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JR Pass questions

Thunder Bay, Canada
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JR Pass questions

Regarding the JR pass for Japan. I like to know how it works

It says 16 day pass.

So does that mean 16 days you ride with?

or is it time stamped?

So its only good for specfic dates for 16 days consecutively?

For example your first day of use is November 1st? so its only good till November 16th?

or is it 16 different days of travel, whenever u choose to travel?

Also when u ride a train with the pass.

Do you have to book a destination

as in if i wanted to take train Tokyo to Osaka? do i have to reserve that train? or can i just show up at train station any time any day and just take what ever train shows up?


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1. Re: JR Pass questions

No that's incorrect. The JR Pass only comes in 7 or 14 or 28 day format.

Read all about the terms & conditions on the JR website in various languages


You must buy the Pass before you enter Japan & they give you a voucher which you then exchange at a JR exchange office in Japan.

At the JR office you will tell them which date you want the Pass activated, so yes, the date is written on the Pass.

Yes, it is consecutive days. So, if you start using it on the 1st November it will expire at midnight on the 14th November (if you have a 14 Day Pass)

Therefore, no, it is not separate days of travel.


If you are riding the shinkansen or other trains with allocated seats you can reserve a seat & it doesn't cost anything extra to do this.

Note: It's good to know you have a seat as sometimes the shinkansen are full & you will have to stand up.

You go to the JR ticket office to reserve a seat. It's simple to do, you can turn up at the office & reserve a seat for a train leaving in the next few minutes or the next day/week.

JR staff are very helpful & will work out the best train times & routes if you are doing any complicated journeys. (Staff can also tell you things that Hyperdia can't. eg. which side to sit on to see Mt Fuji, whether a remote station has a lot facilities - coin lockers, shops, even weather conditions & the best bento box to try! It's amazing how a little human interaction pays off - but some people think going to the JR window a waste of time. I never do.)

If you are using the unreserved seat car, just go to the station & show your Pass.

All you need to do is walk through the gates by the ticket inspectors office & show your pass & they will let you in, you don't use the ticket machine gates with a JR Pass.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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2. Re: JR Pass questions

"as in if i wanted to take train Tokyo to Osaka? do i have to reserve that train? or can i just show up at train station any time any day and just take what ever train shows up?"

You can't use the Nozomi trains, so you need to check.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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3. Re: JR Pass questions

If you hold a JR Pass and you want to travel between Tokyo and Osaka, take a Hikari Shinkansen train. JR Pass holder cannot ride Nozomi, while Kodama makes several more stops, leading to a significantly slower journey.

4. Re: JR Pass questions

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