Japan Rail Pass Reviews
Convenient way to travel through Japan by train Jul 10, 2000
Included in my tour of Japan, was the Japan Rail Pass. It was a 14 day pass and we could use it on almost all the trains which were operated by Japan Rail (JR).
The only people allowed to use the Japan Rail Pass are foreigners who is a 'temporary visitor' to Japan. This has to be marked by passport upon entry into Japan, as you have to show your passport when collecting the pass.
The pass can only be ordered by getting an exchange order through authorized sales offices or agents and can not be bought in Japan itself.
Once you have ordered your pass, it can only be collected in Japan, at any JR train station with a JR Pass exchange office. You have to bring along your passport and your exchange order. Your pass will be made, make sure you give out the right date when you want the pass to be made valid.
There are 3 different passes. 7 days pass, 14 days pass and a 21 days pass. For my trip, I had a 14 day pass, which costed 45100 yen (around 430 euro or 590 US dollars), which is still the current price.
With this pass, we could travel by all the JR lines which are connected to the Japan Railway Group, which is basically almost all the trains. The high speed trains like the 'Nozomi' and the 'Mizuho' can not be used with the pass and require the basic fair & limited express charge.
In Tokyo for instance, you can this pass freely to travel around the city, as they use JR trains as well. Make sure to check in every (major) city where you are, if they use JR trains.
The trains in Japan use non-reserved and reserved seating. When you plan n travelling from one city to another and you know the dates, you can use your JR Pass to obtain reserved seats for free and be sure of a seat on your journey. It's free of charge and it prevents you from having to stand on busy lines, when you decide to just take the train.
For any additional information about the use, how to get the pass and any other questions you might have, go to http://www.japanrailpass.net/
I found the pass very convenient, and although the price may look quite expensive, Japan's public transport system is one of the best in the world and you can practically go anywhere with the train!
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