questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass & private railways

JR Pass & private railways

We (2) will visit Japan in may next year. I will travel to many destinations and I will buy a JR Rail Pass for 21 days.
I don´t understand the combination of the JR pass with the private railways. I understand that I am not able to take the nozomi shinkansen, thats quit clear. But.....

For instant, I will travel to Odawara, I like to use the shinkansen Kodama from Shinagawa station (Tokyo). Is this Free with the JR Rail Pass or should I take the JR tokaido Line Rapid??? If I use Hyperdia it always tells me that it maybe not free on the JR Rail Pass. How do I see or know when I can take a line for free?

Thxs in advance. I am planning all a little bit early but it takes time to understand good traveling in japan,


Hi there!

There's a lot of railway in Japan and finding the right route can be a little confusing at the beginning. Not to worry though, it all works out rather well once you had used to it.

The JR Pass covers all JR lines nationwide. This includes the Shinkansen, although like you say trains classified as Nozomi are not covered. You can use Hikari or Kodama trains however, such as to Odawara.
We provide a really great interactive map for JRP users to see all lines covered by the JR Pass and lines which may require an extra fee.

The warning in Hyperdia is only a general warning and is always displayed. Anything with JR is covered :) I can tell you if a line is covered or not, just tell me the line or train on which to travel on.

I hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,

Thxs for your quick answer. Great map!! I will use it for planning my trip. If I have some further questions I gladly will ask for your help. Thank you very much.

Josephina (grachte)


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