Japan Rail Pass

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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, except 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 JR Ishikawa Railway between Kanazawa and Tsubata; the Ainokaze Toyama Railway beween Toyama and Takaoka; Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo.

2. The 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, regardless 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 JR Pass cover Nozomi and Mizuho trains?

The JR Pass is valid on the Kodama, Hikari and Sakura types of Shinkansen, but is not valid on the Nozomi and Mizuho classes. You will not have access to the 'Nozomi' and 'Mizuho' Shinkansen that are the fastest trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo lines. However, you have access to the 'Hikari' or 'Sakura' Shinkansen that cover the same routes. The Hikari and Sakura bullet trains reach the same top speed as the Nozomi and Mizuho trains and use the same type of actual train, but have more stops along each route. For example, from Tokyo to Kyoto, the Hikari takes 15mins more than the equivalent Nozomi.

Can I ride all trains, buses and ferries?

The JR Pass does not allow you to ride on subways or trams within cities. However most big cities have a few JR lines that you can use to go around, like the Osaka Loop or Kanjo line and the Tokyo Yamanote line, for example. It also covers the Tokyo Monorail, all local JR bus lines and the JR-West Miyajima ferry service.

JR Pass also covers night trains. However, it is not valid for the sleeper wagon, private wagons in night trains, and special compartments for which you will have to pay an extra fee.