JR East Pass

JR East Rail Pass

Shinkansen bullet trains at Tokyo Station
Shinkansen bullet trains at Tokyo Station

About the JR East Passes

Japan Rail East offers two kinds of JR East Pass: the JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) and the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) to visitors to Japan on a 90-day visa who want unlimited use of train lines in two mainly different parts of eastern Japan for just a week or two.

Eastern Japan means the main island of Honshu east of a line running roughly from the Noto Peninsula in the Japan Sea to the Izu Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean. Both passes include travel throughout the Greater Tokyo (Kanto) area.

Both JR East Passes are 5-day-flexible over 14 days, meaning that you can use them for any five days out of the 14-day period from the date of issue. "Date of issue" means the date of pick-up for passes purchased overseas and the date of purchase for passes purchased in Japan.

Both passes include the Greater Tokyo area, but the JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) goes northward from Tokyo, extending to the Sea of Japan coast of Honshu, while the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) goes eastwards of Tokyo, covering the whole of eastern Honshu except for the stretch of Japan Sea coast covered by the Nagano, Niigata Area pass. It eventually extends to the Japan Sea coast, but much further north. The area the Tohoku Area pass covers is at least twice that of the Nagano-Niigata Area pass.

Seat reservations, subject only to seat availability, can be made using these passes at no extra charge.

These two passes replace what was the JR East Rail Pass offered up until the end of March 2016 and which will no longer be usable after June 30, 2016.

JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area)

The JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) covers the following areas:

and gives you unlimited use of the following train lines:
  • All JR East trains (local trains, express trains, limited express trains, and shinkansen [not including the Tokaido shinkansen, which is operated by JR Central, not JR East], ordinary class and reserved ordinary class seats)
  • Izu Kyuko
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • Hokuetsu Express
  • Echigo Tokimeki Railway line between Naoetsu and Arai stations
  • Sendai Airport Transit
  • Selected Tobu Railway limited express trains: Kinugawa, Nikko, Spacia Kinugawa, Spacia Nikko.
  • Tobu Railway local train between Shimo-Imaichi and Tobu-Nikko/Kinugawa-Onsen stations
Note that the JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) is not valid for JR East buses.

Prices in Japanese yen for the JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area)

Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
5 day 18,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
17,000 yen (purchased overseas)
9,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
8,500 yen (purchased overseas)

JR East Pass (Tohoku Area)

The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) covers the following areas:

  • Kanto Region (Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa prefectures)
  • the six prefectures of the Tohoku Region (Fukushima, Yamagata, Miyagi [prefectural capital: Sendai], Iwate, Akita, Aomori prefectures)
  • and gives you unlimited use of the following train lines:
    • All JR East trains (local trains, express trains, limited express trains, and shinkansen [not including the Tokaido shinkansen, which is operated by JR Central, not JR East], ordinary class and reserved ordinary class seats)
    • Izu Kyuko
    • Tokyo Monorail
    • Aoimori Railway
    • Iwate Galaxy Railway (IGR)
    • Sendai Airport Transit
    • Selected Tobu Railway limited express trains: Kinugawa, Nikko, Spacia Kinugawa, Spacia Nikko.
    • Tobu Railway local train between Shimo-Imaichi and Tobu-Nikko/Kinugawa-Onsen stations
    Note that the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) is not valid for JR East buses.

    Prices in Japanese yen for the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area).

    Period Adult [12 y.o. +] Child [6-11 y.o]
    5 day 20,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    19,000 yen (purchased overseas)
    10,000 yen (purchased in Japan)
    9,500 yen (purchased overseas)

    Eligibility

    To qualify for a JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) or JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) you must be:

    • a temporary visitor to Japan with a Temporary Visitor (tanki-taizai "tan-key tie-zye" 短期滞在 in Japanese) Japan visa which allows you to stay no more than 90 days in Japan.
    • a Japanese national who can provide documentary evidence of permanent residence in a country other than Japan.

    Buy a JR East Rail Pass Online

    Purchase a JR East Rail Pass. Buying your JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) or JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata Area) here online from outside Japan is slightly cheaper than purchasing it in Japan, and can be ordered up to three months in advance.


    More Japan travel-related information

    The following links have further information about other ways to travel in Japan.

    There are numerous types of JR Rail Passes available, depending on the region in Japan and your travel requirements.

    Air travel in Japan

    Traveling by air in Japan is often no more expensive, in fact often cheaper, than traveling by shinkansen, and, even taking airport waiting time into account, is faster in the case of long distances.

    Rail travel in Japan

    Japan has one of the world's most developed and well-run rail transport systems, and using rail in Japan is remarkably straightforward even if you do not understand Japanese.

    Bus travel in Japan

    For travel to the remoter parts of Japan not served by train lines, bus is always an option, which also gives you more of a taste than any other form of transport of the "real" Japan.

    Ferry travel in Japan

    There are a few ferry services in Japan that you may like to, or have to, make use of, depending on your destination.

    Taxi travel in Japan

    In Japan, taxi is a very convenient and near-ubiquitous form of transport, and a taxi can be flagged down anywhere.

    Car travel in Japan

    For the ultimate taste of freedom when traveling, you may consider going by car.

    Pre-paid cards in Japan

    When traveling by train in Japan, especially in cities, you can save a lot of time and hassle by using pre-paid cards (Suica, Pasmo, Icoca, Kaisu) that you simply swipe to enter and exit the train station, and even use as money in stores.

    Japan Rail Pass.
    Japan Rail Pass


    Books on Japan Travel


    Buy A Japan Rail Pass For Your Journey To Japan.