A Full Information to the Japan Rail Move (Up to date 2023)

A bullet train crosses in front of the famous Mount Fuji in the background in Japan
Posted: 1/9/23 | January ninth, 2023

Japan is one in every of my favourite international locations on the earth. The serene fantastic thing about the mountains and temples, the hustle and bustle of the sprawling cities, the beautiful meals, and its lengthy historical past make for an enchanting place to go to.

Nevertheless, Japan has a fame, particularly amongst finances vacationers, as being too costly. “Higher skip Japan and head to Southeast Asia, the place your cash goes additional,” they are saying.

But you possibly can journey Japan on a finances. Meals, points of interest, and even lodging (it’s the land of capsule lodges!) may be discovered for a comparatively low price if you understand the place you look.

But one facet of touring in Japan that does stay as much as its expensive fame is transportation — notably prepare journey.

Japan’s iconic bullet trains (referred to as shinkansen) are stunning, comfy, handy, and quick. They’re world-class wonders of transportation, racing round at speeds as much as 320 kilometers (200 miles) per hour. They run on particular tracks separate from the opposite trains and are a formidable feat of engineering.

They’re tremendous costly. There’s simply no means round that reality.

Fortunately, there’s one straightforward factor you are able to do to chop your prepare ticket costs in half (or extra): purchase a Japan Rail Move. You actually shouldn’t be touring across the nation with out one (and I’m fairly positive they worth the go and common tickets out in a means that basically forces you to purchase one).

On this publish, I’ll introduce the JR Move and clarify the way it works, how a lot it prices, and reply frequent questions I get concerning the go.


What’s the Japan Rail (JR) Move?

The Japan Rail Move (also referred to as the JR Move) was created to assist vacationers get across the nation (much like the Eurail go in Europe). JR is the biggest prepare operator in Japan, and the go gives limitless entry to all its trains for a set worth.

The go is available in 7-, 14-, and 21-day choices. Word that these are consecutive days, not journey days. So, if you wish to journey round Japan for 2 weeks, you’ll have to buy the 14-day possibility, regardless that you gained’t be taking the prepare each day.

A number of JR trains are included within the go. The preferred is the shinkansen (bullet) prepare, which is the quickest prepare and goes to just about each vacation spot and area. The following quickest is the tokkyu (restricted specific). The kyuko (specific) prepare comes subsequent, adopted by the kaisoku (speedy) and kakueki-teisha or futsu-densha (native trains that make each cease).

Briefly, because of this there are JR trains that quickly journey between areas, some that go between cities with a number of stops, and native commuter-style trains which can be gradual (however low-cost).

Moreover, JR trains additionally serve some metropolitan areas, to allow them to be used inside cities. For instance, on my final go to, I used my JR Move to get round Kyoto and Tokyo as an alternative of shopping for native metro tickets.

The JR Move must be bought earlier than you arrive in Japan and it must be mailed to you so that you’ll need to order it nicely prematurely (extra under).

How the JR Move works

The JR Move could be very straightforward to make use of — you simply want to recollect to buy it beforehand, whereas in your house nation, because the go is simply obtainable to guests. (Whilst you can buy it at choose ticket places of work in Japan till March 2023, in-person passes price considerably extra, so it’s higher simply to order it prematurely).

The go has a number of choices (every legitimate for consecutive days, not simply journey days):

  • 7 days: 29,650 JPY (39,600 JPY for a Inexperienced Move)
  • 14 days: 47,250 JPY (64,120 JPY for a Inexperienced Move)
  • 21 days: 60,450 JPY (83,390 JPY for a Inexperienced Move)

The Inexperienced Move is the first-class possibility. For the reason that trains in Japan are already wonderful, you doubtless don’t want to purchase the Inexperienced Move until you really need some luxurious. Moreover, touring in inexperienced vehicles may be extra of a trouble in case you prefer to be spontaneous, as you should at all times reserve a seat prematurely in inexperienced vehicles, requiring you to go to the ticket workplace or computerized reservation machines forward of time to take action. In peculiar vehicles, you possibly can simply hop on and take any obtainable seat.

Along with the usual and inexperienced JR passes, there are regional passes in case you aren’t touring throughout your complete nation. These choices can prevent much more cash since they’re cheaper than the common JR passes. Every area has a number of go choices, often ranging between one and 7 days.

You should buy JR passes for six areas:

  • JR East (for the primary island)
  • JR West (for the primary island)
  • JR Central (for the primary island)
  • JR Hokkaido (for the northern island)
  • JR Kyushu (for the southwestern island)
  • JR Shikoku (for the southeastern island)

When you’re simply going to be specializing in one area of the nation, contemplate shopping for a JR regional go. If you would like entry to your complete nation, get the common JR Move.

When you’re a first-time customer to Japan, you’ll doubtless need the common JR Move, because it covers all the foremost locations.

In sum, to get a go, you might want to:

  1. Choose the time period to your go (7, 14, or 21 days)
  2. Select your class (Inexperienced or normal — once more, normal is greater than ample for many vacationers)
  3. Determine what geographical space you need to go to (all the nation or a single area)
  4. Pay the charge and order the go earlier than you permit house

Getting and utilizing Your JR Move

The simplest approach to get a Japan Move is by ordering it on-line (there are numerous official on-line suppliers however I like to recommend this one because it’s been promoting passes for the longest time).

As soon as you buy a go, you’ll obtain an “trade order” within the mail, stamped with a date, that you just’ll flip in to select up your precise go in Japan. Don’t neglect your trade order at house, as you should convey this doc to select up your go in Japan!

When you get to Japan, you’ll trade your trade order (therefore the title) for a JR Move at a JR workplace. Be sure you have your passport on you (not a photocopy) while you go to gather it, as they may examine to just remember to have a brief customer stamp in your passport. The JR Move is simply obtainable to guests and they’re fairly strict about verifying you’re a vacationer.

You have got three months from the date printed on the trade order to select up your JR Move, however you do not want to begin utilizing the go on the identical day that you just decide it up.

For instance, say that you just need to decide up the go when you arrive however you need to spend a while in Tokyo earlier than heading on to see the remainder of the nation. You possibly can choose any date inside one month of exchanging the order as your beginning date. (However as soon as the go is issued, you possibly can’t change the beginning date.)

When you’ve acquired your go in hand, you don’t want to fret about getting tickets, as you merely use your go to go proper by means of the automated turnstiles.

Along with utilizing the shinkansen and different trains, the JR go provides entry to:

  • Native buses operated by JR (such because the vacationer loop bus in Hiroshima or JR buses round Sapporo)
  • Ferries operated by JR (such because the one from Hiroshima to the island of Miyajima)
  • JR strains working by means of metropolitan areas (corresponding to Tokyo and Osaka)
  • Free seat reservations (in any other case, seat reservations price round 330-930 JPY)

The JR Move just isn’t legitimate for:

  • The Nozomi and the Mizuho shinkansen strains
  • Japanese residents or residents, corresponding to foreigners working in Japan (solely these with a vacationer visa can use the go)

Is the Japan Rail Move price it?

Completely! Despite the fact that you may get sticker shock initially when buying a go, you’ll save lots of of {dollars} throughout your journey with one — even in case you simply go to 2-3 cities. For instance, and not using a rail go, a ticket from Tokyo to Osaka prices round 27,000 JPY (round-trip), but you will get a seven-day rail go that features limitless journey on JR trains for simply 29,650 JPY. So for the value of 1 round-trip ticket, you get limitless journey. It’s a no brainer!

Listed here are some extra examples of one-way prepare tickets on the shinkansen trains with non-reserved seats within the “peculiar” (non-green automotive) class:

  • Tokyo-Hiroshima: 18,380 JPY
  • Tokyo-Kyoto: 13,320 JPY
  • Tokyo Fukuoka: 23,390 JPY
  • Kyoto-Hiroshima: 10,570 JPY
  • Kyoto-Osaka: 4,230 JPY
  • Hiroshima-Fukuoka: 9,000 JPY
  • Nagano-Kanazawa: 8,440 JPY
  • Tokyo-Yokohama: 3,210 JPY
  • Hakodate-Tokyo: 23,500 JPY

As you possibly can see, it solely takes one longer-distance journey from Tokyo (corresponding to to Hiroshima or Fukuoka) to justify the price of the go. And also you’ll doubtless use it rather more than that!

And even in case you aren’t taking the bullet trains, the go nonetheless is smart. For instance, a visit on a neighborhood prepare from Kyoto to Tokyo prices round 8,360 JPY — as an alternative of 13,320 JPY for the bullet prepare. Nevertheless, the native prepare journey takes 9 hours and requires a number of transfers, as an alternative of a direct three hours, making it a lower than superb selection for many vacationers (particularly in case you’re tight on time). It’s typically merely not price the fee financial savings.

You’re higher off utilizing the bullet trains and reveling within the high-speed expertise because it whisks you from one unimaginable vacation spot to a different!

Japan Rail Move Regularly Requested Questions

Is JR Move just for vacationers?
Sure. Solely individuals visiting on a vacationer visa can use the JR Move.

Can Japan Rail Move be used on the Tokyo subway?
Yep, among the subway strains (although not all) in Tokyo are run by JR, which suggests you possibly can entry them free of charge together with your JR Move. That is true for your complete nation. Metro strains and native subway strains are excluded from the go.

Can I alter the times on which I want to use the Japan Rail Move?
No. As soon as the go has been activated, the dates are set in stone.

How do I activate the Japan Rail Move?
To activate the JR Move, convey your trade order and your passport to a JR workplace in Japan. As soon as they confirm your identification and visa standing, they may activate your go.

Can I exploit JR Move from Tokyo to Kyoto?
Yep! The gap is 445 kilometers (283 miles), and the journey takes underneath three hours on the bullet prepare.

Are buses included in JR Move?
Sure, JR does run some bus strains, that are included within the JR Move. Some locations the place JR has buses embody Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu.

Can I cancel my Japan Rail Move?
You possibly can cancel your go so long as it has not been activated, however as soon as it’s activated, you possibly can’t.


Practice journey is the easiest way to see Japan. The trains are clear, quick, and the surroundings attractive. I like touring the nation by prepare. Whereas shopping for a rail go may appear to be a expensive selection, it would prevent a ton of cash — and it’s a uniquely Japanese expertise that you just gained’t neglect!

Click on right here to get your Japan Rail go right now!


Ebook Your Journey to Japan: Logistical Suggestions and Tips

Ebook Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to discover a low-cost flight. They’re my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned!

Ebook Your Lodging
You possibly can ebook your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the largest stock and finest offers. If you wish to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use Reserving.com as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost lodges. A few of my favourite locations to remain in Japan are:

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes incorrect. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions up to now. My favourite firms that supply the most effective service and worth are:

In search of the Finest Firms to Save Cash With?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the most effective firms to make use of while you journey. I listing all those I exploit to save cash after I’m on the street. They may prevent cash while you journey too.

Make sure you take a look at the Japan Rail Move in case you’ll be touring across the nation. It is available in 7-, 14-, and 21-day passes and may prevent a ton of cash!

Need Extra Data on Japan
Make sure you go to our strong vacation spot information on Japan for much more planning suggestions!

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