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.
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.
|Area||Kanto Area Pass||JR East Pass||Japan Rail Pass|
|Kawaguchiko (Mt. Fuji)||Y||N||N|
|Atami (Izu peninsula)||Y||Y||Y|
|Shimoda (Izu peninsula)||Y||Y||N|
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.
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.
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.
|Trains||Kanto Area Pass||JR East Pass||Japan Rail Pass|
|Green class||N||Y (Green pass)||Y (Green pass)|
|Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa||Add fare||Add fare||Y|
|Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa Gran class||Add fare||Add fare||Add fare|
|Joetsu Shinkansen||Tokyo-Jomo Kogen||Y||Y|
|Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo-Kyoto/Osaka)||N||N||Y|
|Sanyo Shinkansen (Shin Osaka-Hakata)||N||N||Y|
|Kyushu Shinkansen (Shin Osaka-Hakata)||N||N||Y|
|Tokyo Monorail (Haneda-Hamamatsucho)||Y||Y||Y|
|Izu Kyuko line (Ito-Shimoda)||Y||Y||N|
|Tobu line (to Nikko)||N||Y||N|
|Fuji Kyuko line (to Kawaguchiko)||Y||N||N|
|Hokuetsu Kyuko line (Echigo Yuzawa-Naoetsu)||N||Y||N|
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.
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.