Image of the Toki Liner Pass
Photo:The Toki Liner Pass

Highway buses are a great way to enjoy sightseeing in Niigata Prefecture!
Avoid the fatigue of driving and trains!
You can also enjoy a glass of delicious Niigata sake together with tasty Niigata specialties...
Enjoy an affordable and exciting adventure in Niigata made possible by the Toki Liner.

The Toki Liner Pass allows unlimited rides on designated highway buses in Niigata Prefecture for an entire day. In this article, we'll provide information about the Toki Liner Pass, as well as information on things to do during autumn in Niigata using the Toki Liner Pass!
Without further ado, let's take a look at the Toki Liner Pass and how much it can save you!

Image of the Toki Liner, a highway bus in Niigata Prefecture
Photo:The Toki Liner, a highway bus in Niigata Prefecture

The Toki Liner is a highway bus service connecting major cities in Niigata Prefecture.
It's a highway bus service that was started in April 2022 by five highway bus operators in Niigata Prefecture (Niigata Kotsu, Echigo Kotsu, Kubiki Jidosha, Niigata Kotsu Kankou Bus, Kanbara Tetsudo, and I.K ALLIANCE) on eight routes in the prefecture (Nagaoka Line, Kashiwazaki Line, Tokamachi Line, Gosen Muramatsu Line, Joetsu Line, Itoigawa Line, Higashisanjo Line, and Tsubame Line), and has been attracting attention as a new way to do travel in Niigata, in addition to cars, trains, and other means of transportation.
The Toki Liner doesn't require reservations, and IC cards can be used to board the buses. Additionally, since you can rest assured that you will always have a seat, all buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi, making long-distance travel more comfortable. Furthermore, a bus location system is used on all routes, allowing passengers to check in where the bus is at any given time, in real time.
Moreover, "Park & Ride" is a service in which passengers can park their cars in parking lots located next to the bus stops and use the highway buses.

The Toki Liner Pass introduced here is a one-day pass for unlimited rides on designated express bus routes within the prefecture on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
There are two types of passes, a 2,500 yen pass and a 1,500 yen pass, and the routes vary depending on which pass you choose.
This allows you to choose that pass that best fits your budget and itinerary.
The pass can also be purchased on the same day you visit Niigata, so you can travel around without having to make a reservation!

The Toki Liner Pass can be purchased via an app and includes special discount tickets (sightseeing, secondary transportation, dining) along with the bus tickets. Be sure to read on for more information regarding special tickets.

The tickets can be used from Saturday, July 15, 2023 to Saturday, November 18, 2023.

Image of the Toki Liner Pass highway bus unlimited ride area
Photo:The Toki Liner Pass highway bus unlimited ride area

[1,500 yen Pass]
・The 1,500 yen pass allows unlimited rides on a course between Niigata and Nagaoka.

[Unlimited Ride Area & Bus Stops]
・Gosen Muramatsu

The 1500 yen Toki Liner Pass allows unlimited rides for one day within the designated area above. Discount tickets are available with the 1500 yen Toki Liner Pass.

[2,500 yen Pass]
・The 1,500 yen pass allows unlimited rides on a course between Niigata and Joetsu.

[Unlimited Ride Area & Bus Stops]

The 2500 yen Toki Liner Pass allows unlimited rides for one day within the designated area above. Discount tickets are also available with the 2500 yen Toki Liner Pass.

Please refer to the Toki Liner official website for information on bus stops and routes.

The Toki Liner Pass can be purchased from the RYDE PASS app.

Click here for the App Store download page
Click here for the Google Play download page

1. Download the RYDE PASS app

2. Register as a member

3. Search for and select "Toki Liner PASS 2023" in the app

4. Select the course you wish to purchase

Tickets purchased with the app must be presented to the bus staff when boarding or exiting the bus. ※Presentation requirements differ depending on the ticket, so please check the ticket for more details.

For more information on purchasing the Toki Liner Pass and how to use the ticket (how to ride the buses with it), please visit the RYDE PASS official website.

Image of the Shinano River, Niigata Prefecture
Photo:The Shinano River, Niigata Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture is known for its hot springs and ski resorts, which make it a popular travel destination in Japan.
Niigata can be accessed from Tokyo via the Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) in approximately two hours, which attracts a large number of tourists year-round.

The Niigata Plain (Echigo Plain), through which the Shinano River, the longest river in Japan, flows, is known for having the best rice in Japan, and Uonuma Koshihikari rice from Niigata is regarded as the "King of Rice" in Japan.
Sake made from rice grown in Niigata is also popular, and the region is now the third largest sake producer and has the largest number of sake breweries in Japan.
Kubota (久保田) and Hakkaisan (八海山) are two of the most popular sake brands in Niigata, and they pair well with the local cuisine of Niigata!

Facing the Sea of Japan, Niigata also offers excellent seafood such as blackthroat seaperch, succulent prawns, and Japanese amberjack, which can be enjoyed all year round.
Another attraction of Niigata Prefecture is that you can indulge in seafood caught fresh from the Sea of Japan at reasonable prices.

Image of local cuisine in Niigata
Photo:Local cuisine in Niigata

Other local delicacies include hegi soba (buckwheat noodles with seaweed kneaded into them), tai chazuke (sea bream chazuke) using sea bream from Kashiwazaki, black yakisoba using noodles and squid from Niigata, and Tsubame-Sanjo ramen, a type of ramen filled with back fat and a rich seafood broth that is sure to please even the most discerning palate.

Niigata offers a wide variety of dining options and sightseeing opportunities throughout the year, but autumn is an especially great time to visit the prefecture!

Niigata's spectacular natural scenery, which turns red with the autumn leaves, coupled with the exquisite seasonal cuisine, make it a destination you'll be regret not visiting. Here we'll introduce some popular things to do and dining options in major areas of Niigata that can be reached via highway bus.

Around the area where you get off the highway bus "Niigata," you can enjoy a relaxing time at the aquarium and enjoy local Niigata cuisine.

Marinepia Nihonkai (Niigata City Aquarium)

The aquarium exhibits 20,000 aquatic organisms of approximately 600 species, making it one of the largest aquariums on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu (Japan's main island).
The underwater tunnel that passes through the bottom of the large tank is truly incredible!
The aquarium is divided into the following 10 zones to introduce organisms in various environments.
・Coastal Landscape Zone
・Sea of Japan Zone
・Flow of Warmth Zone
・Shinano River Zone
・Interactive Zone
・Aquatic Animals Zone
・Dolphin Stadium Zone
・Pinniped Zone
・Penguin Coast Zone
・Niigata Field Zone

Image of Marinepia Nihonkai (Niigata City Aquarium)
Photo:Marinepia Nihonkai (Niigata City Aquarium)
Facility Information
【Address】5932-445 Nishifunami-cho, Chuo-ku, Niigata 951-8555
【Access】Right in front of the "Suizokukan Mae" (水族館前) bus stop (local bus)
【Required Time】1 hr 51 min from Nagaoka Station

Laporte Gosen

This complex has three facilities: a Lifelong Learning Area, an Industry Promotion Area, and a Commons Area (with children's playground equipment and other rest facilities) that takes advantage of the wooden architecture.
Inside the building, there is a multi-purpose hall, a cafeteria, and various places where local specialties, such as knitted goods and silk products, are sold.
Visitors can also purchase local foods produced in Niigata at the farmers' market, where fresh vegetables are delivered daily.

Image of Laporte Gosen, Gosen, Niigata
Photo:Laporte Gosen, Gosen, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】863 Akami, Gosen City, Niigata Prefecture
【Access】A 3-minute walk from the "Ota Shinden" (太田新田) bus stop (Gosen Muramatsu Line)

Niigata Manga and Anime Information Center

This is a cultural facility related to manga and anime in Niigata, a prefecture which has produced many popular manga artists and animators.
The museum introduces how manga and anime are made, has a corner where visitors can play with popular characters, experience voice acting and the world of manga and anime, and much more.

Facility Information
【Address】Bandai City BP2 1F, 2-5-7 Yachiyo, Chuo-ku, Niigata-shi, Niigata
【Access】A 5-minute walk from the "Bandai City" (万代シティ) bus stop

Around the area where you get off the highway bus at "Nagaoka" (長岡), there are facilities where you can enjoy Nagaoka Fireworks, one of the three largest fireworks festivals in Japan, and a sake brewery that is the pride of Niigata, throughout the year.

Kawai Tsugunosuke Memorial Hall

At Kawai Tsugunosuke Memorial Hall, visitors can learn about the history of Niigata through historical exhibits related to Kawai Tsugunosuke, who led the Nagaoka domain government at the end of the Edo Period.
Approximately 30 items related to Kawai Tsugunosuke are on display, including his travel diary, which he wrote during his travels in western Japan, and which he bought to Kyushu during his travels, and the manuscript of Ryotaro Shiba's novel "Touge" (Mountain Pass).

Image of Kawai Tsugunosuke Memorial Hall, Nagaoka, Niigata
Photo:Kawai Tsugunosuke Memorial Hall, Nagaoka, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】1-1675-1 Kou, Nagaoka, Nagacho, Niigata Prefecture
【Access】An 8-minute walk from the "Nagaoka Station" (長岡駅) bus stop (Nagaoka Line)
【Required Time】1 hour 28 minutes from Niigata Station

Roadside Station Nagaoka Hanabi Kan

Visitors can experience Nagaoka Fireworks all year round at the dome theater, where they can enjoy one of Japan's three largest fireworks festivals with sound and images.
In the exhibition room, which is free of charge, visitors can enjoy fireworks-related games and more on a large 15-meter-wide, 6-meter-tall screen, and the history of Nagaoka Fireworks is also introduced on the walls of the exhibition room.

Image of Roadside Station Nakaoka Hanabi Kan, Nagaoka, Niigata
Photo:Roadside Station Nakaoka Hanabi Kan, Nagaoka, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】707 Kitamachi, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata 940-2121
【Access】An 8-minute walk from the "Higoshi" (日越) bus stop (local bus)

Yoshinogawa Sake Brewery

The 470-year-old brewery is home to Sake Museum Jogura, a facility that includes a store, a standing sake bar and displays of historical articles from Yoshinogawa's history.
The brewery offers a variety of special and seasonal sake that can only be enjoyed at the brewery.

Image of Yoshinogawa Sake Brewery, Nagaoka, Niigata
Photo:Yoshinogawa Sake Brewery, Nagaoka, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】4-8-12, Settaya, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata, 940-1105, Japan
【Access】A 3-minute walk from the "Miyauchi 1-chome" (宮内1丁目) bus stop (local bus)

Around the area where you get off the highway bus at Takada and Naoetsu, you can enjoy autumn leaves at historical landmarks, and Niigata's local cuisine and history.

Ryotei Ukiyo

Ryotei Ukiyo is a long-established Japanese restaurant that has been in business since the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868).
The restaurant also offers a limited menu that changes monthly.
The garden, which changes beautifully from season to season, can be viewed from the restaurant's windows, allowing guests to enjoy their meals in a tasteful atmosphere.

Image of Ryotei Ukiyo, Joetsu, Niigata
Photo:Ryotei Ukiyo, Joetsu, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】Nakamachi3-5-4, Joetsu, Niigata, 943-0831, Japan
【Access】A 5-minute walk from the "Takada Ekimae" (高田駅前) bus stop (Joetsu Line)
【Required Time】2 hours 12 minutes from Niigata Station

Takada Castle Park

Takada Castle Site Park, while famous for its cherry blossoms, becomes a popular spot for visitors in autumn when the maple and ginkgo trees change colors. The reflection of Takada Castle on the surface of the moat surrounding it, together with the autumn leaves, makes it a truly unforgettable attraction.
The best time to view the autumn leaves is from early November for the cherry trees and from mid-November for the ginkgo trees. Near the park, there's playground equipment, benches, and a café, making it the perfect spot to go for a walk and enjoy the autumn leaves.

Image of Takada Castle Site Ruins, Joetsu, Niigata
Photo:Takada Castle Site Ruins, Joetsu, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】943-0835 Niigata, Joetsu, Motoshirocho, 44−1
【Access】A 1-minute walk from "Takada Joshi Koen Iriguchi" (高田城址公園入口) bus stop (local bus)

Taga Tea Roastery

A renovated old machiya (Japanese townhouse) specializing in Japanese tea.
Enjoy tea, Japanese sweets, rice crackers, and more at this new shop, which opened in April 2023.
Souvenirs and teapots made locally in Joetsu are also available for purchase.

Image of Taga Tea Roastery, Joetsu, Niigata
Photo:Taga Tea Roastery, Joetsu, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】3-chōme-1-9 Nakamachi, Joetsu, Niigata 943-0831
【Access】A 6-minute walk from the "Takada Ekimae" (高田駅前) bus stop (Joetsu Line)

Takada Sekai-kan

Takada Sekai-kan opened in 1911 and is the oldest existing movie theater in Japan.
The ultra-retro projection room, which has remained unchanged from when it opened, is one of the highlights of the building.
It's registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan and a Heritage of Industrial Modernization.

Image of Takada Sekai-kan, Joetsu, Niigata
Photo:Takada Sekai-kan, Joetsu, Niigata
Facility Information
【Address】6 Chome-4-21 Honcho, Joetsu, Niigata 943-0832
【Access】A 10-minute walk from the "Takada Ekimae" (高田駅前) bus stop (Joetsu Line)

Autumn salmon, which is in season from September to December, have a nice firm texture.

・Blackthroat Perch
Blackthroat perch are caught year-round, and early autumn is said to be the best season for them.

■Here are some recommended restaurants where you can enjoy seasonal tuna bowls

Sushi Marui
The "Nodoguro Aburi-don" is a bowl of rice topped with blackthroat perch caught in Niigata, that has been quickly seared to bring out the flavor of the fish's fat.
※Please note that the Nodoguro Aburi-don is available only for lunch.

【Address】8-1411 Higashiboridori, Chuo-ku, Niigata City, 951-8065
【Access】A 10-minute walk from the "Niigata Station" (新潟駅) bus stop

When you purchase a Toki Liner Pass, you will also receive a number of special discount tickets (sightseeing, secondary transportation, dining) as well. They can be used for free toppings and side dishes at restaurants and more. Be sure to show your Toki Liner Pass to receive the discounts.

Image of Rent-a-car/Rent-a-cycle

・Rent-a-cycle (Nagaoka area)
 - Rent-a-cycle fee: 300 yen → 100 yen
・Rent-a-cycle (Muramatsu area)
 - Rent-a-cycle fee: Free

・Rent-a-car (Niigata area)
 - Rent-a-car fee: 500 yen discount on car rental fees
・Rent-a-car (Nagaoka and Tsubame-Sanjo area)
 - Rent-a-car fee: 500 yen discount on car rental fees

Image of Toki Liner Pass special discount tickets
Photo:Toki Liner Pass special discount coupons

・KYOWA Classic Car & Life Station (Higashisanjo area)
 - 300 yen discount for interactive activities
・Laporte Gosen (Gosen Muramatsu area)
 - 200 yen discount at the farm direct shop
・Kawai Tsugunosuke Memorial Museum (Nagaoka District)
 - Free admission
・Tsubamesanjo Bit (Higashisanjo area)
 - 300 yen off your bill
・Ramen Tenzan Nagaoka Store (Nagaoka area)
 - Three free gyoza (dumplings)
・Chinese Restaurant Atago (Niigata area)
 - Ramen toppings: 1 free ajitama (flavored egg)
・Oretachi no Ramen Chobikichi (Niigata area)
 - Ramen toppings: 3 free nori (dried seaweed)
・WAKA Noodle Shop (Niigata area)
 - One extra piece of chashu (braised pork)
・Ramen Hachi (Niigata area)
 - A free raw egg or small serving of rice
・Hachibei Ramen (Niigata area)
 - Half an Ajitama (flavored egg) or 2 sheets of Nori (dried seaweed) free
・Shrimp Ramen Specialty Restaurant "Ebisu DELUX" (Niigata area)
 - Two free Yodare Gyoza (dumplings)
・Kokoro Ramen (Niigata Area)
 - 100 yen discount on noodles
・Echigo Hillside Park (Nagaoka area)
 - 100 yen discount on three kinds of soft-serve ice cream at Rose Café

For details on ticket information, facilities and stores, please visit the official RYDE PASS website.

Image of discover Niigata with the Toki Liner Pass!
Photo:Discover Niigata with the Toki Liner Pass!

Come and experience the beautiful natural scenery unique to autumn in Niigata while enjoying the seasonal flavors of the prefecture.
A trip to Niigata is sure to make for some lifelong memories!

The Toki Liner Pass introduced in this article is a great way to enjoy autumn travel in Japan at an affordable price.
Tickets can be easily purchased via the RYDE PASS app.

Click here for the App Store download page
Click here for the Google Play download page

Enjoy sightseeing in Niigata while taking in the various scenery from the comfort of a highway bus!
We hope to see you there!

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Last Updated : Sep. 14, 2023
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The Toki Liner Pass – Unlimited Rides on Highway Buses in Niigata Prefecture! Experience Autumn in Niigata, Japan With This Affordable Pass!
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