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Travel Tips: Five Things You Need To Know About Getting A JR Pass In Japan

Travelers Today       By    Marc Delize

Updated: Dec 29, 2016 02:50 AM EST

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Japan is a very diverse and fascinating country, with so many natural landmarks, wonderful towns, cities and old buildings. The Japan Rail (JR) pass is the best way to see what this fascinating country has to offer.

However, before one leaves his country of origin, it is best to plan for the trip. An important information is that one cannot buy the JR pass in Japan. One has to order an exchange voucher online in Australia or New Zealand. One then exchanges this for his official JR pass once he arrives in Japan. The voucher is only valid for 90 days and so it must be exchanged for a JR Pass within this period. Passports are checked upon exchange.

The JR Pass is not valid for Japanese nationals, nor for those holding a student visa, nor for a working holiday visa. However, Japanese nationals able to show they are living permanently overseas are still allowed the JR Pass. Rail Plus shares essential things to remember about the Japan JR pass:

1. The Pass comes in 2 classes: the Ordinary Class and the Green Class - Green Class has large comfortable seats, wider leg room and mood lighting to for one's relaxation. There is also enough luggage storage space, which is ideal for larger bags. 

On selected Green Class services, there are also sections to charge one's laptop or phone, and there are also and complimentary beverages and hot towels. Green Class is also an advantage during busy travel periods, as it is less prone to getting fully booked. However, Ordinary Class is still very comfortable, and will provide you with the opportunity to mingle with Japanese locals.

2. Once one has validated his Japan Rail Pass, it is valid for the next 7, 14, or 21 consecutive days. This means that with a 7-Day Pass one cannot select 7 separate days over a period of a few weeks or months in which to use it.

The Pass is only valid for successive days once it has been validated. Each of the three types of passes makes it possible to tour all of the diverse landscapes and regions of Japan as they are valid for unlimited travel throughout the country on all JR Group Railways. Almost all bullet trains, limited express and rapid or local trains are included, except for the The Nozomi Shinkansen.

3. One can make seat reservations esp during peak periods. Seat reservations in both Original and Green Class are available and can be printed in English upon request. To be issued with a seat reservation, simply take your JR Pass to a JR ticket office and specify which train route you will be taking.

4. There is a variety of regional JR Passes available, however the JR Pass is the only pass to cover all of Japan. With a Japan Rail Pass, one can travel each of Japan's four main islands; Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. From Mount Fuji to Tokyo, Matsuyama Castle to Niseko ski resort, the Japan Rail Pass gives one access to Japan's best attractions and is a fantastic option for the busy traveler.

5. A Japan Rail Pass entitles you to unlimited travel across all JR networks including regional lines and JR inner city lines in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. The Pass also includes the following JR bus lines and JR bus companies/divisions: JR Highway Bus Lines, JR Bus Companies, and JR Bus Divisions. The JR Pass can also get you to/from Tokyo Airport. Back Yard Travel provides us an idea of the rates for each JR Pass type.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
japan , JR Pass , Japan Rail , australia , New Zealand , JR Group Railways , Nozomi Shinkansen , Japan Rail Pass , Honshu , Hokkaido
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