Japan Rail Pass : Details

Japan Rail Pass Information

The Japan Rail Pass is your ticket to convenient, stress free travel anywhere your passions and interests happen to take you. With the JR Pass in hand, you get easy access to dozens of Shinkansen, as well as local train and bus lines, which provide convenient and comprehensive transportation across the country. The Japan Rail Pass makes it easy and affordable to traverse Japan's bustling cities and diverse prefectures.

The Japan Rail Pass is valid on the following railway, bus and ferry services:

Railways

The Yamanote Line in Tokyo. The Yamanote Line is a JR train line and is covered with the Japan Rail Pass. The Yamanote Line is Tokyo's most important train line and your ticket to its vibrant and varied downtown area.

It is a circular line which connects Tokyo's major city centers and provides you with access to many of the city's iconic sights such as the Ueno neighborhood with its many national museums, the quirky Akihabara neighborhood buzzing with anime fans, the chic shopping districts of Harajuku and Shibuya, and of course the bustling Shinjuku, which is famous for its neon nightlife. It's also worth getting off at the Yamanote Line's less famous stops to explore some of its lesser known districts. A trip around the whole circle takes approximately one hour.

Even though a single train on the Yamanote Line is roughly 200 meters long, there are departures about every two to four minutes in each direction, depending on the time of day.

Please note: Green circular line only is Yamanote Line.

 

The Yamanote Line

 

All JR Group Railways

Most bullet trains (Shinkansen), limited express and rapid or local trains are included with the Japan Rail Pass.

The Shinkansen routes run all over Honshu, Japan's main island, and also provide you with access to most of the key southern islands in conjunction with ferry connections. Shinkansen can take you from the tranquil shores of Kagoshima, the 'Hawaii of Japan' in the far south, all the way up to the city of Aomori on the northernmost tip of Honshu, which is famous for its autumn colours and the annual Nebuta Festival, with its nightly displays of lantern floats and elaborately costumed dancers.

Exclusions: The 'Nozomi' bullet train is not included on the Japan Rail Pass, however there are many other JR trains that run the same routes; The Mizuho Shinkansen, which runs between Osaka and Kagoshima, is not included on the Japan Rail Pass. However, the Sakura Shinkansen also runs this route and is valid on the Japan Rail Pass.

Buses

Although Shinkansen form the backbone of Japan's regional transport system, its dense bus networks connect every town, city, and prefecture, providing travellers with access to many of the country's lesser known attractions.

JR Highway Bus Lines: Morioka - Hiroskai/Amori/Towadako * Sapporo - Otaru; Tokyo - Shizuoka/Hamamatsu/Okazaki/Toyota/Nagoya/Kyoto/Osaka/Tsukuba Centre; Nagoya - Kyoto / Osaka; Osaka - Tsuyama Car Shed / Kasai Flower Centre

JR Bus Companies: Local lines of JR Bus Tohoku, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokai Bus, West Japan JR Bus, Chugoku JR Bus, JR Hokkaido Bus and JR Kyushu Bus.

JR Bus Divisions: Local bus lines of JR Shikoku.

Ferries

JR Ferry: Miyajima - Miyajimaguchi, except "BEETLE II" (Hakata - Pusan)

Travelling to/from Tokyo Airport

Narita Airport (Tokyo): Narita International Airport is the primary international airport in Tokyo. The Narita Express train or N'EX is a fast, convenient, and comfortable way to travel between Tokyo's Narita Airport and major stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Seat reservations are compulsory for the Narita Express but are free of charge for Japan Rail Pass holders. Exchange your voucher and reserve your seat at a JR Exchange office at Narita Airport and you're ready to go!

Important JR Pass Details

  • Rail Plus will issue an exchange voucher which must be presented in Japan, at any JR Station that has a Japan Rail Pass Exchange Office. You will receive two Exchange Order vouchers labelled A and B (located in the top right hand corner) which must be presented locally within 3 months of issue date. Your Rail Pass is then valid for travel to commence within 1 month.
  • Important: At the time of exchange you will be asked to fill out a short application form and show your passport with the temporary visitor stamp that you would have received upon entry into Japan. You must have your passport with you at the time of the exchange. A photocopy of your passport is not acceptable and without your passport the exchange cannot be made.
  • Children under six years of age may travel free of charge if they do not occupy a seat i.e. are seated on their parent's lap. (One child per adult only) Otherwise, they will need a Child Rail Pass
  • It is not possible to purchase point to point tickets for trains in Japan from Australia or New Zealand.

For more details on the Japan Rail Pass, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us by calling 1300 555 003 (within VIC 03 9642 8644), or explore the exciting possibilities this pass offers by downloading our free Japan Guide e-book.