About JR Pass

What Is Japan Rail Pass?

The JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass) is a special ticket that is available only to travellers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing.
The Japan Rail Pass gives tourists unlimited travel on all JR trains across Japan, including the Shinkansen Bullet Trains, 
which is an experience in itself! If you are travelling to Japan and looking to explore the entire country freely, the
Japan Rail Pass is renowned to be the best choice.

・You can choose to travel the wole of Japan with a

      Japan Rail Pass 

・Or select a specific region you want to travel with the Regional JR Pass

    Types of Regional JR Pass:
      JR East Pass
      JR Shikoku Pass
      JR West Pass
      JR Kyushu Pass

Who Is Eligible For Japan Rail Pass?

In order to be eligible for a Japan Rail Pass, you must meet the following condition:

(1) You are a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing, under the entry status of "temporary visitor."
Temporary Visitor entry status, according to Japanese Immigration Law, allows a stay in Japan of 15 days or 90 days for "sight-seeing, etc." 
If you apply for a "stay for sight-seeing" when you enter Japan, entry personnel will stamp your passport as "Temporary Visitor," as shown below. *In order to receive or use JAPAN RAIL PASS, your passport must bear this stamp or sticker.


(2) You are a Japanese national living outside of Japan who meets the following conditions.
Eligibility requirements that will be in effect from June 1, 2017

■ New eligibility requirements for sales of an Exchange Order for JAPAN RAIL PASS starting June 1, 2017

People who have both their Japanese passport and written proof—obtained from the embassy or legation of Japan in the foreign country where they live—that they have been living legally in the country for 10 consecutive years or more
* You must present both your passport and proof of eligibility to purchase an Exchange Order in a country other than Japan, and to exchange your Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL PASS in Japan.* You cannot use a photocopy of your passport to purchase an Exchange Order or to exchange your Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL PASS. * You can purchase an Exchange Order and exchange it for a JAPAN RAIL PASS only if your stay in the country for 10 consecutive years or more is verified by such written proof.

■ Acceptable written proof
(1) Copy of your Overseas Residential Registration issued by the embassy or legation of Japan in the foreign country where you live (limited to an Overseas Residential Registration with a date of acceptance at least 10 years earlier) (2) Certificate of Overseas Residence issued by the embassy or legation of Japan in the foreign country where you live (limited to a Certificate of Overseas Residence with a date at least 10 years earlier as the date on which your address (or place of temporary residence) was established as your present address) (3) As a special case limited to the USA, Brazil, and Canada, the Permanent Resident Card issued by these 3 countries can be used as written proof until further notice (limited to a Permanent Resident Card confirming your stay in the relevant country for 10 years or more). * In regard to (1), if a single copy of your Overseas Residential Registration verifies that any family members living with you in the country have stayed for 10 consecutive years or more, such a document is valid for those family members. * Concerning children (under 12 years of age) whose stay in the country is less than 10 years at the time of purchase of an Exchange Order, if a single copy of the Overseas Residential Registration stated in (1) verifies that they live together with the applicant whose stay in the country is 10 consecutive years or more, and if they also use the JAPAN RAIL PASS together with that applicant, their eligibility requirements are satisfied. * The copy of the Overseas Residential Registration and the Certificate of Overseas Residence are only valid for 6 months after the date of issue. * You cannot use a photocopy of your written proof to purchase an Exchange Order or to exchange your Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL PASS. * Definition of “10 years or more”: At the time of purchase of an Exchange Order, a date in the same month 10 years earlier or before is valid. (Example) In the case of the purchase of an Exchange Order on June 1, 2017, a date any time in June 2007 or earlier is valid. (A date between June 1 and June 30, 2007 is deemed as “June 2007” and valid.) * You can purchase an Exchange Order and exchange it for a JAPAN RAIL PASS only if you can present any one of the written proof described in the above (1) to (3).

■ When Exchange Orders can be purchased and exchanged
- Period when Exchange Orders can be purchased outside Japan: From June 1, 2017, through December 31, 2020 - Period when Exchange Orders can be exchanged for a JAPAN RAIL PASS in Japan: From June 1, 2017, through March 30, 2021 

Please note:
Japan Rail Passes may be denied to applicants that are unable to present the documentation listed above. Therefore, it is very important to check your requirements thoroughly. If you are denied a Japan Rail Pass, you may return your Exchange Order at the overseas travel agency you purchased it from with are fund, however, fees will apply.

If you have any enquires, please do not hesitate to call us at 0207484 3328

How Does Japan Rail Pass Work?

Check eligibility

Buy Online

Receive or Pick up

Go to Japan!

Exchange your Exchange Voucher with your Japan Rail Pass at JR Office at any major JR station

Start travelling with your Japan Rail Pass!


*Some of the Japan Rail Passes are not sold in Japan! Visitors must purchase their exchange order BEFORE coming to Japan.
Also, the passes that are sold in Japan may cost more.

Once you purchase your JR pass online, you will have an option of having the Exchange Orders delivered to you, or for you to come for pick up at our office.

Exchange Orders are delivered free of charge by Royal Mail Signed, with a next working day delivery for orders made before 3 pm.
See here for more Delivery information.
Pick Up
An hour after you order the Japan Rail Pass online, you are welcome to come pickup your Exchange Orders at our office (address below).
Office hours Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00/Sat 10:00-15:00.

H.I.S. Europe Ltd
Via Japan Holidays

20 North Audley Street London W1K 6WE
Nearest Tube Station: Bond Street Station
Web: http://www.viajapan.co.uk/
Tel: +44 (0)20 07484 3328

Once you arrive to Japan and exchange your Exchange Voucher with a Japan Rail Pass,
you can make seat reservations at a"Midori no Madoguchi" counter.
Travellers with normal passes usually have to pay quite a bit to make seat reservations,
so this is another advantage for Japan Rail Pass holders.
Green car seats are recommended compared to ordinary seats, for its great comfort and good value.
Seat reservations are recommended especially during busy seasons.

FAQ About Japan Rail Pass

Why Is Japan Rail Pass Good?

The Japan Rail Pass can save a lot of money for long distance travellers.
It is offered just for foreigners, and is a much better deal than what Japanese people are accustomed to paying.
The pass is convenient, flexible, and are available for seat reservations. Japan Rail Passes also allows travellers not to have to buy a ticket every time prior to their train ride.
Other than the fact ViaJapan offers the cheapest JR Pass price, see why ViaJapan is the traveller’s choice!

Why Choose ViaJapan?

 By booking through ViaJapan, trading name of H.I.S., Europe Ltd., not only will you have a better price,
but you will also have access to Japan's H.I.S. Tourist Information Center, meaning they can be of your support if ever necessary.
There are Tourist Information Center branches in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and one newly opened in Nagoya.
The H.I.S. Tourist Information Center is recognised from the Japanese government,
and therefore can be relied with trustworthy information.

Tourist Information Center Merits:
・Staff speaks English
・Located in convenient, tourist popular areas
・Most offices open everyday
・Due to the fact that TIC is administrated by H.I.S., 
TIC will be able to take good care of you and be able to check your itinerary accordingly
・TIC can tell you things that are not mentioned in guidebooks!

Tourist Information Center website: 

ViaJapan also offers great package tours throughout Japan, as well as additional stops to Korea and Hong Kong.

◇ Visit ViaJapan tours and prices: www.viajapan.co.uk ◇

Travel Tips

*Advantages of Green Car*
The JR rail Green Car offers first class seating, very popular to foreigners for its comfort and a good value.
The Green Car provides spacious seats that recline, a foot rest and space to rest your legs.
It also features travel magazines, larger windows, radio sets, and luggage space that are commonly known to be limited in ordinary seating areas.
Additionally, certain lines cater free snacks, drinks, and oshibori wet towels.
Unlike the ordinary seating areas, the Green Car is not crowded which may be appealing for those of you that want to relax,
get some work done, or is travelling with family.
It is a good idea to travel in Green Cars especially during busy seasons which are May, August, and September.
Green Car areas are located on the train platform and on the exterior of the train, so it is easy to find.
The Green Car is greatly recommended for those who want to enjoy the scenery of Japan in peaceful luxury.
Some of the highest quality known Green Cars are on the JR Hokkaido Line and Kyushu Line, which may be worth an experience!



One additional perk about travelling on the shinkansen bullet trains are the ekiben, or boxed meals available on trains/train stations. 
Ekiben is a culture in Japan, filled with history, art and representation of the region it was made. 
Each region in Japan is known for their own types of ekiben, making it feel almost mandatory for travellers to try all ekibens. 
There are even exhibition that show the many ekibens allover Japan. 
Find your favourite ekiben on your JR train ride!

*Free Wifi*
Free Wifi is available on JR Hokkaido, JR East, and JR Central. Public telephones are also located in train stations.

If you would like your own portable Wifi, please click here


*Luggage Delivery/Coin Lockers*

If you are travelling with a lot of luggage, finding a place to keep your luggage on the train may become hectic.
The best suggestion is to get a Green Car seat, so you will have plenty of space for yourself and your luggage.
If that is not a possible, you can set up a delivery service that is available on http://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/en/.
Japanese people often send their luggage, especially for long term stays. 
You can arrange a date for your luggage to be picked up, and it can take 2-3 days to be delivered (if no severe weather conditions).
 If you plan to return to one location, coin lockers are available in train stations, although sizes may be limited.

*Rush Hour*

Rush hours are 7:30-9:30 am and 5:00-8:00 pm. It is highly advised you do not travel in major cities, especially with your suitcases at this time.

For more information on recommended destinations,  restaurants, and coupons, please visit our ViaJapan Holidays Blog