Is the Japan Rail Pass Worth the Money? » Zooming Japan


A concern I obtain nearly every day is: Is the Japan Rail Pass worth it?

Brief solution: Yes, for far away taking a trip (e.g. a big salami from Tokyo to Kyoto).

Ok, ok. You desire the lengthy solution, right?

What is the Japan Rail Pass?

In Japan one of the most practical method to circumnavigate is by train.
Japan supplies a big selection of train passes that will certainly enable you to conserve cash.
There are local passes that make feeling if you just stay with a specific area throughout your remain.
There’s additionally the “Seishun 18 Kippu” which is wonderful if you do not have a great deal of cash, yet a great deal of time.

japan rail pass worth it

The Japan Rail Pass is most likely the supreme spending plan pass if you utilize it sensibly.

With the Japan Rail Pass you can ride a big selection of trains, some buses as well as ferryboats totally free!! for either 7, 14 or perhaps 21 successive days.

That can acquire the Japan Rail Pass?

The Japan Rail Pass is plainly focused on vacationers.
You can just acquire it beyond Japan as well as if you’re an international visitor to Japan with a “momentary site visitor visa”.

You can not acquire the Japan Rail Pass if you’re currently in Japan.

Note: There’s presently a test duration lasting till March 31 st 2018 that enables you to acquire the Japan Rail Pass at greater prices within Japan at some chosen terminals.

If you get in Japan with anything yet a “visitor visa”, it’s clear that you’re not a traveler. In situation you have a “student visa”, “working visa”, “working holiday visa” and so on– also if it’s just legitimate for a brief time period– you can not obtain the pass.

Japanese nationals beyond Japan require to give records that confirm they have actually been living abroad for at the very least 10 years.

japan rail pass worth it

Please keep in mind that it’s an individualized pass. You can not share it or hand it over to someone else. Lengthening the legitimacy duration isn’t feasible. And also do not also consider creating the pass. You’ll obtain captured!

Just how much does it set you back?

Please keep in mind that the rates can alter over the moment, yet I’ll upgrade it consistently (standing: February 2018):

Japan Rail Pass Prices (Normal ≅ second course)
Period JPY ¥
United States $ Euro (EUR)
7 days 29,110 yen$ 261 208 EUR
14 days 46,390 yen$ 416 332 EUR
21 days 59,350 yen$ 533426 EUR

And also if you intend to take a trip a little bit much more luxuriously:

Japan Rail Pass Prices (Environment-friendly Automobile ≅ first course)
Period JPY ¥
United States $ Euro (EUR)
7 days 38,880 yen$ 349 279 EUR
14 days 62,950 yen$ 565 451 EUR
21 days 81,870 yen$ 735587 EUR

Environment-friendly vehicle passes are not required unless you have method excessive cash as well as love to spend lavishly.

Please keep in mind: Kid (6-11 years) just need to pay 50% of above rates.

Exactly how to purchase as well as trigger the Japan Rail Pass?

You require to acquire the pass while you’re beyond Japan.
You can either acquire it online or by means of a travel bureau.

I obtained my Japan Rail Pass by means of JapanExperience as well as was truly pleased with them.

After your acquisition you’ll get a coupon by means of mail.
Know that you just have 3 months to trade your coupon. So, do not obtain it excessive beforehand!

Upon your arrival in Japan you can trade the coupon to obtain the Japan Rail Pass.
You can do so at these JR workplaces, additionally right at the airport terminal.

When you trade your coupon, you require to place an activation day.
That day can additionally remain in the future, you do not require to make use of the pass as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, the beginning day needs to be within 30 days of the exchange!

japan rail pass worth it

Expert idea: The JR workplaces at the airport terminal often tend to obtain crowded.
If you do not mean to trigger your Japan Rail Pass as soon as possible, exchange it elsewhere.

The pass is after that legitimate for the precise time period you have actually bought (7, 14 or 21 days). When it comes to legitimacy, the schedule day is of relevance.
If you’re taking a trip in a train as well as it surpasses twelve o’clock at night, it’s not an issue.
If you need to move trains after twelve o’clock at night without needing to leave the ticket gateways, it’s additionally alright.
As soon as you leave the ticket gateways past twelve o’clock at night, the JR Pass will not stand any longer.

Which trains, buses and so on can I make use of with the JR Pass?

The pass supplies accessibility to all railway run by Japan Railways (JR) throughout Japan consisting of Shinkansen, minimal reveal, reveal in addition to fast or neighborhood trains as well as in addition a few other ways of transport:

  • all Shinkansen with the exception of “Nozomi” as well as “Mizuho”
  • Tokyo Monorail (from/to Haneda Airport terminal)
  • JR ferryboat to Miyajima (mindful there are non-JR ferryboats too!)
  • JR buses other than freeway/ reveal buses:.
    • JR Hokkaido Bus, JR Bus Tohoku, JR Bus Kanto, JR Tokai Bus
    • West Japan JR Bus, Chugoku JR Bus, JR Shikoku Bus, JR Kyushu Bus
  • non-JR lines attaching to remote JR lines, for instance:.
    • Ainokaze Toyama Train (just if you take a trip from Toyama– Takaoka, except any type of terminals in between) to JR Himi Line as well as JR Johana Line
    • Aoimori Train (just for the complying with terminals: Aomori– Noheji– Hachinohe) to JR Ominato Line (bound for Shimokita Peninsula)
    • IR Ishikawa Train (just if you take a trip from Kanazawa– Tsubata, except any type of terminals in between) to JR Nanao Line (bound for Noto Peninsula)

The pass is not legitimate for trains or cable cars. Nevertheless in large cities you have JR lines covering that (e.g. Osaka Loophole Line, Tokyo Yamanote Line).

You can make use of the Japan Rail Masquerade evening trains, yet except the sleeper autos or personal autos. For unique areas in evening trains, you would certainly need to pay an additional cost.

There are some “Liner” trains you can not make use of with the Japan Rail Pass, yet a lot of the moment this will not worry you anyhow.

The only ferryboat that’s covered is the JR ferryboat to Miyajima. The JR Hakata-Pusan ferryboat to Korea is not covered!

Please keep in mind that you could need to pay an additional cost in situation you’re taking a trip with JR, yet partially on non-JR tracks. You can locate a listing of those right here.

The advantages of the Japan Rail Pass

In addition to the price cuts you can access JR associated resorts as well as JR rental vehicle companies, you can additionally make train bookings absolutely free.
There are some trains where a booking is compulsory, e.g.:

  • Hayabusa as well as Hayate Shinkansen (Tokyo to Tohoku/Hokkaido)
  • Komachi Shinkansen (Tokyo– Akita)
  • Kagayaki Shinkansen (Tokyo– Kanazawa)
  • Narita Express (Tokyo– Narita Flight Terminal)
  • Daybreak Seto/ Izumo evening trains (Tokyo– Takamatsu/ Izumo)

If you make use of “Hyperdia”, the website/ application will certainly inform you which trains you require a booking for.

For various other trains, e.g. the Shinkansen, it depends on you.
Throughout traveling top period in Japan, it’s most likely much better to make a booking.

japan rail pass worth it You can do so by mosting likely to a Traveling Solution Facility or a “Midori-no-madoguchi” (box office) at a JR terminal. Simply reveal them your Japan Rail Pass as well as inform them which educate you desire a booking for.
You’ll after that obtain tickets with the train as well as seat number as well as additionally a stamp on your JR pass.

Please keep in mind that making a booking can occupy rather a long time, depending exactly how active the ticket workplace is.

Directly I do not such as booking as I intend to be adaptable.
If you can not take the train you have a booking for, see to it to terminate your booking at the nearby JR workplace ASAP. You can simply jump onto any type of various other train flat-out or make one more booking.

As long as you make use of the railway where the JR pass stands, you do not need to acquire any type of tickets. This suggests you’ll conserve a great deal of time. That’s one more advantage of the pass.

A downside of the Japan Rail Pass is that you can not make use of the automated ticket gateways. You really need to stalk the manned entrance, generally to the left or right of the ticket gateways, as well as reveal them your pass. In farther areas, there are train terminals without manned gateways or manned workplaces. Because situation you can simply leave of the terminal.

Is the Japan Rail Pass truly worth the cash?

Since you ideally recognize every little thing regarding the JR pass, allow’s proceed to one of the most vital inquiries.
Does this pass absolutely repay?

In Fact, that’s rather very easy to respond to.
If you intend a big salami from Tokyo to Kyoto (26160 yen), the 7-day pass (29110 yen) is currently worth it.
Yes, there are still approximately 3000 yen to go, yet you conveniently obtain this by taking a trip from/ to the airport terminal as well as within in the city.

In situation you just intend to remain in Tokyo with simply a couple of excursion as well as primarily make use of neighborhood trains, after that it’s plainly ineffective.

It’s really simple to compute, if it makes good sense for YOUR following journey or otherwise.
Beginning with the long-distance journeys as well as enter them right into Hyperdia.

You can make the setups “JR Pass friendly” by releasing the personal lines as well as the “Nozomi” as well as “Mizuho” Shinkansen.

japan rail pass worth it

This way, you’ll promptly obtain a concept whether it deserves acquiring the pass or otherwise.
Additionally, if your journey consists of primarily various other ways of transport (rental vehicle, taxi, buses, ferryboats, aircrafts), after that the Japan Rail Pass will not deserve the cash.

As I made use of to stay in Japan, I had not been qualified to obtain the pass.
Nevertheless, I made use of the 14 days masquerade among my current journeys (3 weeks). Although I just took the Shinkansen two times, it did repay.
The Japan Rail Pass conserved me a total amount of 18.400 yen. I needed to pay an extra 11.570 yen which were not covered by the pass. If you take a look at my journey, you’ll see that I was seeing some remote locations where primarily personal train business run. Yet also after that the pass deserved it.

japan rail pass worth it

Although I remained for 3 weeks, I chose not to obtain the 21 days pass. As you can see I just invested one more 7.390 yen while I really did not have the Japan Rail Pass. The 21 days pass would certainly have cost me an extra 12.960 yen. As I primarily invested my last couple of days in Tokyo, consisting of an outing, it would not have actually been important to invest even more cash.

One more benefit of the Japan Rail Pass I observed was that I can take a trip much quicker. Typically I would certainly prevent the Shinkansen for much shorter journeys, yet this time around I really did not need to stress as well as can constantly select the quicker, much more costly variation (as I really did not need to pay anything many thanks to the pass). Really practical as well as therefore worth the cash.

As you can see there’s no global solution to whether you must obtain the Japan Rail Pass or otherwise.
It significantly depends upon your itinerary, yet it’s really simple to discover if it deserves it for YOUR journey.

Allow me recognize if you have any type of added inquiries.