questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

travelling with student who lives in japan

Travelling with student who lives in Japan

Hi,

I am going to Japan on March 23rd with a friend for 2 weeks, we are going to purchase 2 week Japan rail pass

Our itinery is

Tokyo
Kyoto
Nara
Hakone
Nikko
Oga peninsula ( north of Akita ), then back to Tokyo for flight home.

We are meeting my daughter who is a student, studying in Japan for 1 year as part of her degree and she will be travelling around with us. As far as I understand, she is not eligible for Japan rail pass as she does not have a tourist visa ( she has a student visa )
So my question is, what is the most economical way for her to travel on the trains with us? I haven't managed to find out about any discount or student passes that she could use.

My second question is, with the above itinerary ( staying in each place for 2 or 3 nights), is it necessary to book trains in advance??

Many thanks

Sue33

sue33
sue33

Hi Sue33,

The JR Pass is indeed only usable for people who enter Japan under a 90 day tourist visa, other visa's such as a student or working holiday visa.

Given the above, I think it would be best for you to use a JR Pass can buy normal tickets for your daughter. This is the best option for you to travel together. There are options to buy discount tickets when you buy when a month in advance or so but this could make it hard for you to sit together.

As for seat reservation, I would recommend making reservations in advance. As it makes travel a more relaxed experience and you know that you can always sit together. Usually it is not strictly necessary as trains rarely sell out.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Thank you, that is very helpful.
I just want to ask about seat reservations, can we do this on line? ( My daughter said there is a website called hyperdia ? ). Is it free to do this?
Also can we book 3 seats all together, then on the day two of us will show our JR passes and my daughter will show her ordinary ticket?

Many thanks again

Sue33

sue33
sue33

Hi Sue33,

Making seat reservations is best one at the station, any JR station in Japan can make seat reservations for you and you could even reserve your entire trip. Online reservations are not yet possible with the JR Pass. JR East does allow you to make reservations but only for the JR East region which is mostly north of Tokyo. Hyperdia is more like a time table website and shows you all kinds of route information, it however does not allow you to make reservations online.

My advice would be to go together to a station and buy the tickets together, they JR Staff will then be able to seat you together without problems. Also see our blog post for more information about reserving train tickets.

Hope this helps too!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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