Get ready to feel your travel-loving heart go “Kyun!” with the Kyun Pass.

It was a sad day for travelers last April when Japan Railways announced that it was raising the price of the JR Pass, the rail pass that provided unlimited travel on all JR-operated lines in Japan. With JR passes having risen as much as 77 percent, it’s a lot harder to justify their expense in one’s travel budget, closing the door on many of the lavish single-day round-trip excursions to far-flung parts of the country many JR pass holders took using the Shinkansen bullet train network.

But soon East Japan Railway Company, a.k.a. JR East, is going to be bringing back some of the thrifty, speedy luxury with a brand-new rail pass. It’s called the Kyun Pass, or the Kyun♡Pass if you’re adhering to JR East’s official rendering with a silent heart in the middle.

▼ The Kyun Pass logo

The Kyun Pass is a single-day all-you-can-ride ticket for all lines operated by JR East, including the Tohoku Shinkansen (for the section between Tokyo and Aomori), Joetsu Shikansen, and Hokuriku Shinkansen (exclusing the section between Joetsumyoko and Kanazawa) lines. Though the pass doesn’t cover the archetypal golden itinerary of Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka-Hiroshima, it does give you access to attractively less-crowded travel destination gems such as Aomori, Sendai, Nagano, Niigata, and Morioka, and at a price of just 10,000 yen (US$69).

▼ The area covered by the Kyun Pass, almost the entire Kanto and Tohoku regions of Japan, and the eastern part of Hokuriku too

To illustrate what a great value that is, here are some ordinary round-trip fares, using the Shinkansen, from Tokyo.
● Tokyo-Aomori: 35,340 yen
● Tokyo-Sendai: 22,820 yen
● Tokyo-Nagano: 15,620 yen
● Tokyo-Niigata: 20,460 yen
● Tokyo-Morioka: 30.020 yen

The Kyun Pass allows you to reserve two seats in advance for the day you’ll be using it, and also provides unlimited rides on a number of non-JR lines that connect to the JR East network (Aoimori Railway, IGR Iwate Ginga Railway, Sanriku Tetsudo, Hokuetsu Express, and Echigo Tokimeki Railway [between Naoetsu and Arai Stations]). The Kyun Pass also gives you discounts at JR’s in-station New Days convenience stores and select station-adjacent rental car agency branches, in case you’re going even further afield than the train tracks can take you.

The Kyun Pass can be used on weekdays between February 14 and March 14, and goes on sale January 14 through JR East’s Eki Net online ticketing site (the pass must be activated no sooner than 14 days and no more than one month after purchase).

Really the only major downside is that the Kyun Pass price is the same, 10,000 yen, for both adults and children, with no discount for traveling tykes. Still, it’s an incredible value for all ages, and sure to provide a strong kyun (Japanese onomatopoeia for the sensation of your heart tightening in emotion and excitement) for anyone with even a hint of wanderlust.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly omitted the Kanazawa exclusion and weekday liitation. SoraNews24 apologizes for any confusion.

Related: Eki Net
Source: JR East via Ascii via Yahoo! Japan News via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: JR East, Wikipedia/
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