In March, 2018, new rail pass, “Greater Tokyo Pass” was launched in overseas tourist market. This new deal covers all subway lines in Tokyo and major non JR railway services in Tokyo and surrounding area. Both Haneda and Narita airports are covered by this pass. You can start using this pass right after you arrive in Japan.
You may be overwhelmed by train system in Tokyo. It is very complicated because there are many train lines and many different railway companies. There are lots of deals available but you may not be able to find the coverage of the pass.
In this post, I will show you all subway lines and JR lines in downtown core of Tokyo. And I will also tell you about train system surrounding in Tokyo too. Because some of trains that come from outside Tokyo go to downtown Tokyo via subway line. This is actually one of the reason why it is so difficult to understand train system in Tokyo
Tokyo Wide Pass is currently sold as Kanto Area Pass. This pass will be remodeled and will be sold as Tokyo Wide Pass on December 1, 2015. It covers Tokyo and surrounding area, such as Mt. Fuji, Izu peninsula, or Nikko. Echigo-Yuzawa will be covered by Tokyo Wide Pass but it is not by Kanto Area Pass.
***This train usually runs in peak periods. But since summer peak season in 2014, this train has not run any more. It seems that this train service is discontinued.***
Moonlight Echigo (ムーンライトえちご) is the overnight rapid service train that is operated between Shinjuku (新宿) and Niigata (新潟). This train used to be a scheduled train. But it was changed to a seasonal train. It is usually operated in same season as Moonlight Nagara, such as spring break (two weeks from late March to early April), summer break (late July to the end of August) and Christmas holidays. These periods are the seasons when “Seisyun 18 ticket” is sold. Anyone can buy this ticket. You can ride any local train throughout Japan for 5 days at 11500 yen. This train can be used by this ticket. So it is always busy.
This deal, Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket was on sale in 2013 and 2014 during summer season only. Now this deal has just been back in 2015 season. If you have a plan to Mt. Fuji and other place, like Nikko or Kusatsu, Kanto Area Pass is better choice. But if you need a deal for trip to Mt. Fuji only, this pass is most suitable.
This pass covers eastern part of Honshu island (main island) in Japan, such as Tohoku region, surrounding Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Izu peninsula and most part of Nagano. You can take any trains in the coverage area with a few exception. If you will be a temporary visitor, you are eligible to purchase this deal.
The biggest difference from any other JR Passes is valid periods. You don’t need to use this pass in consecutive days. You can pick any 5 days within 14 days.
Let’s see the details about this pass. I also compare with other passes, such as JR Pass and Kanto Area Pass.
I visited Ghibli Museum in this past spring and I realized how popular this site is for overseas travellers. It is not very difficult to access this museum. But some of you worry about language, direction, storage and exact location to catch a bus to the museum. In this post, I use lots of picture to explain about access by train and bus. Continue reading Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.
If you will arrive in Narita and stay in Tokyo for several days, Suica & N’ex may be suitable for your stay. This ticket includes Narita Express ticket and 1500 e-money in IC card “Suica”. Suica can be used for both JR train and subways in downtown Tokyo. You can use this ticket for almost any trains when you stay in Tokyo.
Shinshu region is located in the heart of Japan. You might have heard Nagano where held winter Olympic games in 1998. There are lost of popular cities in this region, such as Nagano, Karuizawa and Matsumoto. And also Shinano-Omachi is well known as the gate way station to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route. Hakuba is very popular ski resort in winter season.
Shonan-Shijuku line is not the name of line, but it is the name of Rapid train’s route. This line connects west side of downtown Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya with major cities in Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, Kanagawa prefectures. This is a sort of commute train. But all trains have two double decker Green cars in the formation. This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Of course if you use Japan Rail Pass Green, you can take Green cars with no extra cost. Continue reading Direct access from Shinjuku to Yokohama and Kamakura. Rapid train on Shonan-Shinjuku line
Japan Railway operate Rapid trains throughout Japan. Especially lots of Rapid trains are operated in urban area, such as Greater Tokyo. In Tokyo, these trains are operated basically for commuters. But there are many operation routes. Of course you can use these trains for your exploring in surrounding Tokyo area. These trains connect Tokyo (=東京) and Shinjuku (=新宿) with Yokohama (=横浜), Kamakura (=鎌倉), Odawara (=小田原) (for Hakone (=箱根)), Utsunomiya (=宇都宮) (for Nikko (=日光)), Mito (=水戸), Narita airport (=成田空港) and even Atami (=熱海) (Izu peninsula hot springs (=伊豆半島)). These trains are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. If you have Japan Rail Pass Green, most of Rapid trains in Greater Tokyo have double decker Green cars. You will feel same type of atmosphere in a commute train. Continue reading No express surcharge! Fast, economical and convenient! Rapid service network in Greater Tokyo
These trains connect Shinjuku and Ikebukuro in Tokyo, and Nikko and Kinugawa-Onsen. These trains run on JR line and Tobu Railway line. That means you have to pay extra if you use JR Pass. JR Pass cover JR line portion only. But if you use JR East Passes, such as JR East Pass Nagano Niigata, Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Pass Tohoku, both JR line and Tobu Railway lines are covered. This may be complicated for you.