Willer Express - Inexpensive Highway Bus Reservations in English

The JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass is a rail pass for exclusive use by foreign tourists, providing unlimited travel on JR trains (including shinkansen and limited express trains) in the Kanto and Tohoku regions and Southern Hokkaido on six consecutive days.

JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass
27,000 yen

Below is a simplified map of major train lines that can be used with the pass:


  1. Unlimited use of trains operated by JR East in the Kanto (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi and Ibaraki Prefectures) and Tohoku (Fukushima, Miyagi, Yamagata, Akita, Iwate and Aomori Prefectures) regions and JR Hokkaido trains in southern Hokkaido (as far as Sapporo). The pass is also valid on the Tokyo Monorail which connects central Tokyo with Haneda Airport.
  2. In the designated area, you can use all types of JR East and JR Hokkaido trains, including shinkansen (except Tokaido Shinkansen, which is operated by JR Central), limited express trains and local trains (except some "liner" trains). The BRT buses along the Sanriku Coast are also covered.
  3. There are a small number of JR trains, which partially run on the tracks of different railway companies. When riding along a non-JR owned section, pass holders will have to pay the fare for the non-JR section on board of the train or at the station. Only the following non-JR train lines can also be used with the JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass:
    • Limited express trains between Shinjuku and Tobu-Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen and local trains between Tobu-Nikko, Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa Onsen
    • All trains along the Izukyu Line between Ito and Izukyu-Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula
    • All trains along the Iwate Ginga Railway and Aoimori Railway between Morioka and Aomori
    • All trains between Sendai and Sendai Airport
    • Tokyo Monorail between central Tokyo and Haneda Airport
  4. Seat reservations can be made for free.
  5. The pass is valid on six consecutive calendar days (midnight to midnight).
  6. Only foreign visitors to Japan (on temporary visitor status) can use the pass. It cannot be used by residents of Japan.

Points of sale

The JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be purchased via the internet, at selected travel agents outside of Japan and at major railway stations or airports in the area covered. If purchasing the pass outside of Japan or via the internet, the actual pass has to be picked up at a major station in the area covered before use.


The JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be a good value for those visiting southern Hokkaido from Tokyo. At 27,000 yen, it costs only about 4000 yen more than a regular one way ticket between Tokyo and Hakodate. On the other hand, note that a nationwide 1-week Japan Rail Pass costs only a few thousand yen more.