The Japan Rail Pass in comparison

For years, the pass has been hailed as one of the most advantage-filled package deals in the world, not just in regards to Japan. Compared to many other specialized travel deals in the world, the Japan Rail Pass is and will still be an economical option relative to similar options in countries like the United States or Europe.

5 Reasons why the Japan Rail Pass is a must when traveling to Japan // Why you should get a JR Pass: 5 benefits of the Japan Rail Pass

Therefore, rail travel from one to the other is both expensive and time-consuming, averaging a little under 400 USD for a multiple-day excursion with a number of stops along the way.

For this reason, the railways are most often foregone in this scenario and instead done via air, but with this comes much less flexibility and higher expenses, with an average airline ticket between the two cities costing around 300 USD one way.

Oftentimes visitors to Japan from the United States may be hesitant of getting a Japan Rail Pass and utilizing the Shinkansen high-speed bullet train for much of their travels. Rest assured, the Japan Rail Pass and use of trains, both cross-country and locally, is a standard within Japan and ought to be utilized for efficiently get around Japan during your trip.

California Amtrak

California Amtrak Train


California Amtrak

California Amtrak Train


There is also a common complaint that comes with the Interrail Pass: train reservations and booking. Exploration throughout Europe allows for great experiences in many different countries and cultures, but also many different rules and regulations, including those of individual nations' railway systems. These variations in regulation mean that the railway traversal system streamlined as it is with the single-organization-operated Japan Rail Pass

A large number of trains require booking before boarding, and for the majority of trains, a reserved seat requires an additional fee. With the JR Pass, upgraded seats entail an additional fee, but standard reserved seats are free of charge, and non-reserved seating can be accessed at any time on Shinkansen trains

Additionally, the Interrail Pass is not usable on forms of transit like buses, which are allowed with the Japan Rail Pass. These luxuries and the flexibility provided by the JR Pass are a major driving force behind the value provided by the options within Japan.

Eurail Pass

Eurail Pass

@Idris700, wikimedia

Riding the Shinkansen with the Japan Rail Pass // Shinkansen Japan Rail Pass: The Ultimate Guide

In South Korea, there is the South Korea Rail Pass. This pass has a medley of benefits, allowing unlimited use of the trains operated by the Korea Railroad Corporation network. There are also a number of discounts for popular tourist destinations, buses, and ferries. 

However, there is no access to two of the most important railway systems in the city of Seoul: the Seoul Metro and the KTX high-speed train. The Japanese equivalents are available on the JR Pass. In addition, buses operated by Japan Rail Group are able to be ridden, whereas the South Korea Rail Pass just offers discounts.

South Korean Rail

High speed rail in South Korea


Taiwanese Rail

High speed rail in Taiwan


The Shinkansen Network in Japan // The Shinkansen Bullet Train Network

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