The exchange order (Voucher) is valid 3 months from its issuing date. It means that it can be exchanged in Japan for the JR Pass any time within 3 months following the issuing date.
When ordering your Japan Rail Pass with Keikaku, the “departure date for Japan” displayed on the order summary is only an indication, so we can advise on the most appropriate shipping methods.
If you order a JR Pass more than 3 months before departure, the expected exchange date you provide will be used to issue the exchange voucher at the right time (about 2,5 months before the expected exchange date, to take into account any change of plans on your side). The expected exchange date is not printed on the exchange voucher. The only printed date on the Voucher is its issuance date opening the 3 months validity period for exchange.
When exchanging the Voucher for the JR Pass in Japan, you can choose any starting date for the validity period of the pass, from the day of the exchange up to 30 days. However, the starting date cannot be later than the date of departure from Japan as stated on your temporary visitor visa.
Exchanging the voucher for the JR Pass is compulsory, but you don’t need to start its validity period on the same day. When exchanging the voucher for your JR Pass at the JR Office, you can choose another starting day, the JR Pass validity period will then be indicated on the JR Pass according to the length you choose (7, 14 or 21 days).
For example, you can exchange the Voucher on the day of your landing in Japan (at a JR Office in the airport), but ask for a starting date of the JR Pass validity period 5, 10 or 20 days later.
If you have any question, our private guides in Japan can help you with the JR Pass exchange procedures as part of their guiding work.