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Who is eligible for the Japan Rail Pass

The Japan Rail Pass is a special discounted service, created for foreign nationals, visiting Japan for tourism purposes, with a maximum stay of 90 days. Please read the eligibility requirements carefully before continuing to making a JR Pass purchase.

The Japanese Rail Pass is available to all foreign nationals who are visiting the country for a short period of time and have obtained a Japanese Tourist Visa. The Tourist Visa allows for a stay of up to 90 days in the country. This rule applies to all visitors - adults, children, tourist groups etc.

If you are a foreign resident holding a working, student or permanent resident visa for Japan, you are not eligibile for the Japan Rail Pass since this would mean you have a permanent and not a Tourist Visa in your passport.

Remember that the Tourist Visa is the only visa, which allows you to obtain and use the Japan Rail Pass.

Note: The Japanese Immigration Laws have a very strict policy, which regards the Temporary Visitor visa as the only valid stamp for you to receive and use the Japan Rail Pass. Be aware as there are other types of visas, allowing for a short-term entry but are not eligible for the Pass.

Japanese nationals

According to the new Japan Rail Pass eligibility regulations, Japanese nationals, living permanently outside of Japan, will no longer be eligible to purchase the JR Pass.

Those Japanese nationals who have already purchased the pass will be able to exchange it until June 30, 2017. Passed this date, Japanese residents will no longer be able to exchange a previously purchased pass.

The new eligibility regulations, introduced by the Japan Rail Group refer to:

1. Japanese nationals who are living permanently in another country.

2. Japanese nationals married to a foreign national and is permanently residing outside of Japan.

Double citizenship

Those Japanese nationals who have double citizenship must enter Japan with their non-Japanese passport. This is the only way to receive a Tourist Visa stamp upon entry. The Тourist Visa stamp will be required when exchanging the order (the Japan Rail voucher) for the actual Japan Rail Pass. In case you have entered the country with your Japanese passport, you will not receive the required stamp, and therefore you will not be eligible to exchange the vouher and receive your JR Pass.

Note: Entering the country with a Japanese passport and then showing your foreign passport at the Exchange Bureau will not be sufficient to make the exchange successfully, nor showing a foreign birth certificate or a driving license. All dual nationals must have the Tourist Stamp in their foreign passport. Otherwise, the exchange of the voucher will not be made possible.

Eligibility verification

If after having read all the above-mentioned eligibility requirements and you still have doubts about whether or not you will be eligible to make the Japan Rail Pass exchange, please contact us and we will help you better understand your personal case. However, you should always remember that if the JR personnel is unable to verify your eligibility, due to missing, unclear or unofficial documents, you will not receive the Rail Pass. Please, make sure you understand and comply with the above-mentioned requirements, before purchasing the Pass.

Remember that the Tourist Visa is the only visa, which allows you to obtain and use the Japan Rail Pass. The Tourist Visa is the only type of visa, which will allow you to successfully exchange your Exchange Order for the actual JR Pass upon arrival.