♠ Not Your Language? Click Me ♠



Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
For sponsorship, collaborations and engagements: arisa1443@gmail.com

Flex Rail Ticket | Discounted Shinkansen tickets for Foreigners Living in Japan

Yes you read this title correctly and it's not a clickbait!
Such great accidental discovery, it would be a crime not to share this information because FINALLY there is a special discount pass that us foreigners living in Japan (holding a Zairyuu / PR / Work Visa card) can use!

Discounted Shinkansen tickets for Foreigners Living in Japan (really?)

Why didn't they come out with this much sooner?? Lately there are many foreigners living in Japan, either because we started a family here (like me) or for work purposes, and one of the hardest fact to give up was the luxury of being able to purchase discount rail passes which are only meant for temporary visitors, but Flex Rail pass can be purchased by both temporary visitors & foreign residents in Japan.
Well better later than never, at least now we know that there IS a discount ticket we can use!

When i first met my husband, he barely left Kyoto; almost 3 decades of his life living here but never really explored other parts of Japan until he met me who is crazy enough to join a friend on this 47 prefecture ("cult") mission lol. One of the reasons why he as a Japanese don't really have much interests in exploring other parts is because traveling costs inbound is expensive for Japanese citizens, they have to pay full price for everything compared to foreign travelers who can make use of these special JR rail passes, etc.
For the same cost or lesser they (Japanese) could visit places like Malaysia, Thailand or Hawaii instead of going to different prefectures in Japan. Totally relatable because if i was a Japanese who grew up in Japan, i too would do the same too😂 rather see the world than my own country lol.
I might be a Malaysian but i have Japanese friends living in Malaysia who have visited all 13 states and know my country inside out compared to me.

So back to the Flex Rail Ticket, it is a new ticket system introduced earlier this year in Spring (April 2019) and it's only available by JR Tokai Tours. You can't purchase it from the normal JR ticketing counters.

Please visit your nearest JR Tokai Tour Office and let them know that you would like to purchase this ticket. They do have English speaking staffs, not as fluent so use only small & easy words with them; if you can speak Japanese then the explanation process would be much faster. It was also my first time entering JR Tokai Tours office after passing by almost everyday for the past 1.5 years haha.

What's weird is that not many people (ones living in Japan) know about the ticket's existence, so i hope this post would be useful for you guys!

This was the poll created on my IG stories

What is Flex Rail Ticket?

Flex Rail Ticket provides a discounted round trip shinkansen package rate (non reserve seats only) for both temporary visitors and foreigners living in Japan, the ticket duration is valid for 7 days starting from the day you depart. As long you go back anytime within the 7 day window, the ticket is valid; so for example you only spent 3 days in Tokyo and return home on the 4th day, that is fine.
Once it's over the 7th day, then the return ticket is voided and you'll need to purchase a new 1 way ticket back home.

Currently this ticket only covers shinkansen routes commuting between Tokyo (tokyo station/ Shinagawa station), Mt Fuji, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka & other main stations along the same tracks like Shin Yokohama & Nagoya station.
Rates varies depending on which station you are departing from and destination.

My ticket to Tokyo from Kyoto station costs only 21,000 yen (for both ways) when the average cost of a one way ticket is usually 14,000 yen so back & forth costs 28,000 yen!!

With Flex Rail Ticket i am able to save about 25% on my shinkansen ride

Really glad i found out about this ticket on time as we are heading to Tokyo Disneyland to celebrate #lilpenguin 's 1st birthday next month.

Best part about the Flex Rail ticket is that per foreign passport, you are able to have up to 2 Japanese participants under it, could be family or friends; so all 3 can enjoy the discount rate as well, it's really such a good idea!
Japanese citizens alone aren't eligible for the Flex Rail ticket, they MUST be accompanied by a foreign passport holder.

You can select one out of these options to use your experience coupon on

Flex Rail tickets comes along with an "experience coupon" as part of the package, which allows you to redeem either a meal or an activity (kimono rental/ tea ceremony) and listings are updated every few months, you can get an updated copy of the pamphlet at JR Tokai Tours office.

My tickets along with the experience coupon

  • Foreign Passport holder (must be presented upon booking)
  • Passport holder must be present (don't think they allow purchasing on behalf)

  • Fill in a form provided stating your name, date, nationality, departure & return dates, names of accompanying guests, etc
  • Present your passport along with the form for verification
  • JR Tokai Tours staff would brief you on how to use the tickets & experience coupon
  • Payment (cash or credit card)

I do hope they'll offer more destinations under this Flex Rail ticket near future aside from just Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Osaka, Kyoto & Nagoya. Then we can explore other prefectures especially places that needs more tourism support like Tohoku region.

I honestly prefer riding the shinkansen as it is so much more relaxing compared to driving, and driving doesn't necesarily mean you can save alot too especially when there is rental charge per day on top of the petrol usage & highway toll costs.
While in the shinkansen i can enjoy the nice scenic view & eat my bento on board, sleep whenever i want without worrying. Who else thinks this way as well? :-P

More information and rates on Flex Rail Ticket can be found of their website: https://www.jrtours.co.jp/en/

For latest updates do follow my blog or Instagram (@arisa_chow)

Yours Truly,

No comments

Post a Comment

Your Comments puts a smile on my face :)
Thank you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

© Welcome • Theme by Maira G.