questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

activating the rail pass

Activating the Rail Pass

Okay, so I'm a little unsure how this works. The website says:

"An XO must be turned in for a Japan Rail Pass within 3 months of the date of issue. At that time the passenger must specify the date they want to start using the Pass. It can be any date within one month of the date the Japan Rail Pass is received."

So does "At that time" refer to "the date of issue"? Does that mean you choose what date it will be valid from when you buy it, but that date has to be "within one month" of the date you purchased it?

I'm planning to go in September and its June now, so when can I actually buy my pass?

If anyone could clarify this process for me that would be of great help!

BillyBuck
BillyBuck

Hi there!

I can see how it can be confusing! The basic way to use the Rail Pass is:

  1. Purchase a Japan Rail Pass coupon (XO). This coupon can be activated in Japan for a Japan Rail Pass within 3 months of the date of purchase.
  2. When you activate it in Japan, you can choose any date within the following month to start your 7 day validity period.
  3. When you purchase your Japan Rail Pass from us, we do ask for the 'date of use'. This is not marked on your Rail Pass in any way, and is simply to allow us to ensure your rail pass gets to you on time, and to ensure you will use it within the required 3 month period.
  4. As you're going to Japan in September (and will presumably use a JR Pass in September?), the earliest date you should purchase your Rail Pass is on the 1st of July. This will allow you to activate your rail pass at any time within September, giving you maximum flexibility.

I hope this helps clear things up, but please let me know if you'd like me to clarify things further.

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mari
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Thanks Mari!

That does clear things up quite a bit :)
I am getting the 21 day pass though and I was wondering, if I activate it on the 1st of September, does it include that day or not? As in: would it be valid until the 21st of September, or the 22nd?

If you could answer that for me, I think I'll be good to go!

BillyBuck
BillyBuck

Hi there!

Glad I could help!

In answer to your question, JR Pass validity is measured in days, so if your first date of use of the JR Pass was on the 1st of september, the last day of use would be the 21st.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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