questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

student visa and jrpass

Student Visa and JRpass

Hi, I'm going to Japan on a Student Visa for 6 months and have some friends coming to visit over Christmas, we were thinking about getting the JRpass as we were planning on travelling around those two weeks, is it possible for me to still get the JRpass or is there another one I should use instead?



Hi there,

Your friends will be eligible for the Japan Rail Pass provided they are on a short stay holiday. As you are in Japan under a student visa however I'm afraid you will not be able to use the Japan Rail Pass.

If you want to travel with your friends you don't have a huge amount of alternatives as the JR Pass is a highly discounted ticket for foreign tourists. That said, you should consider these options:

  • Seishin 18 kippu - (nationwide travel using JR except bullet trains)
  • Student discounts 'Gakuwari'. If you are a student and can present a valid Gakuwari student discount card (issued by your academic institution) you should be able to get 20% off all JR travel of over 101km, and a further 10% if you book a return at the same time. This means you could get an effective 30% discount if you plan correctly.

You can read more about the eligibility criteria for the Japan Rail Pass here.

Hope this helps!


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