What is the JR West Pass? Who can buy?
A train pass specially designed for overseas tourists in the Kansai
area. There are three distinct types of rail passes. Available to travel-
ers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sightseeing.
What is the JR West Pass?
The JR West Pass is an interesting twist in service provided for temporary
visitors (90 days or less) to Japan. There are three distinct types of rail passes available for travel within the JR-West Area: Kansai Area Pass, Sanyo-San’in Area Pass and Kansai WIDE Area Pass.
Who can buy a JR West Pass?
The JR West Pass is a special pass, only available to travelers
visiting Japan from foreign countries for sightseeing. You must
hold a passport issued by a foreign government and enter Japan
as a “Temporary Visitor”, which is a status of residence defined
under Japanese immigration law.
"Temporary visitor" entry status, according to Japanese Immigra-
tion Law, allows a stay in Japan of 15 days or 90 days for "sight-
seeing, etc.". If you apply for a "stay for sight-seeing" when you
enter Japan, entry personnel will stamp your passport "temporary
visitor". Only persons who have a passport bearing this stamp can
use a JR West Pass.
* Japanese citizens living abroad can not use this pass.
* If you hold both a Japanese passport and a passport of another
country (Dual Citizenship), please be sure to enter Japan with the
non-Japanese passport and obtain the "temporary visitor" stamp to
be eligible to exchange.
Even if you visit Japan with an Exchange Order, to be turned in for a JR
West Pass, the exchange cannot be made unless you have "temporary
visitor" status; if you enter Japan under any other official status, such
as "trainee" or "entertainer", you can not change the Exchange Order for
a JR West Pass.
Please note that according to strict interpretation of the Japanese
Immigration Law, "temporary visitor" status differs even from other types
of stays that are also for only short time periods.
When you exchange to JR West Pass, you must submit the original
Exchange Order. A copy is not acceptable.
How to obtain? How to use?
Purchase an Exchange Order before you leave for Japan
and exchange the voucher in Japan. You are able to purchase the
voucher through the JTB USA website
- Purchase an Exchange Order before you come to Japan
You need to purchase a JR West Pass Exchange Order from an
authorized sales agent in the US prior to your arrival in Japan. JTB
USA is one of a few authorized sales agents for Japan's National
Railway Group and offers a full selection of rail pass options.
- Present your Exchange Order and obtain your JR West Pass
after you arrive in Japan
Upon arrival in Japan, you need to turn in the Exchange Order to
receive your JR West Pass at an applicable JAPAN RAIL station that
has a JR West Pass exchange office..
- Let's use the JR West Pass!
JR West Pass available for travel within the JR-West Area.
Items to Remember at time of use
Please Keep in Mind the Following When Using the JR West Pass
- You must show your passport when exchanging the
ticket voucher for the JR West Pass. The voucher
exchange and the starting date for the rail pass must be
within three months from the date of voucher issue
(starting with the day of issue). The JR West Pass is
only valid for the person whose name is on the pass.
The pass cannot be transferred to another person.
- Refunds for ticket vouchers and JR West Pass: A ticket
voucher may be returned to the place of issue for a
refund up to one year from the date of issue.
Processing charges will be deducted from the amount
refunded. JR West Pass can be refunded at the location
where the pass was obtained, but only prior to the
starting date of the pass. A processing fee of 10% of
the amount of the pass (in Japanese yen) will be
deducted from the amount refunded. The minimum
processing fee is 210 yen, regardless of the amount of
the refund. Absolutely no refunds will be made after the
starting date of the pass.
- No changes can be made to the information on ticket
vouchers or JR West Passes.
- Lost or stolen ticket vouchers and JR West Passes
cannot be reissued.
- Other usage conditions may be subject to the
passenger transport regulations established by the
West Japan Railway Co. (JR-West) as well as to the laws
of Japan. The ticket voucher is also subject to the rules
and regulations of the company that issued the voucher.
JR West-Kansai Area Pass
Excursion Pass for the Kyoto-Osaka-
This pass allows unlimited use of the ordinary-class cars (including rapid-service and special rapid-service trains) when traveling in the Kansai area to Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Himeji, and the many other famous sightseeing locations of the area.
Kansai Area Pass Description
Passes starting at one day, up to 4 days (consecutive days)
are available. These passes allow unlimited travel, within the designated area,
using non-reserved seats in ordinary-class cars on local trains operated by JR-West (including rapid-express and new rapid-express trains). This pass can not be used for Shinkansen trains. When boarding limited-express and express trains other than Shinkansen trains, a ticket for the additional charges for these trains must also be purchased separately.
See a map for the detail.https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/pass/kansai/
JR West-Sanyo-San'in Area Pass
Excursion Pass for between Shin-Osaka and Hakata,
San’in (5 prefecture in Chugoku), and Takamatsu, in addition to the Kansai Area.
This pass can be used in the ordinary-class
cars for 500-Series "Nozomi" and other
Sanyo Shinkansen trains (reserved or
non-reserved seats) while traveling in the
Sanyo area to such famous sightseeing
locations as Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima, and
Sanyo-San’in Area Pass Description
- These passes allow unlimited use within the designated area, of the following trains
operated by JR West: "Nozomi", “MIizuho”, "Hikari",”Sakura” "Kodama", Sanyo Shinkansen super express trains, "Haruka" limted express trains, ordinary cars of local trains(both reserved
and non-reserved seating) and the Miyajima ferry line in Hiroshima.
* When using reserved seats, you must obtain a reserved seat ticket (at no extra
charge) from a JR-West ticket office "Green Window" or a TiS travel center prior
to boarding the train.
See a map for the detail.
JR West-Kansai WIDE Area Pass
What is the JR West-Kansai WIDE Area Pass?
For the travelers who are planning to travel around wide Kansai area, the JR West-Kansai WIDE Area Pass is the most economical and useful pass. Compared to the Kansai Area Pass, this pass offers you unlimited ride to much larger area. With the pass you can travel from the Kansai Area (Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe) to Kansai Airport, the Okayama area, the Nanki area, and the Kinosaki onsen (hot springs)
Valid area of the JR West-Kansai WIDE Area Pass
The JR West-Kansai WIDE Area Pass is valid for unlimited travel in the following area: Non-reserved seats on Bullet train “Sanyo Shinkansen (Shin-Osaka ⇔Okayama)”, Kounotori, Hamakaze, Kansai-airport express Haruka, Kinosaki, Thunder Bird, Kuroshio.
See a map for the detail.
The following trains cannot be used.
Bullet Train "TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN" (Shin-Osaka⇔Tokyo),
Bullet Train "SANYO SHINKANSEN" (Okayama⇔Hakata),
Bullet Train "KYUSHU SHINKANSEN" (Hakata⇔Kagoshima-Chuo)
More Information about the JR Pass
If you have questions, please contact your local JTB branch or call the phone number below.
JTB Reservation Center :
Office hour : 9:00 - 22:00 Eastern Time (Mon-Sun) E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org