Explore Japan by rail

JR pass cover

With air fares getting more affordable (some under S$300!), a trip to Japan is a must at any given time of the year. Ironically, travelling within Japan is often rather costly and often times, this stops us from venturing beyond one city!

Fret not – Klook is currently having a promotion on the different JR Passes that might just make transportation a little less expensive. Read till the end to find out how you can score some great deals on your JR Pass!

JR Map

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Here’s the complete list of JR Passes available:

Nationwide:

Citywide:

Clueless about JR Passes? We’re gathered all you need to know about them!

1. What are JR Passes and what do they do?

Similar to EZ-Link cards in Singapore, a JR Pass is a personal transportation pass specifically for foreign travellers. With this pass, you’ll be able to access all train lines operated by Japan Railways, including all  trains on the JR railway network as well as JR Kyushu, JR Shikoku, JR West, JR Center, JR East and JR Hokkaido. You’ll also be able to access other means of transportation like the JR Bus, JR Ferry and monorails.

Also, the JR Pass can be used 24/7, so yay to affordable and hassle-free transportation!

2. Am I eligible for a JR Pass?

Tourists in Japan

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The JR Pass is eligible for travellers on a “Temporary Visitor” status in Japan. This means you’re allowed to stay in Japan for less than 3 months. In other words, the JR Pass is limited to non-Japanese nationals, and people who are visiting for tourism purposes. This doesn’t include work or military-related reasons.

3. What are the different types of JR Passes available?

Japan Rail Pass

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There are several JR Passes available and each caters to different needs. For example, if you’re planning to travel nationwide, it’s best to purchase the Whole Japan Rail Pass that gives you access to every JR line throughout Japan.

However, if you’re only looking to travel citywide, then purchasing a single city pass might be more suitable.

These JR passes also vary in terms of validity period. For example, you can choose between a 7-day, 14-day or 21-day Whole Japan Rail Pass. With this, you can have unlimited travel within that validity period. Do note that the days start from your first trip!

4. Which JR Pass should I purchase for my trip?

Osaka at night

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It is important to thoroughly plan your trip in advance before purchasing your JR Pass, seeing how there are so many different passes to choose from.

For example, if you’re planning a trip to Osaka and are looking to explore Nagoya during your stay, then purchase the Central Passes that allow convenient travelling along the central parts of Japan.

Or if you’re only looking to travel within a city, like Hokkaido, then purchase the JR Hokkaido Rail Pass.

Having said, if you’re looking to 2-week trip to Tokyo but have planned a whole bunch of road trips to the other parts of the country during your stay, then purchase the 14-day Whole Japan Rail Pass!

5. Where can I purchase a JR Pass?

JR Station

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The JR Pass is available at the different airports and ticket sales offices in Japan. However, purchasing the JR Pass at the airports or in Japan itself is guaranteed to be more expensive. It is recommended that you purchase the JR Passes online. Do practice caution before purchasing as some websites aren’t licensed to sell these passes!

You can choose to purchase them on Klook, which is also the cheapest on the market. Choose from a wide range of passes that are all exclusively discounted! The best part? You can conveniently pick-up your Exchange Order voucher at the Klook office located in Boat Quay!

Klook Singapore office address:
Klook Office, 78B Boat Quay, Singapore 049866
Nearest MRT Station: Clarke Quay/City Hall/Raffles Place

6. What is the difference between the green car and ordinary car?

Green Car interior

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Commonly found on Shinkansen (bullet trains) and Tokkyu (limited express trains), the green car is equivalent to the first class cabin in airplanes, and of course, is more expensive. On top of good service, guests can expect foot rests, bigger seats, magazines, personal luggage space and even a radio set!

Additionally, the green car option is increasingly popular during the peak periods because it offers seat reservation. This also means that you have to make reservation for each trip that you take!

Should I purchase a green car pass?
Based on the standards of the JR trains, the service on ordinary cars are often times good enough for the journey. However, the seat reservation feature and general perks of the green car (the space, and not having to deal with crowds) can be a good reason for you to purchase the green car pass!

7. What is the difference between reserved and non-reserved seats?

reserved seating

Some JR trains offer reserved seating, although you might have to purchase a separate express ticket to reserve the seats. For trains that don’t require an express ticket, you can reserve your seats upon collecting your JR Pass.

This means that every purchase of the JR Pass entitles you to any seat on a non-reserved car.

Reserved car

Reserved car

For example, if you wish to reserve seats on the Kansai-Airport Express Haruka train and other Express trains on the West Kansai Rail Pass, you are required to purchase an express ticket.

However, on Special Rapid Services, Rapid Services, and local trains on JR-West Conventional lines, you can reserve your seats upon collection of JR Pass.

8. Where and how do I exchange my voucher for the JR pass?

Upon successful booking, you will pick up your Exchange Order voucher at the Klook office that you’ll need to exchange for the JR Pass in Japan. There are several locations you can exchange your vouchers at. You will need to have both the Exchange Order voucher and your passport when exchanging for the pass. For the complete list of places, click here.

9. How do I activate my JR Pass?

JR Station

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When exchanging your pass, you will be asked to choose a start date. This date will be the official date for which your JR Pass will be activated for use, so do plan out your trip and choose wisely! Do note that each Exchange Order voucher is valid for 90 days from the date of booking is confirmed!

10. Can I cancel my pass?

Once you’ve successfully booked your JR Pass with Klook, you’ll be asked to redeem your Exchange Order voucher at the Klook office. Unredeemed vouchers can be refunded within 11 months of being issued and will require a cancellation fee of 10% of the pass price.

Do note that Klook will not offer refunds or cancellations for any instances of lost, damaged or stolen vouchers, including any causes relating to local schedule changes and suspended services.

There will also be no refunds or compensation relating to accommodation, meals, transportation or other expenses incurred.

11. Is it worth it?

Definitely! With Japan’s very complicated train lines, it’s almost a must to purchase the JR Pass, unless you’re okay with coughing up money every time you’re travelling!