The easiest way to discover all the wonders of japan

how to use your Japan Rail Pass

How to start using your JRPass

How-to-use

Buy your pass

Order your Japan Rail Pass. Choose from 7, 14 or 21 day length Japan Rail Passes to suit your trip.

The JR Pass is intended for use by overseas tourists and can only be used by Japanese nationals under certain conditions. Read the full Japan Rail Pass eligibility requirements here.

Exchange your pass

Once you've completed your purchase, you will recieve an 'Exchange Order' that you validate and exchange upon arrival in Japan.

Upon arrival in Japan, your order is validated and exchanged for your actual pass.

This can be done at offices all over Japan. Check which locations are convenient for you.

Enjoy your trip

The Japan Rail Pass can be used on trains, buses and ferries across the whole of Japan. Explore our map of the Japan Rail Pass to plan your trip.

Full validity details can be found here.

Don't forget to check out the special deals available for Japan Raill Pass holders at JR Group hotels.

Travel Tips

Itinerary tip: Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya and its famous crossing have been captured on celluloid thousand of times, now it's your turn to see it for real...

Follow the cherry blossom with your JR Pass

Perhaps THE most social part of the Japanese calendar, Hanami is a beautiful time to visit the country and join in some cherry blossom bbqs!

Itinerary tip: Kotokuin Daibutsu

A fantastic day trip from Tokyo, visit Kamakura and the huuuuge Great Buddha at Kotokuin Temple.

Experience a traditional festival

A matsuri is the perfect way to glimpse a part of Japanese culture not normally seen in daily life. With 100s every year enjoy one during your stay.

Ski/Snowboard day trip from Tokyo by Japan Rail Pass!

Fancy some snow? Use the JR Pass to visit the ski resort of Gala Yuzawa. 1.5hrs by bullet from Tokyo, Gala Yuzawa also has full gear rental service!

Itinerary tip: Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

The master of Japanese Anime, Hayao Miyazaki, has set up an interactive museum to his work and it's just as weird and wonderful as you'd expect.

Festivals: Tepees and tents more your thing?

In a previous post we mentioned traditional festivals, here we give you the 411 on music festivals, Japan-style!

Itinerary tip: Beaches

Crystal clear waters and white sand, yes, Japan is not just temples, geisha and electronics! Find out where to catch some rays here...

Itinerary tip: Mt. Koya

Mt. Koya, with its thick forests and monastic complex, is an incredible place to visit from Osaka, Kyoto or Nara. Click here to read more.

Itinerary tip: Geisha Makeover

A unique alternative to the dress-up of your childhood, be made up as a Geisha or Samurai in the old Japanese capital of Kyoto.

Itinerary tip: Nara

If you base yourself around Kyoto or Osaka you can use your Japan Rail Pass to day-trip to the best sights in the area - Nara being one of them.

Itinerary tip: Mt. Fuji

For many, seeing the snow-capped peak of Japan's no.1 volcano, Mt. Fuji, will be at the top of your list of things to do. Click here to find out more.

Relax and unwind in an onsen

Spending time soaking in a mineral rich 'onsen' (hot spring) is a favourite Japanese pastime. Find out about etiquette and the best bath houses here.

Itinerary tip: The Japan Alps

The Japan Alps has lots to offer - farmhouses, gardens, onsen, local craft, teahouses and samurai dwellings - the perfect antidote to neon cities...

Easy day trips from Tokyo

From Tokyo many amazing sights are within easy reach. By basing yourself in the city you can use your JR Pass to day trip out to these Japanese gems.

Let your hair down at Karaoke!

Temples, rice fields, cityscapes and shopping. A visit to Japan isn't complete without blasting out 'your version' of a favourite song at karaoke!

An overnight Ryōkan experience

Spending a night in a traditional inn, or Ryōkan, is an experience you must try while in Japan. Tatami rooms, futon, onsen and kaiseki food!

Activating the JR Pass at Kyoto Station

Kyoto station is the gateway to Kyoto and the rest of the Kansai area. Activating your JR Pass here can be confusing so here is a handy guide.

Use the Japan Rail Pass on JR Sakura

From 12th March 2011, the Japan Rail Pass is valid on the new Sakura Shinkansen, whisking you from Osaka-Kagoshima in just over 4 hours!

Use Japan Rail Pass on Hayabusa

From March 2011, the Japan Rail Pass can be used on the new JR East Hayabusa service which takes you from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori in just over 3 hours!

Can I use my JR Pass with breaks between days?

Recently you've asked us about taking breaks between days once your JR Pass is activated, click here to see what the JR Pass rules are...

Japan Rail Passes for children

We've contacted Japan Rail and found out useful information that'll come in handy if you're planning on travelling around Japan with young children.

Buying non-JR rail tickets

In addition to the JR network, Japan has lots of smaller privately owned lines where you will need to purchase tickets, find out how here.

Use your JR Pass on Sleeper Trains

Recently we received an email asking about Japan Rail Pass validity on Sleeper Trains, and the opportunities for pre-booking. We tell you more here...

Exchange Order validity period

Why do I purchase an Exchange Order and not a 'Japan Rail Pass', and how long do I have to validate it?

Do you pass the eligibility test?

Who is eligible for a Japan Rail Pass? Are you a tourist, entertainer, student or apprentice? We have all the info you need right here.

Japanese dates on the JR Pass

Read this if you don't want to feel a wave of panic every time you read your Japan Rail Pass expiry date!

JR Pass on the Narita Express?

Landing at Narita you can activate your Japan Rail Pass and hop on the N'EX to Tokyo immediately and for free! Click here for more info.

Can I use multiple Japan Rail Passes on the same trip?

You're not restricted to buying just 1 Japan Rail Pass per person, there's no limit and you can mix and match to suit your needs. Find out more here.

How to use the city bus

Your Japan Rail Pass not only covers travel on the Bullet Train, but on JR buses too. Find out how to use the bus system with our without a pass here.

Mobile Apps to make the most of your Japan Rail Pass

Whether you are a new or frequent traveller in Japan, here are some of the most essential apps to help you make the most of your Japan Rail Pass.

Help! Lost Property

Losing things on the train is never fun. Luckily Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, and JR has many lost and found offices to try.

What to expect from a Green Car Pass

Find out what the difference is between Standard and Green Car travel, during peak season you may wish to invest to ensure travelling in comfort.

Stowing luggage on the Bullet Train

Once you’ve activated your Japan Rail Pass and boarded your first Shinkansen Bullet Train, you’ll need somewhere to stow your luggage. More info...

How to use the city bus

Your Japan Rail Pass not only covers travel on the Bullet Train, but on JR buses too. Find out how to use the bus system with our without a pass here.

Reserving seats & boarding the Bullet Train

Usually you'll find plenty of empty seats on the Bullet Train, but if you're looking into reserving seats here's what you need to know.

Benefits of prepaid travelcards

Around the big cities a prepaid travelcard could help you save money on your travel (and make things a whole lot simpler!) Here are your choices...

The best readymeal you'll ever eat

The amazing station bento, or 'ekiben', is the stuff of travellers dreams, don't you dare ride a train without buying one!

Plan with the Hyperdia online timetable

Discover how to use the Hyperdia online timetable to calculate train timetables and understand if a Japan Rail Pass is the best choice for you.

Navigating the Tokyo Metro

Now that's a busy map! Actually, understanding the Tokyo Metro map is easier than you'd expect, we tell you how to decipher it here...

Utilising station lockers

With an itinerary fit to burst, what should you do with your luggage if you’re hopping from place to place? Station lockers may be your answer...

English at Japanese stations

Japan isn't as incomprehensible as some would let you believe, all the major cities have signs in English, with a bit of concentration travel is easy!

Itinerary tip: Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya and its famous crossing have been captured on celluloid thousand of times, now it's your turn to see it for real...

Help! Lost Property

Losing things on the train is never fun. Luckily Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, and JR has many lost and found offices to try.

Explore western Japan on JR Thunderbird

Venture off the beaten track to the west coast of Japan. Access the Japan Alps, Noto-hantō and Kanazawa with the JR Thunderbird.

Let your hair down at Karaoke!

Temples, rice fields, cityscapes and shopping. A visit to Japan isn't complete without blasting out 'your version' of a favourite song at karaoke!

Relax and unwind in an onsen

Spending time soaking in a mineral rich 'onsen' (hot spring) is a favourite Japanese pastime. Find out about etiquette and the best bath houses here.

How to use the city bus

Your Japan Rail Pass not only covers travel on the Bullet Train, but on JR buses too. Find out how to use the bus system with our without a pass here.

Plan with the Hyperdia online timetable

Discover how to use the Hyperdia online timetable to calculate train timetables and understand if a Japan Rail Pass is the best choice for you.

Navigating the Tokyo Metro

Now that's a busy map! Actually, understanding the Tokyo Metro map is easier than you'd expect, we tell you how to decipher it here...

Experience a traditional festival

A matsuri is the perfect way to glimpse a part of Japanese culture not normally seen in daily life. With 100s every year enjoy one during your stay.

Filling in our online application

From passenger names to your d.o.b and intended date of use, we take you through a step by step guide to ordering online with us.

An overnight Ryōkan experience

Spending a night in a traditional inn, or Ryōkan, is an experience you must try while in Japan. Tatami rooms, futon, onsen and kaiseki food!

Itinerary tip: Geisha Makeover

A unique alternative to the dress-up of your childhood, be made up as a Geisha or Samurai in the old Japanese capital of Kyoto.

Itinerary tip: The Japan Alps

The Japan Alps has lots to offer - farmhouses, gardens, onsen, local craft, teahouses and samurai dwellings - the perfect antidote to neon cities...

Do you deliver to my country?

Some of you have enquired about having a Japan Rail Pass sent to you overseas and the estimated delivery time. We can do it! Here's the lowdown...

Easy day trips from Tokyo

From Tokyo many amazing sights are within easy reach. By basing yourself in the city you can use your JR Pass to day trip out to these Japanese gems.

Mobile Apps to make the most of your Japan Rail Pass

Whether you are a new or frequent traveller in Japan, here are some of the most essential apps to help you make the most of your Japan Rail Pass.

Do you pass the eligibility test?

Who is eligible for a Japan Rail Pass? Are you a tourist, entertainer, student or apprentice? We have all the info you need right here.

Itinerary tip: Beaches

Crystal clear waters and white sand, yes, Japan is not just temples, geisha and electronics! Find out where to catch some rays here...

Itinerary tip: Nara

If you base yourself around Kyoto or Osaka you can use your Japan Rail Pass to day-trip to the best sights in the area - Nara being one of them.

Use Japan Rail Pass on Hayabusa

From March 2011, the Japan Rail Pass can be used on the new JR East Hayabusa service which takes you from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori in just over 3 hours!

Japan Rail Passes for children

We've contacted Japan Rail and found out useful information that'll come in handy if you're planning on travelling around Japan with young children.

Itinerary tip: Kotokuin Daibutsu

A fantastic day trip from Tokyo, visit Kamakura and the huuuuge Great Buddha at Kotokuin Temple.

Stowing luggage on the Bullet Train

Once you’ve activated your Japan Rail Pass and boarded your first Shinkansen Bullet Train, you’ll need somewhere to stow your luggage. More info...

The best readymeal you'll ever eat

The amazing station bento, or 'ekiben', is the stuff of travellers dreams, don't you dare ride a train without buying one!

Itinerary tip: Mt. Fuji

For many, seeing the snow-capped peak of Japan's no.1 volcano, Mt. Fuji, will be at the top of your list of things to do. Click here to find out more.

JR Pass on the Narita Express?

Landing at Narita you can activate your Japan Rail Pass and hop on the N'EX to Tokyo immediately and for free! Click here for more info.

Use the Japan Rail Pass on JR Sakura

From 12th March 2011, the Japan Rail Pass is valid on the new Sakura Shinkansen, whisking you from Osaka-Kagoshima in just over 4 hours!

Follow the cherry blossom with your JR Pass

Perhaps THE most social part of the Japanese calendar, Hanami is a beautiful time to visit the country and join in some cherry blossom bbqs!

Reserving seats & boarding the Bullet Train

Usually you'll find plenty of empty seats on the Bullet Train, but if you're looking into reserving seats here's what you need to know.

Itinerary tip: Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

The master of Japanese Anime, Hayao Miyazaki, has set up an interactive museum to his work and it's just as weird and wonderful as you'd expect.

Can I use multiple Japan Rail Passes on the same trip?

You're not restricted to buying just 1 Japan Rail Pass per person, there's no limit and you can mix and match to suit your needs. Find out more here.

Use your JR Pass on Sleeper Trains

Recently we received an email asking about Japan Rail Pass validity on Sleeper Trains, and the opportunities for pre-booking. We tell you more here...

Mobile WiFi rental in Japan

These days we've got to be connected at all times. From maps to translations services, having mobile internet in Japan is essential. We tell you how.

Itinerary tip: Mt. Koya

Mt. Koya, with its thick forests and monastic complex, is an incredible place to visit from Osaka, Kyoto or Nara. Click here to read more.

Utilising station lockers

With an itinerary fit to burst, what should you do with your luggage if you’re hopping from place to place? Station lockers may be your answer...

Join us on Facebook & Twitter

OMG, we're on Facebook and Twitter, find us and we can be BFF's!

Japanese dates on the JR Pass

Read this if you don't want to feel a wave of panic every time you read your Japan Rail Pass expiry date!

What to expect from a Green Car Pass

Find out what the difference is between Standard and Green Car travel, during peak season you may wish to invest to ensure travelling in comfort.

Benefits of prepaid travelcards

Around the big cities a prepaid travelcard could help you save money on your travel (and make things a whole lot simpler!) Here are your choices...

Buying non-JR rail tickets

In addition to the JR network, Japan has lots of smaller privately owned lines where you will need to purchase tickets, find out how here.

English at Japanese stations

Japan isn't as incomprehensible as some would let you believe, all the major cities have signs in English, with a bit of concentration travel is easy!

Can I use my JR Pass with breaks between days?

Recently you've asked us about taking breaks between days once your JR Pass is activated, click here to see what the JR Pass rules are...

Festivals: Tepees and tents more your thing?

In a previous post we mentioned traditional festivals, here we give you the 411 on music festivals, Japan-style!

Activating the JR Pass at Kyoto Station

Kyoto station is the gateway to Kyoto and the rest of the Kansai area. Activating your JR Pass here can be confusing so here is a handy guide.

Ski/Snowboard day trip from Tokyo by Japan Rail Pass!

Fancy some snow? Use the JR Pass to visit the ski resort of Gala Yuzawa. 1.5hrs by bullet from Tokyo, Gala Yuzawa also has full gear rental service!

Exchange Order validity period

Why do I purchase an Exchange Order and not a 'Japan Rail Pass', and how long do I have to validate it?