Rejoice, foreign travel-lovers living in Japan! The long-coveted JR East passes that were once only available to those on limited visas visiting Japan are now becoming available to non-Japanese passport-holders starting in April 2021.
No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. Beginning from April 1st, 2021, JR East is making two of the most popular passes available to anyone—regardless of residency status—as long as they hold a foreign passport. These passes have long been available only to visitors on short-term stays. These changes come just in time to take advantage of the savings during the Golden Week holiday.
The two passes that will be debuting for foreign-passport holders will be the Tohoku area pass and the Nagano/ Niigata area pass. Those who snag a pass can enjoy unlimited rides for the pass’s region of operation over a five-day period. Local JR trains, as well as rapid, limited-express, shinkansen, and JR bus services, are all included!
The Tohoku area pass
Cost: ¥20,000 adults/ ¥10,000 children
5-day travel in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Fukushima, Yamagata, Akita, Iwate, and Aomori
Nagano/ Niigata area pass
Cost: ¥18,000 adults/ ¥9,000 children
5-day travel in Niigata and Nagano