This is one of the deals by JR East. This pass suits a traveler who travel in Tokyo, surrounding area (Kanto region) and Tohoku region. Tohoku offers lots of hot springs, very famous summer festival and lots of nature. In this post, I would like to explain you how to use JR East Pass Tohoku.
- 1 Prices and valid period
- 2 Coverage Area
- 3 Valid trains and lines
- 4 Compare single fare and JR East Pass Tohoku
- 4.1 Trip to Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen from Shinjuku or Ikebukuro by direct limited express train, Nikko or Kinugawa
- 4.2 Trip to Nikko from Tokyo by Shinkansen and local train
- 4.3 Trip to Otsuki from Shinjuku by Limited Express Azusa or Kaiji
- 4.4 Trip to Matsumoto from Shinjuku by Limited Epxress Azusa or Kaiji
- 4.5 Trip to Gala Yuzawa from Tokyo by the Joetsu Shinkansen
- 4.6 Trip to Odawara, Atami or Izukyu-Shimoda from Tokyo by the limited express Odoriko or Super View Odoriko
- 4.7 Trip to Karuizawa from Tokyo by the Hokuriku Shinkansen
- 4.8 Trip to Sendai from Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen
- 4.9 Trip to Akita from Tokyo by the Akita Shinkansen
- 4.10 Trip to Aomori/Shin-Aomori from Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen
- 4.11 Trip between Narita Airport and Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku or Yokohama
- 4.12 Trip between Haneda Airport and Hamamatsucho by Tokyo Monorail
- 4.13 Fares in downtown Tokyo
- 5 Assessment
Prices and valid period
JR East Pass Tohoku FLEX 5-day pass
|Validity period||Purchase outside Japan|
|Purchase inside Japan|
12 years and older
|19,350 yen||20,360 yen|
6 to 11 years old
|9,670 yen||10,180 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.
- Green seat pass is not available.
This pass is FLEX type pass. You can pick any 5 days to use in 14 days period. When you exchange/purchase this pass, you can pick the date when you start using this pass. That is the first day of 14 days period. The first day is not the date when you exchange/purchase this pass.
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.
This pass covers all JR trains in Kanto area, such as Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Yamanashi, Gumma, Ibaragi and Tochigi, and whole part of Tohoku region. And the pass also cover some places in Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, such as Izu peninsula.
This pass covers the following major spots in the area.
- Odawara (Gateway to Hakone)
- Izu peninsula (Atami, Ito, Kawazu, Shimoda)
- Katsuta (Gateway to Hitachi Seaside Park)
- Echigo-Yuzawa, Gala Yuzawa
This deal does not cover most part of places in Niigata and Nagano prefectures, such as Nagano, Matsumoto, Hakuba, Shinano-Omachi and Niigata. Those places are covered by another pass, JR East Pass Nagano Niigata. However you can access to Gala-Yuzawa, Karuizawa and Kobuchizawa by this pass even though those places are located in Niigata and Nagano prefectures.
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 Tohoku covers many “NON JR” railway trains. The following railways are NON JR companies but those are covered by this pass.
- Tokyo Monorail (Haneda airport – Hamamatsucho)
- Izu Kyuko Line (Ito – Izukyu-Shimoda)
- Aoimori Railway (Aomori – Metoki)
- IGR Iwate Galaxy Railway (Morioka – Metoki)
- Sendai Airport Transit (Natori – Sendai airport)
- 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. JR Pass covers only Tokyo Monorail.
When you go to Nikko, JR East Pass Tohoku covers the limited express train to Nikko from Shinjuku directly but JR Pass does not. This is one of the benefits of this rail pass too. Please see the post below to find more information about the access to Nikko from Shinjuku:
JR East Pass Tohoku does not cover the 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 the Tokaido Shinkansen is not operated by JR East but JR Central. When you want to get Odawara (Hakone) or Atami, your choice is rapid train or Limited Express Odoriko. These trains are covered by JR East Pass Tohoku.
Compare single fare and JR East Pass Tohoku
I will show you some sample rates. If total fares in your plan reach 20,000 yen, you can get the worth of this pass.
*All rates are based on base fare and reserved seat limited express supplement in regular season. The rate is varied by the season.
Trip to Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen from Shinjuku or Ikebukuro by direct limited express train, Nikko or Kinugawa
Total fare is around 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 around 6,000 yen for one way.
Trip to Otsuki from Shinjuku by Limited Express Azusa or Kaiji
Total fares are around 3,000 yen from Shinjuku for one way.
Trip to Matsumoto from Shinjuku by Limited Epxress Azusa or Kaiji
Total fares are around 7,000 yen from Shinjuku for one way.
Trip to Gala Yuzawa from Tokyo by the Joetsu Shinkansen
Total fare is around 7,000 yen for one way.
Trip to Odawara, Atami or Izukyu-Shimoda from Tokyo by the limited express Odoriko or Super View Odoriko
One way fare and the limited express seat fee are around 3,000 yen to Odawara ,around 4,000 yen to Atami, 6,500 yen to Izukyu-Shimoda.
Trip to Karuizawa from Tokyo by the Hokuriku Shinkansen
Total fare is around 6,000 yen for one way.
Trip to Sendai from Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen
Total fare is around 11,500 yen for one way.
Trip to Akita from Tokyo by the Akita Shinkansen
Total fare is about 18,000 yen for one way.
Trip to Aomori/Shin-Aomori from Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen
Total fare is around 17,500 yen for one way.
Trip between Narita Airport and Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku or Yokohama
Trip between Haneda Airport and Hamamatsucho by Tokyo Monorail
Single fare is around 500 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.
If you are sure that you will travel in Tokyo, surrounding Tokyo and Tohoku region only, you may pick up this deal. This pass does not cover western part of JR East area, such as Niigata and Nagano. And of course Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Kobe, Nara, Takayama, Kanzawa, Hiroshima, Kyushu and Hokkaido either. JR Pass covers all part of Japan. JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass covers same area as this pass plus southern Hokkaido, such as Hakodate, Otaru, Sapporo. Please make sure where you will visit before you decide to buy the pass. You can find the link below to find the information of JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass and JR Pass:
Please try to find the best deal for your trip and save your cost.