JR Sanyo-San’in Area Pass
If you’re exploring Kansai, Kyushu, and all the other prefectures in between, the JR Sanyo-San’in Area Pass should be in your travel plans. Valid for seven consecutive days, it allows for unlimited rides on JR trains (including Shinkansen), local buses, and the ferry. You can even take the Hello Kitty Shinkansen with your pass.
Let’s explore more details about this pass.
Foreign passport holders with temporary visitor visas can use the JR Sanyo-San’in Area Pass. Japanese passport holders and residents with a non-visitor visa are ineligible for the pass.
You must buy a voucher from your local travel agent or the JR West Online Train Reservation site to get a pass. The voucher must be exchanged at selected JR exchange offices within 90 days of the purchase date. Don’t forget your passport, or you won’t get your pass.
Passes for children aged 6-11 are discounted, while kids under five can travel on trains for free with an adult.
The JR Sanyo-San-in Area Pass only comes in a seven-day duration. Here are the prices:
Price from 1 October 2023
|Overseas Travel Agent||JR West Online Reservation Site|
|7-day pass||A$243 (23,000 yen)||A$122 (11,500 yen)||A$243 (23,000 yen)||A$122 (11,500 yen)|
How to Exchange the Voucher
In order to get your JR West Kansai Pass without any issues, here are a few pointers you must remember:
- Your exchange voucher is valid for three months from the date of purchase.
- Travellers aged six or older must have a voucher and a valid foreign passport in order to obtain a pass. You cannot get it without a foreign passport.
- Confirm the date you want to exchange your voucher. Once you get your pass, the timer timer starts and cannot be modified.
- Any unused MCOs are refundable minus a 10% handling fee (220 yen minimum per pass). The MCO must be within a year of its purchase date and hasn’t been used yet in order to be eligible for a refund.
- You can only request a refund at the station where you exchanged or purchased the pass. Refunds for overseas vouchers must be requested from the travel agent who sold them.
- If refunding the pass itself, it must be unused. Additionally, the magnetic ticket must still be in the rail pass book to be eligible for a refund.
Here’s a list of where you can exchange your MCO:
- Kyoto Prefecture
- Kyoto Station – 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
- Fukuchiyama Station – 6 a.m. to 8:10 p.m. daily
- NTA TiS Kyoto Station – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. 4 p.m. daily
- Osaka Prefecture
- Shin-Osaka Station – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Shin-Osaka Travel Service Center – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Osaka Station – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Kansai Airport Station – 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
- NTA TiS Osaka Branch – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily
- Hyogo Prefecture
- Sannomiya Station – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- NTA TiS Sannomiya Branch – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays; 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays; closed Sundays.
- Nara Prefecture
- Nara Station – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
- Wakayama Prefecture
- Wakayama Station – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Tottori Prefecture
- Tottori Station – 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
- Sakaiminato Station – 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily
- Yonago Station – 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily
- Shimane Prefecture
- Matsue Station – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
- Okayama Prefecture
- Okayama Station – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
- Hiroshima Prefecture
- Hiroshima Station – 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
- Yamaguchi Prefecture
- Shin-Yamaguchi Station – 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
- Shimonoseki Station – 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily
- Fukuoka Prefecture
- Kokura Station Shinkansen Gate Ticket Office – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Hakata Station Shinkansen Central Gate Ticket Office – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
How to Use the Pass
The JR Sanyo-San’in Area Pass must be shown to staff before passing through the station gates. Seat reservations can be made online or at a station office.
Validity and Exclusions
Your pass is valid for 7 consecutive days. The first day starts the moment you receive your pass, and the next day starts at 12 a.m. Please keep this in mind when planning your trip and exchanging your voucher.
The pass can be used for unlimited rides on these services:
- Reserved seats on the Sanyo Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hakata
- Hello Kitty Shinkansen
- The following Limited Express trains:
- Kuroshio (reserved seats only)
- Kounotori (reserved seats only)
- Super Hakuto
- Super Inaba
- Kinosaki (reserved seats only)
- Hashidate (reserved seats only)
- Maizuru (reserved seats only)
- Local JR West train lines
- Rapid and Special Rapid train lines
- JR West Miyajima Ferry between Miyajimaguchi and Miyajima
- Local JR West Bus routes
The pass cannot be used for the following:
- Tokaido Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Tokyo
- Kyushu Shinkansen between Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo
- The Special Rapid “A Seat” paid seating
- Expressway buses
Exploring Western Japan: An Adventure with the Sanyo-San’in Area Pass
Designed with the savvy traveller in mind, the Sanyo-San’in Area Pass provides unlimited access to the vibrant cities, hidden gems and scenic landscapes that make up this corner of Japan. You can travel from the bustling city of Osaka to the historic city of Hiroshima, from the picturesque Okayama to the lively Hakata, and many more.
Exploring the Sanyo Area
Osaka: The Nation’s Kitchen
Osaka is the heart and soul of the Kansai region. Known as “the nation’s kitchen,” it’s a paradise for food lovers. From the vibrant Dotonbori district to the historic Osaka Castle, there’s something for everyone in this lively city.
Okayama: The Land of Sunshine
Okayama, blessed with a mild climate and plentiful sunshine, is renowned for its picturesque Korakuen Garden, one of the top three traditional gardens in Japan.
Hiroshima: The City of Peace
Hiroshima, a city that has risen from the ashes of World War II, is now a symbol of peace and resilience. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a poignant reminder of the city’s tragic past, while its vibrant food scene offers a taste of the city’s spirit of renewal.
Hakata: The Gateway to Kyushu
Hakata, a district in Fukuoka city, is your gateway to the island of Kyushu. It’s famous for its Hakata ramen, vibrant yatai (street food stalls) and historic temples.