Japan Rail Pass

The Railcard

The Japan Rail Pass is offered by the Japan Rail Group which consists of:

- JR-Kyushu
- JR-Shikoku
- JR-West
- JR-Central
- JR-East
- JR-Hokkaido

All foreign visitors to Japan who enter the country on a 'temporary visitor' visa are eligible for a Japan Rail Pass. You must have a 'temporary visitor' stamp in your passport to be able to use the Pass.

As well as foreign visitors, Japanese nationals living in a foreign country may also be eligible as long as they are qualified to live permanently in that country or are married to a non-Japanese national residing in a country other than Japan.


There are two Pass classes; Green and Ordinary. Green class is effectively 1st class. Both pass classes are can be valid for 7, 14 or 21 days


The Rail Pass is valid on all JR Group railways, including Shinkansen (bullet trains), limited express trains, express trains, and rapid or local trains. The Japan Rail Pass cannot be used for the Tokyo Monorail or on Nozomi trains.

The Pass is also valid on local JR Group bus lines. This includes 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 ans some JR Highway Bus services.

The Rail Pass is also valid on the JR Miyajima ferry, although the JR Hakata-Pusan (Korea) ferry isn't included.


Type Green Ordinary
Duration Adult Child Adult Child
7 days 37,800 YEN 18,900 YEN 28,300 YEN 14,150 YEN
14 days 61,200 YEN 30,600 YEN 45,100 YEN 22,550 YEN
21 days 79,600 YEN 39,800 YEN 57,700 YEN 28,850 YEN

This equates to a starting price of roughly £212. Use a website like xe.com/ucc to check the latest exchange rate.

How to buy a Japan Rail Pass

Japan Rail Passes cannot be purchased inside Japan. Instead, you have to purchase your Pass in advance from a suitable company. Once you have paid for your pass, you will be given an 'exchange order' which will enable you to get your pass once inside Japan.

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