East Japan Railway Co (JR East) began sales of the special limited JR East Welcome Rail Pass 2020 available to all foreign passport holders (regardless of visa status) on Oct 16.
The railway company reports to have been pleasantly surprised by positive reactions to the new pass, along with higher than expected sales. A member of the team says that after a very tough year, due to the drop of international visitors, the success of the pass has brought some welcome positive news for the company.
Popular YouTuber John Daub, the creator and presenter of the channel “ONLY in JAPAN *GO,” has already used the pass twice to travel and share content online. “Tohoku is really under-represented online in English, and this pass unlocks hundreds of stories I’ve been waiting to film,” he says. “Traveling by Shinkansen is usually pretty expensive, but now I can jump on a train and be in the middle of the mountains in 90 minutes without worrying about the cost of transport so much, so I can focus more on what I can see and share.”
The pass allows holders three consecutive days of unlimited travel on the Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen, along with JR East train lines and a number of local railways. For one flat fee, international residents can explore the northernmost reaches of Tohoku or hop between sightseeing spots in the Kanto area in a flexible and budget-friendly way. With many unable to travel internationally, the pass provides a domestic alternative for Japan-based expats.
Those interested can find out more about the pass below, or watch a video here.
・Period of use: Until Feb 28, 2021
・Sales period: Until Feb 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 three consecutive days during the set period.
For more details on the areas covered by the pass and purchasing options, please visit https://www.eastjapanrailway.com/pass/