Are you soon planning a stay in Japan and perhaps wondering if there are any tips for saving some money while still seeing as much of Japan as you possibly can? If you are in such a preparatory phase or are possibly even just hoping to be as informed as possible about travel inside Japan in general, then there is a certain discounted train ticket which you will almost certainly want to know all about.
The JR Rail Pass
The Japan Railways Company has a rather legendary travel option that is only available for purchase outside of Japan. The ticket is essentially for those coming to Japan from other countries so that they may be able to get around more easily and see as much of Japan as they can. It is commonly called a “JR Pass” or more formally the “Japan Rail Pass” and it is truly a wonderful way to tour Japan and its world-famous bullet trains on a reasonable budget.
How Long Does The JR Rail Pass last?
The JR Pass is available in a one-week, two-week, and three-week format and the prices are discounted more the longer the duration of the pass. This means that each week of a pass that is valid for two weeks will cost less than a pass that is valid for only one week. The three-week pass is, even more, cost-effective at the per-week level.
You should know that the pass is valid for a consecutive duration after you choose to activate it within Japan. This means that once it is activated it cannot be paused and then restarted later. A JR Pass is also non-transferrable between multiple people. One pass is issued per person for a consecutive duration.
How Can A JR Rail Pass Save You Money?
In one day a week-long Japan Rail Pass can potentially be used for the equivalent of its cost in train tickets. This would possibly involve riding three bullet trains, which are known in Japanese as “Shinkansen” (pronounced “Shin-kahn-sehn”), in one day. Although highly unlikely that someone would plan to do so for seven consecutive days, it is still an option.
This would mean that a one-week JR Pass could potentially be used for seven times its cost in Shinkansen tickets. When looking at it that way, the Japan Rail Pass is a pretty outstanding deal. Remember that it must be purchased outside of Japan prior to your stay and that you are expected to go to a special JR office in Japan to activate your JR Pass when you are ready to begin using it.
The Standard JR Rail Pass Vs The Green Pass
There are two primary kinds of Japan Rail Pass in addition to the various durations. The standard JR Pass that many travelers opt for is known as the “Ordinary” Japan Rail Pass. The other more expensive option is called a “Green” Japan Rail Pass. It gives access to seats in cars with reserved seating and also in supposedly “Superior Class” Green cars. The price difference is considerable, but the Green pass will more likely guarantee you a seat even on crowded weekend Shinkansen trains. This can be nicer than standing for a few hours.
Enjoy traveling through Japan on the wonderful Japan Rail Pass. It is truly a great way to see as much as possible while saving on travel costs.