July 11, 2018

Common Questions About Japan Rail Pass And Answer That You Should Know!

We all agree that public transportation in Japan is top notch! With so many passes to choose from, your mind might get mind blown! So today we will get in-depth with the Japan Rail Pass and insyaAllah every doubt you have will disappear as fast as the bullet train.

bullet train japan curitan aqalili
The bullet train before taking off non-stop!

What is the Japan Rail Pass?

Basically, the Japan Rail Pass (aka JR Pass) lets foreigners get full unlimited access to all "JR" company transportation services, and it included:

1. JR Railways

  • JR lines throughout Japan, including Shinkansen "bullet trains" (except for "Nozomi" and "Mizuho" services), limited express trains, express trains and local trains.

2. Other Railways

  • Tokyo Monorail Aoimori Railway: Between Hachinohe and Aomori, Aomori and Noheji, or Hachinohe and Noheji (ordinary trains only)
  • IR Ishikawa Railway: Between Tayama and Takaoka (only ordinary trains)
  • This part is valid for travel extending through the indicated segments without a stopover.

3. Buses

  • JR Bus service, except expressway buses and some local services.

4. Ferry

  • JR Miyajima ferry

jr saga-arashiyama kyoto jr pass curitan aqalili
One of the station you can go to Kyoto. Psst! It's near Arashiyama bamboo forest.

Who is it for?

If you're a foreigner or anyone who have temporary visitor entry status, you're eligible to purchase the pass!

Extra info: 
Japanese living permanently outside Japan & with a spouse living outside of Japan can purchase too!

Worth it or not?

The most asked questions of all about JR Pass would be the worthiness. Well, it actually depends on your itinerary. For example, when we went city-hopping through Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Kagoshima for the Ultimate Halal Foodie Trip

It saved us almost RM2500 and a lot of time. Why? Because we get to ride a bullet train multiple of times for free. The conclusion is, if you're planning a round trip through multiple prefectures, this is a must!

Where to Purchase?

In this modern world, you can get everything online! We suggest you get from Klook one or two months before your trip.

japan rail pass wismatravel curitan aqalili

Example of Exchange order for the JR Pass / Credit to Wisma Travel.

How to redeem the voucher?

Whether you purchase the pass from agency or online, you will get an exchange order pass for you to redeem once arrive in Japan! So, make sure to double-check and bring the voucher to Japan (friendly reminder).

Once you arrived in Japan, head to exchange offices and voila! If you arrived at Haneda airport, Tokyo, an exchange office is available at the arrival lobby of the international terminal. But remember to watch out for the closing time!

The process of redeeming is pretty easy, just show your exchange order pass, passport and fill in the form.

The most important thing when filling in the form is your activation date! Example, if you have 11 days in Japan and only purchased a 7-day pass, you should set the date wisely. Because once you've decided, it can't be altered!

Actually, you don't need to decide right away as you're given up to one month from the exchange date to decide.

How to use them?

When I went to work trip last year, it was a really smooth journey because of the JR Pass. Instead of going through electronic gates *tapping* when using IC Card, you need to show your JR Pass at the ticket office where the staff checks your pass!

So, how to reserve a seat for the bullet train? All you need to is go to the ticket office, give the travel details to the staff and you're good to go! The best part is you can book before catching a train on the same day.

You can plan your journey by checking the timetable on HyperDia!

japan rail pass bullet train japan curitan aqalili
First time experiences bullet train and it's fast & furious!
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