travel

JR East releases first-ever rail pass for international residents in Japan

12 Comments

East Japan Railway Company (JR East) will be selling a special limited "JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020" available to all foreign passport holders (regardless of visa status) starting from Oct 16.

Until this point, JR Rail Passes have been limited to visitors to Japan, excluding foreign residents with visas. JR East created this new, expat-friendly pass to allow members of Japan’s international community to explore the Tohoku and Kanto areas in a flexible and budget-friendly way, and provide an alternative to international travel.

This pass will allow holders three consecutive days of unlimited travel on the Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu and Hokuriku shinkansen (bullet trains), along with JR East train lines and a number of local railways. For one flat fee, visitors can explore from the northernmost reaches of Aomori Prefecture to the hot spring resorts of Shizuoka Prefecture, just south of Tokyo.

In addition to the release of the special pass, JR East will be collaborating with John Daub, the popular YouTuber behind the channel “ONLY in JAPAN * John Daub,” and the travel information site MATCHA to help travelers get a deeper understanding of the sights, cuisine and culture of regions covered by JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020.

JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020 Details:

・Period of use: October 16, 2020 - February 28, 2021

・Sales period: October 16, 2020 - February 26, 2021

・Price: 12,000 yen (6,000 yen for children)

・Who can use the pass: Customers holding a passport issued by a country other than Japan

・Validity: Unlimited rides on shinkansen, limited express trains and local trains on JR East lines under the jurisdiction of JR East for 3 consecutive days during the set period.

For more details on the areas covered by the pass and purchasing options, please refer to: https://www.eastjapanrailway.com/pass/

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12 Comments
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I prefer to drive whenever possible but this deal looks good. May have to start training it around the country. You can send John Daub packing, though.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have a wife and kids who are all japanese, and my joy is travelling with my family, so not going to use this

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This looks quite good. Although my wife is Japanese, it could still save us a bit of money if combined with a Go To deal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wish they would make it permanent, but I'll take what I can get. My wife is Japanese, so she would have to pay full price. Still, I haven't seen my children since last December, and I desperately want to see them. This is just what I need. Whether they come up here (Iwate), or I go down there (Kanto), I don't care. I just want to see my children live and in person again.

@Aly

I of course don't know your situation, but my children have two passports, Japanese and US. Based on this article, if your children have a foreign passport, they could probably use that.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Actually, the title and content of this article is misleading - the Tokyo Wide pass (also three days from JREast) has been around for a very long time and can be very useful. As a resident of Tokyo I have made use of the TWP several times over the last decade.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

has been around for a very long time 

Yes, forever. There are such seasonal offers for all big regional areas and anybody can use. Whenever my relatives visited, I found passes like that, so I could go with them and Japanese/Zainichi friends could join too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why don't they just offer it to everyone including Japanese?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

12,000 yen! That is an absolute bargain, hats off to them. You could finish work in Tokyo and be in Aomori for beers by 9pm, ski all weekend and Shink home on Sunday.

I'm hoping that they'd wind the clock back to 2010 and try out the 1000 yen unlimited expressway fee again, that was a brilliant scheme.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I of course don't know your situation, but my children have two passports, Japanese and US. Based on this article, if your children have a foreign passport, they could probably use that.

Thanks for that! Yes my children only have a Japanese passport, so it doesn't work for us

Hope you get time to spend with your kids.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is the greatest bargain ever by JR East. I travel to Japan twice every year in Apr/May & Sep/Oct to ride the Shinkansen to the north at a maximum 320 km/h with an impeccable safety record. Enjoy the Tohoku & Akita Shinkansens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A special feature of this pass is the reach. It covers all of Tohoku and down to Atami and Izu. I hope a lot of people will take the opportunity to go snowboard or spend time in a snowy wonderland reading or drinking hot cocoa. Since a lot of us are not able to visit home countries yet, this might be a good way to explore more of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a wife and kids who are all japanese, and my joy is travelling with my family, so not going to use this

Your wife I understand, but why in the world don't your kids have your passport? I would never leave my kids with Japanese citizenship as their only option. (hint, adult dual-citizenship, while still not officially allowed is quite easy to maintain if one knows how the system works).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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