Do very young children need a Pass?
As it states on the official website, a child pass is valid for those aged 6 to 11, aged 12 and above you must purchase an adult ticket. If you’re traveling with children below this age what do you need to know?
We contacted Japan Rail directly to find out more…
How to get a child Japan Rail Pass?
In general, a child JR Pass works the same as how to get a Japan Rail Pass for an adult. When ordering the pass, the select child passes on the right. The cost of a child Japan Rail Pass is half price compared to the price of an adult.
Traveling with infants 0-5
For infants, Japan Rail states that they do not need a Japan Rail Pass, but this also means that the infant is not entitled to a seat. In unreserved, reserved and Green Car carriages you may seat them in an empty space, but should the train be very busy, or the seat reserved, you must place them on your lap. There must be 1 adult travelling per infant under 6 in case this situation arises.
Infants without a Japan Rail Pass or ticket can sit in seats only when they are not needed for paying customers.
Travelling at busy times
For those of you who are visiting Japan during National Holidays you may wish to purchase a Japan Rail Pass for your infant to ensure that they have a seat in an unreserved or reserved carriage at all times. You cannot reserve seats for infants without a Japan Rail Pass or ticket.
So there you have it. Infants under 6 can travel for free on Japan Rail as long as no one needs their seat and there is an accompanying Japan Rail Pass holding adult!
photo Andre Chinn