Rail Pass Options when Visiting Japan

Japan is one of the oldest countries in the world, proud of its amazing heritage. Known for their longstanding tradition, this incredible country has quite a few monuments tourists around the world should admire. However, this is not the time to talk about the Japan’s attractions. In this article, we will focus our full attention to its railways.

Japan Rail Pass Options

You’ve probably already heard of the insane bullet trains, but the truth is that Japanese rail pass option can be quite complicated. With so many options out there, it’s sometimes hard to select the best one. Still, don’t worry, we’ll take care of it for you. All you have to do is pay close attention to the content below.

Japan Rail Pass

In the past, Japan Rail Pass was only available to foreign visitors. What’s more, you had to get this rail pass ahead of time, as it was simply not possible to obtain one once you got into the county. Nowadays, the situation has somewhat changed, as it’s now possible to get it on a trial basis, but it’s still a lot cheaper to book your pass prior to your trip. It’s possible to get tickets that last 7, 14 or 21 days. Naturally, the prices also vary a lot, so pick and choose carefully. When it comes to practicality, Japan Rail Pass cannot be beat, as it has a nationwide network, with several bullet trains options included in the package.

JR East

As the name itself suggests, the JR East pass is the best choice for travelers that are looking to only visit the eastern and possibly some northeastern parts of the country. In comparison to the Japan Rain Pass, JR East is quite a bit cheaper, but you have limited options when it comes to coverage. You’ll be able to choose between 4 different options, each covering a different part of Japan. Unlike the Japan Rail Pass, it’s oftentimes cheaper to buy this pass once you arrive in Japan, so there’s no need to book one ahead of time.

JR Seishun 18 Kippu

This pass is only available for purchase during certain times of the season, but it offers a great alternative to some of the more known rail pass options. During the 5 days, while it lasts, you’ll be able to use all JR railways across Japan, mostly on local, but also on some rapid trains. Sure, it might not be as fast as some other options, but the price is a true bargain, and best of all, one ticket could be used by as many different people as you’d like. This certainly makes it very practical, especially if you’re traveling as a part of the group, as you can simply split the costs, and save a lot of money.

JR Hokkaido Rail Pass

This pass also includes the services of JR Hokkaido Bus, as well as JR Hokkaido railways. It can be used for 3, 5, or 7 consecutive days, or 4 flexible days, and the prices vary accordingly. The number of express trains available is fairly limited, but the aforementioned bus inclusion turns this into an enticing offer.

Kansai Thru Pass

You might have noticed that we have focused primarily on Tokyo, as most tourists head straight to the capital, but there are some other interesting places to visit in Japan as well. One of such places is definitely the Kansai region, with major cities such as Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe. The pass in question lasts for 2 or 3 days, and offers unlimited access to all non-JR trains, but also to subways and busses. It’s definitely a great option when you have only a couple of days to explore the region.

Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Area Tourist Pass Mini

If you’re anything like me, the mountain Fuji marks a place one should definitely check out while visiting Japan. This awesome pass allows you to do so as many times as you’d like, during the 3 days while it lasts. On top of everything, it’s pretty affordable as well, and in my honest opinion, you’d make a huge mistake not to use it. Just check out the photos of the tour online, and I’m sure you’ll be sold!


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