Unlimited travel pass comes with a slew of extra perks.

It’s been 150 years since the railways opened in Japan, and to celebrate, East Japan Rail (JR East) is coming out with a special deal called the “Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Opening of the Railways JR East Pass”.

The new pass offers unlimited rides on a number of trains, including the Shinkansen bullet train, over a three-day period, to be used between 14 and 27 October.

The lines covered are:

  • All JR East lines
  • Aoimori Railway Line
  • IGR Iwate Galaxy Railway Line
  • Sanriku Railway Line
  • Hokuetsu Express Line
  • Izukyu Line
  • Fujikyu Line
  • Echigo Tokimeki Railway Line

▼ The JR East lines are marked with a solid green line below, while the other railway lines listed above are marked with a black dashed line.

The Shinkansen routes covered by the pass are marked by the green-and-white lines in the map above, which show you can take a train from Tokyo out to Nagano and Niigata in the northwest, and right up to Akita and even Aomori at the top end, which allows you to stop off at other stations along the way, including Fukushima, Morioka and Sendai.

The unlimited-rides deal is valid for non-reserved seats in ordinary cars of limited express, express, and rapid trains, including Shinkansen on the participating lines. However, you can use it for travel on reserved seats up to four times; any reserved seating trips beyond that and you’ll have to pay for a separate non-discount limited express ticket.

Tickets can be purchased online only, from one month before the usage start date and up to three days before the usage start date, and they cost 22,150 yen (US$160.37) for adults and 10,150 yen for children. Tickets must be purchased at least three days prior to use.

Ticket holders will also be able to enjoy a number of discounts on car rental and at select restaurants and shops such as the JR East-operated NewDays convenience store chain.

The pass is a fantastic deal, as the scope for travel is incredibly impressive — it allows you to explore a wide swathe of northern Japan, while including Tokyo and its surrounding regions, and trips as far south as the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka and Lake Kawaguchiko, the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, in Yamanashi Prefecture.

At Kawaguchiko, even the train station itself is worth the journey.

Source: East Japan Rail via Hachima Kikou  
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: East Japan Rail
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