Everything to Know About the Japan Rail Pass 70% Price Increase JRパスの値上げ

  • Published on : 21/08/2023
  • by : Joshua & A.Y
  • Rating :

From October 1st, 2023, the popular Japan Rail Pass will be seeing a 70% price increase. If your trip to Japan is scheduled for before the end of the year, you can still get the Japan Rail Pass at the best price possible, if you purchase it at the right time. Read more about the upcoming change in this article!

JR Pass Type Current Price New Price (October 2023)
Regular 7-day 29,650 yen 50,000 yen
Regular 14-day 47,250 yen 80,000 yen
Regular 21-day 60,450 yen 100,000 yen

Read more about the new Japan Rail Pass

On top of the existing advantages, such as local public transportation, some airport transfers*, seat reservation and more, the new JR Pass will also include the currently inaccessible and much faster Nozomi & Mizuho Shinkansen bullet trains (with a small access fee). Some other changes are important to note.

- The Nozomi Shinkansen train rides on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines, while the Mizuho bullet train rides on the Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines. Now available for booking with your JR Pass, these faster options are now accessible under the following fares, both for the Standard Cars and the Green Cars: 

  • Tokyo > Kyoto: 4960 yen
  • Tokyo > Shin-Osaka: 4960 yen
  • Tokyo > Hiroshima: 6500 yen
  • Tokyo > Hakata: 8140 yen
  • Kyoto > Hiroshima: 4170 yen
  • Shin-Osaka > Hiroshima: 4170 yen

Find out more in our dedicated article on the Nozomi & Mizuho Shinkansen trains. Tickets for these trains can be purchased through machines at the station or at Midori no Madoguchi (JR Ticket Offices). 

- After October 1st, it will not be possible to purchase your Japan Rail Pass in Japan (currently available at a higher price than online) anymore. The JR Pass will only be sold online, either through JR's official website or through third-party resellers such as Japan Experience. 

- However, Japanese nationals will not be able to buy the Japan Rail Pass online anymore. Japanese nationals matching the eligibility requirements for the JR Pass will have to purchase their JR Pass at a JR-appointed sales office or agent before their departure. 

*Airport transfers included with the Japan Rail Pass :

  • Tokyo Haneda: Haneda Monorail
  • Tokyo Narita: Narita Express Train
  • Kansai International Airport (Kyoto/Osaka): Haruka Express Train (to Kyoto & Osaka) 

Keep reading below to find out how to make the most out of your JR Pass after the price increase.

If you’re new to train travel in Japan, the Japan Rail Pass (often shortened to JR Pass) is a specialized ticket for foreign travelers to Japan. It is distributed by the Japan Railways Group, the largest organization managing domestic public transportation as well as much of the major cross-country Shinkansen bullet train lines in Japan.

The current iteration of this special ticket grants unlimited access to these transportation facilities (except for the Mizuho and Nozomi bullet train lines, though there will be some changes to this policy when the price updates). As of now, the National JR Pass comes in the form of 7, 14, and 21 day passes. Rates start at 29,650 yen, and with that one payment, JR-operated train lines, as well as other means of public transportation, can be ridden freely.

The ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility granted by the pass has made it a very popular option for travelers.

The Japan Railway Network Regions

The Japan Railway Network Regions

Kansai Wide Area Pass

It covers a large span of cities and destinations with access to the Sanyo Shinkansen.

Additionally, the pass can be used on the Haruka Express coming from Kansai National Airport, providing beneficial features from the get-go. Kansai is one of Japan's most famous regions that offers a large variety of locales and environments to see first-hand. Prices go for 75 USD for 5 days.

East Tohoku Area Pass

It grants access to destinations such as Iwate, Aomori, and Akita while simultaneously providing service within and from Tokyo, including some Shinkansen that lead into the northern part of Honshu.

In terms of sheer coverage, the East Tohoku Area Pass is very difficult to best, essentially allowing travel to 13 different prefectures and 6 different bullet trains.

All Kyushu Pass

It allows travelers to visit all 7 prefectures of the island, famous for its rich culinary culture, warm onsens, and artisanal ceramics.

On this pass, the only uneligible bullet train is that of the Sanyo, however, all other JR Kyushu Lines can be ridden plus more for 138 USD.

Discover More of Japan with Our JR Regional Passes

The perfect alternative to Japan Rail Pass for exploring local treasures!

  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel
  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel
  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel
  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel
  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel
  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel
  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel
  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel

From the Kansai region, a trip to the historic Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture can be done via the Thunderbird Rapid Train line, which is also fully covered. A one-way trip via this train is around 8,250 JPY for a reserved seat.

Exploration of Kanazawa can be a great day trip or overnight adventure (or longer, of course), and from here, exploring the rest of Hokuriku via way of Toyama (a rural prefecture famous for some of the country's best seafood) can be made. This would typically go for around 4,140 JPY. And from here, pass-holders can go to make a trip to Nagano Prefecture, which would typically cost 9,190 JPY with a reserved seat.

Nagano is one of the most geographically large prefectures in Japan, and boasts beautiful mountain scenery and a capital city that hosted the Olympics in 1998. From Nagano, the trip back to Tokyo can be made to explore the city and tie up any loose-ends. This Shinkansen ride comes to around 9,710 JPY, and any JR transit within Tokyo are all covered. 

The transit between the major destinations in this itinerary equate to a little over 61,000 JPY, without incorporation of local transit and transfer from the airport. But in addition to the savings made, the flexibility and ease of use with the JR Pass is a big bonus that should not be overlooked.

Japan Rail Pass Itinerary
Japan Rail Pass Itinerary
Japan Rail Pass Itinerary
Japan Rail Pass Itinerary
Japan Rail Pass Itinerary
Japan Rail Pass Itinerary
Japan Rail Pass Itinerary
Japan Rail Pass Itinerary

Frequently Asked Questions about the JR Pass.

Can't find the answer you were looking for?

If you haven't found the answer you're looking for, please check our FAQ page for more information about the Japan Rail Pass.

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