A study by travel and experiences platform Klook shows that more than 60% of travelers from Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam are not too keen on purchasing a JR Pass because of the 70% hike in prices.
Before the pandemic, the handy transportation card for tourists was one of the most indispensable tools when traveling to Japan. But as the country opens up, with Klook tracking close to five times increase in daily bookings to Japan in October 2023, prices of JR Pass also increased.
The convenience of using JR Pass is that you can use it around Japan without having to reload every time a traveler boards a train, a bus, or Shinkansen. It was also much cheaper then, considering the price of a one-way Shinkansen ticket.
In spite of this, Klook found that bookings to Japan grew by 228% in October compared to bookings made in January 2023. This number is expected to rise as Japan enters its first-ever peak travel season since the pandemic. The survey found that travelers expressed the willingness to take other modes of transportation within the country, which they consider may be more affordable than JR Pass. for Filipinos, the majority (84%) still think that traveling to Japan is worthwhile given that there are also other transportation options aside from the JR Pass.
Still, the appeal of Shinkansen cannot escape travelers as Klook recorded significant demand for the bullet train with sales exceeding JR Pass sales consecutively for all four weeks following the JR Pass price hike.
For 94% of travelers, Japan remains an attractive destination, especially to those who consider the weakening of Yen. Among the respondents, this view is most strongly held by travelers from Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan.