Reevaluating the Value: Is the Japan Rail Pass Still Worth Buying in 2024?

Reevaluating the Value: Is the Japan Rail Pass Still Worth Buying in 2024? Tips

Your guidebook says that you should buy a JRP if you want to visit Japan! in your guidebook? In the past, of course, that would have been correct. Unfortunately, things changed drastically in October 2023, when many rail passes, including the JRP, went up in price. In fact, you may not need to buy any of these passes? Read this article and decide.

Types and Prices of Japan Rail Pass


The only difference between a standard car and a green car is the size of the seat, and no meals, etc. are provided. If you want to spend your travel time in comfort, the Green Car is better, but for me personally, the standard car is sufficient since the train interior in Japan is more comfortably built than in other countries.

Who should buy JRP

1. People who want to travel a wide area

People who want to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Kyushu. People who want to visit both Hokkaido and Kyoto.

2. People who want to travel long distances by train.

For example, it takes 7 to 8 hours from Tokyo to Sapporo in Hokkaido by train. By the way, it takes about 90 minutes by plane.

3. People who make day trips based in Tokyo.

You can stay in your hotel in Tokyo, take a day trip to Kyoto today, and go to Osaka tomorrow. If you buy a pass, you can do this.

4. People who just love trains and want to ride many trains

There are many unique trains in Japan. Shinkansen of course, If you want to ride not only Shinkansen but also more tourist trains and local trains, you should definitely use the pass.You can take a lot of trains with the pass!

People who should NOT buy JRP

1. People whose destination is only Kyoto or Osaka

Stay in Tokyo for a few days, then move to Kyoto or Osaka and back to Tokyo again.If that’s all you do, the pass is too much.

2. People who choose the pass because it is a hassle to buy every single ticket.

That is the most unwise choice. If you are traveling a short distance, you should buy a Suica card.If you want to travel a short distance, you should buy a Suica card. It is surprisingly easy to buy a ticket for the Shinkansen, so don’t worry about it.

3 . People who fly in to Tokyo and out of Kansai Airport on the way back.

In other words, you only need a one-way trip from Tokyo to Osaka. You don’t need to buy a pass even if you are planning to go to Hiroshima.

4. People who think “With this, I can go anywhere, right?”

Unfortunately, JRP is not a panacea. There are many railway companies in Japan besides JR. There are many railway companies in Japan besides JR, but you can’t ride on them.

JR East Pass is also convenient


If you want to visit areas north of Tokyo, this pass is perfect for you! Enjoy the lesser-known Tohoku area!


Choose this pass if you want to visit the attractive Nagano and Niigata areas. There are many ski resorts in this area, and this pass is recommended for ski lovers.


If you are planning to visit Tokyo and other sightseeing spots in the suburbs, this is the pass for you. If you want to visit Nikko, Kawaguchiko, Kamakura, etc., buy this pass! If 3 days is too short, you can buy 2 passes.


7days ¥24,500(until 15 March 2024) ¥30,000(from 16 March 2024)

It is cheaper than Japan Rail Pass, and you can go to Kyoto! It is easy to be tempted by the Hokuriku Arch Pass, which is cheaper than the JRP and allows you to visit Kyoto. However, the Hokuriku Arch Pass does not allow you to take the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto.  The journey takes about five hours. Compared to the Shinkansen, it takes twice as long.

You should buy it if you want to go back to Tokyo after sightseeing in Kanazawa or Fukui, or if you want to go to Kyoto or Osaka. If you are buying it just to go to Kyoto or Osaka, you will lose time. Of course, if your purpose is to save money, it is possible.

Buying a Shinkansen ticket is easy!

Ticket Office

JR ticket offices are called Midori-no-Madoguchi. You can purchase tickets while consulting face to face. If you have language barriers, you will probably be fine. Even staff who do not speak English can communicate with you using a tablet or translator.

Online Reservation

JR EAST Hokkaido, Tohoku, Tokyo area

JR-EAST Train Reservation | Ticketing | JR-EAST
JR-EAST: JR-EAST Train Reservation

JR CENTRAL Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka

Central Japan Shinkansen / Train Portal
This is Official "Central Japan" Shinkansen / Train Portal site operated by Central Japan Railway Company. You can book ...

JR WEST Kanazawa, Naoshima, Hiroshima

Reserve tickets online in advance for use throughout West Japan and beyond!

Still need a Suica?

When you ride JR lines in the Tokyo area, you can use your pass. Then, what about when you take other subways, private railways, or buses? It’s not easy to buy a ticket every time, so we recommend you to have a Suica.

For the latest information on Suica cards, go to this article.