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. Adam says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    First time visit to Tokyo.
    My plan itinerary for 19 days in May 2016.

    May 09 – Arrive Narita– Stay Sasazuka station area
    May 10 – Tokyo Tourism
    May 11 – Tokyo Tourism
    May 12 – Tokyo Tourism
    May 13 – Tokyo Tourism
    May 14 – Kamakura
    May 15 – Tokyo Tourism
    May 16- Kanazawa
    May 17 – Kanazawa
    May 18— Takayama
    May 19– Takayama
    May 20— Kyoto
    May 21 — Kyoto
    May 22— Kyoto
    May 23— Kyoto
    May 24– Hiroshima
    May 25—Miyajima
    May 26— Tokyo
    May 27— Return to Canada

    I decided to buy Jr pass 14 days and activate the 14th of may.

    My question is about the five first days in Tokyo, I’m confused which pass should I take in tokyo. I will stay near to Sasazuka Station and I’m searching a pass that cover my first day of the Narita Airport to Sasazuka Station and also the tourist spots in Tokyo.

    Can you please recommend what type of passes should we buy?

    Thanks

  2. Hemit says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    First time visit to Tokyo. Accomodation in Shinjuku.
    My plan itinerary for 2weeks in April 2016.

    Apr 22 – Arrive Haneda – Stay Shinjuku station area
    Apr 23 – Tokyo Sightseeing (places to go like Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shirine, Shinjuku, Ginza, Akibahara, etc)
    Apr 24 – Hitachi Seapark & Ashikaga Flower Park
    Apr 25 – Tokyo Sightseeing (places to go like Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shirine, Shinjuku, Ginza, Akibahara, etc)
    Apr 26 – Disneyland
    Apr 27 – Mt Fuji + Lake Kawaguchi
    Apr 28 – Hakone – Takayama
    Apr 29 – Takayama – Shirokawago – Takayama
    Apr 30 – Takayama – Kyoto
    May 1-2 – Kyoto Sightseeing
    May 3 – Kyoto – Osaka
    May 4-7 – Osaka Sightseeing (to Nara & Kobe)
    May 8 – Back directly to Kansai Airport.

    I’m a bit confuse as to which pass should I take ta tokyo. For Kansai area, I had plan to take the Kansai Thru Pass.

    Can you please recommend on what type of passes should we buy?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  3. Helly says:

    Hi Takeshi :
    First time visit to Tokyo. Accomodation in Shinjuku.
    My itinerary in March 2016.

    Day 1 Arrival Narita 7am, Tokyo Sightseeing
    Day 2 Tokyo Sightseeing
    Day 3 Kawaguchiko
    Day 4 Yokohama (overnight)
    Day 5 Yokohama – Tokyo
    Day 6 Galayuzawa
    Day 7 Tokyo Sightseeing
    Day 8 Tokyo Sightseeing, Departure Narita 10pm

    I am thinking to take :
    1. Return limo bus for Narita-Shinjuku (Day 1,8) because we have luggages
    2. Return express bus to Kawaguchiko (Day 3)
    3. Tokyo Wide Pass for Yokohama and Galayuzawa (Day 4-6) – is it worth it, or cheaper to just take normal train to Yokohama
    4. Suica Card for all Tokyo sightseeing

    Or would you suggest switching days on the itinerary ?

    Thank You in advance. I would really appreciate your advise.

  4. sindhu says:

    In relation to my above post,
    FYI : I shall be buying 7D JRpass ( trip is for 11 days ).

    after 4th Apr, will be moving forward to Kyoto , Nara

    Thanks,
    Sindhu Ravindraprasad

    • Hi Sindhu,

      I would like to know the whole part of your itinerary. After 4th, visit Kyoto and Nara but where you will stay? Which airport are you going to arrive and depart? Do you visit any other places other than Kamakura, Nikko, Hakone/Fuji, Kyoto and Nara?

      Please let me know your itinerary day by day.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Sindhu says:

    Hi Takeshi ,

    We shall we reaching Tokyo on 31st March 9:30am, planning to book a hotel near to Toyocho station.

    Plan is to
    31st March – go around Tokyo
    1st Apr – Kamakura
    2nd Apr – Nikko
    3-4th Apr – Hakone and Mt.Fuji

    Will Tokyo wide pass be helpful to us ? does it cover the local transport within Nikko, Kamakura and Hakone ?

    Thanks,
    Sindhu

  6. Bujang says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    Knowing that the Tokyo Wide Pass will only be valid for 3 days, would that be enough to see the best of Kanto? Or would I need to spend more days to see them all? I am planning to make an itinerary out of this pass but I just want to make sure that it’s going to be worth it.

    • Hi Bujang,

      It’s hard to say. If you want to see popular spot in coverage area, like Lake Kawaguchi, Izu peninsula, Gala Yuzawa, Karuizawa, Nikko, 3 days is not enough. So make sure where you want to go and see. If you want to see more than 3 places, 3 days is not enough.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Bujang says:

        Hello Takeshi,

        Appreciated the really fast reply! Anyway, I am planning to go on a day trip to Nikko, Kusatsu Onsen, and Kamakura. By the end of each day I’d return to my place at Tokyo. Is this doable? Because I know the pass lets me use shinkansen indefinitely and that would save a lot of time I think.

  7. Herry says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Just recently changed our itinerary on our Japan Trip. This will be our new plan:
    Dec 29 – Arrive Narita – Stay nearby Shibuya station
    Dec 30 – Disney Sea Resort
    Dec 31 – Jan 3 – Tokyo Sightseeing (places to go like Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shirine, Shinjuku, Ginza, Akibahara, etc)
    Jan 4 – Mt fuji Trip – Stay nearby Kawaguchiko Train Station
    Jan 5 – Back directly to Narita Airport.

    Can you please recommend on what type of passes should we buy? Thanks in advance for your help.

    Regards,
    Herry.

  8. Shahida says:

    Hi Takeshi
    This entry of yours is awesome. So if i am spending 9 days in tokyo and my itinery is as follow :
    19 dec – tokyo
    20 dec – disney
    21- disney
    22 – 23 dec – mt fuji
    24 – 26 – tokyo

    Should i only get the tokyo wide pass (JR Kanto A Pass) and the SUICA card? Will that cover all the areas I am going?

    Thank you

  9. Diana says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    My itinerary for 4days in tokyo:
    1. Narita-shinjuku, arrived @noon
    2. Hakone trip
    3. Tokyo city tour
    4. Shinjuku-narita

    -Can i use narita express using kanto area pass for free (no extra charge)?
    -What pass you would recommended me if i go to hakone (cheaper / efficient) buy jr kanto pass or hakone pass?
    -from my itinerary, do you think it worth to buy jr kanto pass?

    Thank you for your time 🙂

  10. Amyyen says:

    Hi Takesih, thx for your reply .can i use tokyo wide pass from tokyo to osaka train ride?

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