Hi! Welcome to our blog! We are a couple that has had the great luck of being able to visit Japan on more than one occasion and after some comments, questions we have decided to create this mini-guide to help you.
1. WHAT IS JAPAN RAIL PASS?
The Japan Rail Pass (or JR Pass) is a transportation ticket marketed by the Japan Railways group and was created to encourage tourism throughout the country.
With this type of tickets you can travel through (almost) the whole country in an unlimited way on the famous bullet trains called Shinkansen, except for the Nozomi and Mizuho trains. In addition, you can also use other train networks, buses, road buses and even the Ferry to go to Miyajima.
2. WHERE TO BUY JAPAN RAIL PASS?
The first time we visited Japan we were looking for different websites, information, forums, etc. for days and days and doubting where to buy it. After much looking, asking and researching we finally decided on this official provider: www.jrailpass.com.
They are official vendor and have very good ratings from users. In addition, they send the Japan Rail Pass in 24h/48h , so we decided on them and the truth is that every time we have bought the Japan Rail Pass through them we have been very satisfied with their service and customer service.
In case you want more information, we leave the link to their website here 👇 :
3. WHAT DO YOU RECEIVE AT HOME?
What you are going to receive are not the tickets. You will receive some coupons that you will have to exchange for the tickets once you arrive in Japan. Yes, coupons: don’t panic. In the next step we show you how you can change once you land in Japan.
We leave you some pictures of the coupons so you can see how they look like:
4. GETTING THE JAPAN RAIL PASS
In any of the different airports that you land in Japan, there will be an office to activate your Japan Rail Pass. The offices are perfectly signposted and you just have to follow the signals. They usually have a large number of foreigners at the door willing to exchange their tickets, but do not worry, the process is quite fast.
Upon entering the office, they will attend you very kindly and will ask you for the passport and the Japan Rail Pass coupon that you received at your home. Once verified that everything is correct, it will deliver the original Japan Rail Pass with a sheet on which you must fill in:
- First name, middle name and last name.
- Passport Number.
- First day of use.
- Contact in Japan (you can put the name and phone number of the first hotel where you stay).
Once the Japan Rail Pass information is filled in, you will have to deliver it with your passport and the coupon you received at your home at a counter where (finally) you will be given the final Japan Rail Pass, which is a green card with the company’s stamp .
We attached photos so you can see how the office looks like (this corresponds to the Narita airport office):
Once all the registration is done, you will finally have your Japan Rail Pass in your hand! We attach an image with ours so you can see what it looks like (we deleted out the data for confidentiality :)).
5. OK, WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Our recommendation is that you take advantage of the same moment in which you are activating the Japan Rail Pass to reserve the seats of the trains that you have planned to take, since some trains fill up quickly and you run the risk of having to go to the cars without reservation.
To do this, you just have to tell the person at the counter the city of origin, the destination city and the time you want to take the train approximately. It will show you what trains and seats are available and, if you agree with it, will print the tickets there.
On the tickets (we leave you an image below) you will see the following information reflected:
- Origin station
- Departure time
- Destination station
- Check In
Nothing else! Enjoy your Japan Rail Pass and your stay in Japan!