questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

some questions about upcoming japan trip

Some questions about upcoming Japan trip

I was very excited to ifnd this site! I see from the other answers that you really give excellent o the point answers so thank you!

I am in Khabarovsk Russia and will be flying to Tokyo for a month on Tuesday - or maybe later in the week.

I have a few questions about the rail pass and perhaps you can advise me about my trip in general.

  1. I don't see where I can buy a pass here. I am not local and do not speak Russian. Can you tell me where it is possible to purchase a pass here - or alternatively to purchase it online? And obtain the exchange notice to pick it up at Narita airport?

  2. there are two scenarios: scenario 1 I am in Japan for a month. Scenario 2 I am in Japan for two to three weeks and that time is separated by a trip to india ( yes I know, a bit crazy... But long story).

I do not have clear itinerary plans as I am there to do research on some ecological practices. I will probably have time left over and would welcome advice you have.

What I do know

I will be in

Mt fuji
Shiga prefecture

And probably other places too.

What do you recommend regarding the rail passes? Buy a 21 and 7?

Or possibly go down to Miyazaki during the 21 days and then the end in middle section where there is a cheap overnight bus option back to Tokyo?

Any other recommendation?

  1. Can you tell me what the difference is between economy and first class? I am on quite a budget so probably will choose economy but just wondering?

Thanks very much!!


Hi there,

Russia, Japan and maybe do get around! I must say that I am somewhat jealous. One day I would like to make a similar trip by taking the train from Moscow all the way to Vladivostok and from there take the ferry to Hokkaido, Japan. Taking daydreams aside, if you are in Japan for around 3 weeks or more, then I would recommend going for the 21 Day JR-Pass. By traveling from Tokyo to Miyazaki and back you will already have saved more than the actual pass cost (a return is slightly more than 63,000YEN as to the pass cost of 57,700YEN). So with all the other travel, you will be sure to make some really good savings, plus the freedom you have to take almost any train in those 3 weeks is priceless! If you are in Japan for only 2 weeks a 14 day pass is also available.

To obtain your pass:
Here is a list of local agents, the only ones I found in Russia are in Moscow though. We can send you the pass almost anywhere in the world but you do need an address to receive the exchange voucher. I checked out thedelivery page and we could send the pass to you either is Russia or Japan, delivery time about 3 working days to those locations.

Here is what you can expect from Greenclass. It is a really nice option but I think you will be fine in normal class.

For additional travel option, consider visiting Beppu in Kyushu and heading up in the middle of Japan to Kanazawa, Takayama and maybe Nagano. I can give you some specific recommendations, if you tell me what kind of things you would like to see.

Have a good trip!


Thanks so much! Your advice is really priceless.

So- if I understand correctly there is no way my travel agent can purchase the pass for me and sen me the exchange voucher via email. I must have the physical voucher?

Also pardon the specificity of my questions but because my travel dates are soon it does make a difference. When you say 3 days - if I order it on Monday will I receive it on Wednesday or Thursday? And is there any way to know what time I will receive it? Is it possible to pay an increased fee and receive it more quickly?

Thank you again for your excellent advice.


And one other question: I understand that the rail pass is usable on some modes of transport in Tokyo. Can you specify which ones? And is there a specific area that is also central and also close to the stations I would get off on that would be reasonable to seek lodging?

I am looking for a friendly/ budget location - preferably private rooms in the budget range of about 50 Usd. Recommending places to stay may be fair out of what you do and that's ok! Just checking. And most important is to get an idea of wheat areas would be convenient and central.



Hi Nicki,

Yes you need the physical voucher in order to exchange the pass. This because there is an official stamp on it. The system comes out of 1988 if I remember correctly, so it may feel a little silly at times with all the technology we have nowadays. We have gotten a lot of requests for digitals vouchers lately so I would not be surprised if it changes in the future. For now though a physical voucher is still required.

For shipping, if you order it on Monday it will most likely be delivered on Thursday. Since your case is somewhat special I would recommend contacting our sales team directly here as I can only give general information on shipping. They can also tell you if faster shipping is possible but we already send all our dispatches out with FedEx Express which is very fast and reliable.

With the JR-Pass you can take any Local JR-Line and JR Bus in Tokyo. Transports that are not covered include the Tokyo Metro, other company railways/busses and taxi's ;)

For budget accommodations I would really recommend I know that under backpackers the Khaosan Hostels are very popular. There are many great locations in Tokyo, if you want to be in the middle try to find an accommodation that is on the Yamanote line. This is the JR loop line that serves all major stations in Tokyo. Here's a map with stations and travel times. The Yamanote is also covered by the JR-Pass. Some of the major stations include, Shinjuku, Ikebukero, Shibuya, Shinagawa and ofcourse Tokyo station :)

I did a quick search for you and found this place. I have not stayed there but it seems reasonable and close to the Yamanote line.

Hope this helps!


You are amazing- thank you!!!


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