The JAPAN RAIL PASS is the most economical way to travel throughout Japan by rail. Please be aware that some restrictions apply. The pass is not valid for “Nozomi” and “Mizuho” trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines.
What is the Japan Rail Pass?
The Japan Rail Pass is a discount ticket allowing unlimited rail travel throughout Japan over a 7, 14 or 21 consecutive day period. It is available in either an Ordinary (coach class) or Green (first class) version. Because Japan Railways has 12,400 miles of track, it is possible to travel almost anywhere in the country by train. The Japan Rail Pass can provide you with convenience and great savings if used wisely, but it is a discount ticket and some restrictions on trains do apply. There are no restrictions on date or season. Please read the information below. Also note that there is no similar pass available within Japan.
If you are traveling with any Japanese friends or family, or any non-Japanese people not entitled to use the pass, they will have to purchase full-price tickets or look for any excursion discounts available in Japan.
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.
Rate of November, 2017
|Type||Green (first class)||Ordinary (coach class)|
Children who are age 6 through 11 as of the date on which the Exchange Order is issued are eligible for child PASS prices.
Price-comparison (Japanese Yen)
|Via Tokaido Shinkansen “Hikari”||Return ticket
during regular season
|Japan Rail Pass
|Tokyo – Kyoto – Tokyo||27,200||29,100|
|Tokyo – Osaka – Tokyo||28,280||29,100|
|Narita Airport (*1) – Kyoto – Narita Airport||32,760||29,110|
|Narita Airport (*1) – Osaka – Narita Airport||34,560||29,110|
|Tokyo – Hiroshima (*2) – Tokyo||37,120||29,110|
(*1) Via Limited Express & Tokaido Shinkansen “Hikari”
(*2) Via Tokaido Shinkansen “Hikari” & “Sakura”
Unlike some airfares, the price of Japan Rail tickets is always very closely related to the distance traveled. The key to getting the best savings from a Japan Rail Pass is to maximize the distance you travel. It does not matter if you use a seven-day rail pass for only two or three days of actual travel as long as you do enough long-distance train travel during those days. For example, if you travel from Tokyo to Kyoto one day, from Kyoto to Hiroshima on a second day, and back to Tokyo on a third day, you will have very good savings with a seven-day pass even though you are using only three days out of seven. On the other hand, if you travel extensively only in the area between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka over a two-week period, you will probably not be traveling far enough to have any savings with a 14-day pass even though you may travel on more than seven days
The Japan Rail Pass is available to travelers entering Japan on a non-Japanese passport for short term stay with no special visa. For a complete description of this limitation please see the main Rail Pass site. It is very important to note that Japanese citizens resident abroad can use the Japan Rail Pass under either one of two conditions: permanent residency status in a foreign country, or marriage to a foreign national (. It is up to the individual Japanese citizen to present full proof of his/her status when buying the rail pass and exchanging the Rail Pass voucher in Japan.
What is included in the pass?
- All JR Group Railways – Shinkansen “bullet trains” (except Nozomi and Mizuho trains)
- Tokyo Monorail
- Local JR bus
*The pass is not valid for travel on express bus routes operate by JR bus.
- JR-West Miyajima Ferry
“”NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen*1
“HIKARI,” “SAKURA,” “KODAMA” and “TSUBAME” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen and any trains on the Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Hokkaido, Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen.
|Green Car||o *2||*|
|Ordinary Private Compartment||*||*|
|Limited express and ordinary express||Green Car||o||*|
|Green Private Compartment||*||*|
|Ordinary Private Compartment||*||*|
|Local and rapid trains||Green Car||o||*|
How do I refund the pass?
Please be careful to note the refund policy for the Japan Rail Pass exchange voucher and the rail pass itself. An unused Japan Rail Pass Exchange Voucher can be refunded only at the same office that issued the order within one year after the date of issue. 10% penalty and the handling fee will be deducted from the amount.
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.
Neither an Exchange order nor a Japan Rail Pass can be reissued if lost or stolen.