What is a Japan Rail Pass?

Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) is a personal train ticket granting you unlimited usage of JR trains during its validity. The JR Pass gives you access to most of the major Japan Railways (JR) train lines, which the exception of some of the high-speed trains such as Nozomi Shinkansen. Travellers can explore four (4) main islands in Japan with this pass.

Who is eligible to use JR Pass?

Any non-Japanese national who visits Japan as a tourist or with a “Temporary Visitor” status is eligible.


Japanese citizens are NOT eligible for the pass, unless they are Permanent Residents of another country or married to a non-Japanese residing in another country outside of Japan. Foreigners visiting for non-tourism purposes (E.g. Work, military, diplomatic, cultural, research etc.), or holding a long-term visa (E.g. Student, instructor or work) are similarly NOT eligible for the pass.

I am holding dual-citizenship, am I still eligible to purchase the Japan Rail Pass?

Yes. You must use non-Japanese passport with a “Temporary Visitor” visa to enter the country.

What is a Green Pass?

Green Pass is equivalent to a first class cabin (also known as Green Car) on all Shinkansen and some of the fast trains. You can locate this carriage with its green clover icon on the side of the carriage. This pass lets you enjoy your journey in comfort with a large reclined seat, ample leg space, integrated radio and luggage space.

Green Pass is usually recommended for peak travel seasons (May, August and September) as they are generally less crowded than the normal carriages.

Which JR pass should I get for my Japan travels?

The type of passes available and suitable for you differ very much based on your itinerary.

For instance, you may consider getting Hokkaido regional passes if your trip is entirely within Hokkaido. This grants you full access to the entirety of Hokkaido for a selected number of days.

Alternatively, if you intend to visit many different parts of Japan on your trip, you may wish to get the national pass as it covers the whole of the Japanese archipelago.