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JR Railpass Size - How do you carry it?


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Since I e only ever bought the Wakayama Eletric Railway,'Tama-ChabHappy Day Gun Pass a few years ago which was the size of a passport, I'm just wondering what the JR railpasses look like; specifically the JR-H railpass. I've seen a few poor shots on Flickr but can't tell if I'm suppose to remove the what appears to be a normal sized ticket out of the cardboard celeb and of leave it in.

 

If it has to come out, I have a MARC ticket holder and lanyard to keep it in. I'd rather not want to worry about losing a small yet important ticket but at the same time wonder how ill carry another passport or larger size document (which would most likely be in my passport wallet around my neck along with ¥40,000.

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Unless they've changed it in the last couple of years, the JR pass is a little folded cardboard a little bigger than a passport.  It's actually fairly sturdy for something that lasts a week and since you just present it to station agents at the gate it doesn't have to be in good condition.  I just kept mine in a sleeve in my photo bag.

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Good to know. Jeff and I spoke over the phone and I get a decent idea too on the size. This will be the first trip I've taken that I will be on the train enough to need a pass. So much for the focus of the trip on being street photography.

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The size and style of the japan-wide pass has changed recently... It used to just be the cardboard folded card around the size of a passport.

 

Now it's slightly larger and they actually print a magnetic ticket and stick it down to it.

The artwork has changed also.

 

It used to fit nicely inside my passport holder; but now it's slightly larger than the holder and got quite dog-eared during my 2 week stay.

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How much bigger are we talking? What sort of dimensions are we looking at?

 

I found the picture below but can't make heads or tails out of it.

 

(Well maybe not. Can not attach images from an iPhone)

Edited by Shashinka
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bikkuri bahn

Here is an image of a Hokkaido Rail Pass. No dimensions given, but it looks longer than passport size. If you're worried about case size, I suggest you buy a plastic holder to match which come in various sizes and are sold at stationery stores or 100 yen shops after your arrival in Japan.

 

http://jp.uu-hokkaido.com/img/info/img-railpass1_full.jpg

 

*apparently it comes with a vinyl case when your receive it.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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Thanks Bikkuri. I saw this image online but did not know how old or new it was. I already mapped out on an offline map a ¥100 store neat Sapporo Station and one near the Strawberry Cones southeast of Suskino.

 

The vinyl vase will be nice if it comes with one. In fact the reason I asked the dimensions was I was already looking on amazon for one that would fit, simply remembering how I killed a one day pass in Wakayama so easily.

 

I sure hope if I relocate to Kansai it's simpler than a small train trip to Sapporo :)

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How much bigger are we talking? What sort of dimensions are we looking at?

 

I found the picture below but can't make heads or tails out of it.

 

(Well maybe not. Can not attach images from an iPhone)

Hi Shashinka:

 

Let me take a photo of my JR pass when i go home today, together with dimensions for you. I still kept mine beautifully in storage as it always brings wonderful memories to me when i look at it, which is also very beautiful in design ~~

 

Update again tonight ~ CheerS!

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Hi Shashinka:

 

As promised, below attached are the pictures of the actual JR Pass ORDINARY which i utilised ULTIMATELY during my stay in Japan last year.

 

The dimensions measure about 3.5' or 9cm width, and 5' or 12.5cm long. As shown in the picture, it's almost, if not, the actual size of my passport. (or i guess, most countries passport. Or are all countries passport the same size?) If i place the pass on the passport, it covers the passport completely perfecty, so i guess i'm safe to say it is the size of the passport.

 

Also, it's made of cardboard, not that hard, but hard enough i guess. it fits nicely into the pocket, either the side pockets, or the rear pockets, or the front shirt chest pocket. Do be VERY VERY careful NOT to lose it as it is NOT replace-able! Many stations i went through did not cross-check the JR Pass with my passport, so i'm guessing it's easily 'used' by others if they pick it up. However, the station staff are VERY careful with the dates as i think that is the main thing they look out for, whether the pass is still valid.

 

The opened up pass measures more than 15cm in width, but i guess that's not important as i believe no one would wanna carry the card in that manner?

 

The card makes me feel like VIP, no queues at ticket gates, just go to the side gate with the station crew there and show them

your pass.

 

At reserved trains, the pass is shown at the reservation office in exchange for a train ticket with your seat number. The ticket is then checked on board by the train crew, as in most shinkansen trains.

 

At non-reserved trains, as reservation is not required, you do not have a train ticket. Instead, the train crew will ask for your ticket and you just flash your pass at them. They will be more than happy to see that ~ It's like s golden ticket!

 

Sometimes, the train crew will chop on your pass, as you can see from the photo some chops on my pass... Most often the pass is just checked and that's it. What amazes me is that they can REMEMBER they have checked you and will NOT return to check you again at the next station, as long as you do NOT change your seats. Anyway, you're not susposed to do that in reserved seats trains so ...

 

Hoped that helps! Talking about this brings back fond memories... Can't wait for 2015 for my 21 day pass!!!

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Picked up my voucher Monday. With my luck, we'll have a repeat of the current Hokadate Line closure and I spent an extra 100 dollars on train fare I wouldn't need.

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bikkuri bahn
Picked up my voucher Monday. With my luck, we'll have a repeat of the current Hokadate Line closure and I spent an extra 100 dollars on train fare I wouldn't need.

You may already know this, but the line is not closed. however 4 r/t services have been suspended.  Reservations may be harder to get now, but there is always unreserved seating.

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I've been trying to find my new style pass from last November to photgraph it but can't find where I stashed it away. I can say the new version with the magnetic backed ticket stuck on is larger than the older ones because it no longer fits in the passport folder where I've kept them on past trips.

 

I've been wondering if the magnetic ticket stuck to the pass is an interim step towards using that as the pass so pass holders can use the ordinary ticket gates and reduce the need for manned gates.

 

The thing that always intrigues me about the pass is that it is so universally recognised by JR staff, you can be on some backwater branchline at the remotest parts of JR where the number of foreigners they've seen in their lives must be able to be counted on one hand and they still just give it a casual glance and wave you on your way. When I was traveling around Europe on a Eurail pass once I got off the ICE or TGV where well behaved tourists are supposed to stay many guards or conductors took a couple of minutes to read every bit of fine print on the pass like I was handing them something they had never heard of before.

Edited by westfalen
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bikkuri bahn

Perhaps the JR railways get one circular/manual from the pass/tourist promotion department(?) which helps with employee familiarity.  While in Europe you have all kinds of national railways, with variable management policies and implementation.  I had an interesting experience riding on the DB from somewhere on Lake Constance to Munich, on a secondary train- the guard seemed amused I was using the service with my railpass- he even asked me to complete a simple rider survey. 

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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I experienced this on my first Japan trip in 1984. Everyone would just take a quick look, probably just double checking the exp date. I went to some pretty odd and remote places as I was just wandering a lot of the time. Big station or little platform in the boonies the same quick glance!

 

The only close looks that were given a handful of times were employees that were interested in some of the destination stamps on it and them excited that I had wandered around so much!

 

Jeff

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Perhaps picture of tsunami is now inappropriate considering recent events.

HHmm.. perhaps so Ochanomizu san.. Doesn't wish to be reminded of that unfortunate event.. But this was the pass which i got in 2012, where the Great Tsunami happened one year ago... Took approximate 2 years to change? Anyhow, the new pass looks, well... I still prefer the older one with the silvery look and passport sized... Does anyone know if the Green Pass is any different?

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lurkingknight

This was the pass as of March/April of this year:

 

it is the metric equivalent of 1/2 a sheet of 8.5x11 paper, folded in half again. The plastic slip cover comes in packs of 5 at any local 100 yen store. They print your pass info onto the same stock as a regular shinkansen ticket but it's taped down. It was never scanned at any time to access the trains, you just show it to the ticket office worker.

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Edited by lurkingknight
  • Like 1
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Thanks for posting. Hard to type on iPhone.

 

<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="lurkingknight" data-cid="84415" data-time="1373669306"><p>

This was the pass as of March/April of this year:<br />

<br />

it is the metric equivalent of 1/2 a sheet of 8.5x11 paper, folded in half again. The plastic slip cover comes in packs of 5 at any local 100 yen store. They print your pass info onto the same stock as a regular shinkansen ticket but it's taped down. It was never scanned at any time to access the trains, you just show it to the ticket office worker.</p></blockquote>

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Hello,

 

So sorry, but when I see the title of this topic I think of something like this:

 

a-guy-carrying-a-heavy-load-that-is-a-la

 

Here is your new JR Rail Pass !!!

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lurkingknight

:laughing6:  :laughing6:  :laughing6: while not exactly that big and clumsy.... I did feel as if the JR pass seemed to be excessively large.

 

It didn't go well with my suica. 

Edited by lurkingknight
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bikkuri bahn

I think by having it larger, first, it makes it a little bit harder to lose and easier to find in your bag among other documents, and second, it aids railway staff by distinguishing it from regular tickets and domestic passes.

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This was the pass as of March/April of this year:

 

it is the metric equivalent of 1/2 a sheet of 8.5x11 paper, folded in half again. The plastic slip cover comes in packs of 5 at any local 100 yen store. They print your pass info onto the same stock as a regular shinkansen ticket but it's taped down. It was never scanned at any time to access the trains, you just show it to the ticket office worker.

 Will try this again since my post looked like carp.

 

That thing looks huge. Hmmmm.... it may have to reside in the camera bag. Hopefully, I can one of those sleeve, otherwise, it's a ziplock bag it goes.

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I think by having it larger, first, it makes it a little bit harder to lose and easier to find in your bag among other documents, and second, it aids railway staff by distinguishing it from regular tickets and domestic passes.

But it's been exactly the same size and design, except for the picture on the front, since at least my first trip in mid 1990. It's taken them long enough to realise it needs changing. I always carried mine in my shirt pocket in my passport folder so both were instantly accessable and somewhere I could keep an eye on them.

Edited by westfalen
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