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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Japan Rail Pass

"Preparing itinerary for Japan is the LONGEST time I’ve ever taken in my life! Almost 3 weeks and still, 90% complete!”

What a statement from hubby, when he forced me to get involve in preparing the details. (Well, I jumped in when it was 60% ready.) While he’s cracking his head for the route, hotel, and transportation, my job is to comment/feedback and compile all the shits. No, a-ah, it wasn’t easy ok…I have to adjust the column, the margin, the font, the map size, OK, FINE, call me indexer or administrator or whatever you want, but I do play part in producing the masterpiece (A Tour Cookbook @ Buku Hikmat).

*Cough* Let’s change topic.

What is Japan Rail Pass?
Obviously, it’s…….a…….rail…..pass! Pfft! A ticket for you to ride trains from end to end a.k.a, “THE” key to convenient sightseeing in Japan.

Who is eligible for this pass?
Me, hubby, you, your family, your neighbor, your Malaysian friends, your African friends, as long as he/she is a foreign tourist who visits Japan, under the status of “TEMPORARY VISITOR”. Japanese? CANNOT! *Read my lips* CANNNNNOOOOT!

Why bother buying this pass?
It is INCREDIBLY economical way to travel throughout Japan VIA rail, with TERMS AND CONDITIONS apply. It covers every corner of the four major islands, so, for those who wish to touch-and-go, GO FOR IT! (I know, train supposed to be the cheapest transportation in other countries, but speaking of Shinkansen, it isn’t cheap.)

What option do you have?
There are two types of Japan Rail Pass, Green or Ordinary. A.k.a, the rich or the poor. Both available in 7-day, 14-day, and 21-day. The longer duration you choose, the more tears coming out from your eyes. Green means superior class (told you it's for the richer, confirm got seat oneeeeee) while ordinary means ordinary la, no reserved seating (but can try, I'll confirm it later ya?)
37,800 YEN
18,900 YEN
28,300 YEN
14,150 YEN
61,200 YEN
30,600 YEN
45,100 YEN
22,550 YEN
79,600 YEN
39,800 YEN
28,850 YEN

How to obtain this pass?
China, Mexico, New Zealand, pick a country, as long as it is OUTSIDE Japan. For Malaysian, there are two ways of buying this pass, either from JTB or certified agents like Wendy Tours and J-Horizons. Visiting Matta Fair would be another option but it’s all depends on the currency exchange. The price is fixed, JPY28,300. It’s the matter of how low you can convert it into Malaysian Ringgit. For a cheapskate like me, calling the authorized sales office EVERYDAY, comparing the prices with Matta Fair, and waiting Ringgit became stronger, is soooooo worth it! Wendy Tour offered the lowest, which equivalent to RM1,035, thrashing JTB with RM1,075 and J-Horizon with RM1,160.

What do you need and get before the pass turns into a ticket?
Let’s take Wendy Tour as a sample. Go to their office, bring your passport and show them the moneyyyyy. An “exchange order” will be issued by a very helpful-but-limited English-speaking Japanese, alongwith one Japan Rail Pass pamphlet! F**king piece of pamphlet after you paid one thousand Ringgit??? (And I thought USS A4 printout was the most expensive paper that I ever had.) But don’t be too excited to get it one year before your travel date ya, for it is valid within THREE MONTHS of your purchase date.
Suite 1306-B, 13th Floor Central Plaza,
34 Jln Sultan Ismail 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
TEL 03-21454518 FAX 03-21454517     
How to turn it into a ticket?
Daijoubu…I’ll confirm it once I do this in Japan, neh? Yatta! *Doing peace sign* For now, let’s stick to the common info. You have to present this so-called “exchange order” WITH your passport, to any reservation office, Midori-no-madoguchi (pic below) in Japan. This office can be found at any major stations, such as Tokyo Station, Shibuya Station, Kyoto Station, depending on your location.

When the travel date starts?
Try your best to speak with the Japanese at the reservation office on when you want it to be activated. You can also reserve a seat, but I am yet to check whether it is free or chargeable. *Doing peace sign* If you are traveling in 7 days, you can start using it immediately. If you are traveling in 9 days, prepare to rip off your pocket for the balance of 2 days. Regardless it is 2 days earlier, or 2 days later, the pass starts CONSECUTIVELY. So please plan your itinerary VERY well.

What type of train can you enjoy?
ANY train with JR logo, including few limited express, express, rapid and local trains, with some EXCEPTIONS. But NEVER EVER, EVER, try your luck to ride the fastest bullet trains called “Nozomi” and “Mizuho”, coz they aren’t covered in the Shinkansen lines. Cannnnnnnn…you can tryyyyyyy…but pay la. Even the seat in local train you have to pay, you think they will give you easy-easy take bullet train mehhhh? Not to worry, the duration isn’t much different…30-45 minutes jer.

And I SWEAR, I’m going to use this pass to the max! Gile ko! Kalau tak naik turun, naik turun lebih 30 kali, memang aku marah. Hahaha!



Ely Hasrul said...

aku xdek african fren hihi... tiap kali guna pas kena amik gambo.. haha

Ako Retna said...

ermm tingin gak nak naik tren ms kat nz tapi tapi erkk...

Unknown said...

Hehehehe, counting days je dah ni nk melenjan JR pass kaw2..

Ako: Kt NZ ko naik scenic train yg TranzAlpine tu je le, tp bukan laju tahap shinkansen..

Biqque said...

ako, kat NZ naik keta jerrrrr best woooo hahaha! kalo scenic tu bleh la bak kata na :)

na, tu la nak lenjan kaw2...jgn sampai kena halau sbb terlebih sudah dah la...hahaha!

Ren said...

wow kompom dah termimpi2 ni !!! jangan termimpi kari sudeh hehehee

Biqque said...

aku bleh idup kat negara2 yg ada sup dan ikan tapi laki aku bleh idup kat negara2 yg kari dan roti. harap2 bleh survive la makan ikan kat sana :D

Anash said...

iye..saya ada kawan afrika
iye..saya pernah pergi mehico(mexico)
iye..saya tak cukup duit nak pegi jepun
iye..saya doakan semoga perjalanan anda selamat pegi balik
iye..pehal la skema komen ini?
iye..sekian harap maklum...
iye..saya suka penerangan simple ini (lupa nak komen)

3plepl8 said...

1k for tren? gila....agak2 bullot tren jepang ni ada air free tak mcm kt beijing? speaking of kari and roti....kari n roti...boleh bikin lagu nih.

Biqque said...

kak anash, saya tau, ANDA jua bleh mengikuti jejak langkahku :)

3plepl8, gile kan? tak kasi air ngan makan plak tu! haih...

Diana Diane Teo said...

Bah Biqque, kau cuba check my blog to see how is the real JR Pass looks like

Biqque said...

great! tx diana :D now i know what to expect!


hi biqque just back frm japan 2 weeks ago...jr railpass ni mmg berbaloi2 sgt..if u x beli mmg pening la asyik nk kuar duit...and as u know tokyo expensive..and lg berbaloi jr pass ni klau u guna gi osaka-kyoto-yokohama...naik la shinkansen tu berkali2 tau..hehe..and kt tokyo pun boleh pakai JR line tp kena la pandai2..hope enjoy!!

Biqque said...

shasha, i beli JR pass tu, mmg berbaloi2! kitorang beli jugak metro pass, tozai pass, enoden pass, ikut kesesuaian tempat2 :)

and we ARE enjoying japan, best gile kan! :D

chingbibi said...

Dear Biqque,

Wendy Tour ade opened on weekend?
Thank you~


chingbibi said...

hehe, just checked Wendy Tour website, ade buka on Sat~ anyway,i like your blog !

Biqque said...

chingbibi, great! have fun in japan ok :)

Shycs JB boy said...

Thanks for your candid write-up about JR Pass. Been there few times but on business trips, meaning my company always took care of the petty stuff like train tickets, hotels and taxis.

Never thought having to organize the trip myself will be a nightmare. I might as well take Japanese language.

I suppose the Swiss is still the best when it comes to country-wide train-journey tickets. Their Swiss-Pass will cover both inter-city trains as well as metropolitan trams, buses and underground trains in big cities like Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bern and Lucerne. Even the Japanese cannot beat the Swiss on this.

Biqque said...

shycs, how i wish i can visit swiss in the near future. few of my friends did experience the swiss-pass and i'm pretty sure that it will be breathtaking compared to jrail pass (i mean the view) hehehe!

yeah, it is good if u know nihongo but still, knowing not of the language, u still can survive there :)

Ampang Rangers said...

The fixed price of JR Pass is not true, especially when foreigners can only buy in other currency than Yen. So everybody kena ketuk by the agents on exchange rate.

Today Wendytour's price for JR Pass is RM990, but we found online MarcoPolo European-based agent selling at Euro 205 + 4 postage fee. At 4.385 exchange rate, the price is RM916 per ticket. That means for three tickets we saved RM 256.

Biqque said...

ampang rangers, agree that it based on currency doubt about that :)

Anonymous said...

Now Wendy Tour yang paling mahal at 990 while the rest at 950 and JTB at 920...hehehe

- Awin

Biqque said...

awin, noted. will keep on looking for the cheaper one sbb nak pegi lagi ujung tahun ni hehe...

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