JAPAN RAIL PASS: From purchase to travel

You must purchase your JAPAN RAIL PASS before coming to Japan. JAPAN RAIL PASS is sold at some sales offices in Japan until March 31, 2021.

Procedures of purchasing your JAPAN RAIL PASS in a country other than Japan

Before you come to Japan
STEP1Buy at JR designated sales office or agents

Buy at JR designated sales office or agents

Buy your Exchange Order for the JAPAN RAIL PASS at one of the following sales offices or agents before coming to Japan.JTB Corp, Nippon Travel Agency, KINTETSU INTERNATIONAL, Tobu Top Tours, Japan Airlines, ANA Sales Americas(Los Angeles)※1, JALPAK, and their associated agencies.
※If you purchase JAPAN RAIL PASS outside Japan, you must purchase an Exchange Order at an authorized sales agent or sales office before coming to Japan.
※1 In this case, you must book an ANA Group flight.

The clerk at the location where you purchase your Exchange Order will explain the eligibility requirements for the JAPAN RAIL PASS. Be sure that you understand these requirements before purchasing an Exchange Order.
In the event that you are unable to receive a PASS because you fail to meet the eligibility requirements, the JR Group is not liable for any charges or fees associated with your use of JR lines while in Japan.
●If you are unable to receive a PASS, you can return your Exchange Order to the overseas travel agency from which you purchased it for a refund.(※Fees apply.)
●If you have any questions about the Exchange Order, please inquire directly at the travel office where you made the purchase.

■Information regarding sales offices

After you arrive in JAPAN, you have to turn in your Exchange Order to receive your JAPAN RAIL PASS at a JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange office in a major JR station.
(See "Stations with JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange office")

※ Some sales offices and agents may be closed over the year end/New Year holiday period. Addresses and contact details of sales offices and agents are subject to change or discontinuation without notice.

After you arrive in Japan
STEP2Turn in your Exchange Order to receive a JAPAN RAIL PASS

Present your Exchange Order and obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS

Present your Exchange Order and obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS after you arrive in Japan.
You have to turn in your Exchange Order (with your passport) to receive your JAPAN RAIL PASS at a JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange office in a major JR station.

STEP3Make a seat reservation

Pictogram of a Midori-no-madoguchi (Ticket Office).
Pictogram of a
(Ticket Office)

After turning in your Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL PASS, you can make seat reservations at a “Midori-no-madoguchi” (ticket office).

●There is no additional charge for making seat reservation. To make a reservation, go to any Travel Service Center or a “Midori-no-madoguchi” (ticket office) at a JR station, or to the sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. There, show your PASS, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before the boarding. (“Nozomi” and “Mizuho” trains and the trains marked with ★ in this table require the payment of an additional charge.)
※Seat reservations cannot be made at unmanned stations or stations without reservation capability.

●Shinkansen, most limited express and ordinary express trains have reserved Green Car seats and both reserved and non-reserved ordinary car seats.
※(The JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid for any seats, reserved or non-reserved, on “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen. Please use “HIKARI,” “SAKURA,” “KODAMA,” and “TSUBAME” trains.)
※Some trains have no non-reserved seating (all seats are reserved).

●A non-reserved seat (except for “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen) can be used simply by showing your JAPAN RAIL PASS.
※There are no Green Cars on most “HIKARI” and “KODAMA” trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen line (Shin-Osaka—Hakata), or on Series 800 trains on the Kyushu Shinkansen line.
※Use of “Home Liner” and other “Liner” trains requires an additional charge.
※It may take time to make a seat reservation if the service counter is busy. Please ensure you leave enough time to make your reservation.
Note: Do not use an automatic ticket gate with a JAPAN RAIL PASS or a reserved-seat ticket. Please show the PASS at a Staff Attended Gate.


Please note that during crowded periods you cannot be guaranteed a seat on a specific train. The periods when seat reservations are particularly difficult to secure are as follows:

  • April 27 to May 6
    On consecutive holidays during common travel seasons, some trains are crowded.
  • August 10 to 19
    During the Obon season, some trains are crowded with people returning to their hometowns.
  • December 28 to January 6
    The year end/New Year holiday period is the most popular travel time for Japanese people, for vacations and returns to hometown areas.

【How to read reserved seat tickets】

How to read reserved seat tickets
  • Originating Station
  • Departure Date
  • Train Name
  • Departure Time
  • Destination
  • Arrival Time
  • Non-Smoking Seat
  • Seat Number
  • Car Number