matsumoto castle nagano

JR East Pass Nagano Niigata user guide. Flex 5-day pass in 14 days period to cover Nagano, Niigata, Tokyo and surrounding area.

Zenko-ji temple in Nagano (left) and Yuzawa Onsen in Niigata (right)  (C) Nagano Prefecture / JNTO
Zenko-ji temple in Nagano (left) and Yuzawa Onsen in Niigata (right) (C) Nagano Prefecture / JNTO

There are two kinds of JR East Pass, Nagano Niigata and Tohoku. In this post, I would like to explain about JR East Pass Nagano Niigata in this post.

Prices and valid period

Validity periodPurchase outside Japan
or online
Purchase inside Japan
Adult
12 years and older
17,310 yen18,330 yen
Child
6 to 11 years old
8,650 yen9,160 yen

*Child who is 5 years old and younger is free but you have to share the seat with child. If you want to have a seat for child too, you have to purchase child pass for even younger than 5 years old.

This pass is FLEX type pass. You can pick any 5 days to use in 14 days period. This is same type of pass as current JR East Pass. 14 days period is counted from the day of purchase.

One day means midnight to midnight, technically 0:00 to 23:59. Even if you start using the pass at 23:00. you will spend one full day for just one hour. So try to start in the morning. It does not make sense to start to use in the evening.

How to buy JR East Pass Nagano Niigata

You may buy it online at ACP Rail. ACP Rail is the official retailer of JR East:

JR East Pass online purchasing at ACP Rail

Coverage Area

Matsumoto castle is one of four castles which have the original tower.
Matsumoto castle is one of four castles which have the original tower.

This pass covers all JR trains in Kanto area, such as Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Yamanashi, Gumma, Ibaragi and Tochigi, and Niigata and Nagano area. And the pass also cover some places in Shizuoka, such as Izu peninsula.

This pass covers the following major spots in the area.

  • Nikko
  • Odawara (Gate station to Hakone)
  • Izu peninsula (Atami, Ito, Shimoda)
  • Katsuta (Gate station to Hitachi Seaside Park)
  • Karuizawa
  • Kusatsu
  • Kamakura
  • Kawagoe
  • Echigo-Yuzawa, Gala Yuzawa
  • Niigata
  • Nagano
  • Hakuba
  • Shinano-Omachi
  • Matsumoto
  • Niigata

This deal does not cover any places in Tohoku region, such as Sendai, Akita, Aomori. Those places are covered by another new JR East Pass “Tohoku”.

Nikko to Echigo-Yuzawa/Gala-Yuzawa on the list above are covered by Tokyo Wide Pass as well. You may compare this pass and Tokyo Wide Pass if you visit these places only.

JR East official site – Tokyo Wide Pass

I will tell you the coverage railways at next chapter.

Valid trains and lines

JR deals covers basically JR trains only. Non JR railway’s train and subway are not covered. But JR East Pass Nagano Niigata covers many “NON JR” railway trains. The following railways are NON JR companies but these are covered by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata.

  • Tokyo Monorail (Haneda-Airport – Hamamatsucho)
  • Izu Kyuko Line (Ito – Izukyu-Shimoda)
  • Hokuetsu Express Line (Muikamachi – Saigata)
  • Echigo Tokimeki Railway (Arai – Naoetsu)
  • Limited Express Nikko, Spacia Nikko, Kinugawa, and Spacia Kinugawa (Shinjuku – Tobu-Nikko / Kinugawa-Onsen)
  • Tobu Railway local trains and rapid trains (Shimo-imaichi – Tobu-Nikko/Kinugawa-Onsen)

Those covered trains are the benefit of this deal. Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass) covers only Tokyo Monorail. However other JR deal, Tokyo Wide Pass covers more.

When you go to Nikko, JR East Pass Nagano Niigata covers the direct limited express train from Shinjuku to Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen but Japan Rail Pass does not. This is one of the benefits of this rail pass. Please see the post below to learn about this train:

However this deal does not cover Fujikyu Railway to get Kawaguchiko from Otsuki. Tokyo Wide Pass covers this railway. It gives you the access to get Lake Kawaguchi without any extra charge. If you want to get Lake Kawaguchi by this deal, you need to pay extra for Otsuki to Kawaguchiko on Fuji Kyuko line.

Tokaido Shinkansen
The segment of Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Atami is in the coverage area of this pass. But this pass does not cover this Shinkansen line because this does not belong to JR East but JR Central.

JR East Pass Nagano Niigata does not cover Tokaido Shinkansen. Even if you want to use this Shinkansen in JR East area, like Tokyo to Atami or Tokyo to Odawara, this pass does not cover at all because Tokaido Shinkansen is not operated by JR East but JR Central. When you want to get Odawara (Hakone) or Atami, your choice is a rapid train or the Limited Express Odoriko. These trains are covered by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata.

Compare single fare and JR East Pass Nagano Niigata

When you think about purchasing this deal, you have to make sure that you can get the worth of this pass or not. I show you some sample fares.
*All rates are based on the base fare andthe reserved seat limited express supplement in the regular season.

Trip to Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen from Shinjuku or Ikebukuro by direct limited express train, Nikko or Kinugawa

Total fare is 4,000 yen for one way to either Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen.

Trip to Nikko from Tokyo by Shinkansen and local train

If you stay at east side of Tokyo, like Shinagawa, Tokyo, Ueno, this route may be faster than direct express from Shinjuku.
Total fare is 5,580 yen for one way.

Trip to Otsuki from Shinjuku by Limited Epxress Azusa or Kaiji

Total fares are 2,770 yen from Shinjuku for one way.

Trip to Matsumoto from Shinjuku by Limited Epxress Azusa or Kaiji

Total fares are 6,900 yen from Shinjuku for one way.

Trip to Gala Yuzawa from Tokyo by Shinkansen

Total fare is 6,870 yen for one way.

Trip to Odawara, Atami or Izukyu-Shimoda from Tokyo by limited express train, Odoriko or Super View Odoriko

Total fare is 2,940 yen to Odawara for one way by Odoriko and 3,190 yen for one way by Super View Odoriko.
Total fare is 3,800 yen to Atami for one way by Odoriko and 4,180 yen for one way by Super View Odoriko.
Total fare is 6,260 yen to Izukyu-Shimoda for one way by Odoriko and 6,640 yen for one way by Super View Odoriko.

Trip to Karuizawa from Tokyo by Shinkansen

Total fare is 5,910 yen for one way.

Trip to Nagano from Tokyo by Shinkansen

Total fare is 8,200 yen for one way.

Trip to Niigata from Tokyo by Shinkansen

Total fare is 10,570 yen for one way.

Trip between Narita Airport and Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku or Yokohama

Total fares are 3,020 yen for Tokyo, 3,190 yen for Shinagawa or Shinjuku, and 4,290 yen for Yokohama.

Trip between Haneda Airport and Hamamatsucho by Tokyo Monorail

Single fare is 490 yen for one way.

Fares in downtown Tokyo

You can take any local trains, like Yamanote line, Chuo line, Keiyo line by this pass. But the fares in downtown Tokyo is quite reasonable. If you take a local train from Tokyo to Shinjuku, the fare is 200 yen. When you calculate the fares and compare this pass and single fare, you can ignore the fares in downtown Tokyo. It does not help to get worth very much.

Compare JR East Pass Nagano Niigata and Tokyo Wide Pass

I have compared these two deals in this post above. Because Tokyo Wide Pass is cheaper but shorter valid period and a bit smaller coverage area. Now I would like to compare these two passes by the trains and the areas.

DestinationJR East Pass
Niigata and Nagano
Tokyo Wide Pass
JR trains in
downtown Tokyo
YesYes
Narita airportYesYes
NikkoYesYes
KaruizawaYesYes
Gala YuzawaYesYes
KusatsuYesYes
KamakuraYesYes
YokohamaYesYes
NiigataYesNo
NaganoYesNo
MatsumotoYesNo
HakubaYesNo
Shinano-OmachiYesNo
Nozawa-OnsenYesNo
Joetsu-MyokoYesNo
Katsuta
nearest station to
Hitachi Seaside Park
YesYes
Tobu railway of Shinjuku to Nikko
or Kinugawa-Onsen
YesYes
Fuji Kyuko railway
to Lake Kawaguchi
NoYes
Izu Kyuko railway
to Ito, Shimoda
YesYes
Tokyo Monorail
to/from Haneda airport
YesYes
Tokyo Rinkai line
to Odaiba
NoYes
Hokuetsu Express lineYesNo
Echigo Tokimeki Railway

 

YesNo

Both passes do not cover the subway, non JR trains other than the companies on the list above. And both pass do not cover outside Kanto and JR East area, such as Hokkaido, Tohoku region, Toyama, Kanazawa, Takayama, Shirakawago, Nagano, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Hiroshima, Shikoku and Kyushu. But you can access to Takayama, Shin-Hotaka, Kamikochi from Matsumoto by bus. And also you can access to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route from either Shinano-Omachi or Nagano. But the pass does not cover any transportation on Alpine Route and any bus services to Takayama, Kamikochi and Shin-Hotaka.

Assessment

Tokyo Wide pass is sold at 10,000 yen for 3 days. JR East Pass Nagano Niigata is sold at 17,000 yen for any 5 days in 14 days period. JR East Pass Nagano Niigata gives you 2 more days and a bit wider coverage area than Tokyo Wide Pass. If you visit Niigata or/and Nagano area, this pass will be recommended. Otherwise Tokyo Wide Pass is enough for you. If you want to have bigger coverage area, consider to use JR pass or Hokuriku Arch Pass.

I hope you have found that this deal suits your trip plan or not. Enjoy your trip.

181 thoughts on “JR East Pass Nagano Niigata user guide. Flex 5-day pass in 14 days period to cover Nagano, Niigata, Tokyo and surrounding area.”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I want to ask you several things:
    1. if we want to go to Kusatsu Onsen, does this pass covered all the trains & bus fully? i will be traveling from Tokyo and stay 1 night there.
    2. Then after Kusatsu Onsen do you think it’s possible to go to Matsumoto or Karuizawa before heading back to tokyo? and whether this pass also cover all the transportation.
    3. Is going to Hitachi Seaside park is also cover fully?
    4. I read that if you go to Nikko, this pass is cover also, but we have to use train from Shinjuku station only (back and forth). Is that right? May i know if the pass also cover the bus to toshogu shrine?
    5. when we go to Yokohama, we can’t use tokaido shinkansen, is there any limited express train that we can ride that covered by this pass?
    6. What about Kamakura and Enoshima? is it covered also?

    Thanks
    Sorry for so many question, since we have to be exact the validity of this pass whether it’s worth the money.

    Regards,
    Miranti

    1. Hi Miranti,

      1. Yes.

      2. Karuizawa is easy to squeeze. But Matsumoto is not recommended because it is too far. You can take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Takasaki to get Karuizawa.

      3. No. You have to pay the fare to take Hitachinaka Seaside Railway and/or a local bus from Katsuta.

      4. You also can take the Shinkansen from Tokyo or Ueno to Utsunomiya and take a local train from Utsunomiya to Nikko. This route is also covered.
      But the bus in Nikko is not covered.

      5. The limited express Odoriko and Narita Express are covered.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/odoriko-super-view-odoriko.html
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/narita-express.html

      6. You can get Kamakura but you cannot get Enoshima. You have to take Eno-den train from either Kamakura or Fujisawa. These are not covered. JR East Pass covers only JR trains.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/yokohama-and-kamakura-access-guide-find-the-right-deal-and-route-from-your-place-to-stay.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        One more thing, about hitachi seaside park, just to reconfirm, so this pass is cover the train to Katsuta only And we have to buy separate ticket (bus/train) from Katsuta station?

        Angway, Thank you so much for your kind respond.
        This has been really helpful.

        Really appreciate your complete information.

        Regards,
        Miranti

  2. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Thank you very much for all your work. Our itinerary is as follow

    Feb 8- arrive in Haneda late; will buy local transport
    Feb 9- Tokyo to Nagano by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata(1)
    Feb 10- to Snow Monkey Park by separate pass
    Feb 11- relax in an onsen
    Feb 12- Nagano to Akita using JR East Pass Nagano Niigata(2)
    Feb 13- Akita to Niigata by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata(3)
    Feb 16- Niigata to Tokyo by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata(4)
    Feb 17- Tokyo to Kamakura by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata (5)

    The main trip is Tokyo-Nagano-Akita-Niigata-Tokyo. Would you confirm that I get this correctly that I can use the pass as above? Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Jakob san,

      Unfortunately Akita is not in the coverage area of JR East Pass Nagano Niigata. If you take the following route, you have to add the fare about 4,000 yen for one way base fare + one way reserved seat fee:
      Nagano – Takasaki – Niigata – (Sakata) – Akita

      The segment between Sakata and Akita is outside the coverage area. When you book a seat by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata, you can buy this additional ticket too. You may ask a staff that you want to travel from Niigata to Akita by this pass and you understand to pay additional. You don’t need to get off at Sakata.

      If you check the timetable, you may find the following route.
      Nagano – Omiya – Akita

      This route is actually much faster but if you take this route, your additional cost is about 15,000 yen. Because this is all Shinkansen route.

      JR pass (nationwide) covers all places but you have to use the pass in 7 consecutive days. It does not meet your trip plan.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you very much for your help, this is much appreciated. You’re doing an awesome job 🙂

        Warm regards

        Jakob

  3. Before anything else, I would like to appreciate your efforts in replying to each question from your visitors.

    We are going to Tokyo on 22-28 January, and we have already purchased the vouchers for JR East Pass Nagano-Niigata. Our hotel will be in Nippori so we’ll be going back and forth. Here is our itinerary:

    Jan.22: Not activate JR pass yet. Go to hotel and do a bit of sight seeing. We’ll take the bus from Narita to Ginza/Tokyo

    Jan.23: Nagano – Zenkoji Temple, Jogikudani Snow Monkey Park (Dentetsu line not covered?), Iiyama Kamakura Snow huts

    Jan.24: Ski Resort in Jomo Kogen Station

    Jan.25: Matsumoto – Matsumoto Castle, Nawate Dori. Then hop on the train to Karuizawa, where we will be going to Shiraito Falls, Kumoba Pond and Prince Shopping Plaza

    Jan.26: Nikko – Shiraito Falls, Toshogu Shrine, Shinkyo Bridge

    Jan.27: Nikko – Kegon, Ryuzu falls (anything else you can suggest? )

    Jan.28: Head to airport via bus.

    Question – Can I use the JR East pass from Tochigi to Nikko? I see in Google Maps that we will use Tobu-Nikko line but I’m not sure if it’s covered by the pass.
    What do you think of the itinerary above? Is it too jampacked? Or too loose? Appreciate your opinion! 🙂

    1. Hi Rabbi,

      JR East Pass condion says,

      “Reserved seats in ordinary cars of the following express trains with through operation between JR East and Tobu Railway lines: Nikko, Kinugawa, and SPACIA Kinugawa trains.

      You can also use ordinary trains (including rapid trains) on the Tobu Railway lines between Shimo-imaichi and Tōbu-nikkō / Kinugawa-onsen.
      Between Kurihashi and Shimo-imaichi, you can only use express trains that have through operation with Tobu Railway.*

      *You cannot use express trains that both depart from and terminate at stations on Tobu Railway lines.”

      Basically this pass covers the limited express train on Tobu railway between Shinjuku and Tobu-Nikko/Kinugawa-onsen.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/limited-express-nikko-and-kinugawa.html

      But you cannot take this train between Tochigi and Tobu-Nikko.

      You also can take an ordinary train but it is between Shimo-Imaichi and Tobu-Nikko/Kingawa-Onsen. So you cannot use the pass between Tochigi and Tobu-Nikko.

      But as I take a book your trip plan, you don’t need to take a train between Tochigi and Tobu-Nikko. You can take the limited express from Shinjuku to Tobu-Nikko or taking Shinkansen and a local train from Ueno to Nikko via Utsunomiya.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/world-heritage-destinations/how-to-access-to-nikko-from-tokyo-there-are-three-ways-from-tokyo-shinjuku-and-asakusa.html

      Nagano Dentetsu is not covered. You may buy Snow Monkey Pass:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/trip-report/2016-winter-tohoku-chubu-chugoku/trip-to-tohoku-chubu-and-chugoku-in-2016-winter-part-9-visit-snow-monkey-park-in-nagano.html

      I think it may be too many places to make it on 23rd and 25th. It is not impossible.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. I think the 5 day flexi east nagano pass would be best for me. Please advise.
    Day 1. Narita airport to Asakusa
    Day 2: stay local area
    Day 3: Travel from Asakusa to Hakuba
    Day 4: stay local
    Day 5: Travel to Nagano snow monkeys and maybe more tourist destinations – would like to see Mt Fuji
    Day 6: Stay local
    Day 7: Stay local
    Day 8: Travel from Hakuba to Shinjuku
    Day 9: Travel from Shinjuku to Narita

    1. Hi Isabelle,

      You may use JR pass East Nagano and Niigata for your trip. You can get the worth of it. But please keep these following things in your mind:

      1. Asakusa is not located in JR East Pass coverage area. This pass covers only JR train. But you have to take suwbay to get Asakusa. Subway is not covered by JR East Pass. Please see the link below to find the access route to Asakusa by JR pass. JR East Pass has same coverage as JR Pass in Tokyo:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-asakusa.html

      So if you want to use JR East Pass Nagano Niigata on day 1, you have to get Tokyo station from Narita by Narita Express, and then transfer to Yamanote line local train from Tokyo to Kanda, and then take suwbay from Kanda to Asakusa. As I mentioned, subway is not covered.

      But if you give up using JR East Pass Nagano Niigata, you can take Keisei Railway from Narita to Asakusa directly. Please may learn it by my movie in the link below:
      https://youtu.be/p3ACo2tQCi8

      You can use JR pass in Tokyo but you have to pay for subwat to get the nearest station which is Ueno.
      https://youtu.be/1731hgyqm6w

      When you go to Snow Monkey place, the easiest way to get Nagnao is the bus but it’s not covered by JR East Pass Nagano Niigata. If you take a train to Nagano, it’s covered but it’s a big detour and not recommended. After Nagano, you have to take Nagano Dentetsu railway and/or bus. These are not covered by JR East Pass. Please see the links below to find more information.
      https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-nagano-hakuba/
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/trip-report/2016-winter-tohoku-chubu-chugoku/trip-to-tohoku-chubu-and-chugoku-in-2016-winter-part-9-visit-snow-monkey-park-in-nagano.html

      Fuji is completely different place from Snow Monkey place. You cannot combine these. If you want to see Mt. Fuji, you should go when you are in Tokyo.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-fuji-area-various-sample-itineraries-of-fuji-five-lakes-and-5th-station.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Is JR East Pass -Nagano Niigata cover train from Tokyo to Yokohama? Using this pass, can I go to Tokyo station, change Yamanote line to go to Shinjuku?

  5. Takeshi,
    Thank you for the reply earlier but there is a change in our plan. Please advise the best transportation for the following:

    Day 1: Landed Narita at 7.30am, take limousine bus for Disneyland day. Check in Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel.

    Day 2: check out hotel. Take the earliest flight to Sapporo 7.30am for 1h 40min.
    Sapporo TV tower – Odori Park – Sapporo clock tower – Otaru

    Day 3: Sapporo
    Sapporo factory – Tanukikoji – Mitsui Premium Outlet

    Day 4: Fly back to Narita. Check in Okubo airbnb. Harujuku – Shibuya – Shinjuku

    Day 5: Ueno – Nippori – Akihabara

    Day 6: Tsukiji – Asakusa – Odaiba

    Day 7: Free

    Day 8: Depart from Narita

      1. Takeshi,
        We are a travelling group of 2 senior citizens, 1 infant and 10 adults and we will be staying at Okubo area. Our itinerary with transfer mode will be as follows. Feel free to suggest, if the itinerary below does not make sense.

        Day 1: Disneyland (Transfer by bus limousine from Narita airport)
        Day 2:Shinjuku (Transfer by Tokunai pass)
        Shibuya
        Ginza
        Day 3: Ueno (Transfer by Tokunai pass)
        Nippori
        Akihabara
        Day 4: Snow Yeti Town (cannot decide transfer mode yet)
        Grinpa
        Mt Fuji ropeway or Lake Kawaguchi
        Gotemba Premium Outlet
        Day 5: Tsukiji (Transfer by one day metro pass)
        Asakusa
        Odaiba
        Day 6: Snow monkey park Nagano (cannot decide transfer mode yet)
        Day 7: Shirakawago (cannot decide transfer mode yet)
        Takayama
        Day 8: Going back

        1. Hi NMas_Hi,

          I think your choice is the following:

          Day 1 limousine bus

          Day 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8
          Hokuriku Arch Pass
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/tokyo-osaka-hokuriku-arch-pass-user-guide-clarify-valid-trains-coverage-area-and-compare-single-fare-and-pass.html

          You need this pass to access to Toyama. And you have to add the bus fare to get Takayama and Shirakawago from Toyama which is not covered by Hokuriku Arch Pass:
          https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/highwaybus/toyama_en/
          Reservation is required. And you must take the earliest Hokuriku Shinkansen train (6:16 departure from Tokyo). Otherwise you cannot make both Takayama and Shirakawago as day trip from Tokyo.
          http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/e_hokuriku_d/index.html
          I also put the link of the timetable for Tokyo.
          http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/e_hokuriku_u/index.html

          There are some more buses running between Takayama and Shirakawago other than the bus in the link above:
          https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/route_bus/takayama-shirakawago-line-en/

          For the trip to Fuji, you have to add Mt Fuji Pass one day, a bus fare to Lake Kawaguchi and a bus fare from Gotemba outlet. I think you packed too many places. You may have to remove either Snow Yeti or Grinpa. And also you should start from Lake Kawaguchi, go to Yeti or Grinpa and Gotemba outlet at the end. Please see the links below to find the info:
          http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/mtpass/
          http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/highway/detail/id/1/
          https://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/gotemba/access/bus/detail36.html

          You also have to add Snow monkey pass. Hokuriku Arch Pass covers the trip to Nagano only.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/trip-report/2016-winter-tohoku-chubu-chugoku/trip-to-tohoku-chubu-and-chugoku-in-2016-winter-part-9-visit-snow-monkey-park-in-nagano.html

          And you need subway pass as you think for day 6. But Odaiba is not covered by either Hokuriku arch pass or subway pass.
          https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/odaiba-access-guide-how-much-can-we-use-jr-pass-or-other-jr-deals-to-get-odaiba.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. We are a group of 8 ( 2 families) arriving Tokyo 9 dec 2019 . We have arranged private trf from Narita airport to knot hotel shinjuku. We will be in Tokyo for 4 days – tours booked and some local train/bus connections required.We then head to hakuba for 4 days. From what I can see Shinkansen and bus easiest to transfer 8 people with luggage
    Return to Tokyo Disney for 3 days. It still looks best to get jr east Nagano pass to just cover Tokyo/ Nagano return trip and then will have to use on 3 other days …. is this correct?

    1. Hi Nicole,

      If you take the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Nagano, JR East Pass Nagano Niigata is the best option. You can take JR Keiyo line to Maihama (Tokyo Disney Resort) by this pass too. But there is the express bus running between Shinjuku and Hakuba. It is direct and much easier than Tokyo-Nagano-Hakuba route:
      https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-shinjuku-hakuba/

      If you use this express bus, JR East Pass is not requried.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hello,

    I got a JR East Nagano/Niigata Pass, I would like to visit Shirakawago from Nagano. What is the best available JR train to ride?

    thank you in advance

    1. Hi Lora,

      You have two choices but you have to add the fare anyway. Shirakawago is not in the coverage area.

      1. Nagano (Shinkansen) Toyama (bus) Shirakwawago
      You have to add the train fare for Joetsumyoko to Toyama, and the bus for Toyama to Shirakawago. The one way fare for Joetsumyoko to Shirakawago is around 5,000 yen (Shinkansen seat fee + base fare). The round trip bus fare is 3,120 yen.
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/highwaybus/toyama_en/

      2. Nagano (JR train limited express Shinano / covered by JR East pass) Matsumoto (bus) Takayama (bus) Shirakawago
      You have to add the fare for Matsumoto to Takayama (round trip 5,650 yen) and Takayama to Shirakawago (round trip fare 4,600 yen).
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/highwaybus/matsumoto_en/
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/highwaybus/toyama_en/

      The first option is easier but the second option is cheaper.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi,

    I need to get from Nagano to Nikko in February. Will the JR East Pass Nagano Niigata cover this, and then from Nikko to Shinjuku.

    Will the pass also cover Hakuba to Matsumoto?

    Thank you.

  9. Hi

    For “JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)”.

    if i depart from UENO to visit TOYAMA.
    can i use “JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)”. ?

    Planning to visit “Takayama and Shirakawa-go Day Trip from Toyama”

    any advise which train or bus which can be used or cover by “JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)” ? or we need to purchase separate tickets ? (any bus website link to purchase online ? )

    please advise and many thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Vironica,

      Toyama is not in the coverage area of JR East Pass Nagano Niigata. You have to pay the extra fare for Joetsumyoko to Toyama. One way extra fare costs about 5,000 yen for a base fare and a seat fee. If you just look for the pass for Ueno to/from Toyama, Hokuriku arch pass is cheaper:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/tokyo-osaka-hokuriku-arch-pass-user-guide-clarify-valid-trains-coverage-area-and-compare-single-fare-and-pass.html

      By the way, the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Toyama are closed partially due to the damage by the typhoon a few days ago. At this point, you cannot get Toyama from Tokyo/Ueno directly. I don’t know when you will visit there. But please keep checking the operation status.
      https://jprail.com/train-operation-status

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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