Whether the Japan Rail Pass is cost effective or not completely depends on your travel plans, but remember that this is a ticket designed for multi city travel, in other words for tourist to have the flexibility to discover Japan with unlimited travel
We recommend looking up your planned train routes and prices in advance on websites/apps such as Hyperdia or Japan Travel. This lets you calculate the prices for individual train journeys, so you can add up and compare the total cost of all your individual trips with the price of the Japan Rail Pass. If you are visiting more than two cities it would likely be worth the price, as it grants you the flexibility to discover Japan.
Current prices for the Japan Rail Pass can be found here.
There are many benefits to using a JR Pass on a trip to Japan:
Instead of having to purchase single tickets, you just insert your JR Pass into the ticket gate to access the platform. You don’t need to plan ahead, and are free to use any JR train, at any time. Queues at the ticket offices can be long, so the Japan Rail Pass will definitely save you a lot of time!
But if you would like to make seat reservations on specific trains, the JR Pass allows you to do so at no extra cost, just show your pass at a JR ticket office or scan it at one of the JR ticket machines to reserve a seat.
A vast majority of the national railway network, buses, and other facilities, are operated by JR Group. Spanning through all 46 prefectures of the Japanese mainland, the JR Pass gives you unlimited access for 7, 14, or 21 days.
With unlimited travel provided by a Japan Rail Pass, it’s a great way to travel around Japan without worrying about your travel costs piling up, since the JR Pass only needs a one-off advance payment.
The JR Pass also provides discounts to many local tourist attractions. You can find more details on these discounts here.
Assistance and Support
Being as well-known and often-used as it is, the Japan Rail Pass comes with a number of support systems to help you while traveling. The pass is well-understood by JR staff at stations throughout the country, so they should be able to help with any questions about its use, or the JR transport system as a whole. We also offer our own assistance service in English if you purchase your JR Pass through us, called JRP Care.
You can read more about the benefits of using a JR Pass here.