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How to activate the Japan Rail Pass at Narita Airport

Activate Japan Rail Pass

If you are reading this, that means that you would have already purchased the Japan Rail Pass. If you are still not sure, read HERE to learn whether you need to buy a Japan Rail Pass or not.

Now you have arrived at the Narita airport in Tokyo with your Japan Rail Pass voucher. What next? The first thing to do is to activate the pass.  You can activate the Japan Rail Pass at the JR East Travel Service Center. There are 2 offices in the Narita airport. One in Terminal 1 and the other office in Terminal 2&3.The JR East Office in Terminal 1 is at the bottom floor(B1), same level as the trains.

How to activate the JR Pass?

  1. Fill up a form available at the office
  2. Turn in the form at the counter together with your passport & JR Pass Exchange Voucher like the one below JPRExchange
  3. Select a start date for your JR pass. This is very important because you do not want to end up not having the pass on your day of travel. Depending on your schedule, you might start your pass the next day if you arrive late in the day. For us, we only had 7 days to spend in Japan anyway. So it makes sense to activate it immediately since we were planning to take the NEX into Tokyo
  4. Wait for them to activate pass and you will end up with this actual pass. JRP
  5. With the JR Pass on hand, make all train reservations that you will need for the first couple of days. We made reservations on the NEX (shown below) and also for the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto on Day 3. NEXTix
Travel Tip:
Since the Japan Rail Pass has a fixed date of validity, make sure that you calculate properly when to start using the Japan Rail Pass. The validity is based on a full days and not a 24 hour period. So if you activate it at 5 pm, it is considered 1 day. In our case, we only have exactly 7 days in Japan, so it made sense for us to activate it that day. 

If you are not at Narita Airport and need to activate the Japan Rail Pass, check out this list of other JR East Offices. 

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