The famed Japan Rail Pass, or JR Pass, gives travelers a golden ticket to hop around Japan and save lots of cash doing it. Zip between Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Hokkaido by simply showing the pass to train station staff and you’re good to go.
Sounds great, but is it really the magical all-access ticket it claims to be? How do you even use the darn thing? It can all be a bit confusing, so let us break it down for you.
What exactly is the JR Pass?
Japan has over 100 railway companies, one of the bigger ones being the Japan Railways Group, or JR for short. These guys are responsible for issuing these coveted JR Passes which are supposed to work on all trains in Japan and can be an incredibly good value for money.
The pass offers unlimited travel on JR train lines and some buses and ferries within a set number of days. It can also be used on some shinkansen (bullet trains) that’ll jet you from one side of Japan to the other.
However, it does come with certain restrictions you should be aware of and it may not necessarily be right for all travelers.
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