to use reserved seating, be sure to get seat reservations before boarding (no additional payment needed). To obtain a reserved-seat ticket, present JAPAN RAIL PASS at the ticket office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at a JR station, a Travel Service Center, or a sales office of a major travel agency. You can use non-reserved seating with JAPAN RAIL PASS alone. Please note, however, that some trains do not have non-reserved seating. Also, if you wish to travel in a private compartment on a Shinkansen or a limited express train, you will be required to pay the limited express charge for the private compartment, as well as the Green Car charge if the private compartment is a Green Car accommodation. An extra charge is also required if you wish to travel in a sleeping car, a DX Green Car or Gran Class accommodation. If you ride in a Green Car using an ordinary car pass, you will be required to pay the Green Car charge, as well as the limited or regular express service charge. (No extra charge applies when using a Green Car JAPAN RAIL PASS.) You must also pay an extra charge in advance to travel on a local train requiring a numbered ticket or a liner ticket. JAPAN RAIL PASS does not allow you to change to a reserved seat or sleeping car after boarding.
6) If you use non-reserved seating, or if you travel in an ordinary car using a Green Car pass, no refund shall be paid for passenger fare or other charges.
7) The JAPAN RAIL PASS can be used only within its validity period.
8) The JAPAN RAIL PASS cannot be exchanged for other types of passes or tickets. Nor can the validity period of the pass be changed.
9) Please note that JAPAN RAIL PASS cannot be reissued in the event that it is lost or stolen.
10) In principle, a refund for JAPAN RAIL PASS is available at all JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange offices, provided that the application for refund is made before the starting date of the validity period. You will be refunded the value of the pass in yen, less a 10% handling fee.
11) Once you have started using JAPAN RAIL PASS, the validity period cannot be extended, nor will any refund be issued, even if trains and other qualifying transportation services are suspended or delayed for any reason. Moreover, the JR Group will not bear additional costs due to changes in your route, such as alternative transportation costs or accommodation charges.
12) In addition to the terms and conditions set forth above, when using JAPAN RAIL PASS you must obey the JR Group’s regulations, terms and conditions, and the laws of Japan.
13) The use of JAPAN RAIL PASS in violation of the terms and conditions above or the JR Group’s regulations, terms and conditions may result in the invalidation and confiscation of the pass, as well as assessment of a penalty amounting to twice the basic fares and charges for all transportation services for which the pass was used.
14) The official terms and conditions of JAPAN RAIL PASS are written in Japanese, and the text of the Japanese version shall be given priority of interpretation in the event of questions regarding transportation conditions that may arise regarding conditions written in other languages.
(*The details above are current as of February 2015 and are subject to change.)