Japan Rail Pass eligibility requirements

The JR Pass is only available online to foreign nationals who are visiting Japan under “Temporary visitor” status. Read more about who is eligible for the pass.

Who is eligible for the Japan Rail Pass?

In order to get the Japan Rail Pass online, you will need a “temporary visitor” stamp (up to 90 days) in your passport. It is usually granted automatically on arrival or, if your country does not have visa waiver agreements with Japan, by entering the country on a tourist visa.

temporary visitor stamps

Basically, if you travel to Japan for tourism purposes and meet the requirements to enter the country as a tourist, you will meet all the requirements to obtain the Japan Rail Pass online.

  • Passport (other than Japanese)
  • “Temporary visitor” stamp

Important: There won’t be any stamps or stickers placed on your passport if you utilize an automated gate at the airport. As a result, you must utilize a staffed automated gate or request that a clerk add a stamp or sticker on your passport. Additionally, to verify their status as a “Temporary Visitor,” customers who have “registered user cards” through the Trusted Traveler Program will need to present their cards.

Entering the country under any other status such as student, foreign employee, trainee, military etc. will not be accepted as eligible.

The same rules are valid for foreign permanent residents such as students and interns, who work or reside permanently in the country. This would mean they have a permanent and not a Tourist Visa in their passport.

Eligibillity verification

If after reading all the eligibility requirements mentioned above, you still have doubts about whether or not you are eligible to make the Japan Rail Pass exchange, please do not hesitate to contact us so we can assess your case. Please keep in mind that if the JR personnel are unable to verify your eligibility due to missing, unclear or unofficial documents, you will not receive the JR Pass. Make sure you understand and comply with the requirements mentioned above before purchasing it.

The "temporary visitor" visa is the only visa which allows you to obtain and use the Japan Rail Pass. Japanese immigration laws are very strict regarding the fact that the Temporary Visitor status is the only valid stamp for you to be able to receive and use the Japan Rail Pass. Be aware that there are other types of short-term visas which are not eligible for the JR Pass.


Can Japanese nationals purchase the Japan Rail Pass?

Japanese nationals who reside outside Japan are not eligible to purchase the Japan Rail Pass online. However, they are able to buy the pass at an agency in person if they meet certain conditions. Keep reading for more information.

Can I purchase the JR Pass if I have dual citizenship?

Citizens with double citizenship are eligible for the Japan Rail Pass online, as long as they use their non-Japanese passport to enter the country.

What is the "Temporary Visitor" entry status?

If you wish to visit Japan for leisure or touristic purposes you will be granted entry under a "Temporary Visitor" status. This status allows visitors to remain in Japan from 15 to 90 consecutive days. A border control officer will grant arrivals who apply for "Stay for sightseeing" when entering Japan a "Temporary Visitor" stamp.

Do babies and children need to purchase a JR Pass?

Babies and children under the age of 6 are eligible to travel free of charge on all JR public transport. However, please note that you will not be able to make any seat reservations for your child if they don't have a valid train ticket (JR Pass).

My child is 11 now but will be 12 when we go to Japan. Is he/she eligible for the JR children pass?

Yes, children who are 11 years of age at the time the Exchange Order is issued are eligible for the discounted child Japan Rail Pass.

What are the Japan entry requirements for tourists?

All visitors need to present their passport at the Japanese border to gain entry. To meet the entry requirements, some nationalities also need to obtain a visa in advance but others can enter without a visa.