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Monday, 4th April 2016
In Japan Travel News,

Japan Rail Passes now to be available in-country

Tourists arriving in Japan without a pass to use the country’s rail services at a reduced rate will soon be able to purchase one at a train station.

In the past, visitors needed to buy Japan Rail Pass vouchers at a designated sales office before leaving home and if they didn’t it was too late.

The system was set out like this to prevent people who are resident in Japan taking advantage of the offer, reports the Japan Times.

No date has yet been set for the changes to be implemented, but when they come into effect, the passes will be sold domestically on an experimental basis.

Once a tourist has obtained their pass, they can access unlimited travel on all services apart from high-speed, non-stop bullet trains.

This is because the Japan Railways Group, which sell the passes, has six train companies in its portfolio and they cover the majority of the country.

Jumping aboard any trains operated as Hokkaido Railway Company, East Japan Railway Company, Central Japan Railway Company, West Japan Railway Company, Shikoku Railway Company, or Kyushu Railway Company should therefore not be a problem.

Passes are available for periods of seven, 14 or 21 days depending on the length of the trip and in a number of different classes.

A seven-day green pass, which allows visitors to travel in first-class carriages costs 38,880 yen (£244), but a regular-class pass for the same duration is 29,110 yen (£183).

Those travelling with children can expect to pay half the cost of a pass in any of the categories for their kids.

The East Japan Railway Company has said that the passes are very popular and around 600,000 were sold under the old system in 2014.

Related news stories:
Train routes app launches for Japan Rail Pass (16th August 2016)