Nikko train
Photo: WikimediaImages/Pixabay

Foreign residents can use the JR Tokyo Wide Pass to travel around Kanto

Visit Nikko, Izu, Karuizawa, Kawaguchiko, the Mt Fuji area and more using the three-day train and shinkansen pass

Kasey Furutani
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Kasey Furutani

There are travel deals aplenty for Japan residents this year, from the huge discounts on hotels to deals on bullet train rides across the country. If you’re thinking of sticking close to Tokyo, the great-value JR Tokyo Wide Pass gives you unlimited rides on shinkansen and limited express trains in the Kanto region, so you could go as far as Nikko, Mt Fuji or even Izu.  

Available to those with a foreign (ie, non-Japanese) passport – including tourists and foreign residents – this pass lets you ride bullet trains and limited expresses as much as you want over three consecutive days. It’s perfect for a short weekend getaway or the upcoming Golden Week holidays. 

Here are the train lines covered by the pass:

  • JR East lines
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • Izu Kyuko Line
  • Fujikyu Railway Lines
  • ​​Joshin Dentetsu Line
  • Saitama New Urban Transit (Ōmiya - the Railway Museum)​ ​
  • Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Line (Rinkai Line)​ ​
  • Nikko, Kinugawa, and SPACIA Kinugawa trains (only between JR East and Tobu Railway lines)
  • Tobu Railway lines between Shimo-imaichi and Tōbu-Nikkō / Kinugawa-onsen (ordinary and rapid trains). However, between Kurihashi and Shimo-imaichi, you can only use Tobu Railway express trains.
    See the website for the full list as well as the terms and conditions.

Need some trip inspo? If you’re heading north, hit up the picturesque Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki, go for a dip in an onsen in Nikko or taste some juicy gyoza in dumpling-loving Utsunomiya.

For something a bit more iconic, head inland to the resort town of Karuizawa or to Yamanshi’s Lake Kawaguchiko for postcard-perfect views of Mt Fuji. You can also use the pass to visit the famous Kusatsu Onsen town in Gunma.

Craving some vitamin sea? Transportation to Izu is also covered. Gala Yuzawa, known for its 16 ski and snowboard slopes, is also accessible with the pass in winter and spring.

You can purchase the JR Tokyo Wide Pass at JR Travel Service centres. The pass costs ¥10,180 for adults and ¥5,090 for children. Do note you’ll have to bring your foreign passport for verification. Japanese nationals cannot use the deal, so best stock up on some omiyage for your Japanese friends. Check out JR’s website for more details and information on routes.

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