When exactly can I book tickets on the Japan Rail Pass?

The 7 Japan Rail Pass doesn’t depend on the time you exchange or use the pass but on the calendar day.  For example, if I swap my Exchange Order for the Japan Rail Pass on the 1st of January and I nominate the 4th of January as the day it becomes active this means I can now book tickets for any JR service departing from 12:01AM on the 4th of January to 11:59 PM on the 10th of January.  The 4th of January is considered “Day 1”, the 5th is “Day 2”, … , the 10th is “Day 7”.

If you swap your Exchange Order for your Japan Rail Pass on the 4thof January and you want to begin using it on the same day then you can use it from whenever you exchange it up until 11:59PM on the 10th of January.  

So you see, it doesn’t depend on the time of day of the exchange or activation but in the calendar day only.

In the example above I could book a train from Hiroshima to Tokyo if it departs at 11:59PM on the 7th of January even though most of the travel time and the arrival time will be on the 11th of January.  

However I couldn’t book a train from Yokohama to Tokyo if it departs at 00:01 on 8th of January as that would be outside the window (even though you’d be off the train sooner than you would if you departed from Yokohama).  The key is the departure date.

It’s the same for 14 and 21 day Japan Rail Passes as well.

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