questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

using jr east for nagano -> kyoto?

Using JR East for Nagano -> Kyoto?


We're looking at buying a JR East pass for a holiday later in January, but I'm not sure whether we can use the pass to travel from Nagano to Kyoto. From what I can see, you can't use a JR Pass on either a Nozomi or Hikari, yet most of the options seem to involve a transfer to one of these trains - either from Tokyo or Nagoya.

How do people typically get from either Nagano or Tokyo to Kyoto with a JR pass, while avoiding Nozomi / Hikari?

Thanks in advance!



Hi Claire,

The JR East pass is valid in the JR East region which is mostly north of Tokyo and can't be used to travel to Kyoto or Nagoya. People generally use a limited express train to Nagoya and then the Shinkansen to Kyoto or travel all the way to Kyoto with the Shinkansen via Tokyo. If you have the possibility I would recommend buying a JR Pass (instead of a JR East pass) as it is valid on the Shinkansen between Nagano - Kyoto and can save a lot of money.

Alternatively you could return to Tokyo and maybe take a night bus from there, which is generally cheaper than travel by rail. However this is something I would try to avoid if you can't sleep on this bus.

I hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $257.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.