Other Rail Passes in Japan

While the Japan Rail Pass is the most popular pass among travellers in Japan, there are other passes which are sometimes more advantageous, especially if you are only visiting one region in Japan.

Discover the different passes available below.
 

The three things to know about the Rail Passes

The Japan Rail Pass has the best quality/price ratio for a traveller abroad

The Japan Rail Pass, reserved exclusively for foreign travellers, has usually paid for itself as soon as you visit more than 2 large cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. With a Japan Rail Pass, travellers can visit this country which is very spread out from North to South, on a relatively small budget.
 

The other Rail Passes are regional

The other Rail Pass options offered by private train companies or the regional JR networks are passes generally intended for Japanese travellers or foreigner travellers who only visit one region for a few days. These regional Rail Passes (see below) on the other hand let you thoroughly visit these regions with faster access to certain stations or panoramic journeys with spectacular scenery.
 

The JR Pass network and the private train companies

To facilitate train expansion in Japan over the last century a significant part of network development has been entrusted to private enterprises, which has led to the emergence of several private train companies, still in service today. These train lines, some of which are very popular, are generally not accessible with the Japan Rail Pass. It is sometimes worth buying an additional ticket on a private company in order to reach a city faster, rather than use your Japan Rail Pass with the Japan Railways national network.
 

Hokkaido

JR Hokkaido Rail Pass

This pass entitles you to unlimited use of JR trains and most JR buses in the Hokkaido region over a period of 3 to 5 days.
The "flexible 4-day" pass is handy for people who want to stay in the same place for several days.

Buy on our website

This pass can also be bought in your country or directly in Japan at a JR Hokkaido station.
More information on the official web page.


 

JR Hokkaido Furii Pass 

This pass entitles you to unlimited use of JR trains and most JR buses in the Hokkaido region over a period of 7 days.
However, this pass cannot be used during the high season in Japan, i.e. during Golden Week in early May, Obon in mid-August and the end-of-year celebrations.

This pass can be bought directly in Japan at a JR Hokkaido station.
More information on the official web page

 

Kanto Tohoku

 

JR East-South Hokkaido Pass

This pass enables you to use JR trains in the North of the Tohoku Area, that is to say in the area located directly North, North-East from Tokyo and the South of the Hokkaido Island. The major cities served are Sendai, Yamagata and Aomori but also Hakodate and Sapporo. The pass can be used to go from and to Narita to or from Tokyo. The pass allows 6 days of travel within a 14-day period.
 
Buy on our website

This pass can also be purchased directly in Japan at a JR East station.
More information on the official web page.

 

JR East-Tohoku Pass

This pass enables you to use JR trains in the North of the Tohoku Area, that is to say in the area located directly North and North-East from Tokyo. The major cities served are Sendai, Yamagata and Aomori. The pass can be used to go from and to Narita to or from Tokyo. The pass allows 5 days of travel within a 14-day period.
 
Buy on our website

This pass can also be purchased directly in Japan at a JR East station.
More information on the official web page.

 

JR East-Nagano Niigata Pass

This pass enables you to use JR trains in the South of the Tohoku Area, that is to say in the area located directly North and North-West from Tokyo. The major cities served are Nagano, Matsumoto and Niigata. The pass can be used to go from and to Narita to or from Tokyo. The pass allows 5 days of travel within a 14-day period.
 
Buy on our website

This pass can also be purchased directly in Japan at a JR East station.
More information on the official web page.

 

Kanto Tokyo

Odakyu Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass

Day pass between the Odakyu station in Shinjuku and Enoshima Kamakura on all types of train belonging to the Odakyu private company, including the famous limited express "Romance Car".

This pass can be purchased at the Odakyu station in Shinjuku.
More information on the official web page.

Hakone / Izu / Mt. Fuji

 

Hakone Free Pass

This pass covers the journey between the Odakyu in Shinjuku and Hakone on all types of train belonging to the Odakyu private company as well as the various bus lines in the Hakone region, to enjoy the tourist sites.

This pass can be purchased at the Odakyu station in Shinjuku.
More information on the official web page.

Kansai

 

Kansai Area Pass

This pass entitles you to visit the Kansai region at your leisure. It does not give you access to the limited express and Shinkansen trains. However, it includes journeys on the Haruka fast train connecting Kansai airport to Osaka and Kyoto, along with unlimited access to the Osaka Loop Line underground line.

Buy on our website

This pass can also be purchased directly in Japan at the main JR West stations.
More information on the official web page.

 



Kansai Thru Pass

This pass is a good deal for travellers who want moderate train use within the Kyoto region. It is valid on the entire railway network as well as on the region's buses and underground trains, excluding JR lines.
What's more, it entitles you to discounts on admission fees to many of the regions temples and museums.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of this pass is the freedom it offers throughout the region: no need to buy a ticket every time you change between the bus, underground and train, one is enough.

This pass can be purchased directly in Japan at the main tourist offices in Kansai.
More information on the official web page.


 

Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide

This pass entitles you to unlimited travel between Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Ise and Nagoya on the lines of the Kintetsu private company.

This pass can be purchased directly in Japan at the tourist office at Kansai airport.
More information on the official web page.

West Honshu

 

 

Sanyo Area Pass

This pass entitles you to use all JR, Shinkansen and Nozomi lines from Osaka to the south of
Honshu, up to the northernmost point of Shikoku Island.
It also includes journeys on the Haruka fast train connecting Kansai airport to Osaka, as well as
unlimited access to the Osaka Loop Line underground train line.

Buy on our website

This pass can also be purchased directly in Japan at the main JR West stations.
More information on the official web page.

 

Kyushu

   

JR Kyushu Rail Pass

This pass entitles you to travel on all JR lines, including Shinkansen, on Kyushu Island.
The 3-day north pass does not give access to the Shinkansen.

Buy on our website

This pass can also be purchased directly in Japan at the main JR Kyushu stations.
More information on the official web page.

 

Shikoku

   
Shikoku All pass

 

All Shikoku Rail Pass

This pass entitles you to travel on all JR lines on Shikoku island for 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive days.
The lines included in the pass are JR Shikoku, Tosa Kuroshio Railway, Asa Kaigan Railway,
Kotoden, Iyotetsu and Tosaden.

Buy on your website


This pass can also be purchased directly in Japan at the main JR Shikoku stations.
More information on the official web page.

 

The best private train companies in Japan

 

Kintetsu Railways

The biggest private company in Japan with nearly 600 km of lines and sometimes better quality of service than JR in southern Kansai.
 

Nankai Railways

Attractive and very varied trains, and above all the only company that takes you 'express' to the fabulous temples of Kôya-san from Osaka.
 

Odakyu Railways

The most popular private company among Tokyoites who want to discover Mount Fuji on trains with panoramic views and a futuristic design!
 

Hankyu Railways

The biggest private company in Ôsaka, who pioneered the concept of the 'depato' station-shopping centre and housing estates along the train line, in the early 20th century. Later imitated by all the other companies!
 

Meitetsu Railways


THE private company in Nagoya, fast and frequent trains run over 450 km of lines with flawless quality of service.

 

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