JR East Kanto Area Pass. Perfect choice for tourist who want to go to Fuji, Izu, Nikko from Tokyo.

kawaguchiko fujiRail pass for visitors
Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) can be accessed bvy this pass ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
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Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) can be accessed bvy this pass ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) can be accessed bvy this pass ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

Are you going to stay in Tokyo for several days? Do you have any plans to go outside of Tokyo, like Mt. Fuji, Izu peninsula, or Nikko when you stay in Tokyo? If so, this newest rail pass, Kanto Area Pass should be suitable for you!
This brand new pass has been started to sell from JR East in December, 2011. The price is only 8,000 yen for unlimited train trip in 3 consecutive days. I will show where you can go by this pass and compare this Kanto Area Pass, JR Pass and JR East Pass.

*As of December 1, 2015, Kanto Area Pass will be sold as Tokyo Wide Pass. Price, coverage and valid trains will be changed. Please find the detailed information of newer version, Tokyo Wide Pass at the post, Tokyo Wide Pass is newer version of Kanto Area Pass. Nikko, Fuji, Gala Yuzawa and Odaiba are covered by this pass.

Area

This pass cover all JR lines in Kanto area, such as Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Yamanashi, Gumma, Ibaragi and Tochigi. And the pass also cover some places in Shizuoka and Nagano prefectures, such as Izu peninsula and Karuizawa. Please check this map to see the details.

I compare Kanto Area Pass, JR East Pass, and Japan Rail Pass. Please see the table below.

AreaKanto Area PassJR East PassJapan Rail Pass
TokyoYYY
YokohamaYYY
NikkoYYY
KamakuraYYY
Kawaguchiko (Mt. Fuji)YNN
Atami (Izu peninsula)YYY
Shimoda (Izu peninsula)YYN
SendaiNYY
NiigataNYY
NaganoNYY
HokkaidoNNY
KyotoNNY
OsakaNNY
HiroshimaNNY
KyushuNNY

The Kanto Are Pass is only pass that cover Kawaguchiko in Mt. Fuji. This is the biggest advantage of this pass.

Prices and valid period

Kanto Area Pass is sold at 8,300 yen for adult and 4,200 yen for child (6-12yrs). The pass is valid for 3 consecutive days. So this pass is obviously for the tourist who stay for the short time or using this pass with other long term passes, such as Japan Rail Pass.

ex) Stay in Japan for 10 days:
Spend first (or last) 3 days in Tokyo. Use 7 days Japan Rail Pass for travelling in all Japan, such as Hokkaido, Kyoto, Kyushu. Use this pass to travel to Mt. Fuji, Nikko or Izu when you stay in Tokyo.

Please refer JR East Kanto Area Pass page. It says the round trip to Kawaguchiko in Mt. Fuji from Narita Airport is 14,240 yen. The round trip to Nikko from Haneda airport is 11,800 yen. So if you have multiple travel, like Nikko and Mt. Fuji from Tokyo, this pass gives you a great deal. And this page show you where you can purchase this pass.

Validity

I think this chapter is very important too. You need to know which train you can take by pass before you purchase. I compare Kanto Area Pass, Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass again.

TrainsKanto Area PassJR East PassJapan Rail Pass
Local trainsYYY
Green classNY (Green pass)Y (Green pass)
Limited expressYYY
Tohoku ShinkansenTokyo-KuroisoYY
Tohoku Shinkansen HayabusaAdd fareAdd fareY
Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa Gran classAdd fareAdd fareAdd fare
Joetsu ShinkansenTokyo-Jomo KogenYY
Nagano ShinkansenTokyo-SakudairaYY
Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo-Kyoto/Osaka)NNY
Sanyo Shinkansen (Shin Osaka-Hakata)NNY
Kyushu Shinkansen (Shin Osaka-Hakata)NNY
Tokyo Monorail (Haneda-Hamamatsucho)YYY
Izu Kyuko line (Ito-Shimoda)YYN
Tobu line (to Nikko)NYN
Fuji Kyuko line (to Kawaguchiko)YNN
Hokuetsu Kyuko line (Echigo Yuzawa-Naoetsu)NYN

Both Kanto Area Pass and JR East Pass do not cover Tokaido Shinkansen. Even if you want to use this Shinkansen in JR East area, like to Atami, you still need to pay full fare because Tokaido Shinkansen is not operated by JR East but JR Central.
When you go to Nikko, JR East Pass cover limited express train Nikko that is operated between Shinjuku and Nikko directly. But both Japan Rail Pass and Kanto Area Pass do not cover this train. You need to take Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya and take local train to Nikko.
Refer this post: How to access to Nikko. Learn about how to get Nikko by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge.
When you go to Kawaguchiko, Kanto Area Pass cover local train only on Fuji Kyuko line. Fuji Kyuko operate some express trains. But you need to pay additional charge to take these trains.

Refer this post: Japan Railways is the best way to access Mt. Fuji? How much can we use Japan Rail Pass to go to Mt. Fuji?

Conclusion

In my opinion, JR East pass is not useful so much. But Kanto Area Pass is very convenient because of great addition, such as Fuji Kyuko and Izu Kyuko.

Comments

  1. Gina Lim says:

    Hi Takeshi
    Appreciate you could check my itinerary as below
    I am planning to visit Hitachi seaside, Ashikaga flower park and staying 2 nights hotels near UENO stations. And the third days go to NIKKO and stay 1night. So I intend to use my Tokyo wide pass from Haneda Airport on my arrival directly to UENO station on my first day, is this practical?
    And then I intend to stay 2 nights at Lake kawaguchi. Then go back to shinjuku to stay. May I have your suggestion how to utilise my Tokyo wide pass and my lake kawaguchi and shinjuku . Thanks.

  2. Jody says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’d like to cover Hitachi Seaside Park (for the nemophilia), Ashikaga Flower Park (for Fuji) and Fuji 5 lakes area. I’m travelling with parents so I’m taking a slightly slower pace so that we don’t pack in too much. Here’s my thinking for my <2 week stay there:

    Day 1: Arrive in Haneda airport (late at midnight)
    Day 2: Go to Ashikaga Flower Park (stay overnight) – (use JR Tokyo Wide Pass, Day 1?)
    Day 3: Travel back to Tokyo from Ashikaga (use JR Tokyo Wide Pass, Day 2)
    Day 4: Go to Hitachi Seaside Park/Mito (use JR Tokyo Wide Pass, Day 3)
    Day 5: Go to Lake Kawaguchi/Hakone/Odawara/Gotemba Premium Outlets/Daio Wasabai Farm, Oshino Hakkai Village, Fuji Shibazakura Festival (use Hakone Fuji Hakone Pass?)
    Day 6: o to Lake Kawaguchi/Hakone/Odawara/Gotemba Premium Outlets/Daio Wasabai Farm, Oshino Hakkai Village, Fuji Shibazakura Festival (use Hakone Fuji Hakone Pass?)
    Day 7: Return to Tokyo from Lake Kawaguchi/Hakone (use Hakone Fuji Hakone Pass?)
    Day 8: Visit Nezu Jinja Shrine
    Day 9: Tokyo (flexi day)
    Day 10: Tachikawa's Showa Kinen Koen?

    • Hi Jody san,

      If you are okay with a day trip to Hitachi Seaside park, you can make a day trip to Ashikaga Flower Park too. Actually a trip time to Hitachi Seaside Park is longer than a trip time to Ashikaga Flower Park. If you really want to stay in Ashikaga, that’s okay. I think you can stay in Mito instead of Ashikaga because you will visit Mito and Seaside park. And there ara lots of hotels in Mito. Anyway I just want to let you know it. The choice is yours.

      If you use Fuji Hakone Pass, it includes one way Shinjuku to/from Lake Kawaguchi and one way Shinjuku to/from Hakone. So you have to go back to Shinjuku from Hakone of day 7. You have to move with luggaege to Hakone and visit many places. And then go back to Shinjuku. If you stay overnight in Hakone on day 6, that is fine. If you intend to stay in Lake Kawaguchi only, this will be an issue.

      There is a way to avoid this issue. That is using Fuji Hakone Pass Odawara version. This pass does not include Shinjuku-Hakone/Lake Kawaguchi return. You will get unlimited ride in Fuji and Hakone area only.
      https://www.odakyu.jp/english/passes/fujihakone/

      You may add the fares for return trip by the express bus between Shinjuku and Lake Kawaguchi.
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1/

      If you do day trips to Ashikaga park and Hitachi seaside park on day 3 and 4, you can use Tokyo Wide Pass to get Lake Kawaguchi on day 5. You can save one way cost of express bus to Lake Kawaguchi. You still have to start using Fuji Hakone Pass odawara version on day 5. Tokyo Wide Pass covers the way to get Lake Kawaguchi.

      You can use Welcome Suica for day 8 to 10.

      You may find some deals for Haneda to Tokyo in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/haneda/how-to-access-from-haneda-airport-to-downtown-tokyo.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Aloha Takeshi,
    What is the best train ticket to buy from Tokyo to Tsurigasaki Beach?

    Thank you,
    Lori

  4. Faye Jolley says:

    Will be in Tokyo for 3 days and wish to travel to Hitachi Seaside Park as well as use subway to get around Tokyo to see sites. Is there a suitable pass or just pay for trip to Hitachi and use Suica card. Thanks

  5. Caroline says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I will be travelling to Japan in early May and would like to explore Hitachi Seaside Park, Lake Kawaguchiko for Fuji Shibazakura, Ashikaga Flower Park, also Kakunodate for cherry blossom festival.

    Could you give advice which pass should I buy? I think of JR East Pass since it is cover Kakunodate area.

    Does JR East Pass also cover Hitachi Seaside Park and Ashikaga Flower Park? I couldn’t find any information about this. Hope you can help.

    Thank you so much!

  6. sharon says:

    Hi Takeshi San

    We will be visiting Tokyo this Dec. Will head straight to Lake Kawaguchio and stay for a night. Will be travelling back to Tokyo
    The next day for another 5 nights.

    We would like to take a day trip to Kamakura, Nikko & Kawagoe. What pass would you recommend for our trip ?

  7. kiran says:

    Hi,

    I will be travelling to Tokyo next week 2 adults 2 kids. could you please suggest which pass covers best and which day I should I start using

    Day 1..Fri 15th april arrive Tokyo 9 am ..
    Day 2 … open itinerary
    Day 3 … Nikko edo wonderland
    Day 4 .. Gala yuzawa

    I can swap itinerary of 1st 4 days

    Below days are fixed as meeting friends

    Day 5 lake kawaguchiko
    Day 6 lake kawaguchiko will.do.sighseeing around fuji
    Day 7 Disney sea
    Day 8 .. leave for home

  8. Antonette says:

    Oh dear..

    I have decided on an itinerary using the tokyo wide pass for first 3days only..

    But still missing with one more place to explore. Arrrggggh

    DAY 1- please fill in the blank this is our first day to explore the kanto area. Can anybody suggest the best place to indulge???

    Was thinking of Hitachi Seaside Park, Nikko, Showa Kinen Park, Echigo-Yuzawa or whatever??? Any suggestion is very much welcome. Please say something.

    DAY 2 – GALA YUZAWA

    DAY 3 – FUJI-Q HIGHLAND THEME PARK – I replaced lake kawaguchico with Fuji-Q highland because there is also a possibility where we can view the Mt. Fuji here and I guess there’s a lot of fun things to do here than in Lake kawaguichiko.. Hmmm.. Please correct me if im wrong..

    Can somebody instruct me how to get there in Fuji-Q highland theme park from tokyo using the tokyo wide pass?

    Day 4 – Odaiba

    Day 5 – Disneyland

    Day 6 – Ueno Park, Shibuya, Shinjuku,

    Day 7 – Imperial Palace and the bridge near this. Then depart tokyo by 3PM going to Narita airport through shuttle bus.

    730PM Flight Departure

  9. Antonette says:

    Oh Dear…

    Will be in Tokyo this April and I badly need your guidance. Can we use the Tokyo Wide Pass around Tokyo such as ueno, shinjuku, shibuya, akihabara etc etc along the yamanote line?? How about disneyland and Fuji-Q Theme parks sir? can this pass cover all I’ve just mentioned sir?

    Anyway, Here is our itinerary:

    Using tokyo wide rail pass for Day1 to Day3

    Day 1 : NARITA airport (arrival 5am) – tokyo station – Sardonyx Hotel in Hatchibori.

    We need to leave our stuff first at the hotel then explore the places covered by this pass. Can you suggest which places to visit on our Day1? Is Mt. Fuji and odaiba feasible on Day1?

    Day2: Tokyo station – Gala Yuzawa
    Whole day in this ski resort. What do you think sir?

    Day3: Tokyo station – Echigo-Yuzawa, then please kindly insert additional places we can explore on this day that is also covered by this pass?

    Day4: Disneyland

    Day5: shibuya, shinjuku, ueno, imperial palace

    Day6: more sight seeing and shopping – any suggestions what to do and where to go sir?

    Day7: more suggestions please?? Departure time is at 8PM from Narita Airport. Will just ride the Be-trensse shuttle bus going to Narita Airport from tokyo bus stop as this is way cheaper.

    I would truly appreciate your efforts and time. It’s my birthday journey with my Husband & daughter

    • Hi Antonette,

      Tokyo Wide Pass is a good choice. It covers all places that you mentioned.
      Hakone and Nikko are well known as day trip destination from Tokyo.
      http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3800.html
      http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/how-to-access-to-nikko-from-tokyo-there-are-three-ways-from-tokyo-shinjuku-and-asakusa.html

      Hitachi Seaside park is a good place to visit in spring flower season.
      http://en.hitachikaihin.jp/

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Antonette says:

        Thank you so much Sir.

        I read your entry regarding Nikko. This place looks so good too because of the snow! Do you think there is still snow there by second week of April Sir like in April 10-13?

        So for clarifications, the Tokyo wide pass can also cover odaiba, disneyland, Fuji-Q theme park, Hakone, Nikko and Hitachi seaside park sir? Do we need to pay more or we can just simply use our tokyo wide pass? We can purchase the tokyo wide pass TWICE if you suggest it will help us saves a lot.

        • Hi Antonette,

          You cannot see snow at Nikko in mid April. It’s spring season there.
          Don’t use Tokyo Wide Pass for visiting Odaiba and Disneyland. Single ticket is okay.
          Hakone Free Pass is much better than Tokyo Wide Pass to visit Hakone. Tokyo Wide Pass does not cover most of transportation in Hakone. Even you will have day trip, 2 days Hakone free pass is your choice. (there is not one day choice)
          http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/hakone/

          You may use Tokyo Wide Pass to use Nikko and Hitachi Seaside park. You may use Tokyo Wide Pass twice if you want.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          • Rena says:

            Hi antonette :
            I just got back from Tokyo. We were there mid March. On Takeshi’s advise, we bought the Tokyo Wide Pass. We used it as follows :
            Day 1 – Galayuzawa Ski Resort via shinkansen. This place is beautiful. We joined the snow walking tour which enable us to access to snow dreamland via the emergency tunnel which bring you to an amazing ski field, with thick powdered snow with a million dollar view. I cant believe the one hour snow walking which cost us like 3500 yen perperson (incl jackets, pants) would be so awesome.

            Day 2 – Lake Kawaguchi for Mt Fuji and Saiko Nenba ( traditional japanese village where we rented cheap kimono). This is via 2 connecting express train. There is no shinkansen to Lake Kawaguchi. We had brilliant sunshine when we were there, there were cruise, ropeway, which was all easily accesible by buying a day pass of the retro bus. It was awesome.

            Day 3 – We thought of going to Shirakawa but too tired as the above two trips had us start really early in the morning – so we just use it to go around Tokyo on Yamanote line. Then we went to Odaiba on Rinkai line from Shinjuku. Its a direct train.

            Based on my calculation, we paid 10,000 yen each for the ticket vs about 24000 yen that we would have to spend if we were to buy single tickets. Its so worth it and super easy. If you use it for another day of shinkansen anywhere allowed by the pass, you would save more.

            The most important though for us was to go to where we wanted to go while saving on the train ticket. And Tokyo Wide Pass was a perfect choice for us.

            We spent some time at JR East Travel Center at Shinjuku Station on our first day of arrival to understand how the whole thing works. Japan is truly addictive. We spent another 5 days just exploring Tokyo using subway (we just use Suica card). 5 days seem long but actually it is not. We will go back.

            Hope this helps

            • Hi Rena,

              Thanks for sharing your experience.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

            • Antonette says:

              Oh thank you heaps Rena!!!! That’s so lovely to know!!!

              I’m curious with that snow walk tour you availed in Gala Yuzawa. Where can we join this tour? Is it only 1hour for 3500jpy? Will be in Narita airport on the 10th at 6AM. Will get the Tokyo Wide Pass by then. Will Board the Nartia Express going to tokyo as this is included in the pass. Drop our stuff at hotel so probably around 11AM onwards we are set to explore Mt. FUJI as Day1

              Day 2 – Gala Yuzawa

              Day 3 – Echigo-Yuzawa or wherever this pass can bring us. Hitachi Seaside park as Takeshi suggested is also wonderful to see.but i dont have any idea if we will spend the whole day there or if we explore another place – where to?

              I really don’t know! Hahaha too many places to see!overwhelming!
              For sure, My husband and I are not too fond of temples and shrines. What we love – ski resorts – SNOW, flowers – tulips!, theme parks.

              Sigh…

            • Antonette says:

              Hi rena.. You mentioned about the snow walk tour 3500jpy at Gala Yuzawa. Can you tell me where to get this tour and how long?

              On your Day3, you were supposed to go to shirakawa? Is this in shirakawa go rena? Is shirakawa go covered in tokyo wide pass?

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