RailStarting from October, Japan's popular JR Pass is set to cost 65% to 72% more for visitors.

Inflation is rail: Price hike for Japan Rail Pass

The nationwide rail passes will be affected, with regional passes remaining unchanged for now.
The nationwide rail passes will be affected, with regional passes remaining unchanged for now. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Natee Meepian

The Japan Railways (JR) Group, which operates Japan’s train system including the high-speed shinkansen bullet trains, has announced a significant price increase for the JR Pass from October 2023. A specific date has not been revealed.

The pass, which provides unlimited rides on Japan’s extensive train network at a fixed price, has been a cost-effective way for many travellers to explore the country.

The price hikes will only affect the nationwide rail passes, with regional passes remaining unchanged for now.

The cost of a regular seven-day pass, which covers all JR lines, will increase by 67%, from 29,650 yen to 50,000 yen. Meanwhile, the cost of a 21-day pass will rise by 65%, from 60,450 yen to 100,000 yen.

New prices for JR Pass

• Regular 7 days = 50,000 yen (current: 29,650) = 67% increase
• Regular 14 days = 80,000 yen (current: 47,250) = 69% increase
• Regular 21 days = 100,000 yen (current: 60,450) = 65% increase
• Green 7 days = 70,000 yen (current: 39,600) = 77% increase
• Green 14 days = 110,000 yen (current: 64,120/72,310) = 72% increase
• Green 21 days = 140,000 yen (current: 83,390) = 68% increase

The JR Group has stated that pass holders will be able to ride the fastest Nozomi and Mizuho trains at an additional cost, although pricing details for this have not yet been released. The group has also mentioned that it plans to offer more discounts at selected tourist spots.

The pass can be purchased based on the number of days the traveller plans to use it, ranging from seven to 21 days, as well as specific regions such as Hokkaido or Kansai. Only short-term tourists to Japan and Japanese citizens who do not reside in the country are allowed to purchase and use the pass.

While the pass has been a popular option for many tourists over the years, the price increase may make it less appealing. For example, even a round trip between Tokyo and Fukuoka, which costs around 45,000 yen by regular tickets, may not be enough for a seven-day pass to pay off. This may lead to alternative passes and modes of transportation gaining popularity, such as the Hokuriku Arch Pass and the JR West All Area Pass.

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