Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) FAQ

What is included in the Japan Rail Pass?

**1. The JR Pass covers all JR network express, fast and local trains. Shinkansen high-speed trains are also covered. The NOZOMI and MIZUHO services are partially included in the JR Pass, with an additional special ticket.

Furthermore, the JR Pass can be used on the Tokyo Monorail, the Yamanote line (Tokyo Metro), the Aoimori Railway between Aomori and Hachinohe*, the Ainokaze Toyama Railway between Toyama and Takaoka*, Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo and the IR Ishikawa Railway line between Kanazawa and Tsubata*.

Aomori Railway line: your JR Pass is only valid for travel on local or rapid service trains encompassing the segments between Hachinohe and Aomori, Aomori and Noheji, and Hachinohe and Noheji. On the Aoimori Railway line, travel is not covered if you get off at any station other than Aomori, Noheji, and Hachinohe.

Ainokaze Toyama line: to be able to use your JR Pass, travel must be conducted on local trains and must encompass the full segment between the stations of Toyama and Takaoka. The trip is not covered if you disembark at any station on the Ainokaze Toyama line within or outside the segment (excluding Toyama and Takaoka.)

IR Ishikawa line: the trip must be conducted on local or limited express trains and should encompass the full segment between the stations of Kanazawa and Tsubata. Excluding Kanazawa and Tsubata, travel is not covered if you disembark at any station on the IR Ishikawa Railway line within or outside the segment.

2. The JR Pass is valid on some 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 partially covers both reserved and non-reserved seats on the Shinkansen Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains, which run along the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines. You need an additional complementary ticket to access these train services. The Nozomi and Mizuho trains make the fewest stops, so they are the quickest option for traveling between major stations on the line. Even without the extra Nozomi/Mizuho tickets, you still have access to the Hikari or Sakura services that cover the same routes. The Hikari and Sakura bullet trains reach the same top speed as the Nozomi and Mizuho trains but have more stops along each route. For example, from Tokyo to Kyoto, the Hikari takes 15 mins 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, some 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.