Reminder: Japan Rail Pass Prices to Increase by up to 77% in October (Buy Tickets Now to Save on Trips This Year)

Shinkansen at mount Fuji and Shibazakura, Shizuoka

Japan is a fascinating country – and the train is the ideal means of transport to explore it. This is also due to the fact that tourists can travel through the country comparatively cheaply and comfortably with the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass for short).

In the future, however, travellers will have to calculate more precisely whether the pass is worthwhile for them at all, because Japan Rail yesterday announced a hefty price increase. Starting this fall, passes for foreigners will get between 65% and 77% more expensive. This should make it unattractive for many purposes.

Order By the End of the Month – For Travel Until December 2023

There are two crucial deadlines to save money: You have to purchase your pass before October 1 to get the prices before they increase. Then, you need to travel to Japan and activate your pass on site within 90 days after purchase. It is not possible to buy the pass now and activate it in 2024. But if you are travelling to Japan in October, November or December 2023, you can save a lot of money by ordering within the next ten days.

At time of writing, Klook offers the best prices for JR Rail passes, selling the coveted tickets for €188. The site allows you to choose the activation date of your pass yourself, issuing it on the last possible date if needed.

Aside from Klook, there are plenty of other vendors selling the passes.

  • Ordering via Klook:
    • Starting at €188 for a one-week-pass
    • Sales period: probably until September 30, 2023
    • Activation period: All dates up to December 28, 2023
  • Ordering via
    • Starting at €193 for a one-week-pass
    • Sales period: probably until September 30, 2023
    • Activation period: max. 90 days after ordering
  • Ordering via
    • Starting €196 for a one-week-pass
    • Sales period: until September 27, 2023
    • Activation period: max. 90 days after ordering

All vendors must issue the Exchange Voucher (which is exchanged for the actual rail pass in Japan) until September 30, 2023, to get the old prices. Because of that, we strongly recommend ordering the pass at least two or three days before the deadline.

On the official JR website it’s merely possible to order passes 30 days ahead of activation. That means you can only order for trips in October or earlier. To order for trips in November or December, the best choice is one of the vendors above.

New Prices From October 2023

The information about the price increase comes from a press release by JR. According to it, the prices are expected to look like this from October 2023:

ClassDurationOld price
(travel agency)
Old price
New priceIncrease1
Standard7 daysJP¥29,650 (~€187)¥33.610JP¥50,000 (~€316)+69%
Standard14 daysJP¥47,250 (~€299)¥52.960JP¥80,000 (~€506)+69%
Standard21 daysJP¥60,450 (~€382)¥66.200JP¥100,000 (~€632)+65%
Green7 daysJP¥39,600 (~€250)¥44.810JP¥70,000 (~€443)+77%
Green14 daysJP¥64,120 (~€405)¥72.310JP¥110,000 (~€696)+72%
Green21 daysJP¥83,390 (~€527)¥91.670JP¥140,000 (~€885)+67%
Comparison of old and new JR Rail Pass prices | Footnote 1 – compared to the price at the travel agency

The reason for the price increase is, among other things, the continuous expansion of the route network and new technology at the stations alongside global inflation and the weak Yen. But that seems a bit far-fetched for such a massive price hike.


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Alternatives to the JR Pass

While the JR Pass is a convenient and enjoyable option for travelling around Japan – even now, it’s not always worth it. If you only travel to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, it may be a little cheaper to buy individual tickets. However, the pass offers the possibility of taking flexible (day) trips to e.g. Sendai, Nagoya or Hiroshima, which you would otherwise not have thought of.

Luckily there are other passes that are worth checking out. There are numerous regional train passes, especially from JR West and East, which then cover individual regions. They are already attractive and are likely to remain so. Of course, there can still be price increases there.


The weak yen, low inflation and attractive train passes are currently good reasons to travel to Japan. In the future, probably only two of these reasons will remain. The Rail Pass, which is valid nationwide, will only be worthwhile in a few cases. Meanwhile, domestic flights are becoming more attractive – because tourists from abroad also get good discounts there.

Source: r/japantravel

Cover Picture: ©Blanscape -

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