I've found that Japan travellers will automatically book a rail pass- which can be an expensive exercise unless you're going to get value from it. Intrepid Travel asked me to break it down for their blog.

Arriving in Japan for the first time means a lot of culture shock, a scramble to get your WiFi sorted and quick trip to the airport 7-11 for the first of many onigiri.

But should your next stop be the JR office? Here’s what you need to know before you invest in a JR Rail Pass.

What is a Rail Pass?

Similar to the Eurail pass, the JR Rail Pass gives you close to unlimited travel for a set period on Japan’s JR trains; you choose a pass for 7, 14 or 21 days. They’re only available to people visiting Japan (residents can’t buy them), and there are two types of pass to choose from: Ordinary or Green. Save your pennies and plumb for Ordinary; chances are the trains are already a lot fancier and cleaner than you’re used to.

Continue reading on the Intrepid Travel blog