By now, we all know how much I love Japan and how jealous I am of their bullet train system. Remember, back in November, when I told you about how to buy a Japan Rail Pass (JRP)? Well, I want to take a second to spotlight the easy way of doing so.
Refresher: A JRP allows you to travel conveniently and comfortably throughout Japan via an extensive system of long-distance bullet trains, buses, and ferries. The pass gives you unlimited access to said transportation systems for either 7, 14, or 21 consecutive days. JRPs must be purchased BEFORE you arrive in Japan. Once you’re in the country, you won’t be able to get your hands on one and will have to buy individual train tickets instead.
When I was in Bangkok, I didn’t have the patience to find my way to a vendor that sold Japan Rail Passes. I’m a dot com kid so if I can, I’m more likely to buy something online than in person. More than that, I didn’t want to have to deal with any currency exchanges or language barriers that could lead to misunderstandings and surprises, especially with something as expensive as a JRP. Turning to my best friend, Google, I typed in “buy Japan Rail Pass online,” and the first to pop up was JRPass.com.
When I landed on their site, before I even looked around, I instantly knew I was going to order my passes from them. Greeted with a clean, simple design and easy to use interface, all the pertinent information (testimonials, FAQs, info about their service, etc.) is right there on the front page without all the extra fluff you see on a lot of websites these days.
Just like the Shinkansen trains themselves, JRPass.com customer service is efficient [and friendly]. When I had a question about my itinerary, I posted in the forums and received an answer within a couple of hours. Since I had been moving around so frequently, their quick response eased my anxiety over what would have been a drawn-out and frustrating process in a different country. Any questions you may have from how to use the rail pass to riding the trains are adressed under their travel tips section. If on the off chance that it’s not, you can use their contact form or forums to get answers usually within 24 hours.
In addition to their travel tips, they have videos and blogs that you can refer to during your journey throughout Japan. Their video on how to use Hyperdia is what really won me over. The video demonstrates how you narrow your search for train schedules that are covered by JRPs, something I wouldn’t have learned on my own. Had I not seen that video, at some point, I would have jumped on the wrong type of train and unexpectedly forked over all the yen in my wallet for my mistake.
They ship JRPs via FedEx to nearly every corner of the world, and the passes will be in your hands within 2-3 business days. Even though there is a $12 shipping charge tacked on to the final bill, it’s worth the time and convenience of ordering online. So for those of you who are visiting Japan soon and don’t have the time or patience like me to seek out a local JRP vendor, I’m going to turn you over to JRPass.com.
If I had any concerns over my experience using their service, I would tell you, but because my interaction with them was so seamlessly brief, I don’t have any complaints. Ever since they faithfully delivered my passes days before I was scheduled to move on from Bangkok, for any of my future JRP needs, they’ve earned my loyalty.
Disclaimer: Many thanks to JRPass.com for providing me a comped 7-day JR Pass for my upcoming trip to Japan. As always, all experiences and opinions are my own.