Surely, you’ve heard of Interrail before as a way to affordably and flexibly travel Europe. But did you know that Japan offers a similar ticket, which allows you to travel all over the country at your own pace? With just one ticket, you get access to all Japan Rail national trains – including the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains – for 7, 14 or 21 days! Keep on reading to learn more about the Japan Rail Pass!
Japan Rail Pass Plans
As we hinted at earlier, there are different variations of the pass that you can choose from to suit your specific travel itinerary.
First, choose the duration of your trip. The Japan Rail Pass is available for one, two and three weeks, during which you can take any national train you would like! One week is the optimal duration to travel between Japan’s major cities, like Tokyo and Kyoto, and experience the country’s highlights. In two weeks, you’ll be able to stay in one place for longer and explore a bit further off the beaten path. And by three weeks, you’ll almost be a Japan expert!
First or Second Class
Next, decide if you are fine with traveling in second class or want to splurge on a first-class or Green pass. Japan’s trains are impeccable either way, and a second-class pass is definitely enough to comfortably travel the country. However, if you want to experience Japan’s famous railway system at its finest, then buy the first-class pass. For just 70 € – 160 € more (depending on the duration of the pass), you will be pampered with onboard service (serving complimentary drinks!) and extra comfort through upgrades such as larger seating, bigger luggage storage and separate train facilities. The pass also includes seat reservations, so there’s no need to pray for a seat. A first-class pass will also give you bragging rights that you not only rode on the world’s best trains but also got to experience them at their best!
Another option you can soon choose is to buy a regional pass instead of paying extra for a national one if you are only planning on exploring part of the country. They will be available soon.
How to Get the Japan Rail Pass
Buying your Rail Pass is as hassle-free as can be. Simply head to the website of Japan Rail Pass, choose the pass best suited for you, select the number of passengers and check out! Though there is one caveat – once you get your purchase confirmation, you must exchange the order certificate for the actual Japan Rail Pass in the country itself.
To finally retrieve your official Japan Rail Pass, you simply have to print out your order certificate and take the physical copy to a JR Exchange office in Japan. Here, you will receive your Rail Pass, they will wish you safe travels and then the adventure can begin!
Where to Go?
Japan is an incredibly diverse country with beautiful islands, majestic volcanoes, and high-tech cities. Narrowing down your itinerary is a difficult task, but luckily we’ve got some inspiration for you!
Discover Our Japan Itineraries
Kyoto, located in the central part of Japan’s main island of Honshu, is a city steeped in history and culture. With 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 2,000 temples and shrines, and traditional gardens and streets, it is no wonder that Kyoto is often considered the cultural heart of Japan.
Osaka is a vibrant and bustling city in Japan that attracts millions of tourists annually. Known for its rich cultural heritage, delicious food, and exciting attractions, Osaka is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Japan.
Japan’s Golden Route:
Delve deep into Japan’s rich culture on this journey from Tokyo to Kyoto. Discover the sharp contrast between historical monuments and modern pleasures in the capital, then travel to Hakone, the starting point for exploring the beautiful mountain scenery around sacred Mt Fuji. End your trip in Kyoto and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of ancient temples and iconic shrines.