JR East Pass Tohoku. Flex 5 days pass in 14 days period to cover Tokyo, surrounding area of Tokyo and Tohoku region.

Cherry blossom in Kakunodate Samurai Residence district. It is one of the highlights in Tohoku region. (C) Akita Prefecture / JNTO
Cherry blossom in Kakunodate Samurai Residence district. It is one of the highlights in Tohoku region. (C) Akita Prefecture / JNTO

JR East has decided to divide JR East into two regional passes, JR East Pass Niigata and Nagano, and JR East Pass Tohoku. Current JR East pass will be discontinued in the end of March and these two JR East passes will be on sale. In this post, I would like to explain one of these passes, JR East Pass Tohoku in this post.

Prices and valid period

JR East Pass Tohoku FLEX 5 days pass

Validity periodPurchase outside Japan
or online
Purchase inside Japan
12 years and older
19,000 yen20,000 yen
6 to 11 years old
9,500 yen10,000 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 will be available from April 1st, 2016. Online purchase is available also on April 1st, 2016. But you can purchase an exchange order at the authorized dealer in advance. There is no Green pass choice.

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 (or exchange).

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.

Current JR East Pass is sold at 22,000 yen to cover whole part of JR East area, such as Tohoku, Tokyo, Nagano and Niigata. This pass is sold at 3000 yen lower than current JR East Pass. However the coverage area is smaller. This Pass does not cover most part of Niigata and Nagano.

Coverage Area

Matsushima is a few steps away from Sendai. This place is known as one of "Three Scenery of Japan". (C) JNTO
Matsushima is a few steps away from Sendai. This place is known as one of “Three Scenery of Japan”. (C) JNTO

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.

  • Nikko
  • Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi), Fuji-Q Land
  • 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
  • Aomori
  • Hirosaki
  • Akita
  • Kakunodate
  • Sendai
  • Matsushima
  • Aizu-Wakamatsu
  • Yamagata
  • Hiraizumi

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 new JR East Pass “Niigata and Nagano”. 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

The newest train on Tohoku Shikansen E5 series (C) sukhoi37
Tohoku Shinkansen and other Shinkansen lines in Tohoku region are covered by this pass fully. (C) sukhoi37

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. Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass) covers only Tokyo Monorail.

When you go to Nikko, JR East Pass Tohoku covers limited express train to Nikko from Shinjuku directly but Japan Rail Pass does not. This is one of the benefits of this rail pass too.
How to access to Nikko from Tokyo. There are three ways from Tokyo, Shinjuku and Asakusa.

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 Tohoku 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 rapid train or Limited Express Odoriko. These trains are covered by JR East Pass Tohoku.
No express surcharge! Fast, economical and convenient! Rapid service network in Greater Tokyo
Access to Izu and Atami from Tokyo/Yokohama. Limited Express Odoriko / Super View Odoriko

Compare single fare and JR East Pass Tohoku

When you think about purchasing this deal, you need to know that it is worth using in your plan. I show you some sample rates. If total fares in your plan reach 20,000 yen, you can go for it.
*All rates are based on base fare and reserved seat limited express supplement in 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 Sendai from Tokyo by Shinkansen

Total fare is 11,200 yen for one way.

Trip to Akita from Tokyo by Shinkansen

Total fare is 17,800 yen for one way.

Trip to Aomori/Shin-Aomori from Tokyo by Shinkansen

Total fare is 17,350 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.


If you are sure that you will travel in Tokyo, surrounding Tokyo and Tohoku region only, this pass is your choice. 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. Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. 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.

JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the travelers who visit Tokyo and Sapporo by train.
Japan Rail Pass user guide. How to use JR Pass to its maximum.

Please try to find the best deal for your trip and save your cost to stay in Japan!

58 thoughts on “JR East Pass Tohoku. Flex 5 days pass in 14 days period to cover Tokyo, surrounding area of Tokyo and Tohoku region.”

  1. We (3 adults) are travelling in Japan from Apr 28 to MAy 4. Can you help with the right JR Pass covering the following itinerary for 7 days:
    Apr 28 NRT to Tokyo Station
    Apr 28 Tokyo Station to Shin-Aomori
    Apr 30 Shin-Aomori to Tokyo Station
    May 1 Day Trip from Tokyo to Mt.Fuji and Back
    May 2-3 Tokyo area
    May 4 Tokyo Station to NRT/ HND

    1. Hi Sridhar,

      You may use JR East Pass Tohoku. You can use this pass for the first 5 days. But if you take a flight from Narita on the last day, use JR East pass for May 4 instead of may 2. When you go to Fuji, you need to add some fares. Please see the link below:

      After using JR East Pass, you may use subway pass or other deal in Tokyo.

      If you go back from Haneda, please see the link below:


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be arriving at Narita Airport, staying in Daiba. Mostly visiting Tokyo areas (Shibuya, Akihabara). One day will go to Honda Collection Hall in Motegi via Tohoku Shinkansen. One day (maybe two) will go to Enoshima, Kamakura, and Yokohama.

    I believe the JR East Pass Tohoku covers the all these local JR lines to these locations? Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Yokosuka Line, Negishi Line, Yamanote Line, Keihintohoku Line.

    Will the JR East Pass Tohoku be worth it?

    1. Hi Jessica,

      I think Tokyo Wide Pass is enough.

      It’s valid for 3 days only but you can make trips to outside Tokyo in this 3 days period. JR East Pass does not cover Odaiba but Tokyo Wide Pass covers Rinkai line to get Odaiba.

      For other days in Tokyo, you can add Tokyo Subway Ticket or Tokyo Tokunai Pass.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Good morning Takeshi San,
    We are going to Tokyo from 16-22/2/2018.
    Transportation as follow:

    1.16/2, arrive Narita airport T2, to Shinjuku Station
    2. 18/2, Shinjuku station to Izu-hanafubuki.
    3. 19/2, Ito Station to Tokyo, Akasaka
    4. 22/2, Akasaka to Narita / Haneda airport.
    In between we will travel in Tokyo area
    Do you thing we should buy the 5 days JR East Pass? What is the best option for us.

    Thank you and Regards

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    Does JR East Pass (Tohoku) cover ALL types of shinkansens that are on the JR East lines and there is no exception (e.g. cannot use Hayabusa, or Komachi, or others)?

    Thank you for your help.


  5. Hello Takeshita,
    Day 1) I will be arriving at Narita 7am on 10 Jan’18 and I plan to use JR East pass Tohoku to travel from Narita to Nyuto Onsen Tazawako station). Can I reserve seat in advance before I arrive in Japan? Are all trains to Akita covered by this pass? Stay 2 nights
    Day 2) Tazawago to Yamagata. Stay 2 nights.
    Day 3) Yamagata to Atami. This part I find very confusing as which train to take and if it is covered by this pass.
    From Atami I will pick up rental car to do Mt.Fuji and Izu Peninsula for 4 nights
    Day 4) Atami to Shinjuku. Stay 2 nights in Shinjuku.
    Day 5) Shinjuku to Narita.

    The 5 days I use the pass are within 14 days limited period.

    I read that all the trains to Tazawako are reserved seat. I am worried that I won’t have time to do it when arriving in Narita.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Toom,

      You cannot reserve your seat for arrival day. Online site is available but you have to pick up a ticket one day before. So you need to book when you exchange the pass upon arrival. If you really want to know the availability, please refer the link below:

      You can book a seat for other days online:

      You can take limited express Odoriko by JR East Pass.

      You cannot take Shinkansen by this pass.


      Takeshi (not Takeshita) / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        My apologies for spelling your name wrong, my iPad did this.
        And many thanks for your reply.
        May I ask if express Odoriko from Tokyo to Atami covered by Jr East Tohoku pass?
        If not, can I just get on the train and pay the supplement or do I need to buy the ticket before I board the train?
        One more question if this pass cover Narita Express from airport to Tokyo or Shinjuku?

  6. Hi Takeshi san,

    I would like to seek your assistance as we have this last minute trip!
    we will arrive in Tokyo on 12/11/2017 . We are thinking of going to Karuizawa upon arrival and go to Osaka after staying there for 3 days.

    Day 1: Arrive at Narita Airport and go to Karuizawa
    Day 2: stay at Karuizawa
    Day 3: same as day 2
    Day 4: Osaka, staying at Namba area for the rest of the trip
    Day 5: Kobe
    Day 6: Himeji
    Day 7: Kyoto
    Day 8: Osaka area
    Day 9: Osaka area
    Day 10: Osaka, flying out from KIX

    We are fine to make some changes to our itinerary.

    Please advise what pass should we purchase.
    Appreciate your help!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sara san,

      You may use Hokuriku arch pass for the first 7 days.

      It covers a local train in Osaka and train to Kyoto and Kobe, but not Himeji. You may use Kansai area pass one day for the trip to Himeji on day 8 or 9.

      You can use the other deals for sightseeing in Osaka as you need, and trip to KIX.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi ,
    May I know JR East Tohoku pass ,
    1. can this pass be use on Aomori railway train to Misawa?
    2. After I make reservation of seat , is there any charges to make changes to my reservation ?
    3. Timetable state trains Hayabusa 55 leaving at Tokyo at 12.44 is this train running on 26 October as there is an asterisk sign that say this train only run on peak season ( when is peak season). Thank you

  8. Hi can I know if travel to Saitamshintoshin Station/Nishi-Kawaguchiko Station from Narita Airport or Tokyo Dome Station route is covered by this pass?

    Thank you:)

    1. Hi Casandora,

      I think you meant Nishi-Kawaguchi station (not Nishi-Kawaguchi”ko”). If so, you can get either Saitamashintoshin or Nishi-Kawguchi from Narita airport or Suidobashi near Tokyo Dome by this pass.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hi Takeshi
    Can you confirm please that I can take train from Aomori to Ajigasawa with this pass without paying extra ?

    Many thanks

  10. Hello Takeshi,
    Can you please help to find the best transportation option / rail passes for the following trip?
    Day 1 – Arriving in Narita, going to hotel in Shinagawa, possible sightseeing later
    Day 2 – Tokyo
    Day 3 – Kamakura (preferably by direct train from Shinagawa)
    Day 4 – Tokyo and trip to Hakone, overnight at Hakone
    Day 5 – Hakone and trip to Kyoto by Hikari Shinkansen
    Day 6-7 – Kyoto
    Day 8 – Kyoto and trip to Osaka, sightseeing there, hotel at Umeda
    Day 9 – Osaka, flying out from KIX

    Thank you

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