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What is JR?

JRCovering the Nation … JR (Japan Rail) is an intricate railway network whose total length of about 20,000 km (12,400 miles) reaches every corner of the four major islands (a total of 360,000 km2). Frequent… about 26,000 daily departures. Punctual… JR trains are so reliable you can use them to set your watch. Advanced, Fast, and Safe… High speed and safety are supported by advanced technology, represented by the Shinkansen (Bullet trains).

These trains, which connect Japan's major cities over a total length of about 2,600 km (1,600 miles; as of March 2004), are famous throughout the world for their fast speed (up to 300km / 186.40 miles per an hour) and their safety record. Comfort… Modern, clean, complete facilities – trains, stations, and service – for comfortable travel in today's age. JR stations and trains bear the JR logo.


Traveling with the Japan Rail Pass is the best way to get around in Japan. The rail pass can be used for traveling throughout Japan on JR trains including Sinkansen bullet trains. You can select the rail pass from 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day passes. The price of a 7-day pass is roughly equivalent to the regular train fare from Tokyo to Osaka round-trip, so for that price you can enjoy traveling around in Japan for 7 days. Use your Japan Rail Pass to the utmost!

Who is eligible for a Japan Rail Pass?

The JAPAN RAIL PASS is offered by the six companies that make up the Japan Railways Group (JR Group). With the pass, you can freely board trains, buses and ferries on these JR Group lines according to you pass type.

1. You are a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing, under the entry status of "Temporary Visitor ( 短期滞在 )".
"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 , the entry personnel will stamp your passport as "Temporary Visitor". Only persons who have a passport bearing this stamp can use a Japan Rail Pass.
Caution: Even if you visit Japan with an EXCHANGE ORDER to be turned in for a JAPAN RAIL PASS, the exchange can not be made unless you have a "Temporary Visitor" status; If you enter Japan under an other official status, such as "Trainee," "Entertainer," or "Reentry Permit," you can not change the EXCHANGE ORDER for the JAPAN RAIL PASS. Please note that according to strict interpretation of the Japanese Immigration Law, "Temporary Visitor" status differs from other types of stays that are also for only short time periods.

2. You are a Japanese national living in a foreign country,
a. who is qualified to live permanently in that country, or
b. who is married to a non-Japanese residing in a country other than Japan

Note: Persons meeting conditions a or b above must be required to show proof of same at the point of purchase of an EXCHANGE ORDER and obtaining a JAPAN RAIL PASS.

How to obtain a Japan Rail Pass?

A JAPAN RAIL PASS can not be purchased inside Japan.
You must purchase an EXCHANGE ORDER from an authorized sales office or agent such as Kintetsu before you depart to Japan. The EXCHANGE ORDER must have your name as it appears exactly on your passport (including all first, middle, maiden and last names.) After you arrive in Japan, you will need to go to an applicable JR station that has a Japan Rail Pass exchange office and turn in the EXCHANGE ORDER to receive your JAPAN RAIL PASS.

*Please note that it may take approximately 5 business days (excluding all US National holidays) to process and ship your order.

How to turn in an EXCHANGE ORDER to receive a JAPAN RAIL PASS

1. You can not use an EXCHANGE ORDER when you travel on JR lines. You must turn in you EXCHANGE ORDER and obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS at one of the Japan Rail Pass Exchange Offices.

2. Your EXCHANGE ORDER must be turned in for a JAPAN RAIL PASS within three months of the issuing date (stamped on the EXCHANGE ORDER).

3. At the time of the exchange you will be asked to fill out a short application form and to present your passport with the "Temporary Visitor" stamp that you received upon entry into Japan. You must show your passport and this stamp to process the Rail Pass Exchange order. *Without your passport, the pass exchange will not be made. (A photocopy of your passport is not acceptable.)

4. The type of PASS described on the EXCHANGE ORDER can not be changed.

Exchange Offices - Where to Exchange Japan Rail Pass

After you arrive in Japan, you have to turn in the Exchange Order to receive your JAPAN RAIL PASS at JR station that has a JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange office as indicated below. JAPAN RAIL PASS can be obtained only at these places. Indicated office hours are for weekdays. Hours vary among offices on weekends and holidays. Some Travel Service Centers are closed during the New Year holiday period.

Offices and office hours are subject to change or discontinuation without notice.

How to make reservation

Seat reservations can be made without additional charges; seat availability can not be guaranteed otherwise. To make a reservation, apply at any TRAVEL SERVICE CENTER (View Plaza) or a reservation office (Midori–no–madoguchi) at a JR East station. There, show your pass, and obtain your reserved–seat ticket before boarding.

» Seat reservations cannot be made prior to exchanging your JR Pass in Japan.

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