questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

how to use the pass for shinkansen and local jr trains (eg. yamanote line) in tokyo ?

How to use the pass for Shinkansen and local JR trains (eg. Yamanote line) in Tokyo ?

For taking the Shinkansen, do I just arrive at the station on time and go through the manned gate showing the pass to the JR person or I have to go somewhere first. Assuming that I am sitting in non-reserved car. If yes, same for local JR train? Thanks!


Hi there!

Assuming you're sitting in non-reserved seats yes - all you have to do is arrive and breeze through the manned gate. You can see this very thing in action in our video how-to. This is true for all JR trains - shinkansen and local, provided they have non-reserved seating.

Please note that some trains are reserved seating only - the main ones you may come across are the Narita Express and the Hayabusa Shinkansen. For these trains you must visit the JR ticket counter and get a seat reservation. These seat reservations are free for all Japan Rail Pass holders, and can be arranged in advance, for example when you activate your rail pass in Japan.

Hope this helps!

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