Japan Rail Pass
Travel Made Easy

Terms & Conditions

Cancellation Terms

Should you need to cancel your Japan Rail Pass then we will refund the price of the rail pass minus a 15% cancellation fee. Please note that we can only refund rail passes before the voucher has been exchanged. There is no refund available after the voucher has been exchanged in Japan.

The Tokyo Transport Pass (Pasmo card) is non-refundable.

General Japan Rail Pass Terms and Conditions
  1. Eligibility - who can use the Japan Rail Pass?
  2. Exchanging your rail pass voucher
  3. Validity - which services you can use your rail pass on?

 

1. Eligibility

The Japan Rail Pass is a special ticket that is available only to travellers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing. You are eligible to purchase a Japan Rail Pass if you meet one of the following two conditions:

1. You are a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing under the entry status of "temporary visitor"

"Temporary visitor" entry status, according to Japanese Immigration Law, allows a stay in Japan of 1 to 90 days (depending on your nationality) for "sightseeing, etc." When entering the country you should enter "sightseeing or tourism" as your reason for visiting Japan. Entry personnel will then stamp your passport "temporary visitor". Only persons who have a passport bearing this stamp can use a JAPAN RAIL PASS.

Caution: Even if you visit Japan with an Exchange Order, to be turned in for a JR Pass, the exchange cannot be made unless you have "temporary visitor" status; if you enter Japan under any other official status, such as "trainee" or "entertainer", you can not change the Exchange Order for a JR Pass. Please note that according to strict interpretation of the Japanese Immigration Law, "temporary visitor" status differs even from other types of stays that are also for only short time periods.

2. You are a Japanese national living in a foreign country who is qualified to live permanently in that country, or has been living in that country for ten or more years, or is married to a non-Japanese residing in a country other than Japan.

Back to top

2. Exchanging your rail pass voucher for the pass itself

When you purchase any kind Japan Rail Pass you will be issued not with the pass itself, but with a voucher. After arrival in Japan this must be exchanged for the pass.

You can not use the Exchange Order for travel. Turn in your Exchange Order and obtain your Japan Rail Pass at one of the Japan Rail Pass exchange offices. We will provide full details of where to find these (and there are a lot of them so you don't have to worry) when we send you your voucher.

Your Exchange Order must be turned in for a Japan Rail Pass within 3 months of the date the Order was issued.

At the JR Pass Exchange offices, fill in an application form to accompany your Exchange Order, and submit it, along with your passport. You will then be issued with your rail pass. Please allow up to 20 minutes for this process. You can turn in the exchange order any time after arrival in Japan and can specify any date (within 3 months of the exchange voucher issue date) on which you wish the pass to start.

The type of Pass described on the Exchange Order can not be changed.

Back to top

3. Validity - which services can you use your rail pass on?

The Full Japan Rail Pass is valid for travel on all Japan Railways' Lines throughout Japan. The only trains you may NOT travel on with the Japan Rail Pass are the Nozomi Shinkansen and the Mizuho Shinkansen. If wish to ride these trains then you will have to pay the full fare for your journey.

Sleeper Trains

Overnight sleeper services with sleeping berths require holders of the pass to pay the full express and sleeper surcharges. The pass will cover the basic fare so you will still make a substantial saving on a long overnight journey.

Regional Pass Validity

Usage of the various regional passes is restricted to the relevant area of Japan. You can use all JR services within those areas with the exception of the Nozomi Shinkansen and the Mizuho Shinkansen. If you hold a JR Sanyo Pass you CAN ride the Nozomi and the Mizuho.

In general terms, Japan Rail Passes are valid for:
- All JR line train services except for the Nozomi Shinkansen and the Mizuho Shinkansen
- Local lines of JR Bus Tohoku, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokaid Bus, West Japan JR Bus and Chugoku JR Bus.
- Local bus lines of JR Hokkaido, JR Shikoku and JR Kyushu
- JR Highway bus Morioka to Hirosaki, Aomori and Towadako; Tokyo to Nagoya / Kyoto / Osaka/ Tsukuba Centre; Nagoya to Kyoto / Osaka and Osaka to Tsuyama Car Shed / Kasai Flower Centre
- JR Ferry from Miyajima to Miyajima-guchi (not valid for JR Beetle Ferry from Hakata to Pusan, South Korea)

Supplements for JR Trains running on non-JR lines

Some JR services run partially on track that is owned by other train companies. For these services a surcharge is payable locally. Some examples are:

Kanazawa <--> Echigo-Yuzawa: 1,450yen per person (each way) supplement payable on the train
Tokyo <--> Shimoda: 2,070yen per person (each way) supplement payable on the train

Back to top