A Japan Rail Pass is the cheapest and most convenient way to get around Japan.
Learn more about it and how to get one from Amnet.
What is a Japan Rail (JR) Pass?
A JR Pass is a 7, 14, or 21-day special-rate ticket for use on trains run by JR (including bullet trains), that is only available to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sightseeing.
Who is eligible for a JR Pass?
1. Foreign tourists visiting Japan under the status of "Temporary Visitor" on their entry visa
2. Japanese nationals living outside of Japan who:
- are permanent residents of the country where they reside
- are married to a non-Japanese residing in a country other than Japan
Note: Persons meeting conditions above are required to show proof of eligibility at the point of purchase of an Exchange Order and obtaining a JAPAN RAIL PASS.
Note: #2 will not be applicable starting Apr. 1, 2017.
Note: Non-Japanese citizens with permanent Japan residency will not be eligible for the rail pass starting Apr. 1, 2017.
How do I get the actual JR Pass?
- First, contact Amnet about getting a JR Pass. Then, an Amnet agent will contact you and ask you all necessary information to process the pass.
- Amnet will process payment.
- Amnet will prepare your exchange order. The exchange order is not the actual pass.
- Either pick up your exchange order at a branch location or receive it to your preferred address via certified mail (shipping - $10).
- Once you get to Japan, turn in the exchange order and show your passport at a designated Japan Rail Pass Office (including Narita Airport).
Please note that the actual pass can only be received in Japan and that Amnet provides exchange orders necessary to receive the pass.
How much does it cost?
How do I use a JR Pass?
The JR Pass is for unlimited use (during the 7, 14, or 21-day period) on:
ALL JR-Group Railway Trains:
- Shinkansen trains ("bullet train"), except "Nozomi" and "Mizuho" trains
- Limited Express trains
- JR-Express trains
- JR-Rapid trains
- JR-Local trains
- JR Bus Companies-Local lines of:
- JR Bus Tohoku
- JR Bus Kanto
- JR Tokai Bus
- West Japan JR Bus
- Chugoku JR Bus
- JR Bus Divisions-Local bus lines of:
- JR Hokkaido
- JR Shikoku
- JR Kyushu
JR Highway Bus Lines:
- Morioka to Hirosaki, Aomori and Towadako
- Tokyo to Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, and Tsukuba Center
- Nagoya to Kyoto and Osaka
- Osaka to Tsuyama Car Shed and Kasai Flower Center
- Between Miyajima and Miyajima-guchi (near Hiroshima) except "Beetle U" (Hakata-Pusan)
Check out more detailed Japan Rail Pass route information on the Japan Rail Pass website.
Can I reserve seats with the pass?
Once you have your pass, you can also reserve seats. Simply tell the Japan Railways officer at the Midori-no-madoguchi where you receive your pass what dates you will be traveling and where you would like to go. During busy times, reserved seats cannot always be guaranteed, so it is advised that you reserve your seats as soon as you get to Japan.
- Shinkansen and most limited express and ordinary express trains have reserved Green Car seats and both reserved and non-reserved ordinary car seats.
- A non-reserved seat can be used simply by showing your JAPAN RAIL PASS.
- Seat reservations can be made without additional payment. To make a reservation, apply at any Travel Service Center or a Reservation Office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at a JR staion, or at a sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. There, show your pass, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before boarding.
Please note that during crowded periods you cannot be guaranteed a seat on a specific train. The periods when seat reservations are particularly difficult to secure are as follows:
- 12/29-1/5 The New Year holiday period is the most popular travel time for Japanese people, for vacations and returns to hometown areas.
- 4/28-5/5 Due to consecutive holidays in a comfortable travel season, there is large-scale travel throughout Japan for leisure and recreation.
- 8/10-15 Another time for traditional travel to home-town areas, called the Obon season.
What is the difference between an ordinary pass and a Green pass?
The Green Cars on Japan Railways bullet trains are the equivalent of First Class. There is more seat room, more space between seats, footrests, and more recline for each seat. Most importantly, during busy times (holidays, weekends, cherry blossom and fall foliage season), there are usually more seats available in the Green Cars.
Does Amnet offer any other types of Japan Rail Passes?
JR Hokkaido Rail Passes, JR West Rail Passes, and JR Kyushu Rail Passes are also available through Amnet.