Sunday, 2 June 2019

Rail Passes In Japan

We visited Kyushu during the school holiday, taking advantage of Air Asia X's cheap promotional fare to the island. Taking in mind of the school holiday season, the RM700 fare (return) was very reasonable for us.
For this trip, we decided to purchase the 5-days Northern Kyushu Rail Pass at 10,000 yen and visited Kumamoto, Yufuin, Oita, Beppu, Aso, Nagasaki, Kurume and Fukuoka (yup, in that order).

It was really fun getting on numerous shinkansens on this trip with the pass.
To travel around the city area of Kumamoto and Nagasaki, we also bought the 1-day tram pass in each city which enabled us to ride the excellent tram service around the two cities.

Depending on our needs during our travel, we'd purchase rail or tram passes or just the normal train 1-day passes for our use.

A tram single fare is usually from 130 - 170 yen so just a few trips on the tram is enough to cover the day pass' fare.
We bought this Nankai All Line 2-day pass (2,000 yen) when we visited Osaka in 2017 which we used to travel from Kansai Airport to Wakayama and then to Koyasan the next day.

Just travelling to the two areas had more than covered the price of our 2-day pass.
When we visited Japan in March this year for my Nagoya Women's Marathon, we bought the 5-days Kintetsu Rail Pass (3,600 yen) which we used to travel around Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Ise-Shima and Nagoya.

Yup, we visited all the areas the pass covered. We only used local trains which meant travel time was slower than using express trains but we didn't mind.
When we visited Hokkaido last year, we bought the 5-days Hokkaido Rail Pass (22,000 yen) and we used it to travel from New Chitose Airport to Hakodate then to Sapporo, Otaru, Furano, Asahikawa and lastly to Abashiri for my Okhotsk-Abashiri Marathon before returning to Sapporo on the last day.
In Hakodate we also bought the 1-day tram pass to visit the town.
When we visited Nikko in 2017, we bought the 4-days Nikko All Area pass (4,150 yen during winter) and it also covered the Nikko bus service in Nikko.
In 2015, when I joined Tango Ultramarathon, we bought the 5-days JR-Wet Rail Pass Kansai Wide Area Pass (9,000+ yen depending on where you buy it) and used it to travel around Osaka, Kyoto, Toyooka and Kinosaki Onsen.
For the areas where we used railway companies other than the JR line, we bought the Kyoto Tango Rail Pass. It was half price for foreigners when we bought it so it cost us only 900 yen at that time.

We used it to visit Amanohashidate and also Amino city for my race kit collection.

Oh, many many years ago, we also had bought the 7-days JR Pass and used it to travel the length and breadth of Japan; from Kyushu to Shikoku all the way up north to Hokkaido. It was rather fun but nowadays, whenever we visit Japan, we tend to focus to just a certain area instead of rushing all around Japan during our trip.
And whenever we visit Japan, we are never without our more-than-10-year-old SUICA card. This is pretty handy for not only ticket purchases (for trips not covered by any passes) but also for purchases too.

The watermark used in all photos are of my other blog link:


  1. Hi! Have a Nice your holiday. Your son became very handsome. You and your family are called Noritetu in Japanese. Nori means ride on, Tetu means Railroad. Noritetu means railway enthusiast(s) who enjoy(s) riding trains 乗り鉄。

    1. Thank you.

      I learn a new word today. :)

  2. Trains are still the best way to get out and explore Japan. I don't mind the slow ones either, especially with the amazing views to be had.


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