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. With JR East offering two of their most coveted area passes to foreign residents, JR Kyushu is following suit with three 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. With the steep decline in inbound tourism, however, foreign residents have become eligible for the special rates as well.
There are now three JR Kyushu Rail Passes. The most comprehensive All Kyushu Area Pass will normally set you back ¥41,730 – but with this promotion, you’ll only need to spend ¥18,500 for a five-day pass.
The Northern Kyushu Area Pass, on the other hand, is just ¥10,000 (normally ¥25,010) for three days of travelling in Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Oita prefectures.
The third option is the Southern Kyushu Area Pass, which covers Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures at ¥8,000 for a three-day trip (normally ¥17,950).
Children aged between 6 to 11 can travel for half the price. The passes will be available for purchase until September 30 2022 and can be used through November 5 2022.
Each of the passes include unlimited rides on shinkansen and limited express trains as well as local and rapid trains. You can reserve your seats free of charge at a JR Kyushu ticket office before boarding. Trips on the luxury train ‘36 Plus 3’ are also available for an additional charge.
With the right JR Kyushu Rail Pass, you can easily visit the island's most popular attractions. These include the hot spring capital of Beppu, foodie destination Fukuoka (famous for its tonkotsu ramen and yatai food stalls), teamLab's forest exhibition in Saga, and the mountainous Kagoshima Prefecture, which is said to have inspired the celebrated Studio Ghibli film ‘Princess Mononoke’.
Note: foreign residents can only purchase the discounted passes from a JR Kyushu ticket office. Passes are valid for use until November 5 2022.
This article was updated on April 20 2022.
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