・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".
2.) You are a Japanese national living in a foreign country and either: a.) have a permanent residence in a foreign country b.) married to a non-Japanese that lives outside of Japan
・What do I need to purchase a Japan Rail Pass?
If you are a travelling with a "Temporary Visitor", you must show this stamp on your passport.
If you are a Japanese national living in a foreign country and meet the conditions of above a.) please -bring a proof of right of permanent residence -proof that you are living outside of Japan. If you meet the conditions of b.) please -bring proof that you are married to a foreign national -proof of documentation for living in a foreign country -proof that your spouse lives outside of Japan.
・What does "Temporary Visitor" mean?
"Temporary Visitor" is a visa status for people visiting Japan for tourism and are staying for less than 90 days. Upon arrival into Japan, you will receive this status on your passport and no specific step is needed to obtain it. The "Temporary Visa" is the only visa that allows you to obtain a Japan Rail Pass, and will be asked by a JR employee to see the visa in your passport when exchanging your voucher for the JR Pass.
・Can I buy a Japan Rail Pass for somebody already in Japan?
People residing in Japan usually have a long term visa (work, student, etc.), and they are not eligible to use a Japan Rail Pass. Only if you are entering Japan with a "temporary visa' you will be eligible for a JR Pass. Therefore, we recommend you purchase a pass for yourself only, while others will have to purchase passes for the regular price.
・Can Japanese nationals use the JR Pass?
Japanese nationals are able to use the JR Pass and Kyushu Regional Pass, depending on whether they can provide documents of eligibility when they exchange the voucher for the pass. Japanese nationals living outside of Japan are eligible to use the JR Pass and Kyushu Regional Pass under one of the two conditions:
-They live outside of Japan with a permanent resident visa
-They are married to a non-Japanese citizen and are both living outside of Japan
・How do I active my Japan Rail Pass?
To activate your Japan Rail Pass, you must be in Japan and will have to exchange your voucher at a JR office. JR offices can be found at the airport or in major train stations. All you need to do is show the JR staff your entry stamp on your passport, and fill out a form. When you exchange your voucher, you will be asked when you want to start using your pass. The day you want to begin using your pass cannot exceed 30 days after exchange.
・When should I purchase my Japan Rail Pass in preparation for my Japan trip?
JR Exchange Order is valid for 3 months after the date of issue.
Do not purchase your JR Pass Exchange Order if you plan to exchange it for an actual JR Pass in Japan, more than 3 months from now. Please wait till you are 3 months away from your trip before purchasing the Japan Rail Pass Exchange Voucher.
You may also decide the starting date of your Japan Rail Pass from within Japan.
・Can I change my Japan Rail Pass?
It is possible to change the duration of your pass, or upgrade to a Green pass. Please contact our office (0)20 7484 3328, and we will guide you through the process.
・How can I cancel or get a refund on my Japan Rail Pass?
Please contact our office (0)20 7484 3328, and we will guide you through the cancellations or refund process. For refunds, please make sure to return your unused voucher to our office or by mail. You will be reimbursed accordingly, after your voucher is returned.
・Should I reserve a seat?
Unlike local trains, shinkansens have reserved seats. It is not necessary to reserve seats for your travels, however if you are travelling during peak hours (between 7 am-9 am and 6 pm-8 pm), reserving seats are recommended. To reserve a seat, you can go to the Midori no Madoguchi office in the train stations, and ask for a reservation free of charge.
・What are the advantages of a Green Car rail pass?
The Green Car rail pass is very popular among foreign travellers, due to its first class comfort at a very reasonable price. The seats are larger, able to recline, and comes with a footrest. There are also radio sets and travel magazines, and even some space to put your luggage by your seat. Hot or cold drinks are offered during your trip, with a hot towel (oshibori). The Green Car seats are sure to provide you with the most comforting journey, while enjoying the beautiful scenery through large windows.
・Can I use my Japan Rail Pass from the airport?
To use your JR Pass from the airport, you must exchange your voucher for the Japan Rail Pass at the airport. Ticket offices are located near the platform or entrances to the ticket barriers.
However, if you are landing in Fukuoka Airport or Nagoya (Chubu Airport), you will have to reach the closest stations first to exchange your Japan Rail Pass vouchers. For Fukuoka, please go to Hakata station. For Nagoya (Chubu Airport), please go to Nagoya station, to find the ticket offices able to exchange your vouchers.
・What do I do if my Japan Rail Pass is lost or stolen?
Unfortunately, if your JR Pass is misplaced, you will need to purchase a new one.
・Can I eat or drink on the trains?
Yes, you may eat and drink on the shinkansens. People usually buy "ekibens" a lunch box meal that is different in every region. Ekibens are a tradition, and people enjoy eating ekibens and trying out tastes representing different regions. Not to mention, the ekibens are very beautifully displayed, and is worth checking out!
・Can I smoke on the trains?
There are designated smoking areas on the train. You will see a map of the train often by your seat, which tells you where the smoking areas nearest to you are.
**If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office! We are committed to making sure our customers have a smooth journey, and enjoy their travels!**
Japan Rail Pass - H.I.S. Europe
TEL: (0)20 7484 3328
H.I.S. Europe Ltd
20 North Audley Street
London W1K 6WE