General Conditions of use and Refunds for Japan
A voucher (Exchange Order) must be turned in for a Japan Rail Pass within three months of the date of issue. At that time the passenger must specify the date they want to start using the Pass. It can be any date within one month of the date the Japan Rail Pass is received
Travellers holding an Ordinary Class Pass may only board the Ordinary Class (Second Class) cars, however, Green Class (First Class) passes may board Ordinary and Green Class cars
The Pass must be presented with the passport of the holder at the ticket office of departure for validation, endorsing the total period of availability on the Pass document.
Passports and tickets must be produced for all subsequent journeys at ticket offices or to onboard staff for verification.
Travellers cannot use an automatic ticket-reading gate with a Japan Rail Pass or a reserved-seat ticket. They have to show the pass at a manned ticket gate.
Travellers with permanent residencey (for more than six months) outside of Japan are eligible to purchase or use a Japan Rail Pass.
Only foreign tourists visiting Japan under the entry status of “temporary visitor”, are allowed to purchase a Japan Rail Pass (not valid for travellers with a business visa).
Once the Pass has a starting travel date written on it, the date cannot be changed. After commencing travel with the Pass beyond the valid period, it can be used until the day following its expiration date, if no stops are made. If the trains boarded on that day require limited express or express charges, the traveller must pay the applicable charges. No refund is payable on Passes that have been validated, nor are refunds allowed on lost or stolen Passes.
Applications for refunds on unused passes must be submitted to the issuing office within 12 months from the date of issue and a refund fee will be applicable.
A voucher (Exchange Order) that has not yet been exchanged, can be returned to the office of purchase for a refund within one year from the date of issue. In such cases, a handling fee will be subtracted from the refund.
No refund can be made for any reason on or after the starting date of the Pass.
No refund will be granted in the event of a train service delay or suspension, etc.
Periods when seat reservations may be particularly difficult to secure:
- December 25th to January 5th
- April 29th to May 5th
- August 13th to 15th
- Ordinary Class:
- Ordinary Class reserved seats on Express and Limited Express trains can be used
- Surcharges are required to travel in Green Cars or Sleeping Cars
- Green Class:
- Green Class is considered the superior class and is usually available on long distance trains
- There are some cars where a Green Class Pass will not grant access, such as private compartments and sleeping cars
- Surcharges are required to travel on Sleeping Cars
- Children under six years of age travel free.
- Children aged 6-11 on the first day of travel, pay a reduced fare
- Travellers cannot reserve seats until they have exchanged their Exchange Voucher and received their Japan Rail Pass in Japan.
- Non-reserved seats can be used by presenting the Japan Pass. Seat reservations can be made without additional payment.
- In Green Class, reservations are compulsory on some trains. Ordinary Class has both reserved and non-reserved seating. There is no extra charge to reserve seats.
- To make a reservation, passholders must go to any Travel Service Centre or Reservation Office at a JR station, or to the sales office of a JR-associated travel agency