When you explore in Tokyo, which pass do you use? I think the first choice is Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket (710 yen) or Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway (1000 yen). These passes cover most of places in downtown Tokyo. Only Tokyo Disney Land / Disney Sea and Odaiba are not in coverage area. I agree that subway system is the best and cheapest option for most of travellers in Tokyo.
But how about JR deals? When I visited in Tokyo, I recognized JR trains are much easier to ride and faster. And JR East offers Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass). This ticket is very useful.
In this post, I would like to show you how to use this pass and compare with subway deals.
Price and validity
Price is 750 yen for one day. One day means from the first train to the last train. Most of JR trains start to run around 5:00 am to 00:30.
ex) If you purchase this pass on April 27, you still can take the train after 00:00 on April 28.
But even if you purchase this pass at 0:01 on April 28, you cannot use this ticket for the first train on April 28.
This pass can allow you to take only local or rapid train. If you want to take Shinkansen, only base fare will be covered by this pass. But you have to pay express surcharge. But in this area, only Tokyo-Ueno and Tokyo-Shinagawa are covered. Even if you take local train, it takes around 10 minutes. There is no reason to take Shinkansen in the area of this pass.
How to purchase and use
You can purchase at Midori no Madoguchi (reservation window), View Plaza (JR East’s travel center) and reservation ticket vending machine. When you purchase it, you can choose the date when you want to use. The ticket can be purchased one month prior to the date to use. But it is quite easy to purchase. It is no problem to purchase on the spot.
Please see the map below.
Green solid lines are covered by this pass. Tokyo, Akihabara, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa are covered. Even though Harajuku is not shown in the map above, it is in coverage area. And Ginza can be accessed from Yurakucho by walk. Yurakucho is not shown in the map above either. But it is covered and only one station away from Tokyo.
So these following “Big Names” in Tokyo cannot be accessed by this pass.
In the spots above, Odaiba, TDL and Ghibli cannot be accessed by the subway either. So if you intend to visit Asakusa, Skytree and Tsukiji in same day, subway pass is the best and only choice. However if you don’t visit these spots or visit one of these places, this deal, Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass) may be a right choice.
Compare with subway deals
There are several kinds of subway deals, 710 yen for Tokyo Metro one day and 1000 yen for Tokyo Metro and Tokyo Toei subway. If you use 710 yen pass, it is cheaper than JR’s this deal. But this 710 yen deal does not cover Tsukiji market. So I usually compare Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway at 1000 yen and Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass) at 750 yen. If you go to outside of Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass’s coverage area within 250 yen additional, JR deal is better than subway deal for you.
And I have one more reason to recommend you to use JR deal. Look at the map below.
How do you feel? Even for me, it is very complicated. You can see the detailed map at Tokyo Metro official site.
I understand that we can go almost anywhere in Tokyo but it is very hard to find the best and the fastest route. That is right there are some places where you cannot access by JR trains in Tokyo. But JR trains network is much more simple, faster than subway and go directly.
Check your itinerary and if you can get the place where you want to go by JR trains, use this deal.
How much we need to take trains to get worth
The following table shows you the fare for major stations.
As you see, fares in Tokyo is quite reasonable. If you use this deal, you have to make 4 to 5 trips. Otherwise single ticket is cheaper.
Trip to outside of coverage area
If you add fare, you can make a trip to outside of coverage area.
ex) To Tokyo Disney Land and Sea
Maihama where is the gateway station to Tokyo Disney Land and Sea is just one station away from border station, Kasairinkaikoen station. The additional fare is 140 yen one way. If you stay in Shinjuku, regular fare for Shinjuku – Maihama is 390 yen. At this point, total fare is 780 yen and it is much cheaper than Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass) at 750 yen + additional fares 280 yen. But if you make some more trips after/before visiting Tokyo Disney Land, pass may be cheaper.
ex) To Ghibli museum
Mitaka is two stations away from border station, Nishiogikubo. Additional fare is 160 yen one way. If you go to Mitaka from Ueno or Shinagawa, one way regular fare is 390 yen. It is same thing as trip to Tokyo Disney Land. If you intend to use the pass before/after visiting Ghibli museum, this deal may be cheaper than total fares.
When I used this deal, I use the following segments.
Akihabara – Kinshicho 160 yen
Kinshicho – Akihabara 160 yen
Akihabara – Shinjuku 170 yen
Shinjuku – Shinagawa 200 yen
Shinagawa – Tokyo 170 yen
Tokyo – Akihabara 140 yen
Total 900 yen
I had several reasons to use this deal.
- Hotel was closed to JR Akihabara station.
- I need direct transfer between Tokyo and Akihabara.
- Subway do not have direct line on this section.There is no subway station in Shinagawa.
Tokyo Skytree was only outside of coverage area. Even though I took Tokyo Metro Hanzoumon line and paid 170 yen one way, this deal was the best option for me.