FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
∫ Before buying your JR Pass ticket
Who can use the Japan Rail Pass?
Any traveller who does not currently reside in Japan can use the Japan Rail Pass, regardless of his or her nationality. The Japan Rail Pass is a ticket specifically designed for non-Japanese travellers who desire to use regularly the train over a period of 1, 2 or 3 weeks. It allows all travellers with the “temporary visitor” status (less than 3 months long stay) to travel in Japan without limits.
How and when do you buy one?
You can buy a JR pass from our website or by visiting our office at iExplore Travels Unlimited, Co. Door 1A, AJL Bldg, General Luna Street, Iloilo City, Philippines. The JRP is not sold in Japan, you must buy it before you leave. What is sold to you before leaving is a voucher that must be exchanged in Japan at the latest 3 months after it is issued. You must therefore buy your Japan Rail Pass at the earliest 3 months before your arrival in Japan. When you arrive in Japan, go to the JR information desk. They will exchange your coupon against the JR Pass, and you will have to decide on the date of first use of your pass. Find the answers to all your questions about the Japan Rail Pass by asking our best advisors, specialists on Japan, and travel in a total peace of mind.
What do you do in case of cancellation?
The Japan Rail Pass is refundable, if it has never been exchanged in Japan, for up to a year after the issue date. There is a 20% cancellation fee which will be withheld from your refund. Please send your unused JR Pass (with an short explanatory note and your order number) to: iExplore Travels Unlimited, Co, Door 1A, AJL Building, General Luna Street Iloilo City, 5000 Philippines Once we have received your JR Pass, we will process your refund using the form of payment used when you placed your order. We recommend that you use a tracked postal service to be sure of delivery.
Can you book a Japan Rail Pass for a third party?
Yes, if they meet the necessary terms and you are sure of the spelling of their names.
What is the price for babies/children?
Children under 6 years old travel for free in the company of a Japan Rail Pass holder but do not have the right to their own seat. Children from 6 to 11 can travel with a children ticket. From 12 years old the child will need an adult ticket.
How long does it take to get a Japan Rail Pass?
Any Japan Rail Pass ordered by noon except weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and holidays is sent the same evening and should arrive the two days by FEDEX. A Japan Rail Pass is created immediately in our office, in less than 15 minutes.
Do you need to have regional passes in addition to the national Japan Rail Pass?
No, the National Rail Pass allows everything the Regional Passes permit. A simple arithmetical calculation shows that it is not usually worth adding a regional pass if you have a national pass. However there are some exceptions, for instance if you visit a specific region of Japan for several days. For example, the “Sanyo Pass” including access to Kansai airport and the cities of Nara and Himeji is recommended if you spend a week in Kyoto, instead of having a Japan Rail Pass. Please feel free to contact our JR Pass agents if you have doubts about which ticket to order.
When is it not worth having a Japan Rail Pass?
A Japan Rail Pass is not worth having primarily in 3 scenarios: (1) if you are thinking about travelling between Tokyo and Kyoto and mostly stay in these two cities (for example arriving in Narita airport, and leaving Japan at the Kansai airport). It will cost more than a Tokyo-Kyoto one-way ticket. Also, the JR Pass cannot be used once in the city, except for the Yamanote line in the Japanese capital. Lastly, from Kyoto, you can go to Nara or Osaka with rail lines other than the JR for a reasonable price. In the city, taking a bus, walking or cycling are a must! (2) if you stay in Tokyo or Kyoto during your stay, because a local pass that can be bought there is more economical (3) if you stay in a region (Hokkaido, Kyushu) the local Passes sold there are more economical.
In which cases should you take a rail pass for a week?
You should get a rail pass for a week if you spend your time on the move over seven days: (1) either by using Tokyo or even better Kyoto as a basis and by going on one day long excursions every day or virtually every day when leaving your accommodation. For example, Nara, Himeji, Amanohashidate, Kanazawa, Kiso Valley, Miyajima, Takamatsu can be visited with a day return ticket (2) or by creating a sequence of 7 consecutive days, such as for example Tokyo/Nagano/Takayama/Ise/Osaka/Miyajima/Okayama/Kyoto. Please note that once your one week JR Pass is activated you can use it for 7 CONSECUTIVE days.
When should you get a rail pass for 2 weeks or 3 weeks?
If you can see several attractions in one week thanks to the volume and punctuality of the trains in Japan, it’s still the not the best way to fully enjoy your trip. If you plan to stay in Japan for more then ten days, the best approach is to spread your unmissable visits over your stay and add them according to your mood. In order to be as free as possible while doing so you should to get a 2 week Japan Rail Pass. If you are staying in Japan for 3 weeks you should get a 3 weeks long Japan Rail Pass as the price difference between a duration of 2 and 3 weeks is really worth it.
When can you use the Japan Rail Pass?
From 1 January to December 31, 24 hours a day! However it is difficult or impossible to book a seat on some dates: (1) from 28 December to 6 January: dates on which the Japanese spend their New Year holidays in their hometown. (2) From 27 April to 6 May: during the period called “Golden week” when several public holidays create a super-bridge during which the Japanese enjoy traveling within Japan. (3) Around 15 August during the holidays of “Obon” where the same family group gets together like on New Year’s Day.
Recommendations to Japanese Nationals 日本人旅客の利用条件について
Japanese nationals are permitted to use the Japan Rail Pass and Kyushu Regional Rail Pass under certain strict criteria if they can provide the documents to prove their eligibility when they exchange the voucher for the pass. You Contact Us for more information. 日本人旅客はある一定の規定を満たしている方のみジャパンレールパスをご利用頂けます。利用条件の詳しい説明はこちら 。
∫ How does the JR Pass work?
How do you book a seat?
Booking is not an obligation and any non-reserved (and free) seat scan be occupied upon simple presentation of your Japan Rail Pass You can also book a seat without additional charges by contacting a travel service centre or a booking office (midori no madoguchi). Simply present your Japan Rail Pass and you will get a seat ticket.
Which train should I choose?
Local trains authorised by the Japan Rail Pass and long distance trains are often very busy during rush hour (morning and evening). But they are also very frequent and in the case of a full train, you can usually wait for the next one a few minutes later.
Are there porters?
Not any more. You have to carry your luggage in the stations and the largest ones are equipped with escalators or lifts.
How do you get your train?
Do not go through the gates (because you don’t have a ticket) but show the controller your Japan Rail Pass. Once on the platform, you will easily find the instructions for finding your car.
Can you smoke on the train?
Most long-distance trains have smoking and non-smoking cars. Nevertheless, the local trains are often non-smoking. Most platforms and stations are non-smoking, but you will always find smoking areas.
Can you eat on the trains?
t’s a real pleasure to see the landscapes roll while eating an “Ekiben”, a small box-meal which content varies from one region to the next, from one shop to the other so you can sample the regional gastronomic specialities from the comfort of your train seat – their price is approximately 1,000 yen.
What are the busy times and days to avoid?
The local trains can be extremely busy at the start and end of the day. The long distance trains are also very busy during holiday periods (New Year, Golden week in early May and the Obon festival in mid August). Given the high frequency of trains it is often preferable to wait the for the next one… just a few minutes later.
Can or should we book our seats?
The Shinkansen and the limited express comprise reserved (shitei seki) and non-reserved (jiyu seki) seats. In principle the reserved seats are a little more expensive but they are accessible without a supplement with the JR Pass. It is sufficient to get a ticket at a ticket office before taking the train. You can therefore travel in seats next to your friends’. Unfortunately, at today’s date it is not possible to reserve seats online. You need to go to a JR Tickets Office (in any large JR station).
Which bus lines are available with the Japan Rail Pass ?
Your Japan Rail Pass gives you access to all JR local bus lines. Here is a list of the most useful to travelers in Japan : – Samani-Erimo Misaki (Cape Erimo) – Aomori station-Aomori airport – Hachinohe/Aomori- Lake Towada – Morioka-Ryusendo – Tateyama-Awa Shirahama – Naganohara Kusatsuguchi-Kusatsu Onsen-Shirane Kazan – Yokokawa-Karuizawa – Kanazawa city lines – Kyoto-Ryoanji-Takao-Shuzan
∫ Upon arrival in Japan
How do you activate your Japan Rail Pass in Japan?
Once there, you have to exchange your voucher at a JR office. To do so you must show your voucher, the entry stamp that is on your passport and decide on the starting date of your pass (the date you will start using it) which may not exceed 30 days after the day of the exchange.
Can I use my Japan Rail Pass from the airport?
All the airports in Japan are linked to the rail network, so you can use your Japan Rail Pass as soon as you arrive in Japan.
What is the validity period of the Japan Rail Pass?
Once you have bought your Japan Rail Pass voucher, it should be activated within 3 months in Japan. Once you have activated your Japan Rail Pass, you will still have a delay of one month until the first day of use.
When should you activate your Japan Rail Pass?
The starting date is not necessarily the exchange date. For holders of a one week Japan Rail Pass, you must pay attention to the starting date. If you have a tight programme, it’s better to spend a day than to “waste” a day.
∫ What does not work with the JR Pass
Can you use all the Shinkansen, including the Nozomi?
The Nozomi type Shinkansen cannot be used on the Tokaido Sanyo line. Lots of “Hikari” or “Kodama” trains can be used on the same itineraries. They have additional stops and are therefore a little slower. Between Tokyo and Kyoto the duration is 2 hours 40 minutes for a “Hikari” train instead of the 2 hours 20 minutes for a “Nozomi”.
JAPAN RAIL PASS is Sub-Distributed by iExplore Travels Unlimited, Co.
To book your JR PASS (Nationwide and Regional) kindly Contact Us.
JR PASS is also open to travel agents for selling Contact us how to sell and get competitive rates.