WHAT IS THE JAPAN RAIL PASS
The Japan Rail Pass is a discounted ticket to visit Japan by train. Foreign nationals that can acquire the ticket can do so before traveling to Japan. The purchase process is simple: Travelers buy an Exhange Order (or voucher) that will be delivered to your home. Travelers exchange this Order for a Japan Rail Pass.
Travelers can chose to buy passes for 7, 14 or 21 days, so depending on the length of your trip, you will get one or another.
Requirements for the Japan Rail Pass
It is only available for foreign travelers visiting Japan for tourism. You must meet the below criteria to be eligible to purchase this ticket. You are a foreign visiting Japan for tourism You are Japanese and have lived abroad for more than 10 years
Even if you get an Exchange Order, if you do not meet the qualifications above you will be unable to get your Japan Rail Pass. Please confirm the following usage qualifications thoroughly prior to purchasing an Exchange Order:
1 YOU ARE A FOREIGN TOURIST VISITING JAPAN ON A TOURIST VISA
When you enter Japan for Tourism purposes, ask the immigration officer to apply the “Temporary Visitor” stamp to your passport. This entry status for Japan allows for visits of 15 days or 90 days depending on your nationality. With this type of entry status, you can do tourism and short business visits.
Make sure that the immigration officer stamps your passport. Without this stamp you will NOT be able to exchange your Exchange Order for a JR Pass.
Make sure that the entry status is “Temporary Visitor”. If you enter Japan under any other official status like Trainee or Entertainer you will NOT be able to change your Exchange Order for a Japan Rail Pass.
2 YOU ARE A JAPANESE NATIONAL LIVING OUTSIDE OF JAPAN
As of June 1, 2017, Japanese nationals that have lived abroad for 10 years at least, can apply for the Japan Rail Pass. These applicants will need to have the following documents when exchanging the Exchange Order in Japan.
Expiration date at least 6 months after arrival date in Japan
WRITTEN PROOF OF RESIDENCY
Copy of your Overseas Residential Registration issued by the Japanese embassy in the foreign country where you live (limited to an Overseas Residential Registration with a date of acceptance at least 10 years earlier)
Certificate of Overseas Residence issued by the Japanese embassy in the foreign country where you live (limited to a Certificate of Overseas Residence with a date at least 10 years earlier as the date on which your address was established as your present address)
As a special case limited to the USA, Brazil, and Canada, the Permanent Resident Card issued by these 3 countries can be used as written proof until further notice (limited to a Permanent Resident Card confirming your stay in the relevant country for 10 years or more).
In regard to (1), if a single copy of your Overseas Residential Registration verifies that any family members living with you in the country have stayed for 10 consecutive years or more, such a document is valid for those family members.
Concerning children (under 12 years of age) whose stay in the country is less than 10 years at the time of purchase of an Exchange Order, if a single copy of the Overseas Residential Registration stated in (1) verifies that they live together with the applicant whose stay in the country is 10 consecutive years or more, and if they also use the JAPAN RAIL PASS together with that applicant, their eligibility requirements are satisfied.
The copy of the Overseas Residential Registration and the Certificate of Overseas Residence are only valid for 6 months after the date of issue.
You cannot use a photocopy of your written proof to purchase an Exchange Order or to exchange your Exchange Order for a JAPAN RAIL PASS.
Definition of “10 years or more”: At the time of purchase of an Exchange Order, a date in the same month 10 years earlier or before is valid. (Example) In the case of the purchase of an Exchange Order on June 1, 2017, a date any time in June 2007 or earlier is valid. (A date between June 1 and June 30, 2007 is deemed as “June 2007” and valid.)
You can purchase an Exchange Order and exchange it for a JAPAN RAIL PASS only if you can present any one of the written proof described in the above (1) to (3).
Note: If you are a Japanese national with dual citizenship we recommend entering Japan with your non-Japanese passport. You will then get a Tourist Visa stamp upon entry. You can then show this passport with the “Temporary Visitor” stamp when exchanging the order for the Japan Rail Pass.
This information is valid for purchasing exchange orders from June 1, 2017, through December 31, 2020. Exchange Orders can be exchanged for a JAPAN RAIL PASS in Japan: From June 1, 2017, through March 30, 2021