People eligible for the Japan Rail Pass

JR PASS eligibility

The Japan Rail Pass is resereved for travellers, on a touristic stay in Japan, who wish to use the train to travel around the country.
Image Passport

Who is it for? 

The JR Pass is for tourists, it is only available to non-Japanese people staying in Japan for a short time for tourism purposes.

Please read carefully

To be eligible for a Japan Rail Pass, it is necessary to have an authorisation giving a 'temporary visitor' status, that is to say for a stay under 3 months.

the status ‘Temporary Visitor’
To use the Japan Rail Pass it is necessary to:

  • be a non-Japanese national
  • enter Japan with the status ‘Temporary Visitor ‘ which is an authorisation for people visiting Japan for tourism and staying for less than 90 days (and which is generally granted automatically on your arrival into Japan. For more information please see the page: What is the status ‘Temporary Visitor’ and how do to get it? 
  • be visiting for a touristic stay
Please note that some visas obtained for special activities other than tourism, even of short duration, do not meet eligibility criteria.

Not eligible to use Japan Rail Pass
Therefore, the following people are not eligible to use the Japan Rail Pass:

  • People who are Japanese nationals
  • People who are visiting for non-tourism purposes (working holiday, military, diplomatic, cultural, research, work, etc.) 

What are the exceptions?

Since 1st June 2017, Japanese nationals can once again purchase and use the Japan Rail Pass.

Be aware, however, that the conditions are very restrictive.
You must obtain and fill in one of the following documents:
1 - An "Overseas Residential Registration" from the Japanese Embassy of your place of residence
2 - A "Certificate of Overseas Residence" from the Japanese Embassy of your place of residence
3 – For the United States, Brazil and Canada, a permanent residency card (the length of residence must be at least 10 years on the day you purchase the JR Pass).

You must present one of these three documents when you exchange the Voucher in Japan.

Please note that you must have those documents on you before buying your Japan Rail Pass.

Be aware that if you do not satisfy these conditions, Japan Experience cannot be held responsible for the non-validity and non-exchange of your Japan Rail Pass on Japanese soil.The conditions for cancellation of your Pass are those applied by default.

Non-Japanese nationals who hold a long-term visa (for example student, instructor or working holiday) can not use the Japan Rail Pass. 

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being eligible for the JAPAN RAIL PASS


using a japan rail pass

other questions

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