Monday, 2 March 2015

Japan Rail Pass

When you travel alone in an uberly foreign country, the last thing you want to worry about is how are you going to travel in the city. Thankfully I bought Japan Rail Pass for a week which was totally a life-saver and practically useful.

jr pass-1

There are 2 types of JR Pass, the Green and the Ordinary and of course they both differ in price and the comfort offered. The Green cars are more spacious with comfortable chairs compared to Ordinary cars. In Green cars, the chairs are seated as 2 vs 2 on both sides while in Ordinary cars, they are 3 chairs on the left and 2 chairs on the right. For me, price does matter and I bought the Ordinary one which is 9 500 ¥ cheaper than the Green one.

The prices for the a week validity of Ordinary Pass is 28 300 ¥ and the Green Pass is 37 800 ¥ . The price also varies depending on the duration of the pass. You can only buy it from outside Japan, so better get this ready when your travel date is around the corner.

It is easy to use, exchange your JR Pass exchange order to a valid JR Pass ticket at certain JR Stations then *blink* just show it to the JR officers and they will let you enter the train/shinkansen platforms.

jr pass 2-1

I think it is a worthy investment for tourists to Japan :

1. You can reserve a seat in the shinkansen (bullet train) anytime to anywhere you want to go without added fee.

2. If you miss the reservation or miss the departure time, you can reserve a new seat (free).

3. You can be flexible with your travel plan. Next hour you want to travel to Osaka from Tokyo, then just go to the ticketing office and reserve a seat in the shinkansen.

4. It is only worth it if the tourists plan to travel around Japan, not touring around in a city. Shinkansen is definitely a must-try experience (and trust me, I kept on hopping onto shinkansens many times with the JR Pass)

5. Return tickets for shinkansen is about 13 000 ¥ (according to where you want to go) and I had like 4 round trips on shinkansen so I saved a lot of yens there.

6. Not only for shinkansens (except Nozomi and Mizuho trains- they are the faster shinkansens), you can also use the pass on any JR operated trains/buses.

7. Don't forget to bring your passport as a proof of identification (just in case if the officer asks for it) and don't lose it.

It is definitely a must for tourists who wish to tour around Japan. Get one before you fly to Japan.