Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass. Designed for the tourists who travel to Hiroshima from Hakata.

Tsuwano (left) and Miyajima are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/right)
Tsuwano (left) and Miyajima are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/right)

JR West will release new three deals in March, 2015. Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass is one of these three deals. This is the first pass that cover only Hiroshima and Yamaguchi, and Shinkansen to Hakata. If you arrive in Fukuoka airport and only stay in Kyushu but want to travel to Hiroshima, this pass helps you. It is the perfect option for the trip to Hiroshima from Hakata, Kyushu.

I would like to show you this pass in this post.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Coverage Area

Coverage area map of  Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass.
Coverage area map of Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass.

This pass covers whole part of Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures, such as Hiroshima, MIyajima, Onomichi, Hagi and Yamaguchi. And it includes Sanyo Shinkansen between Shin-Hakata and Mihara And also this pass includes conventional lines to Tsuwano and Maduda in Shimane prefecture too. This pass is designed for the tourists who arrive in / depart from Fukuoka and travel to Hiroshima or other surrounding area.

If you travel to Osaka or Kyoto, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass is better choice because this pass does not cover Osaka and Kyoto. If you travel Kyushu and Hiroshima area, you may think about combining this deal and Kyushu Rail Pass.

Other part of Japan, such as Hokkaido, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Takayama, most part of Shikoku and Kyushu are not covered by this Pass. So if you intend to travel throughout Japan or travel to Tokyo, Hokkaido or Kyushu, Japan Rail Pass is maybe more suitable for you. Please see the the like below to get the details about Japan Rail Pass (a.k.a. JR Pass)

Japan Rail Pass user guide. How to use JR Pass to its maximum.

Valid trains, routes and class

Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura and Mizuho give you direct trainsfer to Shin-Osaka from Kyusyu.
Both Mizuho and Nozomi on Sanyo Shinkansen are covered by this deal.

All daytime trains in coverage area are covered except SL Yamaguchi. This deal does NOT include reserved seat fee. You have to take non reserved ordinary seat. Most of limited express and Shinkansen trains have non reserved seat. And Green seat is not covered fully either. If you want to take Green seat, this pass covers base fare only. You have to full of surcharge and Green seat fare.

Any overnight train does not run in this coverage area. So there is no option to stay overnight on board.

Miyajima ferry is also covered. You have no problem to access to very popular World Heritage Miyajima.

As of mid April 2017, this pass started to cover JR bus in Hiroshima and Yamaguchi. In Hiroshima, there are some bus routes which are covered by this pass. Especially Hiroshima sightseeing loop bus “Meipuru-pu” is very very useful. You can get most of popular spots in Hiroshima by this bus. Please see the link below:

Hiroshima sightseeing bus Meipuru-pu

In Yamaguchi, there are routes which are covered by this pass. Yamaguchi to/from Akiyoshidai route is very useful to visit Akiyoshido limestone cave. Shin-Yamaguchi to/from Hagi route is useful to get Hagi.

When you use this deal, there are a few exceptions. You have to know that before you choose this deal. Please see the below to learn.

Kyushu Shinkansen

Even though this pass covers Sanyo Shinkansen in Kyushu area. But it covers between Hiroshima and Hakata only. You cannot take any Shinkansen trains from Hakata to west.In Kyushu, only Sanyo Shinkansen between Kokura and Hakata is allowed to take by this deal.

SL Yamaguchi

One of most popular SL train, SL Yamaguchi is not covered by this pass at all.
One of most popular SL train, SL Yamaguchi is not covered by this pass at all.

This popular seasonal train runs between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano. It is in coverage area, but this train is not covered by this pass at all. If you want to take this train, you have to pay full base fare and reserved seat fee.

Price, eligibility and how to purchase

Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass will be available on March 1, 2015.

This pass is available for temporary visitor only. If you are resident, you can’t purchase it.

JR West is the first company that has different price tag for same product. Please see the below:

Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass 5 days

Purchase outside Japan or online Purchase inside Japan
Adult 11,000 yen 12,000 yen
Child
(6-11 years old)
5,500 yen 6,000 yen

As you have seen, you can purchase this pass after you arrive in Japan. But you have to pay 1000 yen more.

If you want to purchase this at 11,000 yen, you can purchase it at authorized travel agents or online. You can find the dealers list and exchange location at the link below:

JR West Rail Pass Dealer’s list

You also can purchase this pass online through JR West official site. But at this point, this pass has not been sold yet. You cannot find any links to purchase this pass on JR West website. It will be on sale on 28 days prior to activation day. So if you want to start to use this pass on March 1, 2015, you can purchase it on February 4, 2015.

You can purchase it on the spot if you are okay with spending extra 1,000 yen. Sales location has not been announced yet. It says it will be sold at major stations. But I believe it will be sold at same locations as Sanyo Area Pass sales points or some more locations.

Sanyo Area Pass sales locations (stations) : Okayama, Hiroshima, Shin-Shimonoseki, Shimonoseki, Kokura, Hakata

Valid period

It is valid for 5 days. One day means midnight to midnight, technically 0:00 to 23:59. So try to start in the morning. It does not make sense to start to use in the evening.

You can purchase this pass only once per visit if you purchase online or inside Japan. If you purchase it at authorized agents outside Japan, you can purchase as many as you want.

Compare to single fares

Base fare and surcharge for the major segments are the following. Please compare the price of Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass and these fares. If you use this pass, these following fare, both base fare and surcharge, are covered.

*All surcharges in the following table are regular season’s non reserved seat rate.

Segment Base fare Surcharge
Hiroshima – Hakata 5080 yen 3340 yen
Hiroshima – Miyajimaguchi 410 yen
Hiroshima – Miyajimaguchi 410 yen
Miyajimaguchi – Miyajima (Ferry) 180 yen
Hakata – Mihara / Onomichi 5940 yen 4040 yen
Hakata – Tsuwano 3670 yen 3070 yen
Hiroshima – Tsuwano 3670 yen 3070 yen
Hiroshima – Iwakuni 760 yen

As you see, Hakata-Hiroshima one way fare and surcharge total amount is 8,420 yen. So if you have round trip on this segment, it is pay off easily.

Assessment

This pass is suitable for the tourist who want to go to Hiroshima or other area in Yamaguchi or Hiroshima prefectures from Hakata. Most of places in the coverage area can be accessed from Hakata as day trip. If you stay in Fukuoka (Hakata) for several nights, you may think about using this deal to explore outside Kyushu.

4 thoughts on “Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass. Designed for the tourists who travel to Hiroshima from Hakata.”

      1. Hi Takeshi
        If I take shinkansen from hakata to kokura and transfer to local train to kurosaki, do I have to exit kokura station and buy ticket before boarding train to Kurosaki ?

        Many thanks
        Grace

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