South Tohoku Roadtrip: Tohoku Expressway Pass

Nearly 30 times the size of Tokyo, the Tohoku region is a treasure-trove of dynamic natural scenery that transforms with each season, exciting, unique local festivals and a rich cuisine of blessings from both mountain and ocean. Despite this, Tohoku is often overlooked by visitors to Japan in favour of well-trodden metropolises like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Perhaps due to its sheer size!

Often the distance between different attractions and local experiences in Tohoku is long and it can be costly to travel. Some of the best attractions are hidden off the beaten track and travelers are often required to change between a number of different transport systems – from Shinkansen and local trains to rent-a-cars.

However, NEXCO East (East Nippon Expressway Company Limited) has found the perfect solution in their fantastic value Tohoku Expressway Pass rental car plan for visitors to Japan!

Travelers in Japan can choose from a range of passes of different price and length – for example, 4000 yen for a two-day pass, 8500 yen for a seven-day pass – all providing unlimited use of Tohoku expressways! The daily cost of the pass is cheaper the longer the period, with the longest available being two weeks.

Usually, travelling just one-way between Sendai City and Aomori will set you back around 7550 yen in tolls. Using the pass, it has already made back its value from just that one trip.

This is your chance to get out and explore the Tohoku region, without the extra cost!

Enjoy the freedom to stop at places that catch your eye and pull over at service stations for a quick bite of some tasty local produce; customize your Tohoku adventure!

This great value plan is only available to tourists, although some might be a little hesitant about jumping straight into driving in Japan! To ease your mind, NEXCO & Go!Go!Tohoku!! have teamed up to share the experience of 4 international students who tried out the Tohoku Expressway Pass for the first time.

Their journey was a two-night, three-day course starting from Sendai Airport and taking them from the Japan Sea coastline of Yamagata all the way to the Pacific Coast of Fukushima Prefecture!

It’s super easy to apply for the Tohoku Expressway Pass when you pick up a rent-a-car from Sendai Airport!

Let’s see how their adventure turned out…

Day One: Sendai → Tsuruoka 

Leaving Sendai, we set out on our way to Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture! Who is crazy enough to climb Mt. Haguro in the snow? We are! From a detoxifying healthy lunch packed with rare Japanese wild veggies, to one of the world’s most unique aquariums packed with jellyfish! All that’s left to do is relax our weary travel legs in the only way we know how…in an onsen!

Day Two: Tsuruoka → Nanyo → Yonezawa → Koriyama

After painting our faces like kabuki stars, we head south to the Nanyo area of Yamagata to find love at a shrine (and a coffee at a cute café!). Stopping by for a quick dip and luxurious lunch at a  local onsen, we take in some local history in Yonezawa…

Day Three: Koriyama → Tamura → Iwaki → Sendai

All good things must come to an end…the last day! After exploring Fukushima’s mysterious limestone caves of Abukuma-do we head towards the Pacific to sunny Iwaki City. Enjoying a drive through the picturesque scenery of the seaside town, it’s time to check out some museums, local food and grab those last minute souvenirs…

Read more about NEXCO East’s Tohoku Expressway Pass here!





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