Monday, January 29, 2018

How to Buy a JR Pass (A Step By Step Guide)

Decided to buy a JR Pass for your trip to Japan? Congratulations, that's a brilliant move. Now, off to the big questions: WHEN? WHERE? HOW?
 Exclusive discount for my dear readers: add the promo code KLOOKMHF to get RM15 off!


       I recommend buying 2 weeks to a month in advance so that you have enough time to shop around for the best deal, as well as 2+ extra months in case you need to postpone the trip.
       Be aware that you cannot purchase the pass too far in advance because you’ll only have 3 months validity period to exchange the actual pass.
       Similarly, buying it too close to your departure day is risky. Although I received my exchange voucher via registered mail 5 days after I booked it online, there are external factors that might slow down this process (for example, public holidays, natural disasters etc.)


       You can buy it either online or through a certified JRPass distributor (registered local travel agencies.)
       Mine is from Klook, as I found them offering the JRpass at the lowest market price. Also, reviews are excellent.
       If you do have problems with anything, feel free to inquire via their live-chat. I found the staff at Klook very responsive. Basically, someone will attend to my inquiry within 2 seconds.


Step 1: Select your desired pass

7, 14 and 21 days JR passes are on the market. After deciding on the pass duration, you need to choose between Ordinary pass (standard carriage) and Green pass (first class carriage.)

Step 2: Choose your country, delivery/pick-up options

Self pick-up is can only be done in Singapore and HongKong!

Step 2: Enter your dates and quantity

2.1. The date you intend to exchange your Exchange Order for the actual JR Pass in Japan. It don't have to be exact.

2.2. Select how many adults and child. Remember, children 12 and above are considered adults, 5-11 pay half price and below 5 travel for FREE (but they are not entitled to a seat)!

2.3. After that, a check-out prompt will pop out at your right. click BOOK NOW.

Step 3: Enter your address  

Then, enter your house address. The Exchange order is promised to be delivered within 7 business days via registered mail.

Step 4: Enter your personal details. 

Just treat buying a JRpass like a flight ticket purchase. Your information has to be exactly as they appear on your passport. If not, your exchange order will be invalid and you will not be able to exchange for a JRpass in Japan.

4.1 I faced some problems trying to enter my Date of Birth. I reached out to Klook and got to know the right way. If you are bad in filling in online form like myself, this is how to do it.
       4.1.1 Click the (Month+Year) tab at the center to change the year.
       4.1.2 Click the back arrow until you reach your birth year.

       4.1.3 Choose Month

       4.1.4 Choose Date and done.

Step 5: Check before submitting and pay! 

You need to check everything attentively before clicking “Pay Now”.
5.1. If you are a recurrent Klook user, you can pay with your remaining Klook credits!
5.2. If you have a promo code, use it to claim discount!
       5.2.1 An exclusive discount for my dear readers: use the promo code KLOOKMHF to get RM15 off!

5.3. If you need to amend anything after that, reach out to Ask Klook immediately, providing your booking number and the changes you need to make.
Ask Klook can be found at the right lower corner of every page. 

Note about changes: 
  • If the exchange order had been sent out by that time, you need to pay handling and postage fee to make changes. 
  • If changes are made 30 days after a booking is placed, a 10% change fee (of the cost of your JR Pass) will also apply.

Step 6: Check your email. 

You should receive an email from Klook containing a Klook Voucher after successfully placing your booking. The voucher will act as a reminder if you’ve opted for mailing. If you have selected a pickup option from Klook office, you only need this to redeem your Exchange Order.

Step 7: Wait for the Exchange Order via registered mail. 

This is an Exchange Order which will be sent to you. This is the document you have to present to the JRpass office in Japan in order to get the actual JR pass. You cannot exchange for a JRpass with the Klook Voucher!

Step 8: Board the plane to Japan

Remember to bring your exchange order. Check it once, twice, thrice!!!

Step 9: Redeem the actual JR Pass

Upon arrival, go to a JR Pass counter (at designated stations) with your Exchange order and original passport to get your JR Pass.  The staff will need to check your details and see your temporary visitor stamp. Thus, photocopies of passport are not accepted.

About refund

Can I refund the pass if I cancel my trip?
Yes, emergencies happen and in most cases, you might need to postpone your trip or cancel it entirely.
You need to present the Exchange order to Klook. Unredeemed vouchers can be refunded within 11 months of being issued. But this will require a cancellation fee (10% of the pass price).

What if I can’t present the voucher?
Unfortunately, Klook will not offer refunds in case of lost, damaged or stolen vouchers.

I got my Rail Pass in Japan. However, I did not get to use the trains since many were suspended due to Earthquakes. 
Klook will not be able to refund your pass under these situations. Local schedule changes and suspended services are unforeseen.

Then will Klook be responsible for the extra cost incurred due to the suspension of JR? 
There will be no compensation relating to accommodation, meals, transportation or other expenses incurred due to the rail suspension.

There you go, now, you can activate (anytime within 30 days) and start using the pass!
To learn more about the pass, read: Everything you have to know about JR Pass
Do you need a JR Pass: Is the JR Pass Worth It? 
To get itineraries: 

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Thank You for Reading! 
This post is made possible by Klook
As always, it is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience.

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