Useful Information for Travel
Convenient Railway Passes
Flexible 4-day JR East Pass costs 20,000 JPY for non-Japanese short-term visitors. This pass is valid for the eastern part of JR railways including Joetsu-Shinkansen and Narita Express. This price is cheaper than a round trip between NARITA Airport and Niigata Station. There are also (non-flexible) 5-day and 10-day passes. JR East Passes may be purchased at Narita Airport JR station as well as Tokyo and many other JR East main stations.
For foreign visitors who would like to travel also to western part of Japan (e.g, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Kyushu), Japan Rail Pass is a good choice. The Japan Rail Pass is valid for the railways and some of buses operated by JR companies. A 7-day pass costs 28,300 JPY and a 14-day pass costs 45,100 JPY. (There are also 21-day pass and the first class (Green) passes.) Remember, the Japan Rail Pass CANNOT be purchased inside Japan. You must purchase an Exchange Order from an authorized sales office or agent before you come to Japan. Althouth the pass offers an very economical way to travel throughout Japan by rail, it is not valid for NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines. Please check the following page.
Daily Forecasts: Niigata (in Japan Meteorological Agency WWW site)