Q 1. What is the difference between "Simple Mode" and "Advanced Mode"?
The simple mode just asks you your trips, and will show which passes would be worthy for the parts they cover (it does not calculates the possibility of using multiple passes); The advanced mode asks your Itinerary, with days and day-trip configuration, and automatically fills in the required trips and calculates the best Pass configurtion!Q 2. A city I am visiting is not listed on the calculator, why is that?
When choosing trips, make sure there is a direct line. If there isn't, you migth need to make the trip in steps. This is done to keep emphasis on how and when you switch trains. If the city is not listed at all, it might be indeed not in the database. We strive to keep the biggest number of cities covered, but there are indeed some cities that are less traveled mising from the database. If you think it is worth adding (we have a backlog of cities to add already), drop us a comment (mail at footer of page)Q 3. Why some trips have yellow or red background? (works on PC only)
Yellow background means the trip is partially covered by the JR Group (just a part of the trip, for instance), Red means it is not covered at allQ 4. Why you need the season of the travels?
All express and super-express (shinkansen) lines have a predictable season surcharge that officialy goes up as far as ¥300 on high-season. It is not a big change but it allows you to get a pricing closer to what you will observe in your trip instead of today. The box auto-selects the current season.Q 5. Are the prices in this calculator up-to-date? How can I confirm? How I find other routes?
All prices for rails are provided by Hyperdia.com and updated as often every trimester. Prices tend to vary according to season and day of the weak so allow a +-2% margin of error, but overall even with this margin it is a excelent estimate for all year. You can either confirm the prices, or look for other routes, at that site. Please take note of this important detail on how to read the correct pricing in Hyperdia. Airtravel uses a low-season average but can vary a lot, check prices for your specific date
On Non-JR routes and exceptions
Q 6. What about the Alpine Route?
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is registered on the calculator despite not being covered by any JR-pass. The option is the promotional One-way ticket. Just choose one end (Toyama or Nagoya) to see itQ 7. What about the N'EX Tokyo Round Trip?
The Round-trip promotional ticket is available. The price listed is half since the full price will be registered when you add both to/from trips. Remember: you need to use the return trip within 14 days of using the first. Choose Narita Airport or Tokyo to see the optionQ 8. What are the prices listed for Air-travel?
Airtravel prices listed are an average for low season, but prices change drastically and can go up to three times those listed here, or half, depending on season, booking and day of the week, we used an average for those, and update less often since the goal here are the rail network. Please check air-travel prices for your specific dates if possible. Note we also add 1h on the Air travel to account for check-in and luggage handling.
On JR Group, Trains and passes
Q 9. The train lines and passes are kind of expensive, can I go cheaper?
Absolutelly. First, you can choose non express/shinkansen lines, which are considerably cheaper (albeit slower). If that doesn't reduce your cost enough, you can try using night busses (check "include Bus lines", which will also add the Willer Express Bus pass in the comparisson), which not only are cheap, but can save you a night stay! Note, however, that a night bus ride can be tiring. It is all a question of cost and benefit. To check that, build your itinerary only with the Fast JR lines, then rebuild it using busses. The price difference will be astonishing, but keep in mind it will be slow and tiring to use only busses.Q 10. Can I use the JR Passes for local metro/trail?
You can use for all JR lines anywhere in the country (except Nozomi and Mizuho expresses). Note, however, that JR operates mostly the inter-city network, and its presence in intra-city metro/rail is limited, often totally absent in smaller towns. Cities with notable lines operating under JR include Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, though while present, do not offer lines to every point in the respective cities. You can visit a lot of Tokyo or Osaka using only JR lines, but if you don't use other private rail lines you would miss a lot. Also, do not expect to get your value back in metro lines, for instance, you would need to ride the Yamanote Loop Line some 110 times to pay for the 7-day JR passQ 11. What is the JR-Pass GREEN and is it worth it?
The JR-Pass GREEN is the equivalent of a good "business class" in airplanes. However, the normal cars are great already. Check this comparison for more details.Q 12. How do I purchase a JR-Pass?
Presently, you can but the JR-Pass only outside Japan. Look for a travel agency or site that seels it and purchase your exchange order (it will arrive by mail). Once in Japan, look for a JR Office (present on airports and big train stations) and switch the exchange order for the real Pass. You will need to specify the validity dates only when switching the pass in Japan.Q 13. How do I purchase one of the regional JR passes? (JR-west, JR-east, JR-kyushu)
You can buy these online, by travel agency or in a ticket office, and then pay and pick the pass at an "pick up station". Check the correspondent sites for details on how to purchase themQ 14. Does these JR-passes cover all trains?
No, only those lines operated by Japan Rail (JR). These are mostly the inter-city lines and some intra-city (metro) lines. While you can navigate most of Tokyo or Osaka using only JR metro lines, there are places you are better off using another private company. Check your itinerary and see if you will be using too many private rails, if you do, consider purchasing an ICOCA/SUICA card (in a train station in Japan). These do not offer economy, but are handy since you don't need to purchase tickets every trip, and some are accepted in 7-11 stores. Note there are some rare private lines the JR passes cover (like Tokyo Monorail to Haneda) while some JR express lines are not covered (Nozomi and Mizuho)Q 15. What is the official JR-Pass site? There are so many!
http://www.japanrailpass.net/ is the official site, which does not sells the pass.All other sites are from sellers of the JR-Pass voucher and offer different services and pricings, but are not officially linked to the JR GroupQ 16. I heard you can now buy the JR-Pass in Japan, is that true?
Yes, it is true!, however, the price comes at a steep 10% extra on top of the value if you purchased it before going to Japan, so try your best to purchase the pass before your travel to get maximum value.