questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

traveling japan via rail pass, and i have some questions

Traveling Japan via Rail Pass, and I have some questions

Hello, I am going to be traveling for 2 weeks through Japan with a rail pass and a couple of backpacks. I will be starting in Sapporo and headed to the main island, and I wanted to make sure my Rail Pass would work in order to get me from Sapporo- Kyoto? Also, I arrive in Japan on January the 2nd but will be skiing until the 24th. Upon arrival to Japan should I switch my voucher for a rail pass, or wait till the day I use it? Can I active it at the Sapporo rail station? Will I need to reserve any tickets ahead of time, such as the Sapporo-Kyoto trip? How do I do this if I need to? I am hoping that most stations have directions in English so I can navigate from train to train, will this be true? Thank you for your help!


Hello there,

The JR Pass can be activated at any time when you are in Japan and can be done directly at Sapporo station.

I'd advise doing so the day when you start using it. This way you can keep it tucked away safe until you use it and reserve tickets at the same time (this is recommended but not required). To make reservations, go to the ticket office at any JR Station, show the JR Pass and tell the staff when and where you wish to travel. They will find the best route for you and reserve the seats.

English is available at most stations and major stations also have an English speaking tourist information office.

Hope this helps,


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