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...

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: 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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

Day trip to Nara

Day trip to Nara

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: 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.

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!

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: 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.

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: Kotokuin Daibutsu

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

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.

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!

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.

Activating the JR Pass at Nagoya Station

Nagoya is one of the busiest stations in Japan, let us be your guide to activating the JR Pass.

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...

14 sample itnerary: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kyushu and Osaka.

Example itinerary for the 14 day JR Pass. From Tokyo going all the way down to Kyushu, visiting Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kyushu, Himeji and Osaka.

Activating the JR Pass at Shin-Osaka Station

The Shinkansen station for Osaka!

Traditional Japan

Highlights of Japanese culture and tradition visited with the JR Pass.

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...

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 or without a pass here.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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!

The best Apps for traveling in Japan with your JR Pass

Find our recommended mobile Apps right here!

7 day sample itinerary: Tokyo - Kyoto - Nara

Visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara with the 7 day JR Pass.

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.

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.

Activating the JR Pass at Narita Airport

Here's how to activate the JR Pass at Narita Airport.

Activating the JR Pass at Osaka Station

Here is how to activate the JRPass in Osaka.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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...

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.

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 or 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.

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...

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...

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!

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...

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!

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.

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.

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.

Activating the JR Pass at Nagoya Station

Nagoya is one of the busiest stations in Japan, let us be your guide to activating the JR Pass.

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...

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.

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!

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.

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.

14 sample itnerary: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kyushu and Osaka.

Example itinerary for the 14 day JR Pass. From Tokyo going all the way down to Kyushu, visiting Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kyushu, Himeji and Osaka.

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!

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.

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!

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...

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.

Day trip to Nara

Day trip to Nara

Activating the JR Pass at Shin-Osaka Station

The Shinkansen station for Osaka!

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: 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.

Traditional Japan

Highlights of Japanese culture and tradition visited with the JR Pass.

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...

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.

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!

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 or 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.

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...

Japan mobile WiFi rental special offer

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

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...

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: 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...

Join us on Facebook & Twitter

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

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?

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!

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.

The best Apps for traveling in Japan with your JR Pass

Find our recommended mobile Apps right 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.

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...

7 day sample itinerary: Tokyo - Kyoto - Nara

Visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara with the 7 day JR Pass.

Itinerary tip: Kotokuin Daibutsu

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

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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

Activating the JR Pass at Narita Airport

Here's how to activate the JR Pass at Narita Airport.

Activating the JR Pass at Osaka Station

Here is how to activate the JRPass in Osaka.

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!