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Japan Rail Pass - Is it worth it?

Hitoyoshi stationIs a Japan Rail Pass worth it?

The Japan Rail Pass is a fantastic value for money if you are planning to make lots of long journeys throughout Japan. The Japan Rail Pass offers unlimited travel on trains (except for NOZOMI and MIZUHO), buses and Miyajima ferry operated by Japan Railways Group all over Japan. Japan Rail Pass holder can reserve the seats with no extra cost or you can hop on and off without any plans as long as non-reserved seat is available. It’s very easy to use and you can travel with more flexibility.


How much is the Japan rail pass?

The Japan Rail Pass is available in a selection of 7, 14, 21 day validity period to cover varied travel duration. You can select Ordinary class or Green Car class (1st class). Green car offers extra leg room and better quality, more comfortable seats.


Japan Rail Pass Price

Type Ordinary Green Car (1st Class)
Duration Adult Child Adult Child
7-day ¥29,110 ¥14,550 ¥38,880 ¥19,440
14-day ¥46,390 ¥23,190 ¥62,950 ¥31,470
21-day ¥59,350 ¥29,670 ¥81,870 ¥40,930

*The prices will be converted from above Yen into local currency at the time of purchase


How to buy a Japan Rail Pass?

Japan Rail Pass is eligible for a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sightseeing, under the entry status of “Temporary Visitor” and it’s available to purchase only outside Japan, so don’t forget to buy one before visiting Japan. You can order online from our website and choose to collect your exchange order from our London office or to be posted with small fee.

Purchase the Japan Rail Pass


Where can I exchange the Japan rail pass?

Upon arrival in Japan, you can exchange and validate your exchange order at exchange offices located at major train stations or airport. Just take with you the exchange order and your passport to claim actual Japan Rail Pass. At this time, you can specify the pass starting date. It can be any date within one month period, so you can start using it from the same day or choose the later date within a month.

Japan Rail Pass Exchange Office


How to reserve the seats?

Once you exchange your pass by visiting the exchange office in Japan, then you can start making a seat reservation at JR Midori no Madoguchi for free. Narita express and some limited express trains are always required to reserve the seat in advance as they have only reserved car.


Is Japan Rail Pass cheaper than buying individual tickets?

Yes, if you are making lots of long journeys, the Japan Rail Pass is excellent value for money.

During my last trip to Japan, I travelled with a 7-day Japan rail pass and 3-day All Kyushu Area Pass (regional pass) for the following journeys.


7-day Japan Rail Pass vs Individual tickets price

Day 1. Tokyo ~ Kurobe Unazuki Onsen: JPY12,060

Day 2. Kurobe Unazuki Onsen ~ Kanazawa ~ Osaka: 1,660 + 7,850= JPY9,510

Day 3. Osaka ~ Universal Studio ~ Osaka: 180x2= JPY360

Day 4. Osaka ~ Himeji ~ Osaka: 3,180 x 2= JPY6360

Day 5. Osaka ~ Okayama ~ Uno for Naoshima: JPY7,390

Day 6. Uno ~ Hiroshima: JPY6,550

Day 7. Hiroshima ~ Miyajima ~ Hakata: 590 x 2 + 9140= JPY10,320


Total price for the individual tickets (reserved seat): JPY52,550 –

7-day Japan Rail Pass price: JPY29,110-

I saved over JPY23,000!!

Unazuki Onsen

Private Open Air Bath, Unazuki Onsen

Osaka, Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden

Osaka, Dotombori


3-day All Kyushu Area Pass vs Individual tickets price

Day 1. Hakata ~ Hitoyoshi: JPY7,190

Day 2. Hitoyoshi ~ Ibusuki: JPY4,770

Day 3. Ibusuki ~ Kagoshima Chuo~ Hakata: 2,130 + 10,650= JPY12,780

Day 4. Day trip to Nagasaki from Hakata: 4,700 x 2= JPY9,400

Day 5. Day trip to Yufuin from Hakata: 4,550 x 2= JPY9,100


Total price for the individual tickets (reserved seat): JPY43,240 –

5-day Japan Rail Pass price: JPY18,000-

I saved over JPY25,000!!

Yufuin no Mori



Private Open Air Bath, Hitoyoshi Onsen

Kyushu Area Pass is valid on all JR Kyushu trains including MIZUHO Shinkansen and popular sightseeing trains, Yufuin no Mori, Aso Boy!, Ibusuki no Tamatebako, SL Hitoyoshi , Umisachi Yamasachi, Isaburo & Shimpei, Hayato no Kaze and A-TRAIN at no extra cost.


In my case, it was absolutely fantastic value and super easy to use.

If you are planning to do extensive train travel in Japan, order yours online now!

Author: Kiki

Kiki loves travelling and discovering new cultures and exotic places!! Whenever she has time to take a break from her busy life at her hometown of choice - Paris - she tries to find a new adventure. She has been in almost every Asian country, but Japan remains her number one travel destination. It wouldn't be a suprise if she has spent more time in ryokan and onsen than every Japanese person alive and one of her goals is to hike across the country in order not to miss out on any beautiful spot Japans nature has to offer.

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