How the Japan Pass works
First thing to do
When you first receive your Japan Pass, it is very important that you double check the names on your voucher as it must be identical with the names on your passport or it will not be valid for exchange.
Exchanging your Pass
When you buy a Japan rail pass from Rail Plus, you will be given a voucher which needs to be exchanged for the rail pass itself in Japan any time within the following three months. Vouchers can be exchanged at all the most important Japan Railways stations, including Tokyo and its international airports. For a full list click here.
Important: At the time of exchange you will be asked to fill out a short application form and to show your passport with the temporary visitor stamp that you received on entry into Japan. You must have your passport with you at time of the exchange a photocopy is not acceptable and without your passport the exchange cannot be made.
Train reservations can be made in Japan at any ticket office in Japan free of charge once you have your rail pass, but they cannot be made from outside Japan.
In Green class, reservations are compulsory on Shinkansen and most Limited Express and Ordinary Express trains. Ordinary class has both reserved and non-reserved seating.