If you plan to visit several cities in Japan on your trip, then buying the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass) is the best solution to save on transportation costs. I used JR pass during my trip to Japan and it really help me save a lot. Even Japanese are jealous because this pass is only applicable for tourist. Yes, only tourist may purchase the pass and it can only be purchased overseas.
- What is JR Pass?
The JR Pass offers an incredibly economical way to travel throughout Japan by rail. You may use JR Pass to hop on the Shinkansen (Bullet train) between cities and also to explore a city via JR line buses, subway, monorail and ferry boat. For the details on which transportation you can and can’t use the pass on, you may refer directly to their official website: http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en004.html
- How much does it cost?
The prices are standard but they vary from country to country based on the exchange rate. However, if you purchase the JR pass from a travel agency, they might charge you a service fee. The pass comes in two variations: the green superior class and ordinary. Both are available as a 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day pass.
Prices of Exchange Orders (as of September 1, 2014)Type:GreenOrdinaryDurationAdultChildAdultChild7-day38,880 YEN19,440 YEN29,110 YEN14,550 YEN14-day62,950 YEN31,470 YEN46,390 YEN23,190 YEN21-day81,870 YEN40,930 YEN59,350 YEN29,670 YEN
I bought the Ordinary 7-days JR Pass on February 2015 and it cost me RM902
- Where to buy?
You can buy it online here.
I purchased my JR Pass at:
Japan Travel Bureau (M) Sdn Bhd
16th Floor, Amoda Bulding,
Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur,Wilayah Persekutuan.
Phone: 03-2141 6866
Business hours: Mon- Fri 9am – 5.30pm , Sat: 9am – 12.30pm, Closed on Sunday and public holiday.It is very simple: just walk in to the office (Opposite Times square and behind Lowyat) along with your passport (a must) and tell them you would like to buy the JR Pass. Paying with cash is better as they charge 5% for card transaction no matter if credit or debit.
- How to redeem?
JTB will issue you a some short of Exchange Order, not the actual pass. It looks like in the image below:
Next, when you arrive in Japan, go to any JR office (at the airport or train station) and submit the Exchange Order together with your passport to redeem the actual JR Pass.When we arrived at Haneda airport, it was already 11pm and the JR office at the airport was closed. We redeemed our JR Pass at the Tokyo Station the next morning. See how the real JR Pass look like:
If you already have your travel plan, once you have your JR Pass, you may also request to reserve seats on the Shinkansen. It is free of charge for JR Pass holders. I strongly recommend to reserve your seats so that you can sit together as a group and have better seat selection (for example window seats from which you can see Mount Fuji). You will receive additional tickets when you reserve your seat that will be specifically for that Shinkanse. If you do not have reserved seats, you may enter the non-reserved car of the train and it is first come first serve basis. Don’t worry, it is very seldom full 🙂
Now that you are aware of all related info about the JR pass, check out my other post on budget you need for a week trip in Japan: CLICK HERE
For One Week Japan Trip Itinerary: CLICK HERE
Cheers! 😉 🙂