Japan Rail Pass: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions – if the information in this page does not answer your question, feel free to submit an enquiry to us or give us a call.
Purchase of Exchange Orders
1. Can I pay in Japanese Yen?
No. Payment can only be made in Singapore Dollars (SGD).
For purchases from our Travel Saloon, the Japanese Yen (JPY) fixed price will be converted into SGD based on the daily JTB in-house exchange rate, which will fluctuate daily according to the foreign exchange rate.
For purchases online, the Japanese Yen (JPY) fixed price will be converted into SGD based on the JTB website’s exchange rate, pegged at a fixed rate for a certain period of time.
2. Will there be discounts for purchase?
No discounts are allowed by regulation of the Japan Railways Company Co. Ltd. Any agent that promises you a discount is breaching the regulations. JTB offers an attractive exchange rate with reliable service – this is where your savings will apply.
3. Can I buy the Japan Rail Pass in Japan?
The Nation-wide Japan Rail pass cannot be purchased in Japan, as it is exclusively for non-residents of Japan, and exchange orders may only be obtained outside of Japan.
However, all other regional rail passes may be purchased in Japan.
4. Would it be better to purchase single-trip tickets in Japan?
In general, a return trip from Tokyo to Kyoto would make the purchase of a Nationwide Japan Rail Pass worth your money. Any distance less than that, you might be better off with single-trip tickets purchasable in Japan, or other Regional Japan Rail Pass would suit you, based on your itinerary.
5. Which rail pass should I purchase?
There are many types of rail passes available. To aid in your free and easy travel, we would advise you to plan in detail which areas in Japan you would like to cover. Once you are sure of the areas you will be travelling to, you may then read up on the areas covered by each of the passes to decide which would be the best for you, based on your itinerary.
6. The Japan Rail Pass is 7 days, 14 days, and 21 days. Do I need to buy 14 days, for example, if I travel 10days?
The Japan Rail Pass is useful mostly for long distance travel. Therefore, we would advise you to plan your itinerary wisely. If your long distance travel is within the consecutive 7days, you may simply buy the 7-day pass.
7. What should I bring along when I purchase the Rail Passes?
If you are not holding a Japanese passport, you need not bring any documents along during purchase. However, we seek your co-operation to carefully check the spelling and order of your name as per your passport. JTB will not be liable for any mistakes of the customers.
If you are holding a Japanese passport, please bring along written proof of your permanent residence or marriage certificate to a foreigner (non-Japanese). For more details, kindly refer to http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en002.html
8. What is the difference in JR Kansai Pass and Kansai Thru Pass?
JR Kansai Pass is for use on JR trains and Kansai Thru Pass for private rail and buses.
In general, the JR Kansai Pass is useful for travelling from city to city (connection between major cities) while the Kansai Thru pass is useful if you are moving within the city.
For example, to access from Osaka to Kyoto, it will take 35 – 40min by direct JR train. If you are using Kansai Thru Pass, you will need to take few subway and it will take 60-65min. Meanwhile, if you access to Osaka to Namba, there is no JR train, but there is private rail.
9. How do I select the dates of use of the Pass which I have purchased?
For most Rail Passes, the days of use are consecutive, starting from the selected start date. You may inform the counter staff of the usage start date upon exchange.
For selected Flexi-passes, the pass is valid for a period of time (for example, 10 days) starting from the selected start date. You may choose to use the pass for the designated number of days as long as it is within the valid period.
Exchange & Use
1. How should I exchange for my Japan Rail pass using the exchange order?
Your Exchange Order must be exchanged for a Japan Rail Pass within 3 months of the date the Exchange Order was issued.
At the JR Pass Exchange offices, fill in an application form. Submit it with your Exchange Order and your passport. You will then be issued with your Japan Rail Pass. Please allow up to 20 minutes for this process. You can turn in the exchange order any time after arrival in Japan and can specify any date (max. 1 month from date of exchange).
2. How should I know if the train I want to take is a JR train or otherwise?
Normally, you will see the JR logo at station gate, so it is easy to identify JR trains. If you are unsure, simply present your rail pass to the train station staff and they will be more than happy to advise you.
3. How can I obtain the train map or train timings?
Due to the huge amount of information, we do not hold any train map or train timing at the JTB Singapore office. A useful third-party website is http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ You may enter name of the destination station and it will suggest the optimum route for you.
For the train timings, you may visit the website of the respective Japan Rail company of the pass you are holding:
JR Hokkaido: http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/ttable/04.pdf
JR East: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/timetables/
JR Tokaido: http://english.jr-central.co.jp/info/timetable/_pdf/eastbound.pdf
JR West: https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/timetable/
JR Kyushu: http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/time_table/time_table.html
4. Are seat reservations free? Can JTB make seat reservations for me?
Yes, all JR pass holders are entitled to unlimited free seat reservations.
To make seat reservations, it has to be done in Japan at the JR Stations. You may choose to make the reservations once you exchange for your JR Pass, or as and when you need to travel.
For users holding the JR East rail pass, you may make your seat reservation online with your credit card. Charges may apply.
An Exchange Order that has not been turned in for a Japan Rail Pass can be returned to JTB Travel Saloon for a refund, within one year of the date of issuance. In such case, a handling and administrative charge will be deducted from the refund amount.
The following conditions apply:
- The Exchange Order has not been turned in for a Japan Rail Pass.
- The Exchange Order was not lost or stolen.
- The Exchange Order is returned in its original condition.
- JTB Pte Ltd will charge a 10% – 15% processing fee per exchange order (shop purchase) or 20% processing fee per exchange order (online purchase).
Last Updated: 02 January 2015