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Rail Pass Questions

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  • Rail Pass Questions

    Alright, so I've got a bit of a conundrum, so I'd like to ask those of you who've done the rail pass thing before . . .

    I'm living in Japan now (student), so I've got a visa, and my sister is coming to visit. We're planning to travel the country together, and obviously the most cost-effective way to do this is with the JR rail pass. BUT. I've got the visa.

    So this leaves me with a couple feasibility questions. Mostly I'm wondering at the tracking system they have in place about the passports. Do they enter it into a computer system? Do they track how many passes are issued to one person at a given time?

    If you got the pass, when did you get it? And what are your memories of the exchange process, and what you had to do with the pass to get tickets for each journey jaunt? Did you have to show your passport to board the trains?

    That potential 40000 yen difference on my shinkansen tickets would make a world of difference to our travel plans.

  • #2
    Do you mean will they catch you if you fraudulently obtain and use one for another person?

    Quite possibly.

    They are aware that dishonest people often come here.

    Likely your next question is what is the penalty if you are caught committing the fraud?

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    • #3
      My buddy has done it a few times. He just cashes in the changes the tickets for the passes at different stations.

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      • #4
        Do you cheat at other things too?

        I don't see what the problem is...You'll get a cheap pass because you are a student and she'll get a cheap pass because she's a tourist right?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MissMe View Post
          Alright, so I've got a bit of a conundrum, so I'd like to ask those of you who've done the rail pass thing before . . .

          I'm living in Japan now (student), so I've got a visa, and my sister is coming to visit. We're planning to travel the country together, and obviously the most cost-effective way to do this is with the JR rail pass. BUT. I've got the visa.

          So this leaves me with a couple feasibility questions. Mostly I'm wondering at the tracking system they have in place about the passports. Do they enter it into a computer system? Do they track how many passes are issued to one person at a given time?

          If you got the pass, when did you get it? And what are your memories of the exchange process, and what you had to do with the pass to get tickets for each journey jaunt? Did you have to show your passport to board the trains?

          That potential 40000 yen difference on my shinkansen tickets would make a world of difference to our travel plans.
          You buy the exchange voucher in your home country. They check your passport. The exchange voucher has the passport holder's name on it. You can probably get more than one voucher. When you exchange it for the rail pass in Japan they check your passport again and issue the pass to the named voucher holder. You can probably do this more than once and end up with more than one pass, valid only with the passport in the same name. When you travel they are unlikely to check your passport, but they could if they wished (e.g. they notice that both passes are in the same name). So the answer to your question is you might get away with it, you might not. I note that you seem to feel that it is morally correct to defraud a company in this way, and that you believe the savings you would make would be worth it. Do you think it would be worth a criminal record, the loss of your visa and job, and deportation?

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          • #6
            Ifve done this before.

            Had to go to 3 stations until they finally didnft check my passport in Kyoto and gave me the pass.

            The chances of them checking your passport after you get the pass is very low but its still there. Also, its not like you are at the police station. If they ask to see a passport just take your passbook and leave.

            The biggest problem is that you may get unlucky and get someone who checks things closely when they issue the ticket.

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            • #7
              As mentioned by the other poster, when one exchanges the voucher for the actual JR pass, they check your passport.

              There are many Shinkansen discount deals out there instead of purchasing a full fare priced Shinkansen ticket. Exactly what routes do you plan on traveling to? How about utilizing cheaper highway buses?

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