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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Japanese nationals purchase the Japan Rail Pass?

Can Japanese nationals purchase the Japan Rail Pass under the new eligibility requirements?

Japanese nationals who reside in Japan are not eligible to purchase the Japan Rail Pass. However, special conditions apply for those who reside outside Japan. Keep reading for more information.

Starting June 1, 2017, Japanese nationals, who have resided permanently outside of Japan for at least 10 years, will be able to purchase and exchange their Japan Rail Pass.

Starting June 1, 2017, eligible Japanese nationals will need to have a valid Japanese passport and written proof — obtained from the embassy or diplomatic representative office of Japan in the foreign country where they live — that they have been living legally in the country for at least 10 years.

Who can purchase the Japan Rail Pass under the updated 2017 eligibility requirements?

The new eligibility requirements for travelers who wish to use the Japan Rail Pass will change as follows:

1. Foreign travelers, who have entered Japan under a "Temporary visitor" status for a maximum of 90 consecutive days can purchase the Japan Rail Pass.

2. The Japan Rail Pass will only be made available for:

a) People whose passport was issued by a country other than Japan

b) Japanese nationals, who have resided permanently outside of Japan for at least 10 years.

3. Starting June 1, 2017, eligible Japanese nationals will need to have a valid Japanese passport and written proof — obtained from the embassy or diplomatic representative office of Japan in the foreign country where they live — that they have been living legally in the country for at least 10 years.

What documents are Japanese nationals required to provide when purchasing a Japan Rail Pass?

Starting June 1, 2017, Japanese nationals will be able to purchase a Japan Rail Pass provided they live permanently outside of Japan for at least 10 years, and are able to present one of the following documents:

1. Copy of your Overseas Residential Registration issued by the embassy or legation of Japan in the foreign country where you live (limited to an Overseas Residential Registration with a date of acceptance at least 10 years earlier).

2. Certificate of Overseas Residence issued by the embassy or legation of Japan in the foreign country where you live (limited to a Certificate of Overseas Residence with a date at least 10 years earlier as the date on which your address (or place of temporary residence) was established as your present address).

3. As a special case limited to the USA, Brazil, and Canada, the Permanent Resident Card issued by these 3 countries can be used as written proof until further notice (limited to a Permanent Resident Card confirming your stay in the relevant country for 10 years or more).

Please keep in mind:

a) In regard to (1), if a single copy of your Overseas Residential Registration verifies that any family members living with you in the country have stayed for 10 consecutive years or more, such a document is valid for those family members.

b) Concerning children (under 12 years of age) whose stay in the country is less than 10 years at the time of purchase of an Exchange Order, if a single copy of the Overseas Residential Registration stated in (1) verifies that they live together with the applicant whose stay in the country is 10 consecutive years or more, and if they also use the JAPAN RAIL PASS together with that applicant, their eligibility requirements are satisfied.

c) The copy of the Overseas Residential Registration and the Certificate of Overseas Residence are only valid for 6 months after the date of issue.

d) You cannot use a photocopy of your written proof to purchase an Exchange Order or to exchange your Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL PASS.

e) Definition of “10 years or more”: At the time of purchase of an Exchange Order, a date in the same month 10 years earlier or before is valid. (Example) In the case of the purchase of an Exchange Order on June 1, 2017, a date any time in June 2007 or earlier is valid. (A date between June 1 and June 30, 2007 is deemed as “June 2007” and valid.)

f) You can purchase an Exchange Order and exchange it for a JAPAN RAIL PASS only if you can present any one of the written proof described in the above (1) to (3).

Starting June 1, 2017, eligible Japanese nationals will need to have a valid Japanese passport and written proof — obtained from the embassy or diplomatic representative office of Japan in the foreign country where they live — that they have been living legally in the country for at least 10 years.