Q: Who can use a Japan Rail Pass?
A: You can use a Japan Rail Pass if you are a non-Japanese passport holder and are travelling to Japan as a tourist. Your tourist status is proven by a temporary visitor stamp in your passport from a Japanese immigration officer at your port of arrival. If you are a Japanese person, you must have permanent residency issued by the immigration authorities of a country outside Japan and be able to prove that you actually live in that country. You can also use a Japan Rail Pass if you are married to a non-Japanese passport holder and can prove that you and your spouse are married and live outside Japan.
Q: I have a short term visa but I do not have a temporary visitor stamp. Can I still use a Japan Rail Pass?
A: Unfortunately not. Japanese Immigration Law is very strict and it dictates that only those that have a temporary visitor status are able to use a Japan Rail Pass.
Using a Japan Rail Pass
Q: Once I get my voucher, can I just get on a train and go?
A: Unfortunately, no you can't.You will need to go to an exchange office and produce your voucher (and any other proof you may need if asked) and the JR employee will then issue you with the actual pass you can use.
Q: My pass has been issued. How do I use it?
A: At the station, you will need to go to the manned window next to the automatic gates. Produce your pass to the JR employee (and passport if asked) and you will be allowed to pass through to the platform area. If you are not sure what platform you should go to, ask the JR employee who will tell you where you need to go.
Q: On what trains can I use my Japan Rail Pass?
A: You can use your pass on all local trains on the JR network. You are also able to use your pass to ride most Shinkansen (Bullet Trains) but you are not able to use your pass to ride NOZOMI or MIZUHO Shinkansen on the Sanyo and Tokaido lines.
You CANNOT use your Japan Rail Pass on non-JR lines. If you choose to take a line that is not part of the JR network, then you will need to buy a ticket in order to use their services.
Green Car Passes
Q: What is the difference between a Green Car Japan Rail Pass and a standard Japan Rail Pass?
A: The Green Car pass entitles you to sit in the seats on Green Cars in Shinkansen and some local trains as well as standard carriages. Green cars are identified with a green clover mark on the side of them. The standard pass does not entitle you to sit in the Green Car and if you wish to sit in a Green Car, then you will be required to pay the Green Car fee before boarding the train.
Q: The difference in price is staggering! How can you justify such a high price?
A: Japan Rail sets the prices and for this reason the difference in price is due to their pricing structure. However, there are benefits to be had which may make it worth paying the extra money.
Q: What benefits does a Green Car Pass give you?
A: If you purchase a Green Car Pass you will be able to sit in Green Car and standard carriage seats. The Green Car offers comfort and convenience. The Green Car seats are slightly roomier than standard carriage seats and they also recline as well as have more leg room. There is also an integrated radio set in your seat; just like a seat on a commercial airline. Besides the seat benefits, there is more space for your luggage!
As there are not many passengers in Green Cars, you are more likely to travel in peace and quiet and also more likely to get a seat in peak time as opposed to riding in a standard carriage. On some trains with Green Cars, you even have your own personal crew who hand you a wet towel, drinks and even snacks at no extra charge! The Green Car carriages on trains are also closer to escalators and elevators when the train stops so you are able to board and get off your train much more smoothly once you've reached your destination.
If you are:
travelling in a family group and/or
would like to be able to sit in peak time or Japanese holiday periods or
journey to your destination in comfort or
would like to enjoy personal service whilst on your journey or
enjoy a more peaceful and quiet journey
Then the Green Car may be the product that is right for you!
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: We accept VISA and MASTERCARD only.
Q: How do I know that my payment is secure?
A: Our payment gateway is by Westpac Bank which uses SSL encryption and digital certificates and your card details are not held by us at any stage.
Q: I am still not comfortable providing my card details over the internet. Do you accept other payment methods?
A: Please contact us so we can discuss how best to help you in this case.
Q: I have decided that I no longer need my Japan Rail Pass. Can I get a refund?
A: Yes, you can. However, we can only refund your money under the following conditions:
1. Voucher must not have already been exchanged
2. We must receive the voucher first before a refund can be given
3. It must be within 12 months of purchasing the pass from us
4. A 20% cancellation fee applies
Q: How do I return my pass so I can get a refund?
A: Please contact us to advise of your intention to claim a refund and for instructions on how to return your exchange order.
Q: I lost my pass or it was stolen. What can I do?
A: Unfortunately, Japan Rail Passes cannot be reissued as per the JR rules. Sadly, you will need to purchase another one or pay for your travel from point to point. In this case, you may be able to make a claim on your travel insurance (if you have it) depending on your type of cover and their specific rules for claiming. If you find that you have lost your pass in Japan while travelling on a JR network train, then it may be an option to let a JR employee know who can then direct you to their lost and found department.
Q: The JR employee would not give me a Japan Rail Pass when I produced my exchange order .
A: In this case, we cannot help you. It is at the discretion of the JR employee as to whether to issue you a pass or not. You either did not meet the conditions for a Japan Rail Pass to be issued, or your eligibility could not be verified by the JR employee. A refund of the purchase price for your Japan Rail Pass is available as per the conditions written above.