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Akasaka Azabu

can you buy jr pass in japan
  • Date Published: April 29, 2024

Are you mapping out a journey to Japan? If that’s the case, it’s crucial to prepare yourself with all the necessary things to discover the beauty of this nation. A must-have on your travel list is the Japan Rail Pass, commonly referred to as the JR Pass. This rail pass, valid across the country, gives you the privilege of unlimited travel on JR trains. That makes it a practical and economical choice for mobility within Japan.

The JR Pass is available for purchase by foreign tourists and offers flexible options for one, two, or three weeks of travel. With the pass, you can hop on and off trains as often as you like, allowing you to explore the various cities, towns, and scenic landscapes that Japan has to offer.

But how do you go about buying the JR Pass in Japan? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will guide you through the process of purchasing the JR Pass, explaining the different types and validity, how to use the pass, where to pick it up, and more. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

  • Purchasing the JR Pass is essential for foreigners traveling in Japan.
  • The pass offers unlimited rides on JR trains for one, two, or three weeks.
  • Two types of passes are available: ordinary and green car.
  • The pass can be purchased online or through authorized travel agents before arriving in Japan.
  • Remember to carry your passport when using the pass.

Types and Validity of JR Pass

The JR Pass offers two types: the ordinary pass and the green car pass. The ordinary pass is valid for ordinary cars, while the green car pass is valid for first-class cars, which provide more spacious seating options.

The JR Pass allows unlimited rides on almost all trains operated by JR, including shinkansen, limited express, rapid, and local trains. It can also be used on the Tokyo Monorail for travel to and from Haneda Airport, as well as some non-JR trains to access isolated JR lines.

However, there are instances where the JR Pass is not valid or requires a supplement fee. It is not valid for non-JR trains, and additional fees may be required for Nozomi and Mizuho trains along the Tokaido/Sanyo/Kyushu Shinkansen routes.

Types of JR Pass:

Pass Type Validity
Ordinary Pass Valid for ordinary train cars
Green Car Pass Valid for first-class train cars

Validity of JR Pass:

  • Valid on almost all trains operated by JR, including shinkansen, limited express, rapid, and local trains
  • Valid on the Tokyo Monorail to/from Haneda Airport
  • Valid on some non-JR trains to access isolated JR lines
  • Not valid for non-JR trains
  • Requires a supplement fee for Nozomi and Mizuho trains along the Tokaido/Sanyo/Kyushu Shinkansen

Having a clear understanding of the types and validity of the JR Pass will help you make the most of your travels in Japan.

How to Use the JR Pass

Using the JR Pass is a hassle-free and convenient way to travel across Japan. The pass itself serves as your ticket, eliminating the need for additional tickets during your journey, except for reserved seats. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make the most of your JR Pass:

  1. Obtain your JR Pass: Before embarking on your trip to Japan, make sure you have purchased your JR Pass online or from an authorized travel agent.
  2. Activate the Pass: Once you arrive in Japan, head to a designated JR Pass exchange office to activate your pass. Remember to carry your passport as it will be needed for verification.
  3. Plan your Routes: With your activated JR Pass in hand, plan your routes and determine the trains you’ll be taking. The JR Pass can be used on most JR trains, including shinkansen (bullet trains), limited express, rapid, and local trains.
  4. Reserve Seats: If you prefer a more comfortable journey, consider reserving seats on shinkansen or limited express trains. Seat reservations can be made for free at JR stations. Simply present your JR Pass and indicate your desired departure time and destination.
  5. Boarding the Train: When boarding a train, show your activated JR Pass to the station staff or ticket inspector for verification. Remember to carry your passport as well, as you may be asked to present it.
  6. Travel Flexibility: The JR Pass is valid based on calendar days, not 24-hour periods. This means that even if your pass expires at midnight while you are on a train, it remains valid until the end of your journey.

Using the JR Pass is a seamless and efficient way to explore Japan’s extensive railway network. With unlimited rides and the convenience of not having to purchase individual tickets, you can focus on enjoying your journey and experiencing the beauty of Japan.

Benefits of Using the JR Pass How to Use the JR Pass
Unlimited rides on JR trains The pass itself acts as a ticket
Convenience of not having to purchase additional tickets No need for additional tickets except for reserved seats
Free seat reservations Obtain seat reservation tickets at JR stations
Flexibility based on calendar days Pass remains valid until the end of the journey

With these simple steps, you can navigate Japan effortlessly using the JR Pass. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant streets of Tokyo or discovering the serene landscapes of Kyoto, the JR Pass is your gateway to an unforgettable journey in Japan.

Purchasing the JR Pass

Planning to travel around Japan? Purchasing the JR Pass is a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the country’s extensive rail network. Whether you prefer to buy the pass online or in Japan, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need.

Purchasing the JR Pass Online

If you want to secure your JR Pass before arriving in Japan, purchasing online is a hassle-free option. Simply visit the official website or authorized travel agents to make your purchase. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Visit the official website or authorized travel agents to purchase the JR Pass.
  2. Select the desired pass type (ordinary or green car) and duration (1, 2, or 3 weeks).
  3. Set a start date within one month of your purchase.
  4. Make the payment using the available payment options.
  5. Receive a confirmation email with your JR Pass voucher.

Note: Have your passport details ready during the online purchase process.

Purchasing the JR Pass in Japan

If you haven’t purchased the JR Pass online, don’t worry! You can still buy it in Japan. However, please note that starting from September 2023, the sale of the pass at train stations was discontinued. Here’s how you can purchase the pass in Japan:

  1. Visit designated major JR stations, such as Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, or Osaka Station.
  2. Look for the JR Pass exchange offices or counters.
  3. Present your non-Japanese passport for eligibility confirmation.
  4. Select the desired pass type and duration.
  5. Make the payment using the available payment options.
  6. Receive your JR Pass and start your adventure!

Note: To purchase the pass in Japan, you must have a non-Japanese passport as it is only available to short term visitors or Japanese nationals who have been permanently residing abroad.

Whichever method you choose, purchasing the JR Pass allows you to enjoy unlimited rides on JR trains and explore Japan to the fullest.

Purchasing Options Pros Cons
Online Convenient and secure Requires advance planning
In Japan Flexibility for last-minute travel Not available at train stations

Where to Pick up the JR Pass

Once you have purchased your JR Pass, the next step is to pick it up at a JR-designated ticket office counter in Japan. The process is simple and convenient, ensuring that you are ready to embark on your train journey across Japan.

The JR Pass can be picked up at major JR stations, including Narita Airport and Kansai Airport. These locations are convenient for travelers arriving in Japan. Simply proceed to the JR ticket office counter at the airport or station to collect your pass.

When picking up your JR Pass, make sure to have your passport and the passports of the persons traveling with you. This is necessary for eligibility confirmation, as the JR Pass is specifically available for foreign tourists.

It is important to note that the JR Pass must be picked up before the start date or during the valid period. To avoid any inconvenience, make sure to plan your visit to the ticket office accordingly.

By picking up your JR Pass at a designated ticket office, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience, allowing you to begin your journey across Japan with ease.

Benefits of Picking up the JR Pass:

  • Convenient collection at major JR stations and airports
  • Quick eligibility confirmation with your passport
  • Ensures a seamless and hassle-free start to your train journey

Booking Reserved Seats with JR Pass

When traveling with your JR Pass in Japan, you have the convenience of booking reserved seats for Shinkansen and limited express trains. This ensures that you have a guaranteed seat on your preferred train and can enjoy a comfortable journey.

If you purchased your JR Pass online, booking reserved seats is a breeze. Simply visit the dedicated website and follow the easy instructions to select your desired train and seat.

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, you can also book reserved seats at the reserved seat ticket machines located at JR stations. These ticket machines allow you to scan the QR code on your JR Pass or input the reservation number to make your seat selection.

In addition to the online platform and ticket machines, reserved seat tickets can also be obtained at ticket offices and travel agencies. These options provide flexibility and accessibility in securing your desired seat.

It’s important to note that the service hours of ticket offices and machines may vary at each location, so be sure to check the operating hours before making your booking.

Booking reserved seats with your JR Pass ensures a stress-free and comfortable journey throughout Japan. With various options available, you can easily secure your seat in advance, giving you peace of mind during your travels.

Additional Features of the JR Pass

In addition to the convenience of unlimited train rides, the JR Pass offers several additional features that make it even more valuable for travelers exploring Japan. One of the key benefits of the JR Pass is the ability to make free seat reservations on JR trains. This allows pass holders to secure a seat on busy trains and ensures a comfortable journey throughout their trip. Whether you’re traveling during peak hours or planning a long-distance journey, having the option to reserve a seat can greatly enhance your travel experience.

Moreover, the JR Pass provides access to discounts and gifts at selected tourist sites and services. These exclusive benefits are available to JR Pass holders, allowing them to enjoy additional perks during their travels. The discounts typically offer a reduction in price, such as 10% off the regular admission fee or 100 yen off a specific attraction. Additionally, pass holders may receive complimentary gifts, such as a free postcard or souvenir item, at certain locations. These perks serve as an extra incentive to make the most of your JR Pass and explore various tourist destinations around Japan.

The details of the available discounts and gifts can be found on the official website of the JR Pass. This comprehensive resource provides up-to-date information on the participating locations, the specific offers available, and any terms and conditions associated with the discounts and gifts. Be sure to check the website regularly to stay informed about the latest deals and make the most of your JR Pass benefits.

Did You Know?

With the JR Pass, not only can you enjoy unlimited train rides, but you can also make free seat reservations for a convenient and comfortable journey. Plus, take advantage of exclusive discounts and gifts at selected tourist sites and services. Make the most of your Japan travel experience with these additional features of the JR Pass!

Example Discounts with the JR Pass

Attraction Discount
Tokyo Tower 10% off regular admission fee
Kyoto Imperial Palace 100 yen off entrance fee
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum 10% off regular admission fee
Nikko Toshogu Shrine Free postcard

This table provides examples of the discounts available at popular tourist attractions with the JR Pass. Please note that the discounts may vary and are subject to change, so it’s always advisable to check the official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

The image above illustrates some of the benefits of using the JR Pass, including free seat reservations and exclusive discounts. With these added features, the JR Pass offers exceptional value for travelers exploring Japan’s extensive railway network.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the JR Pass is an excellent choice for foreign tourists looking to explore Japan. With this pass, travelers can enjoy unlimited rides on JR trains, allowing them to easily navigate the country’s extensive rail network. The additional benefits, such as free seat reservations and discounts, make the JR Pass even more attractive.

One of the great advantages of the JR Pass is its flexibility in purchasing options. Whether you prefer to buy the pass online before your trip or at designated stations within Japan, you can easily obtain the pass and start your journey hassle-free.

By following the guidelines provided in this article, including purchasing the pass, picking it up at a designated ticket office, and understanding how to use it on your travels, you can have a seamless and efficient experience exploring Japan with the JR Pass. So, don’t miss out on this convenient and cost-effective option when planning your trip to Japan!

FAQ

Can I buy the JR Pass in Japan?

No, you cannot purchase the JR Pass in Japan. The pass must be purchased online from the official website or through authorized travel agents before arriving in Japan.

What types of JR Passes are available and how long are they valid for?

There are two types of JR Passes available: ordinary and green car. The ordinary pass is valid for ordinary cars, while the green car pass is valid for first-class cars. The pass can be purchased for one, two, or three weeks.

How do I use the JR Pass?

The JR Pass itself acts as your ticket. No additional tickets are required except for reserved seats. To use a reserved seat, you need to obtain a seat reservation ticket, which can be done for free at JR stations. Carry your passport as you may be asked to show it for verification.

Where can I purchase the JR Pass?

The JR Pass can be purchased online from the official website or through authorized travel agents before arriving in Japan.

Where can I pick up the JR Pass in Japan?

The JR Pass can be picked up at major JR stations in Japan, including Narita Airport and Kansai Airport. You will need to present your passport and the passports of the persons traveling with you for eligibility confirmation.

How can I book reserved seats with the JR Pass?

If you purchased the pass online, you can book reserved seats on the dedicated website. Reserved seats can also be booked at reserved seat ticket machines located at JR stations by scanning the QR code on your pass or inputting the reservation number.

What are the additional features of the JR Pass?

The JR Pass offers free seat reservations and discounts at selected tourist sites and services. Pass holders can make seat reservations for free, allowing them to secure a seat on busy trains. Discounts and gifts like a free postcard are also available at certain locations.

What is the conclusion of buying the JR Pass in Japan?

The JR Pass is a convenient and cost-effective option for foreign tourists traveling in Japan. It provides unlimited rides on JR trains and offers additional benefits such as free seat reservations and discounts. The pass can be purchased online before arriving in Japan or at designated stations within Japan.

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