What you need to know about Japan Rail Pass
Jun 21, 2021
Traveling within prefectures, or regions in Japan can be expensive. Especially if you’re taking the shinkansen or the airplanes for a long distance travel. A round-trip shinkansen ticket can cost you around US$400, and a round-trip flight can cost you around US$600 depending on which area you’re going to.
One of the best ways to travel around Japan smartly is by purchasing the Japan Rail Pass, or JR Pass, as it allows you to travel unlimitedly on the JR trains for at least seven consecutive days.
In this feature, we introduce some hacks you can use to make the most of your JR Pass when traveling around Japan!
The JR Pass is a travel pass that allows unlimited travel on Japan Rail lines across Japan, and it is a good value if you plan to do long-distance, or inter-city travels.
The downside of this pass is that it is only can be purchased by temporary visitor visa holders. Therefore, so foreigners with long-term visa cannot purchase the JR Pass.
You can purchase the JR Pass from the local travel agencies in your country, or you can reserve the JR Pass online before you leave for Japan. If you haven’t purchased any JR Pass prior your departure, you can also purchase the pass from a ticket office in Japan.
The validity period of JR Pass varies: 7-day, 14-day, and 21-day. You can choose the ordinary car, or the green car if you want more comfort.
For more information on location and price, please refer to their official website.
You can use the JR Pass to travel across Japan as it allows you to unlimitedly go on the JR trains, Tokyo Monorail, the JR Shinkansen, and buses and ferries operated by the JR company. You can travel from Tokyo to Osaka or Kyoto easily using the JR Pass, and if you want to go even further, you can travel to Hiroshima in Chugoku region, or even to Fukuoka in the Kyushu island.
If you’re traveling with the 7-day pass, we recommend traveling to north Japan first before traveling to west Japan. Starting from Sendai which the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture. Known as a home to many historic sites, Miyagi Prefecture has amazing sightseeing spots. It is also a home to Zao, an area where you can meet adorable foxes in the winter.
After exploring Miyagi, take the bullet train to Shirakawago, a legendary village that is a home to the Gassho-zukuri farmhouses the next morning. After visiting Shirakawago, stop by Kyoto and spend the night there.
When staying in Kyoto, don’t forget to explore the city and visit Gion!
Gion is a historic geisha district in Kyoto that is loved by both the locals and the tourists for its vintage atmosphere.
From Kyoto, don’t forget to travel to Nara to see the great Buddha. Then also stop by Osaka to spend one night before heading to Hiroshima and Fukuoka.