JR East Pass Nagano/Niigata Area Pass

If you want to enjoy Tokyo and be able to do a day trip to Nagano, Niigata, and other areas in between, the JR East Pass Nagano/Niigata Area Pass is for you. Valid for 5 consecutive days, it allows unlimited rides on various trains, including the Shinkansen. Don’t forget: it’s free to reserve a seat with your JR Pass!

Let’s take a look at how this pass can help save you time and money.



Foreign passport holders with temporary visitor visas can use the JR East Pass Nagano/Niigata Area Pass. Japanese passport holders are ineligible for the pass, but foreigners who live in Japan can purchase it.

To get a pass, you must buy a voucher from your local travel agent or the JR East Train Reservation site. The voucher must be exchanged at selected JR exchange offices within 90 days of the purchase date. Don’t forget your passport, or you won’t get your pass.

Passes for children aged 6-11 are discounted, while kids under five can travel on trains for free with an adult.


The JR East Pass Nagano/Niigata Area Pass only comes in a five-day duration. It costs 27,000 yen for adults and 13,500 yen for children, regardless of whether you purchase online, at a ticket office, or through your local travel agency.

How to Exchange the Voucher

You can exchange your voucher at the following:

  • Haneda Airport Terminals 2 and 3
  • Narita Airport Terminals 1, 2, and 3
  • Tokyo Station
  • Shinjuku Station
  • Shibuya Station
  • Ueno Station
  • Shinagawa Station
  • Ikebukuro Station
  • Yokohama Station
  • Funabashi Station
  • Hamamatsucho Station
  • Kashiwa Station
  • Kawasaki Station
  • Matsumoto Station
  • Mito Station
  • Nagano Station
  • Niigata Station
  • Omiya Station
  • Tachikawa Station

How to Use the Pass

This pass is used like a regular train ticket. Insert it into the automatic ticket gate to access the platforms, and don’t forget to collect it with you. Always travel with your passport in case a station staff wants to confirm your eligibility.

Validity and Exclusions

Your JR East Pass Nagano/Niigata Area Pass is valid for 5 consecutive days. The first day starts the moment you receive your pass, and the next day starts at 12 a.m. Please keep this in mind when planning your trip and exchanging your voucher. You can purchase multiple passes as long as their validity doesn’t overlap.

The pass can be used for unlimited rides on these services:

  • Local JR EAST Lines
  • JR East Shinkansen
    • Tohoku Shinkansen
    • Yamagata Shinkansen
    • Joetsu Shinkansen
    • Hokuriku Shinkansen
  • Tokyo Monorail
  • Izu Kyuko Line
  • Hokuetsu Express
  • Echigo TOKImeki Railway (between Naoetsu and Arai)
  • Reserved seats in ordinary cars of the following express trains between JR East and Tobu Railway lines:
    • Nikko train
    • Kinugawa train
    • SPACIA Kinugawa train
  • Ordinary trains (including rapid trains) on the Tobu Railway lines between Shimo-imaichi and Tōbu-nikkō / Kinugawa-onsen.
  • Local JR buses

The pass cannot be used for the following:

  • Tokaido Shinkansen
  • The section between Minami-Otari and Itoigawa on the Ōito Line
  • The section between Itoigawa and Jōetsumyōkō on the Hokuriku Shinkansen
  • Express trains that depart and terminate at a Tobu station.
  • Highway buses

Discovering the Charms of Nagano and Niigata: A Journey through Japan’s Heartland

As an ardent globetrotter, Japan’s Nagano and Niigata regions have an enchanting appeal. Both regions, nestled not far from Tokyo, offer a flavour of Japan’s beautiful countryside. Here’s an adventurous traveller’s guide to these stunning locations.

1. The Allure of Nagano

1.1 A History Etched in Time

Nagano shot to worldwide fame as the host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Today, it’s a magnet for both local and international travellers who appreciate its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and spiritual heritage.

1.2 The Spiritual Journey

Nagano is a prominent centre for Buddhist pilgrimages, owing to its beautiful Zenko-ji Temple. A walk through the serene Japanese Alps, adorned with cherry blossoms, is an experience of tranquillity and peace.

1.3 The Winter Paradise

Nagano’s winter sports facilities, a legacy of the Olympics, are a paradise for skiing enthusiasts. Its powdery snow and excellent facilities make it a top spot for winter sports.

2. The Charm of Karuizawa: A Stop on the Way to Nagano

2.1 An Exquisite Retreat

Karuizawa, located on the way to Nagano, is a luxurious retreat known for its hotspring resorts. Its calm surroundings and high-end amenities make it a perfect getaway for those seeking a respite from city life.

3. The Splendour of Niigata

3.1 A Treasure Trove of Local Produce

Niigata is a region whose name is synonymous with quality produce, especially rice. The region’s fertile plains are the source of some of the country’s finest grains.

3.2 The Bustling City Life

Niigata city, with its modern architecture and vibrant lifestyle, is one of Japan’s major fishing ports. It’s a stark contrast to the region’s rural landscapes but equally fascinating.

3.3 Gateway to Sado Island

Niigata city serves as the gateway to Sado Island, a haven for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. The island’s untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere make it an ideal destination for those seeking a break from urban hustle.

Discovering the Nagano-Niigata region can be an enriching experience for anyone with a penchant for history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether it’s the spiritual tranquillity of Nagano, the luxurious retreat of Karuizawa, or the bustling city life of Niigata, these regions offer a taste of Japan that’s hard to find elsewhere.