So who is eligible for a Japan Rail Pass?
You're eligible if you are a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing, under the entry status of "Temporary Visitor".
"Temporary Visitor" entry status, according to Japanese Immigration 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 as "Temporary Visitor," as shown here. Only people who have a passport bearing this
stamp can use a Japan Rail Pass.
IMPORTANT: Even if you visit Japan with an Exchange Order, to be turned in for a Japan Rail Pass, the exchange cannot be made unless you have "Temporary Visitor" status: if you enter Japan under any other official status,
such as "Trainee," "Entertainer," or "Reentry Permit," you cannot change the Exchange Order for a Japan Rail 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.
You are a Japanese national living outside of Japan:
- Who is qualified to live permanently in that country, or
- Who is married to a non-Japanese residing in a country
other than Japan.
Note: To purchase an exchange order or redeem your Exchange Order for a Japan Rail Pass, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility as described below.
People meeting condition (1) must provide written proof of the following:
- Permanent resident status
- Residence outside of Japan
People meeting condition (2) must provide written proof of the following:
- Residence outside of Japan.
- Marriage to a non-Japanese individual.
- Residence of their non-Japanese spouse outside of Japan.
Even if an applicant presents electronic data or other documentation, establishing their compliance with conditions 1 and 2 above, the pass may be denied if the clerk is unable to verify that compliance.
Similarly, applicants with dual citizenship in Japan and another country will not be able to turn in their Exchange Order for a Pass if they entered Japan on their Japanese passport.
Please note: If you are a Japanese national or hold dual nationality passports then please click here to read the eligibility rules BEFORE purchasing the Japan Rail Pass.
There is also further advice in this JRP Public Notice.