questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass rules for holders of 2 passports

JR Pass Rules for holders of 2 passports


I have a question about whether or not I can obtain a JR pass. I am traveling from the US for a week on business travel (official passport, not a personal passport), but I want to stay a week longer to do some personal travel. I was told that because I had to obtain an "official status" visa, I am not considered a tourist. I do have a personal passport, but was also told that I cannot have two passports stamped when I arrive in Japan that will show "temporary visitor" status.

I will be making several long distance trips (roundtrip Tokyo to Osaka, as well as local Kansai trips) and am finding that it is extremely expensive to pay out of pocket. Is there a way that I can still buy a JR Pass? Alternatively, are there other passes that I can get to help make this trip more affordable?

Thank you for your help.


Hi there,

I'm afraid that unless you have the 'temporary visitor' stamp in your passport then you will be unable to activate and use a Japan Rail Pass in Japan. As the 'temporary visitor' stamp is a prerequisite of many discount 'tourism' tickets I think you'll need to be a bit creative if you want to save money on travel :).

Although nothing is as convenient as the bullet train services, for your trip to Osaka I recommend looking into:

  1. Highway/Night buses
  2. Cheap single sector flights with ANA, JAL or one of the low cost Japanese carriers

Once in Kansai you can purchase tickets as you go, or possibly look into purchasing standard one day travel cards for the Kyoto and Osaka metro systems.

Sorry I can't be of more help - without the temporary visitor stamp your choices are much more limited I'm afraid!

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