About JR Pass

What Is JR Pass?

The JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR Pass) is a special ticket that is available only to travellers visiting Japan from foreign countries.
The JR 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
JR Pass is renowned to be the best choice.

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

      JR 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 JR Pass?

In order to be eligible for a JR Pass, you must meet one of the following two conditions:
1.) You are a foreign tourist visiting Japan with a “Temporary Visitor”entry status and a purpose of “sight-seeing”.
Your passport must have the the "Temporary Visitor" status stamp.
2.) You are a Japanese national living in a foreign country and either:
a.) have a permanent residence in a foreign country b.) are married to a non-Japanese that lives outside of Japan
Please bring the following when acquiring your Japan Rail Pass:

Person meeting conditions of (a):
-Proof of right of permanent residence
-Proof that they are living outside of Japan 

 Person meeting conditions of (b):
-Proof that you are married to a foreign national
 -Proof of documentation for living in a foreign country (eg. phone bills) NO driving license
-Proof that your spouse lives outside Japan

*If you are a Japanese passport holder with no EU residency, please


**Applicants with dual nationality will not be able to acquire a JR pass if they enter Japan with a Japanese passport.
NOTICE: The Japan Rail Pass will no longer be available to Japanese nationals regardless of whether they live in a 
foreign country or are married to a non-Japanese from the 1st of April 2017.

Please note:
JR 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 JR pass, you may return your Exchange Order at the overseas travel agency you purchased it from with a refund, however, fees will apply.

If you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to call us at Tel :+41-(0)43 816 4941 

How Does JR Pass Work?

Check eligibility

Buy Online

Receive or Pick up

Go to Japan!

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

Start travelling with your JR Pass!


*Some of the JR Passes are not sold in Japan! Visitors must purchase their exchange order BEFORE coming to Japan.

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 and pick it up at Zürich AirportInformarion Center.
If you place an order before 3 pm, we will dispatch the post on the same day, however if you order after 3 pm, we will post it on the next working day.
Please note if you order after 3 pm on Fridays, on the weekends or bank holidays, it might take longer to process.

*Cancellation charge: 10% plus CHF 20 handling fee. The refund is not possible without the original JR exchange orders.

*Amendment fee: CHF30. Please return the original one for new JR exchange order. 

Exchange Orders are delivered by Royal Mail, with a next working day delivery for orders made before 3 pm.
Pick Up
An hour after you order the JR Pass online, you are welcome to come pickup your Exchange Orders at Zürich Airport Informarion Center (address below).
Opening times: daily from 06:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Zurich Airport Information Service Centre
Service Center car park P2

Flughafen Zurich AG
Tel : +41 43  816  86  00
Web: https://www.zurich-airport.com


Once you arrive in Japan and exchange your Exchange Voucher with a JR Pass,
you can make seat reservations at the "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 JR 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 JR Pass



Why Is JR Pass Good?

The JR Pass can save a lot of money for long distance travellers.
It is offered just to foreigners, and is a much better deal than what Japanese people are accustomed to paying.
The pass is convenient, flexible, and it is possible to reserve seats. JR 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 prices, keep reading to 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 assist you if 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 by 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 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 part of Japanese culture, 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 exhibitions that show the many ekibens allover Japan. 
Find your favourite ekiben on your JR train ride!

Image source: JapanHotNow!

*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 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 restaurants, destinations, and coupons, please go to https://tictokyo.wordpress.com/.