While I already have my Tokyo Subway 72-hour Ticket on hand, there were certain places whereby the JR Yamanote Line was clearly more useful from where I was staying. As such, for one of the days when I was in Tokyo and using the JR lines more, I opted to purchase an additional Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokunai Pass / 都区内パス) to get unlimited rides on local and rapid JR East trains (excluding reserved seats) within the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo.
The Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass can be purchased 30 days in advance, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Tickets can be purchased on the spot from regular ticket machines around all stations.
Head to the marked ticket machine to purchase the Tokunai Pass.
Change the interface to English first.
Touch the “Discount Ticket” button on the top left corner of the screen.
Just one discounted ticket option will be in the menu – the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass.
One Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass costs ¥750 (~S$9.69). As the lowest one-station fare on the Yamanote Line already costs ¥140 and a longer journey would easily cost ¥170, I needed to take just 5 single trips in a day to maximise the use of the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass, which is pretty easy.
My Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass and change being dispensed from the ticket vending machine.
My Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass for one day of unlimited travel on the Tokyo JR Lines. A map in Japanese is also printed on the ticket showing the pass validity area.
Heading into the ticket gates.
Unlike the JR TOKYO Wide Pass which I’ve used for the first 3 days of the trip, the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass is not a manual pass but rather printed on magnetic paper. As such, use the automatic fare gates.
Pick up the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass at the end of the ticket gate.
Heading down to the Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tohoku Line platforms.
The Yamanote Line is the most convenient line to get around Tokyo, going around a loop, though it may not necessarily be the fastest. The parallel Keihin-Tohoku Line on the eastern side of the Yamanote Line has a Rapid service at certain times of the day which skips some smaller stations, which could speed up the journey time by a few minutes.
My validated Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass with a hole punched on top after the first use.
Getting off the Yamanote Line at Tokyo Station. The single fare from Tabata to Tokyo already costs ¥170, so you can see how easily the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass would pay off for a day of travel, and even more if your purpose of travel within Tokyo is for trains like me.
The Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass is very useful for a full day of JR train rides in Tokyo or if you simply wish to put a cap on how much you spend on transport per day.
If you are using a longer JR Pass such as the JR TOKYO Wide Pass or even the Japan Rail Pass, you can pick a shorter pass duration to avoid the days where you are only travelling in Tokyo and opt for this cheap Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass or Tokunai Pass instead to save on the overall cost while still getting unlimited JR rides.
No reservations necessary – just turn up at the station in the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass zone, buy it, and go.