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The 3-Day JR TOKYO Wide Pass: Perfect for Day Trips From Tokyo

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The JR TOKYO Wide Pass allows 3-day unlimited travel in eastern Japan on selected train routes including Shinkansen. It covers scenic sites like Mount Fuji, Karuizawa, Nikko, Echigo Yuzawa, and more, facilitating the exploration of Tokyo's outskirts.

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JR TOKYO Wide Pass: The Best Pass for Tokyo Day Trips

The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is a 3-day transportation ticket offered by JR East, which can be used by foreign travelers holding non-Japanese passports, including those with long-term residence, study, or work visas. Therefore, it is a very popular transportation ticket.

JR TOKYO Wide Pass Guide

Price, Usable Train Types, and Coverage Area
How to Buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass
- Buy Online Before Coming to Japan
- At Ticket Counters in Japan
How to Use and Seat Reservation
Top Destinations to Visit with the JR Tokyo Wide Pass
1. Karuizawa in Nagano
2. Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi
3. Atami Onsen
4. Nikko
5. Ibaraki
6. The Area Around Echigo-Yuzawa

JR TOKYO Wide Pass: Price, Usable Train Types, and Coverage Area

JR Tokyo Wide Pass: Explore the Outskirts of Tokyo!

Picture courtesy of JR East
Adult tickets for individuals aged 12 and above are priced at 15,000 yen (around 100 USD), while children aged 6 to 11 can avail tickets at half price for 7,500 yen.

The pass allows unlimited rides on designated Shinkansen lines and JR trains in the specified area for 3 consecutive days. Additionally, it is valid on certain private railways such as Fujikyu Railway, Izu Kyuko, and Joshin Electric Railway.

The coverage extends outward from central Tokyo to areas including Chiba, Yamanashi, Kanagawa, Gunma, Saitama, Tochigi, and Ibaraki, encompassing transportation to and from major airports like Narita and Haneda, connecting to the city.

It is important to note that the Tokaido Shinkansen line, which connects Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka, and Fukuoka, is not included among the applicable train types. Additionally, if you wish to ride the Fuji View Limited Express or the Fujisan Limited Express on the Fujikyu Railway, additional fees apply.

We did the math: just traveling from Tokyo to Karuizawa (5,490 yen one way), then from Karuizawa to the ski resort Echigo Yuzawa (6,050 yen), and finally back to Tokyo from Echigo Yuzawa (6,260 yen) already amounts to the cost of this pass, which is 15,000 yen. It truly is a great deal to travel as much as you like within the pass's validity.

How to Buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

The JR Tokyo Wide Pass can be purchased either at on-site counters or online. Please note that regardless of the method of purchase, you must possess and present a valid non-Japanese passport.

Additionally, the pass must be exchanged and used by the passport holders themselves.

How to Buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass Online Before Arriving in Japan

You can reserve the ticket directly on the JR East official website or a ticket booking site such as Klook.

When booking online, you will be requested to input your passport information in advance. Upon arrival in Japan, you can simply show your purchase confirmation and passport at a JR Ticket Office to exchange for the pass, which is quite convenient.

Please note that some online booking systems do not allow changes or cancellations after purchase, so it's essential to carefully read the purchasing instructions on each website before buying.

How to Buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass at Ticket Counters in Japan

You can buy the JR Tokyo Wide Pass by presenting your original passport at ticket offices within JR stations in the Tokyo area or at designated seat reservation machines equipped with passport readers.

Please note that not all station ticket counters sell the pass, and the operating hours of ticket counters at each station may vary. It is crucial to check in advance on the JR East official website for the ticket offices that handle the JR Tokyo WidePass, to avoid any inconvenience.

When buying the ticket, the user must personally present their valid passport (the original document) for the purchase; it cannot be bought on behalf of family members or other travelers.

Additionally, you must specify the starting date for the ticket when purchasing, with the validity period starting within one month from the purchase date. Once activated, the pass must be used within three consecutive days.

After purchasing, the date cannot be changed, so it is crucial to plan your itinerary carefully to maximize the value of this pass.

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How to Use the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

JR TOKYO Wide Pass

The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is a magnetic card ticket. If you are boarding a regular train, you can simply enter the station using the gates that accept magnetic cards.

However, for trains with reserved seating or if you want to secure a seat, you will need to make a seat reservation in advance before boarding the train.

How to Reserve Seats When Using the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

If you plan to use the Shinkansen or a limited express train, you'll need to reserve your seat.

You can reserve seats at the JR East Travel Service Centers, the green ticket counters at JR stations, or tourist service centers within the coverage area of the pass by presenting your JR Tokyo Wide Pass to the staff.

When purchasing or collecting tickets for the first time at the window counter, you can also reserve seats for the train you plan to board for your first journey. This way, you can board the train directly at the scheduled time without any hassle!

How to Use Seat Reservation Machines

If there are designated seat reservation machines available at the station, you can insert your ticket card into the machine to make your seat reservation.

These machines have interfaces in both Japanese and English, making them highly recommended for those concerned about language barriers.

How to Reserve Seats on the JR East Website

JR East's online booking system also offers an online seat reservation service, which can be accessed through the online seat reservation page.

Please note that you need to register as a website member before making reservations. When booking and reserving seats, you will need to specify the date and location for ticket collection and ensure that you collect the ticket by 9:00 PM the day before your travel date.

The online reservation interface is in English, making it a useful tool for those who want to secure their tickets in advance of their journey.

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Top Destinations to Visit with the JR TOKYO Wide Pass

The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is best suited for exploring the suburban cities around Tokyo. Traveling by Shinkansen, you can reach most destinations within a two-hour journey, providing a faster and more comfortable option compared to buses or regular trains, allowing you to make the most of your valuable time.

Below are a few recommended areas worth visiting using the JR Tokyo Wide Pass.

1. Karuizawa in Nagano


Karuizawa, a city in Nagano, is not only a favorite destination for international tourists but also a highly popular spot among the Japanese. Apart from the must-visit shopping street Old Karuizawa Ginza near the station, the area boasts picturesque natural scenery such as the Shiraito Waterfall and Kumoba Pond.

The Karuizawa Prince Outlet offers a great shopping experience. It is an area where anyone can enjoy the delights of traveling. The illuminations at the Karuizawa Kogen Church at night are breathtaking, making it the top-ranked spot in Karuizawa for many visitors!

A round trip on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Karuizawa alone costs over 10,000 yen, making the JR Tokyo Wide Pass extremely cost-effective. The money saved can be used to buy a few more jars of Karuizawa fruit jam to bring back home!

2. Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi Area


Many people visit Japan to catch a glimpse of the majestic Mount Fuji. One of the most popular spots to view the sacred peak is Lake Kawaguchi, which can be easily reached by taking the limited express train Fuji Excursion from Tokyo.

A day trip from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi and back is quite relaxing and is considered one of the top Mount Fuji attractions. The area around Lake Kawaguchi offers beautiful landscapes throughout the year. In spring, you can enjoy the picturesque view of cherry blossoms with the Five-Story Pagoda at Arakurayama Sengen Park. In autumn, the Momiji Corridor showcases the reflections of autumn leaves on the lake surface with Mount Fuji in the background.

Locations like Oishi Park with its fiery-red kochia bushes and Sengen Shrine offer truly scenic experiences.

For those seeking thrills, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass can also be used to take the Fujikyu Railway to the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, where you can challenge various scream-inducing rides and attractions!

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3. Atami Onsen in the Izu Peninsula

atami onsen

The JR Tokyo Wide Pass can take you as far south as the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture. When you visit this area, besides enjoying hot springs in Atami, you can also experience the Atami Plum Garden, which starts blossoming in January. Following this, the Kawazu cherry blossoms make their appearance in February, creating wonderful scenery.

In the summer, the Atami Sea Fireworks Festival is a highlight event. Hotels and inns around this time get booked up quickly for this spectacular fireworks display over the sea, making it a worthwhile event to attend.

4. The Nikko Area

JR Tokyo Wide Pass

Nikko, renowned for the UNESCO World Heritage site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, is an increasingly popular destination near Tokyo. Nikko is famous for its "Two Shrines and One Temple" comprised of Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan Shrine, and Rinnoji Temple.

These lavishly adorned traditional Japanese temple structures attract visitors from both within and outside of Japan. In recent years, the autumn foliage beauty of places like Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Kinugawa Onsen, and Oku-Nikko has made this area a hot spot for tourists during the fall season.

With its rich natural and cultural landscapes, Nikko is highly recommended for those seeking to escape the bustling city life.

5. Ibaraki

JR Tokyo Wide Pass: Explore the Outskirts of Tokyo!

Ibaraki Prefecture is known for the enchanting blue nemophila fields and charming red kochia at the Hitachi Seaside Park. Traveling from Tokyo via the JR limited express train is very fast and convenient, with major attractions reachable in about one hour.

Besides the Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki is also renowned for being home to one of Japan's three most beautiful gardens, Kairakuen, the Oarai Isosaki Shrine's Torii Gate by the sea, and the picturesque landmark Hitachi Station, which are now some of Ibaraki's charming attractions!

6. The Area Around Echigo-Yuzawa

JR Tokyo Wide Pass

In the winter, many people visit Japan for skiing, and one of the popular ski areas easy to reach from Tokyo is Niigata's Echigo Yuzawa.

Echigo Yuzawa, famous originally due to Yasunari Kawabata's novel "Snow Country," has recently attracted more visitors, particularly to the nearby GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort.

GALA Yuzawa even has the GALA Yuzawa Temporary Station, which operates only during the winter to spring seasons. Additionally, this year, there is a limited-time promotion for JR pass holders. Until May 6, 2024, using the JR Tokyo Wide Pass allows you to enjoy special discounted prices for three types of cable car package tickets!

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Enjoy Exploring Eastern Japan with the JR Tokyo Wide Pass

When traveling in Japan, transportation costs can be a significant expense, and utilizing a rail pass can provide more flexibility to visit numerous attractions. Even with the price increase to 15,000 yen, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass is still very cost-effective.

For travelers who are familiar with Tokyo's city center or who enjoy exploring suburban landscapes, using the JR Tokyo Wide Pass can help you discover lesser-known scenic spots in eastern Japan.

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