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Ultimate Guide to the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

By RAI Abhinav | June 30, 2022

So you’re visiting Tokyo? Maybe for a few days or that long-awaited weekend and you have a huge list of places you wanna visit and things you want to  do. But you’re wondering how you can travel around Tokyo and make the most out of your trip? If so, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass might just be the best option for you!

Previously known as JR Kanto Area Pass, JR Tokyo wide pass is a train pass around Kanto region for non-Japanese passport holders. It lets you travel with trains and shinkansen as many times as you want for 3 consecutive days in selected areas.

This ultimate guide covers every little detail you’ll ever need to know before choosing to buy a JR Tokyo Wide Pass. From each step to buy the pass to the best places you can visit with it, this is the one-stop guide for you!

This article is part of our extensive series on living in Japan and online Japanese lessons.

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    How much does a JR Tokyo Wide Pass cost?

    Adult (12 years and older)

    10,180 yen

    Child (6-11 years old)

    5,090 yen

    What do I need to buy a JR Tokyo Wide Pass? 

    Your non-Japanese passport. That’s all you need. Well, obviously money too but you get it.

    Keep in mind that copies of passports are not accepted, only the original passport is accepted. You’ll need to verify your eligibility with your passport regardless of how you choose to purchase the pass. If you’re purchasing it from a Travel Service Center or a Ticket Office, then YOU will need to show the passport and not anyone else. 

    If you’re buying the pass from a Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machine, then you’ll need to scan your IC chip-equipped passport. If you’re purchasing for multiple people, then you’ll need to scan the passports of all the members. 

    How do I actually use a JR Tokyo Wide Pass?

    Okay, now you have your JR Tokyo Wide Pass with you. But you’re thinking how can I use this to ride trains? Do I show it to the conductor? Do I show it to the station staff? We know it can be confusing but it’s actually very easy. Follow these simple steps:

    • Step 1: Find the Automatic Ticket Gate to your train platform
    • Step 2: Insert the JR Tokyo Wide Pass into the Automatic Ticket Gate
    • Step 3: Don’t forget to pick up the pass at the other side 

    It’s that simple! You don’t have to show it to anyone and you can pass the Automatic Ticket Gate as many times as you want.

    How long can I use a JR Tokyo Wide Pass?  

    The pass is valid for 3 consecutive days from the start date of use. For eg: If the start date is April 1st, then the pass can be used on April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. You’ll need to decide the starting date of use at the time of purchase. 

    This pass is available for purchase all year round but some destinations that you can reach with this pass are only open seasonally. For example: Gala Yuzawa Station is only open during the spring and winter.

    What if I lose my JR Tokyo Wide Pass or need a refund?

    If you lose your JR Tokyo Wide Pass, you’re in tough luck. A new pass won’t be reissued to you, and you’ll have to buy a new one.

    However, if you need a refund, you can do it as long as it’s within the period of validity and you haven’t started using the pass. All you have to do is apply at the above-mentioned points of sales (JR EAST Travel Service Center or Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machines)

    Is the JR Tokyo Wide Pass the best way to travel within Tokyo?

    It depends. There are several travel passes available to get around Tokyo and the best one for you depends on the kind of traveler you are. You should take into consideration when you’re traveling, how long your trip is, and the places you want to visit before buying a pass.  

    The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is a great, budget-friendly way to get around if you are non-Japanese as it:

    1. For all foreign passport holders

    All foreign passport holders can purchase this pass regardless of their residence or visa status. This means that it is available for use to all foreign tourists as well as foreign residents in Japan. So if you’re a foreigner living in Japan and visiting Tokyo from other prefectures, consider getting a JR Tokyo Wide Pass.

    2. Covers Tokyo and Kanto 

    If you’re planning to visit a lot of places within Tokyo and some popular destinations in the Kanto region, then yes! Go ahead and buy it. With this pass, you can get to popular destinations outside Tokyo such as Mt. Fuji, Karuizawa, Kusatsu, Nikko, and Yokohama. And, you can also travel to places around central Tokyo such as Shinjuku, Kamakura, and Akihabara.

    Mt. Fuji is a great place to visit with the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

    3. Offers unlimited travel 

    Just like we love all-you-can-eat Japanese BBQ, we love this all-you-can-travel pass. It gives you unlimited travel on JR lines and selected other lines with trains (local, rapid, express, limited express) and shinkansen (bullet trains). This also covers some places outside of Kanto such as parts of Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano, and Shizuoka.  

    The historical town of Kofu in the Yamanashi prefecture, the coasts of the Izu Peninsula in the Shizuoka prefecture, and the sea resort of Gala Yuzawa in the Niigata prefecture are some places worth visiting with the pass.

    4. Doesn’t hurt your wallet

    Compared to other travel options in this area, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass is a way better option for your wallet. For example: going back and forth between Narita Airport to Kawaguchiko station will cost you around 15,000 yen, going to Karuizawa will cost you around 10,000 yen, and going to Shimoda will cost you around 12,000 yen. 

    If you choose to buy the pass instead of paying for all 3 trips separately, you’ll save a whopping 26,820 yen. Yikes!! Remember, you can take much more than these 3 trips with the pass too. 

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    How far can I travel with a JR Tokyo Wide Pass?

    The lines covered by the JR Tokyo Wide Pass are:

    • JR EAST Lines​ ​
    • Tokyo Monorail
    • Izu Kyuko Line
    • Fujikyu Railway Line ​
    • Joshin Dentetsu Line
    • Saitama New Urban Transit Line 
    • Rinkai Line
    • Some routes on Tobu Railway lines (Only usable on trains departing from or arriving at JR stations. The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is not usable on trains both departing from and arriving at Tobu Railway stations)

    If it's your first time in Tokyo, you might have never heard of those lines. So, here are some trips you can take to popular places with the above lines:

    • Narita Express trains to and from Narita Airport on the JR East Line
    • Hokuriku shinkansen to Karuizawa on the JR East Line
    • Trains to and from Haneda Airport on the Tokyo Monorail Line
    • Trains to the Izu Peninsula (Atami, Ito, Shimoda) on the Izu Kyuko Line
    • Trains to Fuji Five Lakes, Mt. Fuji, and Fuji Q Highlands on the Fujikyu Railway Line
    • Jōetsu shinkansen to Gala Yuzawa on the Joshin Dentetsu Line
    • Trains to Railway Museum, Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa, and Shrine Omiya Bonsai Village on the Saitama New Urban Transit Line
    • Trains to Odaiba Seaside Park and Tokyo Joypolis on the Rinkai Line
    • Express trains to Nikko and Kinugawa onsen from the Tobu Railway Line
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    Where can I buy a JR Tokyo Wide Pass? 

    1. Online

    Step 1: Go to the JR East Website and reserve the pass before your visit. The website is available in English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, French, German, and Spanish. To reserve the pass, create a JR-EAST Train Reservation account first and fill out your basic info. You’ll also have to enter your passport details here. 

    Step 2: Pick up the pass at one of their Travel Service Centers located at several stations after showing your original passport to verify your identity. Travel Service Centers where you can pick up the pass are:

    • Funabashi
    • Hamamatsucho 
    • Haneda Airport Terminal 2 & 3
    • Ikebukuro
    • Kashiwa
    • Kawasaki
    • Mito
    • Narita Airport Terminal 1, 2 &3 
    • Omiya
    • Shibuya
    • Shinagawa
    • Shinjuku
    • Tachikawa
    • Tokyo
    • Ueno
    • Yokohama

    2. Ticket Offices or Travel Service Centers 

    You can also buy this pass directly from JR ticket offices. Alternatively, you can visit one of the Travel Service Centers at any stations mentioned above and choose to purchase the JR Tokyo Wide pass directly from there. 

    Some Travel Service Centers such as the ones at Shinjuku Station and Ikebukuro Station have English-speaking staff while some such as the ones at Omiya and Kawasaki only have Japanese-speaking staff. In any case, practice this phrase to make things easier for you.

    • Romaji: JR toukyou waido pasu wo kaitai desu 
    • Hiragana: JRとうきょうワイドパスをかいたいです
    • Meaning: I want to buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

    3. Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machines

    Also, one of the easiest alternatives is to buy a JR Tokyo Wide pass from a Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machine with a passport reader. These are electronic ticket vending machines placed at several stations by JR East. It will help you save time because you won’t need to wait at a ticket counter, and you can access them from morning to late evening. Here are the steps to use them:

    • Step 1: Select your preferred language (English is available)
    • Step 2: Select “Discounted tickets/ Purchase Discounted tickets”
    • Step 3: Select “Rail Pass for non-Japanese nationals”
    • Step 4: Select the pass that you want to buy (JR Tokyo Wide Pass)
    • Step 5: Select the date you want to start using the pass
    • Step 6: Select the number of passengers
    • Step 7: Confirm your eligibility and agree to the handling of personal information
    • Step 8: Scan your passport
    • Step 9: Pay the fee (cash and credit cards both are accepted) 
    • Step 10: Take your passport and ticket pass!

    Here are the locations of Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machines that have passport readers installed:

     

    Tokyo Yaesu South Entrance Ticket Area
    Yaesu North Entrance Ticket Area
    Yaesu Central Entrance Ticket Area
    Marunouchi North Entrance Ticket Area
    Marunouchi Underground Central
    Entrance Ticket Area
    Ueno  Inside the ticketing and Travel Service Center
    Central Entrance Ticket Area
    Shinjuku  New South Gate Ticket Area
    Inside the Underground Ticket Office
    Ikebukuro  Central 2 Ticket Area
    North Gate Ticket Area
    Shibuya  Inside the West Entrance Ticket Office
    Shinagawa  Central Gate Ticket Area
    Hamamatsucho  South Entrance Ticket Area
    Yokohama  Central South Gate Ticket Area
    Mito Ticket Area
    Narita Airport Terminal 1  Near the Ticket Office
    Narita Airport Terminal 2 & 3  Ticket Area
    Sendai  Central Entrance Gate
    Shinkansen Central
    Entrance Gate
    Yamagata  Inside the Ticket Office
    Fukushima East Entrance Gate
    Morioka  Inside the South Ticket Office
    Hachinohe  Inside the Ticket Office
    Aomori Tickets Akita Inside the Ticket Office
    Niigata  Near the West Ticket Office
    Nagano  Shinkansen Gate Ticket Area
    Matsumoto  Inside the Ticket Office
    Picture of a JR train that is accessible with the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

    Do I need to reserve train seats to use JR Tokyo Wide Pass?

    Yes! At least for some trains. It really depends on which train you’re planning to ride. While you won’t need a seat reservation to ride some trains, you will need to reserve a seat beforehand for others. For example: express trains, limited express trains, and shinkansens might require a prior seat reservation.

    In any case, we recommend that you do make a reservation because the reservation fee is covered by the pass. Some journeys with the pass are quite long and we don’t want you to stand for the entire duration. For example: It can take up to 4 hours to reach Kusatsu Onsen (Japanese hot springs) and around 3 hours to reach Shimoda with the pass. There are a limited number of seats, so consider making a reservation in advance to make sure you can be seated.

    The good thing is that you can reserve train seats for free! Also, you can make reservations up to one month prior to the date of your trip. And there are 3 ways to do it.

    1. Online

    You can choose to make an online reservation for express trains, Joyful Trains, other trains, and shinkansens. Reservation and cancellation seats are available from the JR-East Train Reservation website from 5:00 to 23:50 and 0:10 to 1:50 Japan Standard Time.

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    2. At Travel Service Centers or Ticket Offices

    You can also visit any JR East Travel Service Centers or JR Ticket Offices located within the area covered by the JR Tokyo Wide Pass. These JR Ticket Offices are called みどりの窓口 (Midori no madoguchi). All you have to do is show your pass, and the staff will help you reserve a seat.

    3. Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machines

    You can also choose to make a reservation from the same Reserved Seat Ticket Vending Machines where you buy the pass. This can be done for up to 4 people at the same time when using the Shinkansen, limited express trains, and other trains. Here are the steps you need to follow:

    • Step 1: Select “Reserved Seat”
    • Step 2: Select “Reserve seat with discounted ticket”
    • Step 3: Insert the pass into the vending machine (For up to 4 people)
    • Step 4: Input the departure & arrival stations and the date & time
    • Step 5: Press the “Search” button
    • Step 6: Select and confirm the train combination
    • Step 7: Select the desired car and seat
    • Step 8: Confirm the reservation details
    • Step 9: Take the seat reservation tickets

    If you need help with figuring out how to reserve a seat or whether you need a seat reservation at all, feel free to ask the station staff for help.

    A beautiful scene of Tokyo over the sea

    Top 4 Best Places to Visit With a JR Tokyo Wide Pass

    1. Kusatsu Onsen

    Located approximately 200 kilometers away from Tokyo and situated at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level, Kusatsu Onsen is a famous hot spring town in Japan. This beautiful town that is surrounded by mountains in the Gunma Prefecture is especially popular among tourists. It receives as many as 3 million tourists every year. 

    Its rich history and high volume of hot spring water make it a topic of interest.  As a matter of fact, it has the largest flowing water volume of all hot springs in Japan and was voted the No.1 hot spring in Japan by Japan’s top travel agents. Its healthy and warm hot springs are said to cure every illness but love-sickness. You can not just dip in the hot springs but also see and smell the source of hot spring water here. So, if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, then this is just the place for you. 

    You can also choose to spend the night because there are several resorts and inns available here. If you visit during the winter, you can also enjoy skiing. During the rest of the year, you can go around hiking before diving into the warm hot spring. 

    Visiting Japanese Onsens? Learn must-know Onsen Etiquettes!

    Read our Ultimate Guide to Japanese Onsen

      

     

     

     

     

      

     

     

     

     

    How do I get to Kusatsu Onsen? 

    Get on the Joetsu Shinkansen using your JR Tokyo Wide Pass and reach Takasaki Station. From there, get on the JR Agatsuma Line and reach Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station. You’ll have to take a 25-minute JR bus from the Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station. This bus ride is not covered by the pass. The entire journey should take around 3 to 4 hours in total. 

    What to do at Kusatsu Onsen?

    • Visit Yubatake

    Yubatake, the symbol of Kusatsu Onsen, is the first thing that you’ll see once you reach Kusatsu. It is the source of many hot springs across town that roll out as much as 4,000 liters of water every minute. Its carefully crafted wooden tiles that carry the hot spring water are gorgeous for aesthetic pictures and are guaranteed to make your IG or TT shine! 

    Pro Tip: They are even more beautiful at night as they are lit up

    There are several omiyage (Japanese souvenirs) shops, ryokans (Japanese inns), cafes serving homemade cake, restaurants offering authentic Japanese soba noodles, and also Italian restaurants around Yubatake.


    Want to learn more about the Japanese culture of Omiyage? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Japanese Omiyage


    • Enjoy a Yumomi show

    At the Netsu no Yu bathhouse, you can relax and enjoy a Yumomi show. It is a tradition of cooling down the water using wooden paddles. You can also see a dance performance, and if you’re lucky, you might be picked from the crowd to try Yumomi. It costs 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for children. 

    2. Gala Yuzawa

    "The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country.” 

    Yuzawa is the snow country that Yasunari Kawabata was talking about in his famous book, Snow Country. This area experiences heavy snowfall and especially longer winters which makes it a sight to behold. The vast wide blanket of white snow coupled with the mystic mountains will take your breath away.

    Located in Yuzawa machi of Niigata prefecture, Gala Yuzawa is the only ski resort in Japan with its own shinkansen station. Being easily accessible from Tokyo, it is a very popular and convenient spot for weekend getaways or a 1-day trip.  

    And we have good news! If you show your JR Tokyo Wide Pass at the resort, you’ll be able to get discounts. 

    How can I get to Gala Yuzawa? 

    You can go to Gala Yuzawa directly from Tokyo Station. If you get on the Joetsu shinkansen, you can reach Gala Yuzawa in as fast as 74 minutes. You can also ride the gondola to the mountain directly from the destination shinkansen station.

    What to do at Gala Yuzawa?

    Gala Yuzawa offers 16 different courses in total across 4 different areas: 

    • Central Area

    This is the main area of Gala Yuzawa and is located near the gondola station. This area welcomes everyone as you can enjoy courses from beginner to advanced levels here. Courses available in the Central Area are: 

    Level Course
    Beginner  Melody
    Beginner Edelweiss
    Beginner Batman
    Beginner/ Intermediate Entertainment
    Intermediate Grenoble
    Intermediate Gigi
    • North Area

    This area mostly offers recreational courses for beginners and intermediate level guests. 

    Level

    Course

    Beginner 

    Swan

    Beginner

    Roman Holiday

    Intermediate

    Broadway

    Intermediate

    Super Broadway

    Intermediate

    Joanna

    Advanced

    Super Swan

    • South Area

    If you’re up for a challenge, then this is the area for you. This area offers courses for advanced-level visitors.

    Level

    Course

    Beginner 

    Batman

    Intermediate

    Eliza

    Advanced

    $2,600,000

    Advanced

    Bronco

    • Downhill 

    Like the name suggests, this area offers a downhill course for 2.5 kilometers. 

    Level

    Course

    Beginner/ Intermediate

    Falcon

    If you’re not up for skiing, then you can also enjoy other activities such as Snow Park, Snow Enjoyment Park, Off-Piste (Rough Terrain), Activity tour, etc.  


    Make sure you read our Ultimate Guide to Skiing in Japan before making your first ski trip!


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    3. The Izu Peninsula

    Located about 100 kilometers Southwest of Tokyo in Shizuoka prefecture, the Izu Peninsula is the beauty of nature. From warm beaches to serene waterfalls to mighty mountains to chilly coasts, you’ll be able to enjoy everything here. And, if you feel tired from exploring all of its beauties, you can dip in its relaxing hot springs. 

    Tokyo can be overwhelming with its crowded subways and corporate ties. Get away from your hectic life and stroll in the tranquil atmosphere of the Izu Peninsula.  

    How can I get to the Izu Peninsula? 

    Get on the JR Limited Express Odoriko train and reach Atami Station in around 90 minutes. Alternatively, you can get off at Ito or Shimoda as well. 

    What to do on the Izu Peninsula?

    • Atami Coast

    If you want to see the popular coast of the Izu Peninsula, then you’ll have to go to Atami. Here, you’ll be amazed by the vast open coast and houses built at the edge of the town. If you happen to visit this place, don’t forget to check out the Museum of Art. Along with housing Japanese and Chinese arts, you can enjoy a great view of the coast from this museum. Other places to visit here would be Atami Sun Beach and Atami Onsen.

    • Kawazu Nanadaru Waterfalls

    If you’re at the Izu Peninsula, you cannot miss the Kawazu Nanadaru Waterfalls. It is a collection of 7 different waterfalls ranging in height from 2 meters to 30 meters. In Kawazu, you can also watch cherry blossoms over a trail. If you happen to visit in February, you’re in luck! You’ll be able to see The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival, one of the earliest cherry blossom festivals in Japan.

    • Ito

    You’ll find many traditional ryokans in Ito, so you can also choose to stay the night here. One such ryokan, Tokaikan, has been transformed into a museum and is open to guests. While you’re here, don’t forget to visit Ito Orange Beach, Mount Omuro, and Jogasaki Coast.

    • Shimoda

    Shimoda has a rich history to go along with its beaches and hot springs. In 1854, Commodore Perry’s ships arrived at Shimoda, which initiated the diplomatic relationship between Japan and the US. There are many areas in the city such as The Museum of Black Ship and Perry Road where you’ll be reminded of this history.

    4. Nikko

    Famous for the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Toshogu Shrine, Nikko is a historical landmark of Japan. It is also home to the wonders of the Nikko National Park. Here, you can wander around the hiking trails, marvel at the mountainous terrains, and enjoy the scenic beauty of lakes. If you visit in autumn, you’re in luck! You’ll be able to catch the leaves changing their colors and turning red. This transition is called こうよう(kouyou) in Japanese, and it works as a great background for pictures.


    Don’t know the best season to travel to Japan? Here, read our Ultimate Guide to Seasons in Japan to find out.


    How can I get to Nikko?

    Get on the Tohoku shinkansen and get off at Utsunomiya and transfer to the JR Nikko Line and head to JR Nikko Station. The entire journey should be under 100 minutes.

    What to do at Nikko?

    • Toshogu Shrine

    Toshogu Shrine was built as a memorial of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ended in 1868 after ruling for over 250 years. The area around the shrine has grand decorations with pagoda-style buildings and bright wood carvings. These complement the refreshing forest that surrounds the shrine. You’ll also find elements of the Shinto and Buddhist religions here.

    • Kegon Falls

    Kegon Falls is not only the most beautiful waterfall in Nikko but arguably in all of Japan. This 97-meter-long waterfall is said to be among the top 3 most beautiful waterfalls in the country. The natural water flowing from Lake Chuzenji and the landscape of Nikko National Park in the background is a wonderful sight. Also, the bright red kouyou in autumn and white snow in winter create a very instagrammable mood. So, have your phones ready to take the perfect IG picture!  

    • Shinkyo Bridge

    Literally, Shinkyo means “sacred bridge”, and it is among the top 3 most beautiful bridges in Japan. It belongs to the Futarasan Jinja Shrine, and you’ll have to pay an admission fee to actually cross it. This arched bridge over the Daiya-gawa river is of cultural importance as it is marked as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    A person wondering if they should buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass or not

    Why should I not buy a JR Tokyo Wide Pass? 

    Okay, we’ve talked about all the reasons why the JR Tokyo Wide Pass might be the best budget travel option for you. Now, let’s look at some of its not-so-good points. Here are some reasons why you should not go for a JR Tokyo Wide Pass:

    1. If you’re traveling with a Japanese friend 

    You’ll need to show a non-Japanese passport to be eligible for this pass. So, if you’re traveling with your Japanese friends or special someone, they’ll not be able to buy it.

    2. If you’re only traveling within Tokyo

    If you’re not planning trips outside of the capital, then we don’t recommend buying this pass. Commuting within Tokyo is cheaper with IC cards and regular tickets. Unless you’re planning at least 1 trip outside of Tokyo, this pass will not be worth the money.

    Keep reading to find out what IC cards are!

    3. It doesn’t work on all train lines 

    No, you cannot ride all the trains using the JR Tokyo Wide Pass. As a matter of fact, you cannot use Tokyo and Yokohama’s subway systems at all. Komachi shinkansen, Tokaido shinkansen, and Hayabusa shinkansen are also off the list. You cannot ride any buses or ferries with this pass as well.

      

     

     

     

     

      

     

     

     

     

    How do I travel without a JR Tokyo Wide Pass? 

    1. IC cards

    IC cards are rechargeable cards that can be used on most railways, subways, and even buses in Japan to make travel faster and easier. All you have to do is charge them with cash and you’re good to go. They can also be used at restaurants, vending machines, and many other stores. They are really convenient because all you have to do is tap them on the Automatic Ticket Gate when you get on and off the station, and your travel fare will be automatically paid. This makes it super easy to transfer lines too! You don’t have to hurt your brain cells looking for the right transfer ticket. Just tap it on the Automatic Ticket Gate. You’ll have to tap your IC card at the entrance and exit if you're riding a bus. 

    There are 10 different IC cards available in Japan but all of them have almost the same coverage. In Tokyo, you’ll be able to get Suica and Pasmo. Suica is the IC card issued by JR East and Pasmo is issued by transportation operators other than JR East. Welcome Suica and Pasmo Passport are versions of these IC cards that are especially available for foreign tourists and are valid for 4 weeks.

    And, it’s super easy to purchase them as well. They are sold at ticket vending machines at most train stations and airports. It costs 2,000 yen (500 refundable deposit + 1,500 yen initial charge) to buy the first time. Then, you can recharge them at the ticket vending machines or IC card recharging machines placed at most stations. The good thing is you can recharge them at any machine regardless of the issuer. 

    Check out this article on IC Cards by Japan Guide to learn about each IC card and how exactly they work.

    2. Tokyo 1-Day Ticket

    It’s called 東京フリーきっぷ (Tokyo furii kippu) in Japanese. This is a 1-day pass that provides unlimited access to JR lines, subway lines, and buses in Tokyo’s central 23 wards. Anyone can buy this pass from ticket vending machines at major JR EAST stations within the area covered. Here is how much it will cost you:

    Adult (12 years and older)

    1,600 yen

    Child (6-11 years old) 

    800 yen

    Here is a list of things that you’ll be able to use with this pass:

    • JR East lines: non-reserved seats in ordinary/ rapid trains 
    • Tokyo Metro / Toei Subway
    • Nippori-Toneri Liner
    • Tokyo Sakura Tram (Toden Arakawa Line)
    • Toei Bus: all buses except late night/ reserved seat buses

    3. Japan Rail Pass

    If you’re planning to travel all over Japan, then this is the pass for you. Japan Rail Pass allows unlimited travel for foreign tourists and is widely considered the most economic way of traveling all around Japan. With this, you’ll have access to trains, (local, rapid, limited express), shinkansens, ferries, buses, and monorails. There  are Green passes (First class) and ordinary passes available for 7, 14, and 21 days. 

    You can either purchase it online or at ticket offices in Japan or even purchase an exchange order at an overseas JR-designated sales location. Note that it is cheaper to purchase an exchange order overseas and turn in your exchange order in Japan to get your pass. For example: A 7-day ordinary pass for an adult costs 33,610 yen if you buy it in Japan, but the same pass will cost 29,650 yen overseas.

    4. JR East Pass (Tohoku area)

    JR East Pass is a 5 consecutive days pass that provides unlimited access to trains (local, rapid, limited express), shinkansens, and buses in the area covered. You can either purchase it on the JR-EAST Train Reservation website or at ticket offices in Japan or even buy a voucher from a travel agency overseas. And, it costs: 

    Adult (12 years and older)

    20,000 yen

    Child (6-11 years old) 

    10,000 yen

    Here are all the lines that you can ride with this pass:

    • JR East 
    • Tokyo Monorail
    • Izu Kyuko Line
    • Aoimori Railway Line
    • Iwate Galaxy Railway (IGR) Line
    • Sendai Airport Transit Line
    • Nikko, Kinugawa, and SPACIA Kinugawa trains (Reserved seats)
    • JR buses except highway and some regular buses
    • Some routes on Tobu Railway lines (Only usable on trains departing from or arriving at JR stations. The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is not usable on trains both departing from and arriving at Tobu Railway stations) 

    Read this article by Tokyo Cheapo to find the best travel pass for YOU.


    A tourist asking for directions

    Useful Phrases for Traveling in Japan

    English

    Romaji

    Japanese

    Where is the Tourist Information Center?

    Kannkou annai jou ha doko desuka?

    観光案内所はどこですか?はどこですか?

    How can I buy a ticket?

    Kippu ha douyatte kaemasu ka?

    切符はどうやって買えますか?

    What time is the next train?

    Tsugi no dennsha wa nannji goro desu ka?

    次の電車は何時頃ですか?

    How do I get to ….?

    ….. Ni iku ni wa dou sureba ii desu ka?

    …. に行くにはどうすればいいですか?

    Does this train go to ….?

    Kono densha wa … ni ikimasu ka?

    この電車は....に行きますか

    Could I get a map? 

    Chizu wo moraemasu ka? 

    地図をもらえますか?

    I want to refund my JR Tokyo Wide Pass

    JR Tokyo Waido Pasu no haraimodoshi o shitai desu

    JR東京ワイドパスの払い戻しをしたいです

    Do you speak English?

    Eigo hanasemasu ka?

    英語話せますか?

    Sorry, I don’t understand Japanese

    Sumimasen, nihonngo ga wakarimasenn

    すみません、日本語がわかりません

    Could you say that again, please?

    Mou ichido onegaishimasu 

    もう一度お願いします

    Thank you very much

    Arigatou gozaimasu 

    ありがとうございます

    Excuse me

    Sumimasen

    すみません

    Please help me!

    Tasukete kudasai!

    助けてください!

    WANT TO LEARN MORE JAPANESE PHRASES?

    Read our Ultimate Guide to Useful Japanese Phrases 

    Final Thoughts

    It’s up to you to decide whether the JR Tokyo Wide Pass is the ultimate travel pass for YOU. Consider all your travel plans and the advantages and limitations of the pass to see if it really matches your needs.

    If you do decide to buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, read The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Day trip from Tokyo to plan the best 1-day trip of your life!

    Archer

    From Beginner to Pro

    Our bi-weekly emails for beginners to low intermediate students will give you the tips and motivation to self-study Japanese your way to Japanese fluency.

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