Can I use the Japan Rail Pass to travel on local trains and city metro systems?

Yes, you can ride all JR trains using your Japan Rail Pass including the Hikari bullet train as well as the slower local trains.  The only trains you can’t catch are the Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains.

However in the cities there are also subway and private railways operating. Your Japan Rail Pass does not cover these trains.

Some examples of metro (subway) trains you can use are:


  • JR Yamanote Line
  • JR Chuo Line
  • JR Narita Express Line


  • JR Osaka Loop Line.


  • JR Chuo Line
  • JR Kansai Line

It is important to note that in cities there can be several different private companies running different subway and private lines alongside the government run lines. Remember to look for the JR sign when using your Japan Rail Pass.

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Have another question?  Visit our Japan Rail Pass FAQ page or contact us for a conversation.