On April 14, 2023, the JR Group announced that the cost of the Japan Rail Pass will be drastically increased sometime around October 2023. The exact date is to be announced.

Japan Rail Pass cost increase
TypeCurrent costNew cost
Regular 7 days29,650 yen50,000 yen
Regular 14 days47,250 yen80,000 yen
Regular 21 days60,450 yen100,000 yen
Green 7 days39,600 yen70,000 yen
Green 14 days64,120 yen111,000 yen
Green 21 days83,390 yen140,000 yen

Despite the cost increase, the pass will still not cover Nozomi and Mizuho trains unless an additional ticket is purchased. Details about these additional tickets will be announced at a later point in time. On the other hand, pass holders will newly be able to profit from various discounts at selected sightseeing spots and the like.

Needless to say: it will become considerably more difficult for the pass to pay off after the price increase. Even a round trip between Tokyo and Fukuoka, which costs around 45,000 yen by regular tickets, will not be enough for a 7-day pass to pay off. The popularity of the pass can be expected to decrease considerably, although the pass will remain an attractive offer for those doing a lot of long-distance train travel over relatively short time periods.

Meanwhile, alternative passes and modes of transport are likely to gain in popularity. Regional rail passes like the Hokuriku Arch Pass and the JR West All Area Pass may step out of the shadow of the Japan Rail Pass, assuming they won't be subject to similar price increases. Furthermore, the competitiveness of domestic flights may further increase, especially for trips to Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido, for which trains will lose their cost advantage.