questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

train transfers with the jr pass

Train transfers with the JR pass

I'm a bit unclear about the usage of the Rail Pass on local/rapid/limited express trains, and transferring between them.

As far as I'm aware, for the supported local lines we show our pass, and go through the gates, no problem. However I'm curious about the switching from a local line to limited express, and vice versa. I have a short section of my trip where we leave from Nagahama to arrive at Gifu station (not Gifu-Hashima).

Hyperdia is suggesting a possible route using a JR special rapid train (for Aboshi), then switching to Shirasagi at Maibara. I have consulted the maps for Maibara station and I do not see any transfer gates between the Biwako platforms and the Hokuriku platforms. Does this mean going from special rapid trains (or local), to the limited express trains, there is no gate to pass?

The transfer window is small (8 minutes) and I'm a bit unsure if there's enough time to make the transfer.

Thank you for your help!


Hello there,

For limited and express trains and Shinkansen, there are are two options for the JR Pass.

1.) You do the same as a for local trains, just show the JR Pass, hop on and take a non-reserved seat.

2.) You make a free seat reservation beforehand. I recommend this, as you are secure of seating and don't have to fight over non-reserved seats with other passengers.

You will only go trough an extra gate when boarding the Shinkansen, not if you travel on a limited express train. So 8 min of transfer time is plenty.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thank you very much Daniel!

If that's the case, I will probably find a Midori no Madoguchi a few days ahead and get that reserved for the limited express!


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