Photo: Henry Perks / Unsplash
Photo: Henry Perks / Unsplash
- 1 min read

Japan Rail Pass Prices Set to Increase

Price jumps scheduled to take place in October 2023

The JR rail pass is a special ticket available to foreign tourists visiting Japan, and it allows unlimited travel on Japan Railways (JR) trains for a designated period of time. The pass is often praised for its excellent value for money and convenience, as it allows travelers to utilize Japan's extensive railway network and explore popular destinations without needing to purchase individual tickets.

There are some upcoming changes to the pass, though – primarily the pricing structure for them. Japan Railways recently announced that price increases for the passes will be implemented as of October 2023. The jump in cost is quite significant, too, with the 7 day pass set to shift from ¥29,650 to ¥50,000, the 14 day pass going from ¥47,250 to ¥80,000, and the 21 day pass moving from ¥60,450 to ¥100,000.

The exact date in October for implementation has yet to be announced, but as soon as more information is provided we will update this article accordingly.

Photo: Md Samir Sayek / Unsplash

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Sleiman Azizi 11 months ago
It's probably part of a longer term strategy to incentivize regional passes so it wouldn't surprise me to see an upswing in regional promotions over the coming year. I guess we'll see soon enough.
Sleiman Azizi 11 months ago
That's the issue then, balancing what customers want and what the country needs. I believe that regional tourism is the best way forward for Japan and I suspect that most people only want to do Tokyo-Kansai because that is all they know. A concerted regional campaign might help to rectify that. But again we'll see.
Sander van Werkhoven 11 months ago
Such a shame, this is basically killing off the JRP for most travelers. There might be a small group that simply doesn't do the math and buys one regardless of the benefits over just buying tickets, and an even smaller group that will travel enough to make it worth it, but by any reasonable standards it just won't be worth it to most.

I mean, the 7-day JRP is now more expensive than a roundtrip Tokyo-Hakata. That's quite a lot of travel for a week, and for such a distance it would make more sense to take a flight. And to put the 21-day pass in perspective: that's almost as much as a roundtrip Kagoshima-Sapporo. That's just insane. You'll have to travel so much there won't be any time left to spend time (and money!) at the places you visit.

And nice that you can use the Nozomi now.....but from what I read only at an additional charge. And those other discounts....I can't imagine those making much of a difference either.

I'll be visiting Japan in two weeks, and will travel one-way from Fukuoka with several stops to Tokyo, although I would only get as far as Shizuoka within the 7 days. That would make the JRP at current pricing not quite pay off, but was still planning to take one for the sake of convenience and flexibility. Until I looked a bit further and found out that I'm better off with the JR Sanyo Sanin Area Pass (which is valid for Nozomi!) to get me to Omi-Hachiman, and then just buying tickets for the last part of the route, for which I was already planning to use a non JR-line (Tenhama) for a bit.

As things are I expect golden times for the regional passes, the Japan Bus Pass from Willer Express, and also domestic flights.
Kim Author 11 months ago
Completely agree, honestly not sure what's prompted the massive hike (and let's be honest, it IS massive).

I could have understood a smaller increase, because the price of everything seems to be going up -- but I feel like such a substantial jump really disincentivizes purchasing the JR Pass. I think a lot of people will lean towards just exploring one area (e.g. staying in Tokyo, which is a real disappointment for rural/regional areas) or picking other modes of transport like buses. The overnight buses from Willer in particular are good on a budget, because you can save on a night's accommodation!

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