But that might just be part of JR’s plan.
in April, JR Group International travelers shocked by announcement of planned trip to Japan Big hike in Japan Rail Pass prices. Long considered one of the best deals for inbound tourists looking to visit large swathes of the country, “JR Pass” As it’s well known to travelers, it gets you unlimited rides on Shinkansen bullet trains for one, two, or three weeks, as well as local JR-managed lines nationwide.
Currently, a one-week pass costs 29,640 yen ($220), but will rise to 50,000 yen.Two-week passes will rise from 47,250 yen to 80,000 yen, and three-week passes will rise from 60,450 yen to 100,000 yen. value for money 65% to 69% increaseand depending on where you’re staying and whether you’re splitting the hotel bill with your traveling companions, the difference could equate to multiple nights’ worth of hotel.
Needless to say, as the country has finally reopened from the effective shutdown to tourism for almost the entire duration of the pandemic, overseas tourists eager to visit the country have not welcomed the change. Explain how unpopular JR’s move is, Export to JapanInbound Japan Travel Portal Management Company japan guide, released the results of an online poll conducted through the site in May, shortly after the Japan Rail Pass price increase was announced. When asked the question “Will you buy a Japan Rail Pass after the price increase?”, 1,098 participants responded:
● Probably not: 36.5% of respondents
● Absolutely not: 36.1%
● I can’t say for sure: 15.5%
● I would probably buy: 6%
● Will definitely buy: 5.9%
Overall, 72.6% of potential Japanese tourists consider the Japan Rail Pass to be something they can do without a markup.
One piece of the picture missing from the survey, though, was whether the 11.9 percent who thought they would buy a Japan Rail Pass after the price increase was lower than those who were at about-to-end prices. While the respondents didn’t exactly overlap, in another survey conducted later in May, Japan Guide asked users who had previously been to Japan if they had purchased a Japan Rail Pass while traveling, and they received 697 responses The breakdown is:
● Yes, I have purchased a pass: 60.7%
● No, I did not buy: 24%
● Not eligible to buy: 15.4%
The third demographic shows the necessary adjustments in measuring the situation, as it shows that among travelers who are demographically eligible to purchase a Japan Rail Pass, 71.7% chose to do so, so the drop to less than 12% of survey participants who thought they would still pay more for it is huge.
There are concerns that raising the price of the Japan Rail Pass will hurt tourism businesses and communities in less valued parts of the country. In order for travelers to stand out with higher prices, they have to take more Shinkansen during the pass period. This would seem to drive people to more remote locations, but more likely, the added pressure to get their money’s worth will cause travelers to focus more on heading to more big-name cities where they feel more confident proving they’re in Tokyo, Kyoto The extra spending on sightseeing spots such as Japan, Osaka, Kobe, and Sendai is justified, while skipping the smaller Shinkansen stops between them entirely.
▼ Kakegawa Castle within walking distance Kakegawa StationOn the lesser-known Shinkansen stops between Tokyo and Kyoto, people are more likely to miss them if they’re in a rush to see as many of Japan’s most famous sights as possible.
Unfortunately for anyone hoping the investigation would send the JR group scrambling to cancel the price hike, its outcome may have no bearing on the rail operator. Before the pandemic, the number of inbound foreign tourists using the Japan Rail Pass continued to surge. With only so many seats, JR may feel that it is approaching the limit of the number of passes it can realistically offer and honor. The company cited overcrowding of incoming international passengers as the reason for its decision to start requiring reserved luggage on Shinkansen trains, and JR believes it is likely to make as much, if not more, from Japan Rail Pass sales than it did before, through Higher individual pass prices offset fewer pass sales.
None of this is good news, though, if you’re trying to stay on budget when planning a trip to Japan. In any case, the tentative silver lining is that the Japan Rail Pass will keep prices low throughout the summer, with JR saying they will rise sometime around October.
Source: PR Times by Norimono News
Above: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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