If you’re planning a trip to Japan’s Tohoku and Kanto regions, the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) is a useful travel companion. In this article, we’ll focus on the benefits of having a JR East Pass (for travel in Kanto and Tohoku areas), where to buy it, how to use it effectively and essential tips. Why not journey through Japan’s picturesque landscapes and vibrant cities using the JR East Pass?
Here are common topics of the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) . How to get one, how to use it and its benefits. I hope you make the most of your travels in Japan!
The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) is a special rail pass offered by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and provides unlimited travel on designated JR trains within the Tohoku and Kanto regions in Japan. This pass allows visitors to explore popular destinations such as Tokyo, Karuizawa, Kusatsu Onsen, Jomokogen, Utsunomiya, Nikko, Nasu, Fukushima, Sendai, Iwate and much more.
😀 Cost Savings benefits:
The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area), lets you enjoy unlimited travel within Kanto and Tohoku regions at a fixed price. In most occasions, this is much cheeper than purchasing several individual tickets, so the pass can help you save money during your stay.
😎 Convenience benefits:
The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) allows you to travel on various JR trains, including the Shinkansen, Limited express trains, and local lines with ease. There is no need to worry about buying separate tickets for each leg of your journey. With the pass you can enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.
💸 The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) costs 20,000 JPY for an adult, and 10,000 JPY for children ages 11 and below. (June 2023)
1. The standard pass can be used unlimited times for 5 consecutive days from the date of activation. It can be purchased by foreign nationals visiting or living in Japan.
2. There is also a flexible type where visitors can use the pass for any 5 days within 14 days. This is more flexible than the standard type, but is only eligible for foreign nationals with a “Temporary” visitor stamp on their passport.
The JR EAST Pass (Tohoku Area) can be purchased online through authorized agents or at designated JR East stations in Japan. Popular websites include Japan Rail Pass Online and JR East Travel Service Centers. You can also purchase this pass at train stations with a JR East Reserved Seat Ticket vending machine which has a passport reader.
If you have bought it online (or abroad), you need to go to a designated JR East Travel Service Center or an authorized location to receive a physical ticket not more than 3 months after you purchased it. You also have to indicate the start date of activation/usage when it is purchased.
One big benefit of having the JR East Pass or any other JR Passes is that you can reserve seats on Shinkansen without any additional fees. This is especially useful during peak seasons. Reservations can be made at JR ticket offices or or online (here).
The pass is valid for 5 days. The standard type is 5 consecutive days but there is also a flexible type. Make sure to check the exact validity which is printed on the pass.
🚆 Entering and Exiting Ticket Gates:
You can simply insert your Pass through the station gates and enter smoothly. Before you had to show the Pass to the station staff, but this is not needed anymore. Just make sure you don’t forget taking your Pass out the other end of the gate after inserting it.
The JR East Pass does not cover non-JR trains, such as subways or private railways. It is also not valid on the Tokaido Shinkansen (The bullet train that runs towards Kyoto and western Japan).
The pass covers JR train lines within the Tohoku and Kanto regions. Shinkansen (Bullet trains) and Express trains include:
Travel from Tokyo to destinations like Utsunomiya, Sendai, Morioka, and Aomori.
Explore Yamagata Prefecture, known for its picturesque landscapes and hot springs.
Journey to Akita Prefecture, famous for its beautiful coastline and the charming city of Akita.
Visit Niigata Prefecture, renowned for its skiing resorts, delicious rice, and sake.
Explore Nagano Prefecture and its majestic natural landscape.
Visit Mito and Hitachinaka area on this Express train from Tokyo station.
The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) only covers up to Aomori, the northern end of Japan’s Tohoku Region.
If you plan to visit both the Tohoku/Kanto regions as well as Hakodate area in Hokkaido, you should purchase a JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass. And if you want to travel all over Hokkaido Region, you should purchase the JR Hokkaido Pass, which allows you to explore cities like Sapporo, Hakodate, Asahikawa, and various other destinations across Japan’s beautiful northern island.
If you lost your JR East Pass (Tohoku Area), you should immediately report it to the nearest JR East station or Travel Service Center. They will help you find your Pass if it’s somewhere in the JR stations.
However, a lost JR East Pass cannot be replaced or reissued even if you have the receipt. So it’s important to make sure you keep the pass safe and make sure you have it with you at all times.
The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) may cover some bus rides operated by JR. However, the pass does not include highway buses and local buses operated by a different company. Please check the specific bus routes or ask the JR East staff for more information on bus services.
There are two kinds of JR East Passes. This can be a bit confusing. There is a Tohoku area one (explained in this article) as well as a Niigata & Nagano area one (article coming soon).
Niigata isn’t included in the Tohoku area one, so, if you’re planning to visit Niigata and its surrounding areas, it may be better purchasing the Niigata & Nagano area JR East Pass (article coming soon). Also, if your itinerary includes both areas covered by the two types of JR East Passes, it might be a good idea to purchase the nationwide JR Pass (article coming soon) which covers most areas of all Japan.
The JR EAST Pass unlocks a world of exploration in Japan’s Tohoku and Kanto regions, allowing you to experience the rich cultural heritage, scenic landscapes, and vibrant cities Nearby Tokyo. With its cost-saving benefits, extensive route coverage, and ease of use, the JR EAST Pass offers a seamless and convenient way to travel.
Remember to plan ahead, activate the pass, make necessary reservations, and keep the pass with you at all times to fully enjoy the wonders of Japan.
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Contributor: Venice Aka
Venice’s lives locally and has a passion to make travel videos so she can provide reliable information to travelers visiting Japan. After starting her youtube channel, she’s been continuously sharing about travel, local events, and everyday life in Japan.
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