Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Eligibility

Who is eligible for the Japan Rail Pass?

Japan Rail Pass is a special discounted ticket valid on all JR trains, buses, and ferry services. It is available to all foreign nationals who wish to visit Japan for tourist and leisure purposes.

All tourists must have a Tourist Visa stamped in their passport. Without the Tourist Visa you will not be eligible, and therefore, you will not be able to exchange your order for the actual Japan Rail Pass. The "Tourist" status allows you the remain in Japan either 15 or 90 consecutive days. Any foreign citizen who applies for "stay for sight-seeing" will be granted a Tourist visa stamp or sticker. Entering the country under any other status such as "student", "foreign employee", "trainee", "military" etc. will not be accepted upon making the exchange.

Are Japanese nationals eligible to purchase the JR Pass?

All Japanese nationals must meet one of the two conditions described below, in order to be eligible for the Japan Rail Pass:

1. The Japanese national must be permanently living in another country (physical proof of permanent residency in this country is required).

2. The Japanese national must be married to a foreign citizen, who is residing permanently outside of Japan (physical proof that the Japanese citizen lives in another country; is married to a foreign citizen; the spouse resides permanently outside of Japan is required).

Important note: If your fail to provide the required proof of your eligibility, your Japan Rail Pass may be denied upon exchange.

What documents are Japanese nationals required to provide?

Japanese nationals are required to provide the following documents, should they meet one of the two eligibility requirements, which are:

1. Live permanently outside of Japan. In this case, Japanese nationals must present the following documents: Physical proof of their permanent residency such as a Green Card, should the Japanese national reside permanently in the US.

2. Be married to a foreign citizen, who is permanently living outside of Japan. For this case, the following documentation is required: Physical proof of your marriage; of your permanent residency outside Japan; of the permanent foreign residency of your spouse.

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

Citizens with double citizenship are eligible for the Japan Rail Pass, as long as they use their non-Japanese passport to enter the country. Those who enter Japan for tourist or leisure purposes will receive a Tourist Visa stamp or a sticker at the passport control of any Japanese airport. What this implies is that children of Japanese citizens with double nationality must also enter Japan using their non-Japanese passport.

Note: If you enter Japan with a Japanese passport or for other purposes than tourism/ leisure / sightseeing, you will not receive the Tourist Visa stamp / sticker. Should you attempt to exchange your order for a Japan Rail Pass without the stamp / sticker, you will be denied the exchange.

What is the "Temporary Visitor" entry status?

Foreign citizens who wish to visit Japan for leisure or touristic reasons enter the country under "Temporary Visitor" status. This status allows visitors to remain in Japan from 15 to 90 consecutive days. Arrivals, who apply for "stay for sightseeing" when they enter Japan, will be granted a "Temporary Visitor" stamp by a border control officer. This stamp will be required at the Japan Rail Pass exchange office. The stamp, your passport, and the Exchange Order are the 3 documents that you must have with you when making the Exchange Order. No photocopies, emails, photos, etc. will be accepted. Only original documents.

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

Children who are 11 years of age at the time the Exchange Order is issued are eligible for the child prices of Japan Rail Pass.

The general rules of JR group state that children from the ages of 6 through 11 are eligible for the discounted Japan Rail Pass. Those who are under 6 years old don't require a rail pass as they can travel for free. However, seat reservations are not possible for children under the age of 6.

Buying JR Pass

Can I buy the Japan Rail Pass more than 3 months before my departure? (exceeding the 3-month validity period)

Yes, travelers who wish to purchase their Japan Rail Passes more than 3 months before their initiated departure date are free to do so.

However, due to the fact that the validity period of the JR Pass is 3 consecutive months, we will pause the delivery of your order until the 3-month validity period is reached.

Example: You make your order on the 3rd of February and wish to travel to Japan in July. The issue and delivery of the order will be put on hold until the 3rd of June.

Should you wish to change the automatically set date, email us at info@jrailpass.com

Can I purchase a Japan Rail Pass if I haven't purchased my plane ticket yet?

Yes, travelers are not required to know their exact date of arrival in Japan.

Remember that the validity period of the Japan Rail Exchange Order three consecutive months. What this implies is that once issued, the Exchange Order can be exchanged during the following three months. As long as you know which month you are planning to visit Japan, no further information will be required of you.

Note that during the order confirmation process you will be asked to enter your approximate arrival date. As long as you purchase the Exchange Order within the following three months of the Exchange Order issue date, you will not experience any problems in Japan, when receiving the actual Japan Rail Pass.

Are there any JR Pass discounts?

Yes, there is a Japan Rail discount for children aged from 6 through 11.

If your child is younger than six years, he/she can ride all Japan Rail trains, buses, ferries free of charge.

Important note: If your child is 11 years old as of the issue date of the Exchange Order (the day you complete your purchase online), he/she will be eligible to receive a discounted children's pass, even if he/she has turned 12 before your arrival date in Japan. This is because the Japan Rail Exchange Order is valid for three consecutive months.

Example:

Exchange order issue date: 1st of March (the child is 11 years old)

Exchange for the Japan Rail Pass at a JR ticket office in Japan: 3rd of May (the child is 12 years old)

In this scenario, the child is still entitled to receive a Japan Rail Pass. For more information regarding this matter, visit: japanrailpass.net

What are the payment methods available on this web?

You may complete your purchase on this website via one of the following payment methods: American Express, Visa, Master Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer

Please, always verify the Credit Card / PayPal / Bank transfer details, before completing your purchase.

You will receive an order confirmation only after the online order has been completed successfully.

How and where to buy the Japan Rail Pass? / Can I buy it in Japan?

The Japan Rail Pass is a special discounted ticket that is not sold in Japan. It is created specially for foreign visitors who enter Japan temporary for touristic and leisure purposes. You can buy the JR Pass from this web.

How can I buy the rail pass?

You can buy your Japan Rail Pass through this website in a few easy steps. Once your online order is confirmed, we will send by post an Exchange Order. You can receive it either in your country or have it delivered to your temporary residence in Japan. This is a voucher, which needs to be exchanged for the actual rail pass once you are in Japan, up to 3 months after the order was issued. Note that the Exchange Order has a validity period of 90 consecutive days.

What is the exchange process?

Once you arrive in Japan with your Exchange Order, go to any of the JR Exchange offices (located inside of all main airport terminals, as well as train and metro stations. To make the exchange, you will need your passport (with a Tourist Visa stamp/sticker in it) and the physical Exchange Order. No printed copies nor photos of the order will be accepted, only originals. During the process, you will be asked when you wish to activate your Japan Rail Pass. You will need to choose the first day on which you wish to start using it.

Note: The activation date can be up to 30 consecutive days after the exchange process. You are not required to activate your Japan Rail Pass when making the exchange.

Can I cancel my Japan Rail Pass?

Yes, you can cancel your Japan Rail Pass at any moment, as long as it has not been exchanged yet nor used. Once you have exchanged your rail pass, it can no longer be refunded/canceled or altered in any way.

To learn in more detail how to cancel your Japan Rail Pass and what are the conditions visit our refund policy.

Can I change the days on which I wish to use the rail pass?

During the exchange process in any of the Japan Rail Exchange Offices, you will be asked to select the day on which you wish to start using your Japan Rail Pass. If you have selected the 1st of April to be your activation date and you have purchased a 14-day rail pass, then it will be valid until midnight of April 14th.

Once your rail pass has been activated, you can no longer change the selected days. Note that the Japan Rail Pass is not sold in Japan, so in the case that you wish to purchase or upgrade to another JR Pass, it will not be possible. All of this must be done before arriving in Japan.

Do babies/children need to purchase a JR Pass?

Babies and children under the age of 6 are eligible to travel for free on all JR national transport. However, please note that you will not be able to make any seat reservations for your child if they don't have a ticket. Children can be held by their parents, in the unlikely event of full train cars.

Can I arrive in Japan later than planned? (change the original intended date)

If you decide to change your date of arrival with less than 3 months from the intended date, you can do so freely. The Japan Rail Pass has a validity period of 90 consecutive days. Therefore, in case you need to change your flight date within this time, there is no need to inform us about it. You pass will still be valid when you arrive in Japan.

However, in case your arrival date is delayed with more than 3 months, you will need to take the following steps:

1.Send the unused Japan Rail Pass to our offices in the following direction:

Granland Building
Avenida Maresme 44-46 2a 26
Badalona 08918
Barcelona, Spain
Tel: +34 93 4989620

2.Email us when would you like to receive the new passes.

3.Pay the shipping of the new Japan Rail Pass.

We will not charge you for reissuing the pass, as long as you request the same number of activation days (7;12;21) and it is the same type (Standart; Green).

Delivery

Can I have my order sent to Japan?

Orders can be sent to your home address as well as to your temporary residence in Japan. You can choose either one of those options during the checkout process on this website. If you wish to have your JR Pass delivered to you in Japan, select the corresponding delivery option and indicate the delivery address in Japan. Please make sure to provide a full and correctly written address.

I don't have time to receive the tickets. Can I receive them in Japan?

If you have made a last-minute decision to purchase the JR Pass and believe there isn't enough time to receive it at your home address, there is another option.

For our client's piece of mind in those exact situations, we offer a delivery of the Japan Rail Passes straight in Japan. Simply indicate the address to which you wish to have your order delivered during the checkout process. Please, carefully review the Japanese address. Having the correct and full delivery address is of utmost importance.

If I don't receive my tickets on time, can you email me my tickets? / Do I need to receive the physical ticket? / Can I use an email as a confirmation?

Japan Rail Pass orders cannot be emailed nor scanned or photographed. Due to the strict regulations of the Japanese Government, it is required to present the physical Exchange Order at any of the exchange offices in Japan. To receive the actual JR Pass, you will be asked to provide the Exchange Order and your passport. Once your personal data has been confirmed, you will be issued a Japan Rail Pass. In order to follow this procedure the Exchange Orders cannot be emailed/scanned/photographed.

What is more, you cannot give a copy of your passport, since the staff of the Exchange Office will have no way of verifying you have the temporary stay stamp/sticker in your passport.

When do my tickets arrive?

The standard delivery time of each shipping is 2 business days. In some rare situations, which are beyond our control, such as weather changes, airplane strikes, etc., the delivery time might be prolonged. Once you have completed your online order, you will receive an email with the tracking number of your shipment. Using the number and the link provided, you will be able to have direct access to all relevant delivery information: delivery date and delivery time.

What should I do if the tickets arrive and I'm not at home?

The delivery service provider will leave a note at the door with information regarding the following delivery time. There will be 3 attempts in total, after which the delivery company will leave the package at the closest post office. In case the order has not been collected during the following week, it will be returned to the sender's address (our offices).

Using JR Pass

How long is the Japan Rail Pass valid for?

The validity period of the Japan Rail Pass is either 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days. The activation date and the date on which the pass is used for the first time should be the same.

The Exchange Order must be turned in to obtain the actual Japan Rail Pass within 3 months of issuing the order. During the exchange process, you will be asked to specify the activation date. The activation date can be up to 30 after the exchange process itself.

When exactly does the pass expire on the last day of validity?

The most important fact to remember is that the Japan Rail Pass validity period is calculated in days, not in hours.

Therefore, if you have purchased a 14-day pass and your activation date (when you first use the pass) is the 1st of April, the exact expiration date will be the 14th of April, midnight (until the end of the day).

What this implies is that if you plan to ride a train at midnight (the designated expiration night), you will be able to do so.

Your ticket will be valid until the end of your journey.

Do the 7/14/21 days need to be consecutive?

Yes, the validity period of the Japan Rail Pass is either 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days. The exact expiration time is either the 7th, 14th or the 21st night at midnight. Therefore, passengers cannot select to separate the activation date of their passes.

Please note that once activated, the date on the passes can no longer be changed.

What is included in the Japan Rail Pass?

1. The Japan Rail Pass covers all JR Group limited express trains, express trains, rapid and local ones. Shinkansen bullet trains are also covered, with the exception of NOZOMI and MIZUHO. Furthermore, the JR Pass can be used on the Tokyo Monorail, the Yamanote line (Tokyo Metro); the Aoimori Railway between Aomori and Hachinohe; the IR Ishikawa Railway between Kanazawa and Tsubata; the Ainokaze Toyama Railway between Toyama and Takaoka; Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo.

2. JR Pass is valid on all local JR bus lines such as JR Hokkaido bus; JR Tohoku bus; JR Kanto bus; JR Tokai bus; West Japan JR bus; JR Chugoku bus; JR Shikoku bus; JR Kyushu bus. Important note: Japan Rail Pass is not valid on express bus routes, no matter if they are operated by JR Bus.

3. You may use your Japan Rail on the JR-West Miyajima ferry services. Important note: The JR-Kyushu ferry between Hakata and Pusan is not included.

Does the Japan Rail Pass cover Narita Express (N'EX) ?

Yes, the Narita Express (N'EX) is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, which means all JR holders can ride the train for free.

This is a great advantage, considering that a return Narita ticket would cost you between 3,000¥ and 5,000¥, depending on your destination.

Once at the airport, check for the nearest JR train ticket counter and exchange your order for the actual Japan Rail Pass. Once you have the pass, make sure to book your seats on the Narita Express, as this train is reservation only.

With the Japan Rail Pass and the booked seats you will be ready to go.

Narita offers spacious seating spaces, perfect for long-distance arrivals. Read more about the Narita Express in our blog.

How to make a reservation on Narita Express (N'EX) ?

Making a Narita Express (N'EX) reservation is obligatory if you want to use the services of this train.

Passengers with no train reservation will not be allowed to board.

Japan Rail Pass holders can easily make their seat reservation by going to any of the JR ticket offices, located on all major transportation stations and at Narita airport. Furthermore, you may book your seat at any of the Travel Service Centers.

All you need to do is go to any of those offices with your passport and your Japan Rail Pass. You should indicate the time you wish to travel and your final destination.

Can I book a seat on the JR trains?

All JR Pass holders are entitled to book a seat on all Japan Rail trains completely free of charge. However, make sure to do this before boarding the train. The JR Group does not allow to change to a reserved seat, once you have boarded the train.

To make a reservation, please go to any ticket office (Midori-no-madoguchi), located at every JR station, Travel Service Center or a ticket sales office of big travel agencies. Those who wish to ride any of the Limited Express or Shinkansen trains and book a private compartment will be required to pay an extra fee. Traveling in a sleeping car also requires additional payment.

Japan Rail Pass - Am I guaranteed a seat on a JR train?

To be completely objective, the answer will be - no. Passengers are not always guaranteed a seat on a JR trains with no reservation requirements since there are some peak periods, when making a seat reservation is recommended. Those periods are as follows:

April 27th through May 6th / Agust 11th through 20th / December 28th through January 6th

All of the dates mentioned above are consecutive holiday periods during popular travel seasons. Should you decide to go to Japan during any of those dates, make sure always to book your seats in advance.

Japan Rail Pass Exchange Offices - where to activate my Japan Rail Pass?

To activate your Japan Rail Pass, please go to any of the JR offices. You can find them on any Japanese airport as well as on all the main train stations, located across the country.

Once at the office, you will be asked to show your passport (the JR staff will look for the Tourist visa stamp / sticker) and your Japan Rail exchange order. After all your personal data has been verified, you will be asked to select the activation date of your pass, which can be within 30 days of the exchange date. Once your pass has been activated, you will be able to use it on all JR trains, buses, and ferry services. For more information on JR transportation click here. For detailed information on the JR Offices, their location and opening times, click here.

Can I exchange my friend's / relative's ticket at the JR Exchange Offices as well?

No, you may not. The Japanese regulations regarding such matters are very strict. Due to this reason, all passengers are required to go to the JR offices in person with their passport and Japan Rail Pass exchange order.

The order must be previously purchased through this website and sent to you, before the exchange process.

This is so since the Japan Rail Pass is not sold in Japan and is only designated for people who visit the country for tourism purposes.

By looking at the photo and the personal data provided on your JR Exchange Order, the Japan Rail staff can confirm that this is indeed your personal order and exchange it for the actual Japan Rail Pass.

Pocket WiFi

Where can I pick up the Pocket WiFi device?

Upon making your purchase of the Pocket WI-FI, you will be able to choose between two delivery options:

1. To receive the Pocket WI-FI at your temporary residence in Japan.

2. To pick up the device at your airport of arrival.

Some big airports such as Narita in Tokyo have more than one pick-up counter at each terminal. Your exact pick-up desk will be determined depending on your flight’s arrival time. You will receive a confirmation email of your order, with all the necessary information. Furthermore, our clients will be contacted three days before their arrival in Japan with a reminder email, which will also confirm the pickup details.

The pick-up time is calculated in the following way: your arrival time + 1 hour.

For more information on the pickup locations, timetables and visual maps, please check the Pocket WI-FI information (PDF).

Is there a limitation to the Pocket WiFi internet?

The Pocket WiFi will give you instant access to a high-speed internet, charged with 10GB capacity. After going over these 10GB of data usage, the speed of the Pocket WI-FI internet will slow down.

However, this does not tend to happen too often, as the 10GB have been selected carefully so that the needs of all Japanese visitors are satisfied to the fullest.

As long as you don't stream or download movies every day of your trip, the chance of running out of the fast-speed internet is quite low.

Please note that the Pocket WiFi device will only be functional during your stay in Japan. You will not be able to have internet access, should you decide to use the WiFi outside of Japan.

How many devices can I connect to the Pocket WiFi?

You can connect up to 10 devices at the same time. There are no compatibility restrictions; you may connect: iPhones, iPads, Android, Mac, PC, Windows, Blackberry, etc.

What is the speed of the internet connection?

The internet speed is 75 Mbps download/ 25 Mbps upload. The Pocket WI-FI connects to a 4G/LTE network via the Japanese provider AU.

This is one of the fastest 4G internet connections available in the country.

How long does the Pocket WiFi battery last?

The battery life of the Pocket WI-FI depends highly on the type of connection.

When connected to a 4G network the device's battery life can last up to 9 hours. Should the Pocket WI-FI be connected to a 3G network, the battery life can last up to 12, 5 hours.

How long does the battery of the Pocket WiFi take to charge?

To charge fully, the Pocket WI-FI should be plugged into a wall socket for around four complete hours. Should you decide to charge it via a USB cable, the total charging time will be around nine hours.

How do I return the Pocket WiFi device?

You will receive your Pocket Wi-Fi together with its battery, a charging cable, an AC adapter, a Pocket Wi-Fi case, and a return envelope with instructions, written on it.

Before leaving Japan, you will be required to place the device, the battery, cables, and case in the return envelope. You should send them back to the address already written on the envelope. Placing the envelope in any Japanese mailbox or post office is all that is required. You will not need to purchase any additional stamps or pay any postal fees. By purchasing the device, you are already covering all return cost.

Failing to return the device once you have left Japan will result in penalty charges of 1,500¥ per day. What is more, the following charges will apply:

AC adapter lost fee: 1,000 ¥
Pocket Wi-Fi case lost fee: 500 ¥
Charger cable lost fee: 500 ¥

Lost / Stolen Pocket WiFi

If the Pocket Wi-Fi device has been lost or stolen, there is a flat fee of ¥20,000, which you will be required to pay.

No alterations or discounts can be made possible in such cases.

SIM Card

Where can I pick up the Data SIM in Japan?

The DATA SIM Card, just like the Pocket WI-FI, can be picked up at your arrival airport in Japan or it can be delivered to your temporary Japanese residence. You may choose one of the two options during the final order confirmation process on this website.

Once completing the purchase, we will send an email with all the needed delivery details. Furthermore, you will be contacted three days before arriving in Japan with a reminder email, containing all the necessary pickup details such as location and timing.

Similar to the Pocket WI-FI, the DATA SIM pickup time is calculated by summing one hour to your flight's arrival time.

Example:

Arrival time: 17:45 / Pick up time: 18:45

For more information on the pickup locations, timetables and visual maps, please check the Pocket WI-FI information (PDF).

How do I activate the Data SIM card?

To activate the internet on your DATA SIM card, you will need to go through the APN settings provided. This is whether you have an Android or an iOS device.

It is strongly recommended to follow the instructions in order not to experience any Internet-related technical issues.

To download the step-by-step visual guide on how to activate the Internet on your DATA SIM, click here for the APN Activation Guide (PDF).

Important note: You may need WI-FI access when activating the APN settings.

Can I call and receive calls and texts via the Data SIM card?

"DATA SIM" stands for a SIM card with internet only. Therefore, texting or calling will not be possible via a DATA SIM.

However, this refers only to Japanese network texts and messages. All internet-based messages such as Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc. will be available. Making internet-based phone calls such as Viber and Skype is also a great option for free communication with your friends and relatives.

What is the internet speed and are there limitations on the Data SIM card?

The maximum internet speed of the DATA SIM card reaches up to 75 Mbps. This is the highest mobile internet speed available to visitors in Japan.

There is no specific Internet limit. The only restriction is that you will have 200 Mb per day at the highest speed of 75 Mbps. After reaching this limit, the internet connection will slow down to 128 Kbps.

The following day you will once again have full access to a high-speed internet connection.

How long is the Data SIM card valid for?

You can choose the validity period of your DATA SIM card when completing your order. You can select from either 15 or 30 consecutive days of validity for the SIM.

You will be able to make this selection upon completing your online order on this website. The beginning of the DATA SIM validity period is determined by the activation date of the same. Once the selected validity period has passed, the DATA SIM will no longer be active.

Can I use the Data SIM card after I leave Japan?

No, you will not be able to do so. The DATA SIM is only valid in Japan and is only able to connect to Japanese national networks.

Therefore, once you cross the border, you will no longer be able to have internet access from this same DATA SIM.

Do I need to return the Data SIM card when leaving Japan?

There is no need to return the DATA Sim card. Once you are done using it and are about to leave Japan, simply dispose of it in any of the designated bins.