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Japan Rail Passes and Ticket Deals: Types, Prices, and Features

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JR (Japan Railways) offers several types of rail passes and ticket deals for visitors to Japan. Read on to learn more about the Japan Rail Pass for Whole Japan and regional passes such as the Hokkaido Rail Pass, the JR EAST Pass, the Kansai Area Pass, and other convenient tickets.

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Various Types of JR Rail Passes

Japan Railways (JR), the largest railroad company in Japan, offers several types of rail passes and ticket deals for international visitors. The Japan Rail Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 days) might be the most popular, but there are many other convenient deals for each region of the country.

With a rail pass, you can take unlimited train rides in a certain area during your selected time frame. Read on to learn the features of each rail pass, including prices and area coverage.

Japan Rail Passes: Types and Prices

1. JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)
2. JR Hokkaido Rail Pass (5, 7, or 10 Days)
3. JR East - South Hokkaido Rail Pass (6 Days)
4. JR Tohoku - South Hokkaido Rail Pass (6 Days)
- Sapporo - Noboribetsu Area Pass (4 Days)
- Sapporo - Furano Area Pass (4 Days)
5. JR EAST Pass (Tohoku Area)
6. JR EAST Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area)
7. JR Hokuriku Arch Pass
8. JR WEST Rail Passes for the Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima Area
9. JR Kyushu Rail Pass for Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Oita, etc.
10. Other Convenient Rail Passes

1. JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)

Guide to JR Rail Pass: Travel Japan in a Budget-Friendly Style

The Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) is a ticket deal for foreign visitors to Japan offered jointly by six JR groups (Hokkaido, East, Central, West, Shikoku, and Kyushu). It includes unlimited access to most JR trains, including shinkansen (bullet trains) and other express services, local buses, and ferries.

The Japan Rail Pass validity period varies from one to three weeks; you can choose from 7, 14, or 21 consecutive days of travel. While the pass can be purchased in Japan, it is cheaper to purchase it from JR-affiliated travel agencies located overseas.

The Japan Rail Pass for Whole Japan can also be booked online on Klook, a ticket and activity booking site.

Japan Rail Pass for Whole Japan
JR Pass type Regular Green Car
7 Days 50,000 yen 70,000 yen
14 Days 80,000 yen 110,000 yen
21 Days 100,000 yen 140,000 yen

*The children's ticket price is half of the adult ticket price.
*Green Cars are first-class cars equipped with more spacious seating than regular cars, outlets, and other devices.

Where to Buy

Outside of Japan
1. Online: https://japanrailpass.net/en/purchase/online/
2. JR-affiliated travel agencies

In Japan
The rail passes can be purchased from JR Ticket counters at major train stations throughout Japan. They are also available at JR travel agencies or major travel agencies in Japan. Counters are also available at Haneda, Narita, New Chitose, and Kansai airports. For more information on specific exchange locations, please the official JR Pass website.

Important: When purchasing a Japan Rail Pass, it is necessary to provide proof of being a tourist. Visitors entering the country through automated immigration procedures should remember to request an entry stamp or tourist visa sticker to be placed on their passports.

Special Ticket required for the NOZOMI and MIZUHO Bullet Trains

The NOZOMI and MIZUHO bullet trains are the fastest means of transportation in Japan. Japan Rail Pass holders need a special additional ticket in order to board these trains. Please refer to the official website for details.

Japan Rail Pass official website: https://japanrailpass.net/en/

Buy your Japan Rail Pass on Klook! The procedure is simple

2. JR Hokkaido Rail Pass (5, 7, or 10 Days)

Guide to JR Rail Pass: Travel Japan in a Budget-Friendly Style

Lavender Fields in Furano, Hokkaido

The JR Hokkaido Rail Pass covers all areas in Hokkaido. It can be used for unlimited rides on JR Hokkaido trains, including reserved seats on a limited express, and some bus services operated by JR Hokkaido.

The validity period is five, seven, or ten days. The pass can be used anytime during the designated period, however, it must be used consecutively from the start date.

JR Hokkaido Rail Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
5 Days: 20,000 yen
7 Days: 26,000 yen
10 Days: 32,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in Hokkaido and Tokyo

●Price
5 Days: 21,000 yen
7 Days: 27,000 yen
10 Days: 33,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on the Donan Isaribi Tetsudo (South Hokkaido Railway), streetcars, and subways.

It is only available for foreign visitors to Japan. Foreign residents of Japan and those who do not have a tourist visa cannot purchase this pass.

Official English Website https://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/ticket/railpass/index.html#hrp

Buy your Hokkaido Rail Pass on Klook! The procedure is simple

JR East - South Hokkaido Rail Pass

The JR East - South Hokkaido Rail Pass is offered jointly by JR-EAST and JR Hokkaido; it covers the areas from south Hokkaido (Hakodate and Sapporo) to eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

It can be used on all JR trains, including standard reserved seats on bullet trains and limited express trains, which means that pass holders can ride the Hokkaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Hakodate or Sapporo.

Travelers can also enjoy stopovers in the Tohoku Region (northeastern Japan) and around Tokyo and the entire eastern Japan area. This pass can be purchased in Japan or overseas at the same price.

JR East - South Hokkaido Rail Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
6 Days: 35,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in Hokkaido and Tokyo

●Price
6 Days: 35,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on Donan Isaribi Tetsudo (South Hokkaido Railway) or express trains departing from Tobu Railway stations.
Official English Website https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/en/pass/easthokkaido.html

The JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass is recommended for those who:
1. Wish to travel from Tokyo's Narita or Haneda Airport to Hokkaido (Sapporo/Hakodate) by bullet train.
2. Want to stop over at various destinations in northeastern Japan such as Zao in Yamagata, Shirakami in Akita, or Oirase in Aomori.
3. Wish to also explore areas in and around Tokyo.

JR Tohoku - South Hokkaido Rail Pass

The JR Tohoku-South Hokkaido Rail Pass covers areas from the Tohoku Region to southern Hokkaido (Hakodate and Sapporo). It can be used on all JR trains, including the standard reserved seats on the bullet trains and limited express.

This pass allows users to ride trains from New Chitose Airport to Hakodate or Sapporo, and travel around the Tohoku Region by bullet train.

JR Tohoku - South Hokkaido Rail Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
6 Days: 30,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in Hokkaido and Tokyo

●Price
6 Days: 30,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on Donan Isaribi Tetsudo (South Hokkaido Railway).
Official English Website https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/pass/tohokuhokkaido.html

Sapporo-Noboribetsu Area Pass (4 Days)

The Sapporo-Noboribetsu Area Pass allows unlimited travel from Shin-Chitose Airport to Sapporo, Otaru, and Noboribetsu for four days on any type of JR train. It is the best ticket deal for enjoying the hot springs at Noboribetsu Onsen and exploring the area around Sapporo.

Sapporo-Noboribetsu Area Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
4 Days: 9,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at Shin-Chitose Airport, Sapporo Station, and Noboribetsu Station

●Price
4 Days: 10,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on the JR Hokkaido buses, Sapporo city streetcars, and subway. Only available for overseas tourists with a tourist visa; residents in Japan or visitors with other visas cannot use this pass.
Official English Website https://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/ticket/railpass/index.html#noboribetsu

JR Sapporo-Furano Area Pass

The Sapporo-Furano Area Pass allows unlimited rides between New Chitose Airport, Sapporo, Otaru, Furano, Biei, and Asahikawa.

Sapporo-Furano Area Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
4 Days: 10,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at Shin-Chitose Airport, Sapporo Station, and Asahikawa Station

●Price
4 Days: 11,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on the JR Hokkaido buses, Sapporo city streetcars, and subway. Only available for overseas tourists with a tourist visa; residents in Japan or visitors with other visas cannot use this pass.
Official English Website https://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/ticket/railpass/index.html#furano

5. JR EAST Pass (Tohoku Area)

Guide to JR Rail Pass: Travel Japan in a Budget-Friendly Style

Ginzan Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture
JR EAST Pass (Tohoku Area) offers unlimited access to all JR East trains and buses between Tokyo and the Tohoku region, including bullet trains and limited express trains.

In addition to Aomori, Morioka, Sendai, and Akita, the travel destinations near Tokyo (Kamakura, Izu, Karuizawa, and Yatsugatake) are all accessible with this pass!

Pass holders can also ride the Tokyo Monorail, Izu Kyuko, Aoimori Railway, Iwate Galaxy Railway, and Tobu Nikko/Kinugawa Line (limited express trains operated jointly by JR East and Tobu Railway). The pass can be purchased in Japan and overseas at the same price.

JR EAST Pass (Tohoku Area)

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
5 Days: 30,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in Tohoku and Tokyo (Sendai, Morioka, Shinjuku, Haneda Airport, etc.)

●Price
5 Days: 30,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on the Tokaido Shinkansen (for Kyoto/Osaka) and limited express trains departing to and from Tobu Railway stations.
*Gala-Yuzawa Station only operates during winter and spring.​
Official English Website https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/en/pass/eastpass_t.html

6. JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area)

The JR EAST Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) offers unlimited access to all JR East trains and buses between Tokyo and the Nagano/Niigata area, including the shinkansen and limited express trains.

Cities such as Niigata, Echigo-Yuzawa, and Hakuba, as well as destinations near Tokyo (Kamakura, Izu, Karuizawa, and Yatsugatake), are covered by this pass.

It can also be used to ride the Tokyo Monorail, Izu Kyuko, Hokuetsu Express, and Tobu Nikko/Kinugawa Line (limited express trains operated jointly by JR East and Tobu Railway). The pass can be purchased in Japan or overseas at the same price.

JR EAST Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area)

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
5 Days: 27,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in Tokyo, Nagano, and Niigata

●Price
5 Days: 27,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on the Tokaido Shinkansen (for Kyoto/Osaka) and limited express trains departing to and from Tobu Railway stations.
Official English Website https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/en/pass/eastpass_n.html

7. JR Hokuriku Arch Pass (7 Days)

The Hokuriku Arch Pass is a JR East/JR West joint rail pass that can be used to visit the Hokuriku area (Kanazawa, Toyama) from Tokyo or Osaka. You can start from Tokyo and head for Osaka via the Hokuriku area, or vice versa!

The pass allows unlimited rides on the Hokuriku Shinkansen (between Tokyo and Kanazawa), JR East and JR West limited express, and local (including rapid/special rapid) services for a week. It can also be used for standard reserved seats on limited express trains.

Additionally, pass holders can enjoy unlimited rides on the Tokyo Monorail and Noto Railway (between Nanao and Wakura Onsen). Although available for purchase in Japan, travelers can save 1,000 yen per purchase through JR-affiliated travel agencies overseas.

Hokuriku Arch Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
7 Days: 24,500 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations operated by JR East and JR West (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc.)

●Price
7 Days: 25,500 yen
Precautions The only bullet train line to use with this pass is the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen; it cannot be used on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines.
Official English Website https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/hokuriku-arch-pass/

8. JR-WEST Rail Passes for the Kansai Area (Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, etc.)

Guide to JR Rail Pass: Travel Japan in a Budget-Friendly Style

Hokanji Temple in Kyoto

The JR-West Rail Passes cover a wide area centered around the Kansai region (western Japan).

There are 12 types, including the Kansai WIDE Area Pass (for Osaka, Kyoto, and Okayama) and Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass (for Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima/Miyajima). For details on each JR-West pass, please check the official website.

The following rail passes allow visitors to explore major cities in the Kansai region such as Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and others:

JR-West Kansai WIDE Area Pass

The JR-West Kansai WIDE Area Pass allows you to explore the most famous places in Kansai such as Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo (Kobe, Himeji), and Nara. It also covers areas like Kurashiki, Amanohashidate, Kinosaki Onsen, Tottori, Wakayama, and other areas.

Pass holders can enjoy unlimited rides in the non-reserved seats on limited express trains and bullet trains (shinkansen) within the covered area.

JR-West Kansai WIDE Area Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
5 Days: 12,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites

●Price
5 Days: 11,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on bullet trains such as Tokaido Shinkansen (Shin-Osaka - Tokyo), San'yo Shinkansen (Okayama - Hakata), Kyushu Shinkansen (Hakata - Kagoshima-Chuo)
Official English Website https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/kansai_wide/

JR-West Kansai Area Pass

This pass covers exciting travel destinations including Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Nara. The validity period varies from one to four days.

Additionally, it includes unlimited rides on local train lines operated by JR-WEST, including rapid/special rapid trains and buses (*this pass cannot be used to board bullet trains). Pass holders are also allowed access to the Kyoto City Subway, Keihan Electric Railway, and Hankyu Railway.

Pass holders can reserve seats on the Kansai Airport Express Haruka. Two-seat reservations are allowed.

JR-West Kansai Area Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
1 Day: 2,800 yen
2 Days: 4,800 yen
3 Days: 5,800 yen
4 Days: 7,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in the JR West area (Osaka, Kyoto, etc.)

●Price
1 Day: 2,800 yen
2 Days: 4,800 yen
3 Days: 5,800 yen
4 Days: 7,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on bullet trains, limited express (excluding Kansai-Airport Express Haruka), and JR West highway bus.
Official English Website https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/kansai/

Other JR-West Rail Passes

In addition to the Kansai WIDE Area Pass and the simple Kansai Area Pass, JR-West also offers other convenient rail passes that allow you to explore western Japan conveniently. Please refer to the following list.

Other JR-West Rail Passes
Type Validity Area Price
JR Kansai Mini Pass 3 days Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara 3,000 yen
Kansai - Hiroshima Area Pass 5 days Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Hiroshima, Miyajima 17,000 yen
JR Setouchi Area Pass 7 days Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Setouchi, Okayama, Takamatsu, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi 22,000 yen
Sanyo - San'in Area Pass 7 days Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Shimane 23,000 yen
Kansai - Hokuriku Area Pass 7 days Osaka, Kyoto, Toyama, Ishikawa (Kanazawa), Fukui 17,000 yen
JR-WEST All Area Pass 7 days Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Toyama, Tottori, Shimane, Fukuoka, etc. 26,000 yen
Sanyo - San'in Area Pass 7 days Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Shimane 26,000 yen
Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass 5 days Oskaa, Kyoto, Nagoya, Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawa-go 19,800 yen
Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Pass 5 days Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Ise, Kumano, Wakayama 16,500 yen
San’in - Okayama Area Pass 4 days Tottori, Shimane, Yamaguchi, Hagi, Okayama 4,580 yen
Hiroshima - Yamaguchi Area Pass 5 days Fukuoka, Yamaguchi, Hiroshima 15,000 yen
Okayama - Hiroshima - Yamaguchi Area Pass 5 days Fukuoka, Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, Okayama, Takamatsu 17,000 yen
Hokuriku Area Pass 4 days Toyama, Ishikawa (Kanazawa), Fukui 5,090 yen

5. JR Kyushu Rail Pass for the Kyushu Region

Guide to JR Rail Pass: Travel Japan in a Budget-Friendly Style

Nabegataki Falls in Kumamoto

The JR Kyushu Rail Pass allows travelers to tour the Kyushu region. There are three rail passes available. All Kyushu covers the entire region while Northern Kyushu includes Fukuoka, Beppu, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki. Southern Kyushu can be used to visit Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima.

The JR Kyushu Rail Pass (All Kyushu) allows unlimited access to the Kyushu bullet trains (Mizuho, Tsubame, and Sakura) from Hakata to Kagoshima-Chuo Station, including limited express and local lines. It can also be used to reserve seats.

JR Kyushu operates a variety of uniquely designed limited express trains. One of these is the Yufuin no Mori, which connects Hakata, Yufuin, and Beppu. Another notable train is the Umisachi Yamasachi, based in Miyazaki. This pass allows travelers to board these trains as well.

JR Kyushu Rail Pass (All Kyushu)

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
3 Days: 20,000 yen
5 Days: 22,500 yen
7 Days: 25,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in the JR Kyushu area

●Price
3 Days: 20,000 yen
5 Days: 22,500 yen
7 Days: 25,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on the San'yo Shinkansen (between Kokura and Hakata), subways, buses, and private railways.
Official English Website https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/railpass/railpass.html

10. Other Convenient Rail Passes

Guide to JR Rail Pass: Travel Japan in a Budget-Friendly Style

The following are a pair of special JR passes; one pass allows travelers to visit destinations near Tokyo (Karuizawa and Nasu-Shiobara). The other is a special discounted ticket for the Narita Express.

JR TOKYO Wide Pass

The JR TOKYO Wide Pass is valid for three days and offers unlimited access to trains heading for tourist destinations near Tokyo such as Karuizawa, Gala Yuzawa, Nasu-Shiobara, and Izu.

It can also be used to ride all JR East trains including the shinkansen, Nikko/Kinugawa (limited express trains operated jointly by JR East and Tobu Railway), Fujikyu Railway, Izu Kyuko, Rinkai Line (Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Line)​, and the ​Tokyo Monorail.

JR TOKYO Wide Pass

Overseas

●Where to Buy
JR-affiliated travel agencies

●Price
3 Days: 15,000 yen

In Japan

●Where to Buy
Booking websites /
JR Ticket counters at major stations in the JR East area (Haneda Airport, Tokyo, etc.)

●Price
3 Days: 15,000 yen
Precautions This pass cannot be used on the Tokaido Shinkansen.
*Gala-Yuzawa Station only operates during winter and spring.​
Official English Website https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/en/pass/tokyowidepass.html

N'EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket

N'EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket is a discounted fare ticket for a standard reserved seat on the Narita Express (N'EX). The limited express train conveniently departs from and arrives at Narita International Airport.

The train runs through major cities in the Kanto region including Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Yokohama, and Omiya. With this ticket, travelers can save more than 2,000 yen on a ride to Tokyo or Shinagawa. Moreover, ticket holders will save more than 4,000 yen on a ride to Yokohama or Ofuna.

Users can ride all of the local JR East trains in the designated areas to other major spots, including Shibuya and Ikebukuro. Be sure not to exit the ticket gate when switching trains.

N`EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket
Overseas Prices/Sales ●Price
Round Trip: 5,000 yen (Valid for 2 weeks.)

●Sales
Websites/JR-affiliated travel agencies

Domestic Prices/Sales ●Price
Same as overseas price.

●Sales
Websites/ticket booths at major stations in the JR East area (Haneda Airport, Tokyo, etc.)

Precautions Do not exit the ticket gate when transferring to a local train line.
Official English Website https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/pass/nex.html

Take Advantage of Rail Passes for a Budget-Friendly Trip

Guide to JR Rail Pass: Travel Japan in a Budget-Friendly Style

There are many types of JR Rail Passes available in a wide range of travel areas and travel periods. Moreover, these discounted passes accommodate the travelers' length of stay and destination.

Choose a rail pass that best fits your travel itinerary and enjoy a budget-friendly trip!

Photos by Pixta

Written by

The MATCHA editorial department. Our articles feature useful travel information for visitors to Japan, from how-to guides to recommended places to visit.

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