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Where do I find a cover for my JR Pass

Where do you find a Japan Rail Pass cover? You’ve travelled to Japan, you’ve exchanged your voucher and there you are, carrying your brand new Japan Rail Pass. Thinking: Where am I going to keep this thing?

The Japan Rail Pass has a rather inconvenient size so it doesn’t really fit into anything you have. The pass is 15,5 x 10 cm, also known as the “A6” format. It doesn’t easily fit into your pocket. It doesn’t fit into a standard passport cover. It doesn’t quite fit into the cheap passport covers you can hang from your neck. Or it does – just about – fit, but so tight that it will get damaged during your trip. And maybe you want to keep your lovely JR Pass as a souvenir. When you are travelling by train, you need to be able to show it to the guards when you go through the Shinkansen gates. So you need to have it where you can get to it easily. With your trolley bag or your pack on your back or in your hands, you’d prefer to hang it around your neck. You’d think the vendors of the Japan Rail Pass would grab this chance to close this gap in the market. But they don’t. None of them offer any kind of solution.

JR Rail Pass cover from Daiso

Daiso A6 JR Rail Pass hoesje

You can buy A6 format plastic covers for conference badges on eBay and from stationary shops. But they often only supply in large quantities, so that’s no option. But on the website I found a tip for an A6 cover you can buy for 100 yen from Daiso in Japan. Daiso is a store you’ll find all over Japan. You can buy 1001 things from them, for the small price of 100 Yen (0.80 euro). They are what is known in England as a pound shop, but they’re the uncrowned king of pound shops, they’re next level. They have a lot of very useful covers, clear sheets and gadget cases. For photographers and gadget lovers, Daiso has great and cheap neoprene covers for your gear.

Where to find a Daiso store

Daiso Logo

You’ll find Daiso stores all over Japan, in many cities and in between. Their pink and white logo is easily recognisable, often using ‘our’ alphabet to spell their brand name. Find a bigger store. The smaller ones such as the well known one on Takashitadori (Harajuku) do not have the office supplies you are looking for. You’ll find bigger Daiso stores at the Funabashi and Kinshicho stations in Tokyo, and at Decks in Odaiba.

For your Japan Rail Pass cover you need to go to the office supplies and find their “insurance card and pocketbook medicine cover with sticker stopper” among their plastic covers. It’s a long name for an A6 format sleeve that has a number of pockets. At the top of the cover you’ll find a hole to fit a lanyard through. That way, you can hang it around your neck. Problem solved! And if you don’t have a lanyard… No worries, Daiso sells them too.

Japan Rail Pass hoesje en lanyard

Good luck finding this nifty cover for your  JR Rail Pass. And don’t put too many things into your Daiso shopping basket or you’ll end up having to buy an extra bag…


The hell of Himeji

You HAVE to see Himeji castle, the other students in my Japanese for beginners class told me. It’s the best castle in Japan. Can’t skip it. Better than Osaka.

OK then. On their advice, I decided to spend one day of my third trip to Japan in Himeji. I’d previously skipped it due to time constraints.

And there I was with hundreds of other tourists, waiting in front of the gate of the castle of Himeji (姫路城, Himeji-jō) also known as The White Raven. One hour of waiting outside the castle, then in sock feet and one hand clutching a plastic bag with my shoes, all the way up the slippery wooden stairs in a long line of people. I gasping for air and was fed up with the crowd. I didn’t see a thing the entire way, except for the buttocks of the people in front of me. And when I got to the top? I found a small shrine and an unimpressive view of the city. That’s all. Followed by the even more precarious trip down the stairs. Once outside, I was a little disappointed, but glad to no longer be inhaling the smell of socks. Time for a comforting snack. 

Unfortnately, despite the otherwise festive market in the dusty park outside the castle, the takoyaki I bought was below par. 

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The fact that it can be busy at Himeji is something the proprietors know very well. If you take a look at the castle’s website, you will find their “congestion forecast”, in which they distinguish between “overcrowded”, “full” and “moderate”.


My tips

  • visit Himeji during the low season.
  • Osaka castle has a better view.
  • if you do go, take into account that there doesn’t see to be much else to do. 
  • Seriously… Osaka is much more fun. And the takoyaki tastes a lot better over there.