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Purchase Online for Even Greater Savings! Japan Rail Pass Guide: Prices and More Explained!

Have you heard of the Japan Rail Pass? It's a cheap and convenient way to get around Japan via bullet trains as well as local trains. This super popular ticket will be available for purchase online beginning in the spring of 2020! Read this article to make reserving and picking up your Japan Rail Pass a breeze!

What's the Japan Rail Pass?

The Japan Rail Pass grants access to essentially every JR Line. The price for regular train cars (based on adult fares) is: 29,650 JPY for 7 days, 47,250 JPY for 14 days, and 60,450 JPY for 21 days. Green car* tickets are also available, but they are more expensive.

*Green cars are first-class cars with wider seats, foot rests, and an electrical outlet for each seat.

What's the Japan Rail Pass?

Eligibility & Range of Use

Visitors coming to Japan must receive a "short-term stay" stamp or seal in their passport upon entering the country. This stamp is necessary to obtain the Japan Rail Pass, so please be sure to use an immigration gate that is occupied by an employee. If no one is present, please ask for assistance.
The Japan Rail Pass may be used for unlimited rides on virtually every JR train line, fixed-route bus, and ferry. However, the Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains, as well as certain JR highway bus companies, are exceptions and are not included within the Japan Rail Pass. Please check the official homepage for a list of applicable trains and plan your trip accordingly.
Despite those exceptions, there are other bullet trains and many conventional train lines that can be ridden via the pass, and you may transfer trains as well. This ticket is great for those wishing to visit multiple cities.

Conveniently Purchase Your Pass Online Staring Spring 2020!

Currently, proof of exchange must be purchased overseas before exchanging it for the actual Japan Rail Pass in Japan, or the pass must be purchased directly at domestic train stations. In addition to these purchase methods, ticket purchases and seat reservations will be possible via the Internet starting in the spring of 2020.
Although the exact date it will be available for purchase has not yet been announced, those planning on traveling to Japan in the spring of 2020 should check back frequently for updates.

Just How Much Cheaper Is It? A Comparison

If you're wondering just how much money the pass would save you, let's do a quick calculation. Say you're taking a week-long trip from Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka (Shin-Osaka Station), and Hiroshima before returning to Tokyo. Let's compare the rates for the bullet trains.
Taking the Tokaido and Sanyo (Kodama) bullet trains for such a trip would cost 43,270 JPY*. Compare that with the Japan Rail Pass, which only costs 29,650 JPY for a week-long ticket. That alone saves you 13,620 JPY! Not to mention you'll be using local or other train routes during your journey as well, so you actually end up saving even more!

*Calculated based on reserved seat prices during usual periods

Purchase & Acquisition

To purchase the Japan Rail Pass that will be available online starting in spring of 2020, first visit the official homepage and purchase a Japan Rail Pass or reserve a train seat. Passes can be claimed by going to the designated reception desk at a station, while tickets can be claimed by going to either a reception desk or a seat reservation ticket machine. Details on how to use these machines will be posted at a later date.

So, what do you think? It'd be a real shame to waste money by not using the Japan Rail Pass! And now that you can purchase it on the web, it's that much more convenient. More information will be posted come spring, so be sure to stay tuned!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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