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Photo: JR West

Japan Rail Pass finally being made available for purchase online

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

There are several reasons Japan has been booming in popularity as a travel destination over the past decade, and a big one is the Japan Rail Pass. Offered by Japan Railways Group (aka JR), Japan’s largest rail operator, the pass is only available to visitors from abroad, and provides travelers with unlimited use of nearly any JR train in the country, including all but the very fastest classes of the Shinkansen bullet train, for periods of one, two, or three weeks.

But while the JR Pass is an incredible value for those with wide-range travel ambitions in Japan, the purchase process has long been a bit of a hassle. For many years, the pass could only be purchased outside of Japan and through an intermediary such as a designated travel agency or airline. More recently, the option to purchase the pass at select train stations in Japan has been offered, but with the penalty of being roughly 10 percent more expensive than if purchased outside Japan.

Those hassles will be disappearing, though, as this week Japan Rail Group announced that it will begin selling the Japan Rail Pass online come summer. A dedicated site, called Japan Rail Pass Reservation, is being set up to handle orders, and purchasers can pick up their passes at the station after arriving in Japan. JR has not yet specified whether the pass can be picked up at any JR station in the country, but it seems like a given that it will be available at rail hubs connecting to Japan’s international airports, so that the passes can be picked up and activated quickly upon arrival.

Pricing for the pass has also been announced, with regular (non-Green Car passes) 7, 14, and 21-day passes costing 33,610 yen, 52,960 yen, and 66,200 yen for adults (16,800 yen, 26,480 yen, and 33,100 yen for children 6-11). Stepping up to the Green Car pass bumps those prices up to 44,810 yen, 72,310 yen, and 91,670 yen (22,400 yen, 36,150 yen, and 45,830 yen for kids). Passes must be activated no later than one month after their online purchase date.

JR has also announced that the Japan Rail Pass Reservation site’s URL will be, and that the site is scheduled to go live on June 1, so it’ll be up and running in time for everyone headed to Japan for the Summer Olympics.

Source: JR East via IT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Travel tip! Japan Railways to offer awesome new three-day unlimited pass for Tokyo and east Japan

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-- Tourists can (finally) make shinkansen reservations from overseas with new app

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Was planning a tour af Japan with our daughter using this but can’t figure out how to get the Mrs one as she doesn’t have a foreign passport... hmmmmm

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Think I'll keep buying mine before we go. I quite like the opportunity to go to an old-style travel agency and pick up some tips from the staff. And if you've already got the pass in your bag, just one less thing to worry about going wrong when you get there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From memory I purchased one from a Travel agent and before I left home and upon arrival at Haneda had to go to the JR office to get it stamped and activated. The line was long and it took 90 minutes to get it stamped.

Perhaps they can allow travel agents to stamp them and have them automatically activated upon arrival via date of arrival or activated online to avoid a long wait time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why would they give out the URL now if the site isn't even live... expect copy cat sites to pop up all over the place to steal search engine positions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are raising the prices quite a bit. Bummer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kobe White Bar Owner, where do you live? I know NY, LA, and HNL have JTB offices. You can go to the JTB USA website and order the JR Pass there. They can mail it to you or you can pick it up if there is an office near you. We have used it in the pass and you need to have a passport from any country except Japan. They will check your passport when you exchange the voucher for the actual pass.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CrashTestDummy, check the JTB USA website. Their rate fluctuates according to the ¥ rates.

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The pass is great if you are doing the Golden Route between big cities along the Tokaido line.

For other parts of the country, think about hiring a car. You'll see much more than from the trains. Foreign tourists can also get ETC discounts on the highways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@renee, thanks I live in..... Kobe japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great news. Those who staff and deal with The J R pass have the worst job on the planet.

I have nothing but admiration for these hard working people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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