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7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/2 10:42
Hi,
I'm having difficulty figuring out which pass, JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass or 7D JR Pass is suitable for my itinerary.

From Narita Airport to Chichibu, where I'll be staying for 3 nights.
From Chichibu to Ashikaga Flower Park, staying overnight then move on to Matsumoto.
I'll be visiting Tateyama Kurobe Alpine the next day and stay overnight in Toyama.
Stop by at Karuizawa on the way to Tokyo.
A day visit to Hatachi Seaside Park.
Spend 2 days in Tokyo before flying out back home.

Can anyone help advise? Thanks in advance!
DNight
by DNight  

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/3 09:46
Money and time are always 2 of the biggest factors you should be considering. The full JR Pass is good for 7 consecutive days, the Nagano Niigata Area is only good for 5 consecutive days. Looking at your plans, I don't see how you can squeeze all that into 5 days. Seven is rather rough as well. Also it is not clear if you are aware that Toyama is not covered by the Nagano Niigata Area Pass. Also are you aware that to get to Chichibu you'd need to take the Chichibu Railway part of the way, and it is not covered by either pass?

You also didn't give any travel time, but for the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route it is open from around mid-April to the end of November or so (it may change a bit from year to year). I trust you know that the passes don't cover this either.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/3 11:01
I believe that the 7 Day JR pass will get you to Toyama, and the Nagano Niigata pass will not. You will have to pay for that part of the journey. Are you planning to take your luggage with you, when you do the Alpine Route? If not, you have to pay to go back to Toyama again, and then back out. Thatfs three times.

The cost of the Shinkansen for that leg is about 5000 yen, which chews up the savings by getting the Nagano Nigata pass.

Good luck, in planning your trip.
by ebaychucky311 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/4 07:46
Looking at that plan, a lot is conventional or express trains, and you are really not travelling very far or travelling in a narrow window of time. The only major trip is Toyama to Tokyo and I doubt that either pass could give you much in the way of savings and would probably cost you more than single tickets.
And as others have noted, there is a lot of that travel not covered by either pass.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/4 14:16
HelloI I'm YoshidaI
I live in japan.
My English isn't very good. Sorry.

Does the 7D JR pass mean the Japan Rail Pass by any chance?
If so, you can use the Japan Rail Pass for most JR lines!
You can't use it on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route or Chichibu Railway, but with that ticket, you can also take the Shinkansen!
I think you can enjoy sightseeing in Japan cheaper if you buy a Japan Rail Pass and pay separately for Chichibu Railway and buses!


Enjoy sightseeing in Japan!

Yoshida
by Yoshida Yoshio rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/4 17:22
Hi All,

Thanks so much for your responses.

@Ken @JapanCustomTours
I read that JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass is flexible and I can choose any 5 days within 14 days period. I planned to purchase Seibu 2 Days Pass to get to Chichibu. Then use the JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass for any days that I need shinkansen, and pay a bit extra for local train rides. That was the plan but that was before I realised the Pass does't cover Toyama...

I understand that I need to buy a separate ticket for Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. I'll be buying several separate tickets, was just hoping to save some bucks...

@ebaychucky311
I'll be sending my luggage to the next place before my trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine. The plan was to go from Matsumoto, do the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route, end in Toyama, stay overnight, then catch shinkansen back to Tokyo the next day.

@Yoshida Yoshio
Thanks. And yes I think JR Pass is the way to go.

Since I'm going with a friend, my other option is to rent a car and then buy whatever extra tickets I need that I can't use a car for. But then I need to think about parking fees, very expensive in some area.

Thanks for the helpful advice!

DK
by DNight rate this post as useful

Re: your itinerary (1) 2021/12/5 04:20
For your itinerary (as currently shown):

Japan Rail Pass seems not best cost-wise;
7-day Ordinary Class JRP is likely to be more expensive
than combination of
JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) or
JR TOKYO Wide Pass
+ regular tickets.

I read that JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass is flexible
and I can choose any 5 days within 14 days period.


Unfortunately, though I too remember so,
actually you have to choose consecutive days;
that is true also for JR TOKYO Wide Pass.

Among your destinations,
regarding
Karuizawa, Ashikaga Flower Park and Hitachi Seaside Park,
any of the above three passes can cover
your JR-East train rides to get from Tokyo then back.

It sounds to me a bit hectic plan
to visit within 3 days these three places,
but logically you can save your cost
by using a JR TOKYO Wide Pass.

Make sure to check the business days,
so that you, after starting to use your rail pass,
don't notice that the facility is closed.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: your itinerary (2) 2021/12/5 04:23
JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area):
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_nagano_niigata.html
18000 yen, 5 days;
JR basic fare ticket and Shinkansen super-express ticket
to go from Toyama to Joetsumyoko:
about 5000 to 5500 yen (#);
Sum:
about 23000 to 23500 yen
to visit the three places, get to Shinano-Omachi
and get from Toyama back to Tokyo.

JR TOKYO Wide Pass:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_06.html
10180 yen, 3 days;
JR basic fare ticket and Shinkansen super-express ticket
to go from Toyama to Sakudaira:
about 9200 to 9700 yen (#);
Sum:
about 19400 to 19900 yen
to visit the three places, get to Shinano-Omachi
and get from Toyama back to Tokyo.

(#) The price of the Shinkansen surcharge
varies by seasons and days;
the basic fare is at the same price through the year.

> That was the plan but that was before I realised the Pass does't cover Toyama...

Hokuriku Shinkansen is operated
by two JR regional companies.

JR-West [West Japan Railway]
: Kanazawa -- Toyama -- Joetsumyoko.
JR-East [East Japan Railway]
: Joetsumyoko -- Nagano -- Tokyo.

JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)
is valid for the whole JR-East part.
JR TOKYO Wide Pass
is not valid west beyond Sakudaira.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: your itinerary (3) 2021/12/5 04:46
From Chichibu to Ashikaga Flower Park,
staying overnight then move on to Matsumoto.
I'll be visiting Tateyama Kurobe Alpine the next day and stay overnight in Toyama.


In Matsumoto would you skip various spots?

Maybe you are underestimating time required to travel.

It requires 5 to 6 hours to get
from Ashikaga Flower Park Station to Matsumoto Station;
you may not have time
enough for sightseeing in Matsumoto
or for preparing for exploring Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.

How a better order of the places would be depends, I suppose,
also on when in the day you arrive in and depart from the airport.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/5 07:58
I read that JR East Nagano/Niigata Area Pass is flexible and I can choose any 5 days within 14 days period.
That used to be the case, but the rules changed quite a while ago - five consecutive calendar days now.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/5 13:45
Thanks @omotenashi for the detailed breakdown. I'll continue my research and see which passes are best for us. I'll add the passes you mentioned in my list as well. I planned to do a day trip to Kamikochi whilst in Matsumoto but that 's just another separate ticket i need buy...

I'm thinking of going to Japan in May, just after the golden week.

@JapanCustomTours
Thanks. I need to rethink about the passes now...
by DNight rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/6 03:28
Wow, I wonder when that rule changed. I know in June/July 2019 it was just 5 days within a 14 day period for both the Nagano-Niigata and Tohoku Pass because I got a Tohoku Pass and used it 5 days within a 14 day period and not 5 consecutive days.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/6 05:48
It changed on April 1, 2021.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/6 05:52
Thanks @Uji! That makes a lot of sense.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/6 19:25
@Uji, re e It changed on April 1, 2021.f :has there been any official news online that this is a permanent change or is it just during the current pandemic with no international visitors?
by Guest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 7D JR Pass or JR East Nagano/Niigata Area 2021/12/7 07:45
Official announcements from the various JR companies are under their press releases and company information. Also, the information for those JREast passes is clearly spelt out on their website.
https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/en/pass/index.html
AFAIK this is not related to the covid situation, but part of their change to pass structure and other improvements to pass usage. The press release was December 2020.
https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pdf/20201217_press_pass_e.pdf
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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