Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.

JR's Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)
JR’s Yamanote line (left) and Tokyo Metro (right)

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 put the ticket in the automatic ticket gate. Don' t forget to pick it up!
You can put the ticket in the automatic ticket gate. Don’ t forget to pick it up!

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.

Coverage area

Please see the map below.

Coverage area map (Click to enlarge)
Coverage area map (Click to enlarge)

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.

a0002_000705_m

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.

station Tokyo Shinjuku Shinagawa Akihabara Ueno Ikebukuro
Tokyo 200 170 140 160 200
Shinjuku 200 200 170 200 160
Shinagawa 170 200 170 200 260
Akihabara 140 170 170 140 200
Ueno 160 200 200 140 170
Ikebukuro 200 160 260 200 170

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.

My itinerary

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.

  1. Hotel was closed to JR Akihabara station.
  2. I need direct transfer between Tokyo and Akihabara.
  3. 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.

139 thoughts on “Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokyo Tokunai Pass), good choice for sightseeing in Tokyo.”

  1. Hi, am from Malaysia and booked flight for me and my spouse for Malaysia – Osaka – Malaysia trip from 16 – 26 Dec 2017. Find your article quite informative and would be great help to us for this trip. Appreacite if you assist us in suggesting a suitable itinerary for my DIY trip. TQ

    1. Hi Maniyarasan,

      Please see the link below. You will find some sample itineraries.
      http://jprail.com/category/sample-itineraries

      I recommend you to decide where you want to go first before you make a trip plan.

      Sorry but I cannot make an itinerary for you personally. Otherwise everybody ask me and it’s too much for me.
      If you make a plan and need my suggestions, you can show me it and I will give you a suggestion.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. I am travelling to Tokyo and will go to Osaka on June 19 1/2 day sightseeing;
    June 20 to Kyoto;
    June 21 to Universal Studios ;
    June 22 will travel back to Tokyo on the 22.
    June 23 Tokyo Sightseeing
    June 24 Mount Fuji
    June 25 Disneyland
    June 26 1/2 Tokyo Sightseeing.
    What is the best train ticket or pass for me.
    Thank you

  3. Hello, Takeshi

    I have a plan to travel in Tokyo and around in one day but i’m not sure one day pass or single ticket which one is reasonable

    I stay in Shinjuku and I would like to go there;
    – Kawagoe (Saitama prefecture)
    – Asakusa
    – Tokyo sky tree
    – Ueno
    – Akihabara
    – Imperial palace
    and back to hotel in Shinjuku.

    At first, I would like to buy ‘Tokanai pass’ but i don’t know is
    this pass cover ‘JR saikyu line to kawagoe’

    So please give me some advice.

    Thank you!
    Tiny

  4. Hi! I need help!

    There will be 11 of us. So we are travelling to Tokyo on the 19th of november and will be staying there for five nights. Until the 24th of november. Which pass should we take then to go around Tokyo? Also i’d like to know if we should get the 7-day JR pass to travel to these places?

    24th-26th Hakone

    26th-1st Kyoto

    1st-3rd Osaka

    Much help is needed. Thanks

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    My family and I are visiting Japan during our children’s spring break.
    I am not sure what would be the best pass or passes to go about for our itinerary which looks like this –

    22nd March – 25th March : Tokyo (probably need a local subway pass or something to cover Tokyo)
    25th : Tokyo to Kaone
    26th : Hakone to Kyoto
    29th : Kyoto to Miyajima
    30th : Miyajima to Osaka
    31st : Osaka to Tokyo
    1st : Tokyo (Flight back from Nirita Airport)

    The way I understand it is, that I should take a local subway pass for Tokyo for the first three days, and then a 7 Day JR pass for the remaining trip till I am back in Tokyo and can take a train to the Airport. Please help me understand this, and suggest the best and cheapest way to go about this.

  6. Hello Takeshi -san,
    I like to ask if kawaguchi station is part of Tokunai Pass?
    how about Yokohama and shin-yokohama I thought they are both JR stations And it says all exvept reserved sests.

    1. Hi Jane san,

      Kawaguchi is not in the coverage area. This pass covers JR line in Tokyo 23 ward. Kawaguchi is in Saitama prefecture.
      Yokohama is not in coverage area either. It’s in Kanagawa prefecture.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thanks for the info. Takeshi-san,
        Iintend to use Tokunai pass on my initial tour to go around downtown and tokyo metro subway one,day pass the following day, which one can Iuse to go go to odaiba or aquacity?
        thanks again

          1. many thanks again Takeshi-san, but I still have a question, If I am using Tokunai pass, and look or use hyperDia It shows many transfers, do I have to pay extra fees, for the other train transfers ?
            thanks for your patience.

  7. Hi,
    I will be traveling with family of 3 adults and 1 toddler from 5th March to 11st March. We will be arriving at Narita Airport and departing from Kansai Airport. Currently planning for 4nights in Tokyo and 2 nights in Osaka. Could you please advise which pass should we purchase during the time in Tokyo?
    Many thanks for your advice!

  8. Hi Takeshi,

    My wife and I will travel to Japan from 3/4/2017 until 16/4/2017. We will arrive at Kansai Airport and fly back from Narita Airport. We have a difficulty to make a decision which train ticket or pass that we have to buy.

    Basically, our itinerary will be like this:

    3/4/2017 – Arrive at Kansai Airport. Train to Osaka. Tour Osaka. (I will stay in Osaka for 8 night, my Airbnb place is at 大阪市北区中津7-8-5)
    4/4/2017 – 7/4/2017 – Daily commute to Kyoto from Osaka
    8/4/2017 – Day trip to Kurashiki and Kojima Jeans Street
    9/4/2017 – Day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima
    10/4/2017 – Tour Osaka
    11/4/2017 – Take a train to Tokyo (I will stay in Tokyo for 5 night, my Airbnb place is at 東京都台東区駒形1-7-8)
    12/4/2017 – 15/4/2017 – Tour Tokyo. (including Disneysea)
    16/4/2017 – Train to Narita Airport.

    Hope you can advise me on which train passes that I should purchase during my time in Japan. Thanks.

    1. Hi Shamil,

      You may use JR Pass 7 days from 6 Apr to 12 Apr.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      For the first 3 days, you can use Kansai thru pass 3 days.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      You will spend 4 days in Kyoto. You will use Kansai thru pass for the first 2 days and JR pass for another two days. The coverage of these passes in Kyoto are different. Please make sure the coverage and decide which place you go.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      JR Pass covers most part of your trip until it’s expired.

      In Tokyo, you can use subway pass.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      For access to Narita, please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/narita/the-list-of-deals-for-access-to-downtown-tokyo-from-narita-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hi Takeshi,

    My friend and I will travel in Tokyo on April 13-16. We will be arriving at past 10am in Narita. What pass will I buy that can be used when we go around western tokyo and also from Narita Airport to Tokyo. Our trip will be on Tokyo only. Thank you and have a nice day. ^^,

    —pammy

Before you leave your comment, please see the conditions below.
  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded and nothing happens. But your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals.
  • Please do not ask me to reply to your inquiry by email. In this website, I would like to share all information with any readers. I do not communicate with you directly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*