Japan Rail Pass

Cheap Unlimited Travel Around Japan!

If you buy a Japan Rail Pass before you leave home you have fast, easy economic travel throughout the whole country available!

These passes are only for tourists ( non Japanese Passport holders) and cannot be bought in Japan. The price you will pay for a 1 week pass which gives you unlimited rail travel and some bus travel for the week, is the price of a Tokyo-Kyoto return ticket. If you plan to do quite a lot of travelling in Japan you can see this ticket will give you huge savings.

Because the shinkansen is so fast you will be surprised just how far you can go in a week.

There are 3 choices of Japan Rail Pass
It will depend on where you plan to travel within Japan which one will suit you best.

What trains and transport do they cover?

The Pass covers

  • all Japan Railways (JR) lines
  • The Shinkansen 'bullet trains’
  • The Tokyo MonoRail
The Japan Rail Pass covers travel on 6 different JR companies

You can see each option by clicking through to the Japan Rail Pass page. Here you can find the links for each option.


This Pass is best if you are planning a comprehensive trip throughout this truly fascinating travel destination! With 3 different time choices you can purchase the pass that best suits your Japanese holiday time frame. A JR Pass is valid for:

  • 7 days
  • 14 days
  • 21 days

You can prebook up to a year before your arrival in Japan.

Getting Your Exchange Order Voucher in Japan

Once in Japan.... you go to the nearest station to register your Rail Pass and get an Exchange Order Voucher. You will need your passport. When you do this you nominate the date you will start using it. The days are consecutive from this time. So think about when is the best time to start travelling on your JR Rail Pass as you may have a few days around Tokyo or your arrival city where you won’t need to use your pass.Many local trains are not included.

Green Class or Ordinary Class

You can book seats in advance and I highly recommend you do this so you can get on a train and your seat is reserved for you. You can reserve several at one time for different trips.So have you travel itinerary worked out.

NOTE: There are a few holiday times when it is difficult to get a seat booking due to large numbers of passengers.Book early as possible.

Children under 6 years are free if not taking a seat and 6-14 year olds are half price.

rail passes and Train tickets for Japan

Option 2 – JR EAST PASS

The JR East Pass
is for travelers only travelling in the northern part of Honshu Island from Tokyo. There are either Consecutive Days Valid for :

  • 5 days
  • 10 days
or Flexible covering 4 days.

You can only purchase you JR East Pass 3 months prior to use… and have one month to use the Exchange Order Voucher.

Children 6 – 11 are half priceYouth – 12 -25 years get a 20% discount

Read full details for the JR East Pass


You can choose between a Kyushu Rail Pass
with 3 or 5 consecutive days travel for the whole island. The other option is just for Northern Kyushu with 3 consecutive days travel. This is an excellent way to get around. We used this Kyushu Pass getting between major cities. Then shared a rental car for some of the trip.

Go to Kyushu Rail Pass
for full details.

Tips for Using Your Japan Rail Pass

  • When you use your Rail Pass you show it at a side gate.....do not go through the gates where you insert your ticket. This side gate is much easier if you have luggage too.
  • You will not always have escalators or lifts and will need to carry luggage up or down stairs. Try to keep your luggage manageable!
  • Note you keep left if standing on the escalators!
  • Refunds are possible with a 20% surcharge if you have not used your Japan Rail Pass before you register for the Exchange Order Voucher . After that you cannot get a refund.

More Japan and Rail Information

Japanese Holidays

Japan Information

Tokyo Attractions

12 Tips on how the Tokyo Train System Works

Tsukiji Fish Markets

Kamakura Day Trip

Fuji-Go-Ko( Fuji Five Lakes)



Ancient Nara



Around Kyushu


Nagasaki Sightseeing

Japanese Lessons and Ipod Phrasebook

Train Travel

Train Travel in Europe

Australia Train Travel

British Rail and Rail Passes

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rail passes and Train tickets for Japan

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