Procrastinate on buying your JR Pass? Not sure you needed one, but wishing you had it once you arrived? Japan Railways Group, the company that sells the popular rail passes for foreign travelers, is planning to allow the pass to be sold in select locations around the country, easing the burden for travelers of having to buy the pass before actually landing in Japan.
The announcement, recently made by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, is just one part of a plan to make Japan more tourist-friendly as the government aims to increase its overseas visitor numbers to 40 million travelers by 2020 and 60 million travelers by 2030.
Under the current Japan Rail Pass system, travelers must purchase the pass in their home country, before their departure. They then receive a voucher, which is turned in upon arrival in Japan (and presentation of a foreign passport), in exchange for the pass itself. Passes are valid for the following duration - 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. When used frequently within the time allotted or to cover long distances, the pass can represent a significant savings to the average traveler.
Japan Tourism Agency (Japanese only)