Prices are set to increase by around 70% in October 2023.
Today (30 September) marks the final day for tourists to purchase Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) at current prices before a significant price increase takes effect.
Starting 1 October, the JR Pass will be subject to a 70% price increase.
If you plan a trip to Japan before the end of the year, you can still purchase the pass at the current price if you act quickly.
The process usually involves placing an order online, receiving an exchange order, and activating the pass in Japan.
Key Factors and New Perks for Pass Holders
The JR Pass is a popular and cost-effective means of exploring Japan by train and is particularly popular among Malaysians.
According to a report by Japan Today, one of the key factors contributing to the price hike is the decline in the yen value compared to other currencies.
Rising energy costs and increasing maintenance and operational expenses for the railway network have also played a role in the decision.
The price increase will affect all types of Japan Rail Passes, with the largest percentage increase being 77% for the 7-day Green pass (first class).
However, Japan Railways (JR) has stated that new perks will be introduced along with the price adjustment for JR Pass holders.
However, pass holders must purchase a special ticket and pay a supplement per journey to travel on these trains.
The new prices will include discounts at various attractions across Japan. This expansion of discounts aims to provide additional value to JR Pass holders.
Is purchasing a Japan Rail Pass recommended before the upcoming price increase?
If you plan to travel to Japan before the end of December to take advantage of the current favourable pricing, there are a few important things to remember.
Firstly, ensure that the information provided for your JR Pass is completely accurate and matches your passport information.
After the price increase on 1 October, JR will not accept any modifications on passes purchased before that date and will only allow a new pass to be issued.
This means that if you need to make any changes to your JR Pass order, it will be voided, and you will have to purchase a new JR Pass at the increased price.
Secondly, ensure that your arrival date in Japan falls within the 3-month window for exchanging your JR Pass after placing your order.
While purchasing your JR Pass at the lowest price is best, don’t rush too much.
For instance, if you purchase your JR Pass on 9 September for an arrival date in Japan of 20 December, you’ll have missed the 3-month window, and your pass will no longer be valid.