Japan Rail JR East Pass

Explore the beauty and enchantment of Eastern Japan with a flexible JR East Pass

What is the JR East Pass?

The JR East Pass is a special discounted pass available only to travellers visiting Japan and holding a non-Japanese passport.

The flexible pass is available for use on any 5 days within a 14 day period and available in ordinary class only.

It allows unlimited rides on all JR East train lines in the designated area. Start with a trip from Narita Airport or Haneda Airport to Tokyo, for example, then ride around, and maybe board the Shinkansen to the very top of the main island and enjoy the country atmosphere.

For travellers visiting the snow in Nagano, Niigata or Tohoku, this can be a better value option compared to a JR Pass.

Types and Prices of JR East Pass

There are two types of JR East Pass – the JR East Tohoku Area Pass and the JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass. Both passes are available for flexible use on any 5 days within a 14 day period.

Pass Type Age Group Price
Tohoku Area Pass
Flexible 5 Day Pass
Child (11 and under) $122
Adult (12 and over) $245
Pass Type Age Group Price
Nagano/Niigata
Area Pass
Flexible 5 Day Pass
Child (11 and under) $110
Adult (12 and over) $219

Prices are subject to exchange rate fluctuations.

* No credit card charges for Visa, MasterCard or AMEX. 2% credit card surcharge for JCB and Diner’s Club

* Reissue fees apply

Delivery methods

The JR East Pass is delivered as an electronic voucher.

How to buy a JR East Pass

You can purchase a JR East Pass Exchange Order before you go to Japan. It is cheaper to do so.

Upon arrival in Japan, you need to turn in the JR East Pass Exchange Order to receive your JR East Pass at a JR train station that has an exchange office. We will provide you with a list of applicable stations.

Japan Rail JR Pass - JR West Rail Pass JR East Rail Pass JR Kyushu Rail Pass All Shikoku Rail Pass JR Hokkaido Rail Pass

At the exchange office, you will be asked to fill in a short application form and to show your passport with the ‘Temporary Visitor’ stamp/sticker you received on entry into Japan.

Your Exchange Order must be turned in for a JR East Pass within three
months of the date the Order was issued.

After turning in your Exchange Order for a JR East Pass, you can make
seat reservations at a “Midori-no-madoguchi” Reservation Office.

Who is eligible for a JR East Pass?

The JR East Pass is available exclusively to travellers visiting Japan from abroad on a non-Japanese passport for sightseeing, under the entry status of ‘Temporary Visitor.’

Australian residents travelling on a Japanese passport are not allowed to purchase the JR East Pass. If you have both a Japanese passport and a passport from another country, you must enter Japan using the non-Japanese passport on a “Temporary Visitor” status to be eligible for this pass.

What can I use the JR East Pass for?

Each JR East Pass is valid for different trains and different areas of eastern Honshu. The best pass for your trip will depend on where you will be travelling to. A brief summary of each pass is listed below. For full details of where each rail pass is valid, speak to us or refer to the JR East official page.

The JR East Tohoku Area Pass is valid for unlimited travel on local, limited express and express trains, including Shinkansen trains, on the following rail company lines-

  • JR East -Lines (including BRT – Bus rapid transit)
  • The Narita Express
  • Izu Kyuko Line
  • Aoimori Railway
  • IGR Iwate Galaxy Railway
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • Sendai Airport Transit
  • The following limited express trains that directly run between the JR East lines and Tobu Railway lines: the Nikko, the SPACIA Nikko, the Kinugawa, and the SPACIA Kinugawa.
  • Local and rapid trains between Shimo-imaichi and Tobu-nikko/Kinugawa-onsen on Tobu Railway Lines. Between Kurihashi and Shimo-imaichi Stations, the pass may be used only on limited express trains that connect directly with Tobu Railway Lines. The JR East Pass may only be used for Tobu Railway Lines as long as either the departing or destination station is on a JR line.

The JR East Tohoku Area Pass is not valid for the following-

  • The Tokaido Shinkansen as it is operated by a different rail company.
  • JR buses.
  • Travel in GranClass, Green Class, private compartments or sleepers

The JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass is valid for unlimited travel on local, limited express and express trains, including Shinkansen trains, on the following rail company lines-

  • JR East Lines
  • The Narita Express
  • Izu Kyuko Line
  • Hokuetsu Express
  • Echigo TOKImeki Railway: Arai-Naoetsu
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • The following limited express trains that directly run between the JR East lines and Tobu Railway lines: the Nikko, the SPACIA Nikko, the Kinugawa, and the SPACIA Kinugawa.
  • Local and rapid trains between Shimo-imaichi and Tobu-nikko/Kinugawa-onsen on Tobu Railway Lines. Between Kurihashi and Shimo-imaichi Stations, the pass may be used only on limited express trains that connect directly with Tobu Railway Lines. The JR East Pass may only be used for Tobu Railway Lines as long as either the departing or destination station is on a JR line.

The JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass is not valid for the following-

  • The Tokaido Shinkansen as it is operated by a different rail company.
  • JR buses.
  • Travel in GranClass, Green Class, private compartments or sleepers

Click here to see the valid train route map

Should I buy a JR East Pass?

If you are wondering whether a JR East Pass is worth it, we’d recommend you have a look at your itinerary and do a quick search on the costs of each train journey you intend to take when you travel to Japan.
There are two sites that you can use to search for both JR and non-JR train timetables and the prices of your journeys.

The first is Hyperdia and the second is Jorudan. Use both sites to ensure that you get the most accurate information to help you to determine if a JR East Pass is right for you, or whether you should just buy your train tickets when you need to use them.
When you organise your package tour of Japan through us, we include the best Japan rail pass or area pass to match your itinerary.

Important information

For further information including refund policies, please read the Rail Pass Terms and Conditions