Japan Rail Go: One Ticket for Limitless Practice Journey


With Japan as soon as once more open to vacationers, now is a good time to lock in your flights and start to plan your Japanese journey.

Japan has probably the greatest railway networks on this planet, and on the coronary heart of that system is the Japan Railways Group, or JR Group. For vacationers, the JR Group presents the Japan Rail Go, which helps you to simply discover everything of Japan’s wealthy tradition and panorama with a single cross.

On this information, we’ll go over the whole lot it is advisable to know in regards to the Japan Rail Go, together with eligibility necessities, transportation choices, and routes obtainable to cross holders.

Most significantly, we’ll additionally discover if it’s value it so that you can purchase a Japan Rail Go on your subsequent journey to Japan.

What Is the Japan Rail Go?

The Japan Rail Go, sometimes called the JR Go, is an unlimited-use ticket to Japan’s intensive transportation system. With a Japan Rail Go, you possibly can simply get throughout the nation by practice, bus, and ferry, in addition to entry to the Tokyo Monorail.

Reserved completely for vacationers, the Japan Rail Go is a product supplied by six corporations that make up the Japan Railways Group.

The JR transportation community is sort of intensive, protecting virtually the entire nation. Due to this fact, having a JR Go can prevent a good amount of cash when you’re planning on utilizing the JR Group’s providers often throughout your journey.

Who Is Eligible for the Japan Rail Go?

The JR Go is a product that’s explicitly designed for vacationers, and is off-limits to home Japanese residents. To be eligible for a cross, you have to meet one in all two situations:

  • You have to be a overseas vacationer visiting Japan from overseas underneath the entry standing of a brief customer, or
  • You have to be a Japanese one that resides overseas.

When you’re buying a JR Go as a overseas vacationer, you have to have the particular “non permanent customer” stamp in your passport. It is a essential step, and when you’re travelling to Japan on one other visa, and don’t have this particular passport stamp, you’ll be denied a JR Go while you try to select it up.

Be sure you get a brief customer stamp in your passport

It’s necessary to notice that when you arrive in Japan and use an automatic gate on the airport, you’ll not obtain the mandatory entry stamp. You’d due to this fact have to go to a manned checkpoint, or ask a clerk to use the stamp after the actual fact.

Japanese residents who’re dwelling overseas should have lived overseas for at the very least 10 consecutive years to be eligible for a Japan Rail Go, with written proof required from the embassy or legation of Japan within the overseas nation the place they reside.

The right way to Buy a Japan Rail Go

The commonest and best method to buy your JR Go is on-line, earlier than arriving in Japan. The JR Go is bought through journey businesses, and due to this fact, the value can fluctuate fairly a bit.

Though you might buy your JR Go earlier than travelling to Japan on-line or at an abroad agent, you gained’t truly obtain your JR Go instantly. As a substitute, you’ll get a JR Go Alternate Order Voucher.

You’ll need to deliver this voucher with you, and hand it in straight at one in all many designated ticket workplaces. Together with the voucher, you should definitely deliver your passport with the particular non permanent customer stamp, or your proof of dwelling overseas when you’re a Japanese passport holder.

Convey your passport and JR Go Alternate Order Voucher to a chosen ticket workplace to obtain your JR Rail Go

There are additionally alternate areas at each Tokyo Narita and Haneda airports, in addition to many different areas across the nation. The complete checklist of alternate areas will be discovered on the Japan Rail Go web site.

The Alternate Order Voucher have to be exchanged for a JR Go inside three months of the date it was issued. So when you’re planning to journey to Japan for, say, cherry blossom season in March 2023, you’ll wish to buy your JR Go no sooner than December 2022. 

When you’ve already arrived in Japan and haven’t bought your JR Go but, you’re not utterly out of luck, as there are additionally JR Go workplaces in Japan.

Nonetheless, solely overseas passport holders should buy a JR Go whereas in Japan, and the price for a JR Go bought in Japan is costlier than when you had been to e book it earlier than arriving.

Which Japan Rail Go Ought to You Select?

When buying your JR Go, there are two forms of JR Passes: the Inexperienced Class Go or the Odd Class Go.

The Inexperienced Class Go supplies you entry to the upgraded, extra luxurious Inexperienced Class practice cabin, and prices over 30% greater than the Odd Class Go.

Whereas the Inexperienced Class Go will grant you entry to the upgraded Inexperienced Class, it’s not fairly the identical as evaluating First Class airline seats to economic system class seats. In Japan, the Odd Class remains to be pretty clear and comfy, and might be appropriate for many travellers.

An instance of a Inexperienced Class cabin

Inexperienced Class will probably be barely much less noisy, and could also be a greater choice if it is advisable to get work finished throughout your journey. You’ll additionally take pleasure in barely extra leg room.

When you do purchase the Inexperienced Class Go, you’ll want to order your seat prematurely with the intention to sit within the Inexperienced Class cabin. Though the superior reservation gained’t price you something, it nonetheless might take away among the flexibility, as Odd Class Go holders can merely stroll as much as the gate, scan their cross, and board the practice.

An instance of an Odd Class cabin

After you’ve determined in your kind of cross, you’ll have to decide on your cross length. There are solely three choices: a 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day JR Go.

The variety of days you select on your JR Go will start on the calendar date that the cross is first used. The durations are counted by calendar days, not by 24-hour intervals.

Lastly, in case you have kids who’re aged 6 by way of 11, you should purchase a baby JR Go, which is 50% of the grownup cross.

As talked about beforehand, the precise value of your JR Go might fluctuate relying on what journey company you purchase it from, or when you purchase it earlier than or after you arrive to Japan. Usually talking, the costs, in Canadian {dollars}, for an Odd Grownup JR Go might be across the following:

  • 7-day: $275 ($40 per day)
  • 14-day: $440 ($31 per day)
  • 21-day: $562 ($26 per day)

When you’re splurging on the Inexperienced Class JR Go, relying on the place it’s purchased from, it should price across the following per grownup:

  • 7-day: $368 ($53 per day)
  • 14-day: $596 ($43 per day)
  • 21-day: $775 ($37 per day)

As you possibly can see, the perfect worth comes from buying the 21-day JR Go; nonetheless, precisely how a lot worth you get out of the cross will all the time come right down to how a lot you truly use it.

Is It Value It to Purchase the Japan Rail Go?

Once you purchase your JR Go, you’ll wish to be conscious of any potential supply charges, transport charges, and different charges.

For instance, on my September 2022 Japan journey, I used a Japan Rail Go calculator software so as to add up the person value for every ticket for my deliberate practice route of Tokyo–Kyoto–Nara–Osaka–Tokyo (successfully a round-trip on the Shinkansen between Tokyo and the Kansai area).

By doing so, I spotted that the person tickets could be nearly breakeven with the price of JR Go, and it’d truly be cheaper to purchase tickets individually after factoring in further supply and transport charges of the JR Go.

Certainly, understand that the JR Go is a commissionable product bought by journey businesses, and due to this fact it may possibly generally be  overhyped as an choice in comparison with merely shopping for your personal practice tickets – which is usually a really easy course of at Japanese practice stations.

It is best to all the time do the mathematics and plan out your personal journey to guarantee that a JR Go is smart, particularly when you aren’t planning on travelling across the entirety of the nation.

Generally, I’d estimate {that a} round-trip between Tokyo and the Kansai area – which is a typical itinerary for a first-time customer –nearly breaks even with the price of a seven-day cross. When you’re travelling additional afield in Japan over an extended interval, then a JR Go buy might actually repay.

You should definitely value out your routes to ensure you’re getting good worth out of your Japan Rail Go

In the meantime, when you’re going to be staying in a selected area of Japan fairly than the entire nation, you possibly can look into shopping for a cross that can can help you journey round a extra localized space.

The JR Group additionally presents regional passes for shorter durations of days. These passes are legitimate for journey throughout the following areas:

Japan Rail Go Routes

Japan’s transportation community is sort of intensive, and covers a majority of the nation. With the JR Go, you’ll have entry to a variety of railways, buses, and ferries.

You’ll have entry to all JR Group Railways and Shinkansen bullet trains, with the necessary exception of any reserved or non-reserved seats on the quickest Nozomi and Mizuho Shinkansen trains.

Nonetheless, you should have entry to the Hikari Shinkansen trains, that are solely barely much less quick, taking about half-hour longer on the widespread Tokyo–Osaka route. 

You’ll additionally be capable of journey on restricted specific trains, different specific trains, some fast or native trains, the Tokyo Monorail, and the  Tokyo BRT bus providers, with some exceptions.

For instance, the Yamanote Line in Tokyo and the Osaka Loop Line are each operated by Japan Railways, so that you’ll be capable of get round on these round city metro traces as a JR Go holder with out paying further fares.

The Tokyo Monorail is included with JR Passes

Along with railways, the JR Group additionally operates JR Buses. JR Go holders can have entry to quite a lot of bus traces, together with: 

  • JR Hokkaido Bus
  • JR Bus Tohoku
  • JR Bus Kanto
  • JR Tokai Bus
  • West Japan JR Bus
  • Chugoku JR Bus
  • JR Shikoku Bus
  • JR Kyushu Bus

The one exception right here is that the JR Go just isn’t legitimate for journey on specific JR Bus routes.

Lastly, there is just one ferry service obtainable in case you have a JR Go, and that’s the JR-West Miyajima ferry. It travels between the Miyajima Ferry terminal and the JR Miyajimaguchi pier simply outdoors Hiroshima within the western a part of Japan.

Different Issues You Ought to Know

Much like with airways, there are restrictions to the quantity of bags you possibly can deliver on sure routes. Basically, when you’re over the restrict, you might have to make an advance reservation for a chosen seat and a spot within the baggage space.

There are additionally coin-operated lockers obtainable in most railway stations, the place you possibly can retailer your belongings if you wish to journey lighter.

Free Wi-Fi is offered at virtually all stations and on sure trains. It is a nice assist for staying productive alongside the rail journey, or to make planning the following a part of your Japan journey simpler.

Japan as a rustic is comparatively small, with a extremely dense inhabitants. Which means that site visitors on trains will be fairly heavy. I’d actually anticipate this development to proceed because the nation reopens and extra vacationers arrive.

You’ll positively wish to be conscious of rush hour instances, and you need to take into account avoiding travelling through the morning and night rush hours in main cities – often between 7:30–9:30am and 5–8pm.


As worldwide journey to Japan resumes, this can be a very thrilling time to e book flights and plan out your journey. No journey to Japan could be full with out experiencing Japan’s state-of-the-art railway community, which is among the greatest methods to journey across the nation.

On one hand, the Japan Rail Go is an incredible software that unlocks a lot of the nation and provides you limitless entry to a good variety of transportation choices for a hard and fast value.

Then again, the cross can nonetheless be a expensive buy, and you might be higher served by buying particular person tickets, or shorter and cheaper passes designed for particular areas, relying on the way you’d prefer to allocate your time in Japan and which locations you wish to go to.

You should definitely use a Japan Rail Go calculator to map out your journey and work out which choice is greatest for you earlier than making your buy.