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JR East Nagano Niigata Pass


We are buying the JR East Nagano Niigata Pass. Would appreciate advice on our following itinerary.

D1 : Narita Airport to Shinjuku hotel with N'ex (JR East Pass Day 1)

D2 : Stay Shinjuku

D3 : Shinjuku to Nozawa Onsen (Iiyama Station) (JR East Pass Day 2)

D4 to D9 : Nozawa Onsen

D9 : Nozawa Onsen to Snow Monkey Park to Nagano

D10 : Nagano to Matsumoto and back to Nagano (JR East Pass Day 3)

D11 : Nagano to Narita Airport Hotel (JR East Pass Day 4)

(1)Does the JR East Pass cover our above travels?

(2) For D9 to the Snow Monkey Park, is there any means of travel that we can use the JR East Pass?

(3) We are flexible for D9 and D10. Would appreciate if there are alternative sightseeing suggestions for D9 and D10.



  • Options
    You don't say when you're going, but with 6 whole days around Nozawa, I presume you plan to do a lot of skiing. The pass covers nearly all the transport to where you are going, with a couple of exceptions. To go to Nozawa Onsen, you need to get a bus at Iiyama Stn, and the pass doesn't cover that. It costs 600 yen one way, takes 40 minutes, and the bus leaves every 1-2 hours. The pass also only covers the trains up to Nagano to see the monkeys. From there you need to take the Nagaden train (again, not covered), to Yudanaka. From there it's a 15 minute bus ride to Kanbayashi Onsen (310 yen), and after that, a 30 minute walk to see the monkeys.
    For Days 9-10, it does not take all day to see the monkeys, and there are a couple of other hot spring places you could try. Plus Nagano City itself has some very nice sights, like the Togakushi Shrine and Zenkoji Temple. Matsumoto doesn't have that much surprisingly, but Matsumoto Castle is one of the best in Japan (and an original surviving one, not reconstructed fake). You could if you want see Togura Kamiyamada Onsen or Bessho Onsen in case you just can't get enough, though there are other sights there as well.
    Another option from Matsumoto is a trip to Takayama, with a discounted bus ticket you can get with the pass (4500 yen round trip). However, it's 2½ hours one way which would not leave you with much time. Another idea is going partway down the same route to ride the Shin-Hotaka ropeway.
    Pricey and time consuming, but if the weather is clear, you'd get a tremendous view.
    Or maybe even Hakuba for more skiing.
  • Options
    Thanks, Tenjin, for your advice. Yes, we are going for skiing in Nozawa Onsen and planned to use the JR East Pass before and after the ski trip.
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