Train fares in Japan can add up to be pretty costly when you’re travelling on shinkansen between cities, but occasionally a deal pops up offering highly discounted prices. While JR East has just offered two of their most coveted area passes to foreign residents, JR Kyushu also launched two discounted rail passes for foreign passport holders living in Japan.
Usually, rail passes (which include shinkansen) and discounts like these are reserved for overseas tourists, i.e. those who enter Japan on a short-term visitor’s visa. Now with the steep decline in inbound tourism, foreign residents have become eligible for the special rates as well.
There are two JR Kyushu Discover Rail passes. The most comprehensive All Kyushu Area Pass will normally set you back ¥29,920 – but with this promotion, you’ll only need to spend ¥12,000 for a three-day pass. The Northern Kyushu Area Pass, on the other hand, is just ¥6,500 for three days of travelling in Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures. Children aged between 6 to 11 can travel for half the price. This promotion ends March 29.
Both passes include local and rapid trains, shinkansen as well as selected luxury sightseeing trains. Plus, you can reserve up to six seats throughout your three-day trip. However, what makes these rail passes even more attractive is that the promotion is also extended to one accompanying traveller who is a Japanese citizen. The companion prices are ¥14,000 for the All Kyushu Area Pass and ¥7,500 for the Northern Kyushu Area Pass.
With a JR Kyushu Discover Rail Pass, you can easily visit the island's most popular attractions, including the hot spring capital of Beppu, foodie destination Fukuoka (famous for its tonkotsu ramen and yatai food stalls), the port city of Nagasaki, and the mountainous Kagoshima Prefecture, which is said to have inspired the celebrated Studio Ghibli film ‘Princess Mononoke’.
Passes can be purchased online through the designated JR Kyushu Rail Pass website, and are valid for use until March 31 2021.
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