In the south of Iwate is the two-kilometer-long Geibi Gorge, which has been frequented for over a century. A 90-minute boat cruise up and down the river is available for you to enjoy throughout the year. The gorge is a wonderful sight regardless of season: autumn brings vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red; while winter offers a snowy wonderland.
Said to be the perfect winter food, kiritanpo is made by pounding cooked rice, forming it into a cylinder around a skewer, and grilling over an open hearth. It can be served as is with sweet miso sauce, or used in kiritanpo nabe, which is a Japanese hot pot typically consisting of meat and vegetables. A bowl of kiritanpo nabe is sure to warm your belly!
Located in a small town nestled in the mountains, Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma is a hot spring village known for its high-quality water said to cure various ailments. Not only does it boast the largest flowing water volume in the country, it also prides itself for its unique bathing methods of "jikanyu" (timed bathing) and "yumomi" (water stirring). This is the perfect destination for those looking to warm up in a traditional Japanese onsen town during the cold winter months.
Popular for being the only snow resort in the world with its own Shinkansen station, GALA Yuzawa is a great place for some winter fun. Various snow activities can be enjoyed here like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snow tubing, etc. The best part is that it is only 75 minutes away from Tokyo by bullet train!
Situated near Joshin'etsukogen National Park, the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is home to troops of wild Japanese macaques (more commonly known as snow monkeys). Here, you can watch the monkeys as they go about their daily lives, which includes bathing in an onsen! The monkeys come to the park all year round, but winter is their favorite season to soak in the hot springs due to the heavy snow.
JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020 is a special limited discount pass available only to foreign passport holders (regardless of visa status). It allows unlimited travel on all JR East trains in the areas of Tokyo, Tohoku, Nagano, and Niigata, inclusive of the Shinkansen, for 3 consecutive days. It is a great way to explore the eastern region of Japan this fall/winter!
・Limited Sales Period: October 16, 2020 to February 26, 2021
・Limited Validity Period: October 16, 2020 to February 28, 2021
JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020 is a special limited discount pass available only to foreign passport holders in Japan, regardless of visa status (temporary visitor, long-term resident, permanent resident, etc.). It can be purchased at JR EAST Travel Service Centers and online.
For 3 consecutive days, pass holders can enjoy unlimited travel on all JR East trains in the areas of Tokyo, Tohoku, Nagano, and Niigata, inclusive of the Shinkansen. You can start your journey in Tokyo, explore the city, then maybe hop aboard the Shinkansen to the Tohoku area or the Nagano, Niigata area.
Travel around East Japan with just one pass
Travel faster via the Shinkansen
Make seat reservations for free and secure your seat in advance
Save money with the amazing prices
JR EAST Travel Service Centers are travel assistance facilities selling and exchanging passes such as JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020, as well as providing information in different languages.
If you want to explore the Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, GALA Yuzawa, and Karuizawa areas instead, check out this other convenient discount pass!
Take a ride on the Shinkansen that boasts not only speed and reliability, but also high-tech comfort.