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Japan Rail Pass and Narita Express Guide [JAN, 2020 updated]

Japan Rail Pass and Narita Express Travel Guide

Do you know about the Japan Rail Pass?

Are you coming to Narita international airport?

Japan Rail Pass in a discount Shinkansen ride pass for foreign tourists, one of the things you should consider to purchase for traveling to Japan, especially the main island.

Shinkansen is the most popular transportation system to travel around Japan.

Maximum speed reaches 320kms per hour, you can transfer from Tokyo to Osaka in 3 hours by Shinkansen ( Nozomi and Hikari ). Shinkansen are operated every 15-30 min so you don’t waste much time like the flight.

In this site, explain why you should get Japan Rail pass, how to activate, and about Narita Express.

Who needs the Japan Rail Pass

Japan map

Travelers who can get benefits from the pass

  • wants to travel to different cities on the main island as much as you can
  • wants to trave Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima
  • wants to use Shinkansen as transportation
  • wants to save money for transportation and use local JR trains

Travelers who don’t need…

  • not travel around the main island during the trip
  • not need to use Shinkansen
  • prefer other transportation than Shinkansen

Saving money?

The table below shows a non-reserved seat price in the regular season.

Hikari / KodamaNozomi
Tokyo (or Shinagawa)-
Shin Osaka
¥13,320 ¥13,870
Round trip¥26.640¥27,740
  • The piece shown is for non-reserved seat, the reserved seat price is different.
  • The price varies depends on the travel season.
  • The price shown is as of January in 2020.
  • Japan Rail pass holders can’t use NOZOMI Shinkansen.

How about Japan Rail Pass?

For 7 days¥29,650
For 14 days¥47,250
For 21 days¥60,450

Do you feel still pricey?

If you think about the Shinkansen ticket only, the regular price is cheaper, and especially you will not hop in different cities.

But this is the point, if you arrive at Narita airport, you may want to think about the Japan Rail Pass.

Narita Express

Narita Express

Narita express aka N’EX is the express train directly connected with major areas in Tokyo. It has comfortable seats, (enough leg room) luggage storage areas, and free wifi service.

It takes about 60 min between Narita airport and Tokyo, and also easy to transfer to Shinkansen because the same company (group) own both lines.

Thus, Narita Express is the fastest and easiest transportation to get to Tokyo.

Passengers need a special ticket for N’EX, which costs about ¥3,000 (¥6,000 round trip).

Since you have “Janapn Rail Pass” on your hand, so you don’t have to purchase the extra fee for N’EX.

Major station TimeAdult one-way
Ikebukuro 1 hr 33 min¥3,250
Shinjuku1 hr 24 min¥3,250
Shibuya1 hr 18 min¥3,250
Shinagawa79 min¥3,250
Tokyo sta.59 min¥3,070
  • The price varies depends on the travel season
  • The price shown is as of January in 2020
  • The regular reserved seat
  • To transfer to Shinkansen, you need to get off “Shinagawa” (Tokaido & Sanyo Line) or “Tokyo”.

If you use the Japan Rail Pass from Narita to Tokyo on the day you arrive, you’ve already saved money. (*Talking about for 7 days trip, Tokyo – Osaka)

Regular J Rail Pass
Tokyo sta.
  • For 7 days
  • Tokyo and Osaka Round trip
  • The regular season price for Adult

It’s multi-use all you can ride pass

japan railway company

Japan Rail Pass is a multi-use all-you-can-ride ticket which gives you unlimited access to all JR line trains, as well as JR bus services, ferry services, and Narita Express.

Japan Freight Railway Company aka JR is the largest transport company that covers most main transportation systems (except for subways ) throughout Japan.

You will have many chances to use JR line transportation especially when you visit the suburbs of popular cities during traveling in Japan.

Once you hold the pass, you don’t have to be freaked out to buy tickets every time using overground public transportation, so that it can give you a flexible trip without considering the budget.

Where to buy Japan Rail Pass?

You can purchase via official travel agencies in the world or the Jraipass website which is the partner company to deal with the pass.

In addition, the easiest way to purchase Japan Rail pass is via the “JRail pass official vendor website“, because it will be delivered to your home in your country and also cheaper price than purchasing in Japan.

Can you purchase the pass in Japan?

You can purchase certain ticket counter in certain places in Japan until March 31 in 2021.

However, the price is more expensive in Japan rather than in your country.

in Japanvia Jrail pass website
For 7days¥33,610 ¥29,650-¥3,960
For 14 days¥52,960 ¥47,250-¥5,710
For 21 days¥66,260¥60,450-¥5,810

JR EAST taravel center

jr east travel service center

Exchange the order to the actual pass

If you purchase Japan Rail Pass via official travel agencies or JRaill pass official vendor website,

You must exchange the “exchange order” delivered to you to the actual Japan Rail Pass, you cant use the “exchange order” without exchanging and activating the pass at the counter.

When you arrive at Narita airport

Go to the JR EAST travel service center to exchange your exchange order to the pass and also reserve the seat for Narita Express.

Where is located JR EAST travel center at Narita airport?

train narita*Narita airport terminal2

Terminal 1
Go to B1 following the sign, “Train”.
It located by the ticket gates of the JR line.
ou can see a big red sign.
Office hours: 8: 15 a.m. – 7 : 00 p.m.


Terminal 2,3
Go to B1 following the sign, “Train”.
It located by the ticket gates of the JR line.
You can see a big red sign.
Office hours: 8: 15 a.m. – 7 : 00 p.m.


There is a long line depends on the day and time, and you have to fill out the form. Give yourself plenty of time to get the pass.

Get on Narita Express

All passengers are required to reserve the seat before boarding.
Do not forget to reserve your seat when you activate the pass at the travel center.

Before leaving Narita Airport

If you have a suitcase, you may want to read this carefully.

It depends on the Shinkansen car type, most cars don’t have baggage storage.

You have to hold a suitcase (which doesn’t fit the overhead shelf) in your leg space or decks if you can’t get the seat in the last row.

Since May of 2020, you must reserve the seat with suitcases if needed.

The easiest way is using the delivery service to send your baggage to the hotel.

It is very easy to order online before leaving your country, you can drop off the baggage at the airport and travel with hand-free.


Japan Rail Pass gives you more opportunities to visit several cities in Japan by Shinkansen, and its route covers major sightseeing cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.

Moreover, even you can use JR local trains which cover suburbs throughout the country.

If you want to get the benefit from Japan Rail Pass, you need to be an active traveler a bit.

The Useful Video

• How to use Japan Rail Pass

Before leaving this site…

• Go west from Narita airport.

• Here is an advice to buy Narita Express ticket in a regular way

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