Sanyo Sanin Area Pass. It is much better deal than Sanyo Area Pass.

Tsuwano (left), Atomic Bomb Dome (upper right) and Miyajima (lower right) are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) /   	©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau (Atomic bomb towere/upper right) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/lower right)
Tsuwano (left), Atomic Bomb Dome (upper right) and Miyajima (lower right) are popular place to visit in the coverage area. ©Shimane Prefectural Goverment/©JNTO (Tsuwano/left) / ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau (Atomic bomb towere/upper right) / ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO (Miyajima/lower right)

This will be on sale in March, 2015 and will replace currently selling Sanyo Area Pass. This pass includes all Sanyo Area Pass coverage area, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Hakata. This pass also includes Sanin area (Matsue, Izumo, Tsuwano), Hikone, Maibara, Tsuruga, Wakayama and even part of Shikoku. It is wider coverage area, cheaper price and longer duration.

I feel JR West try to penetrate overseas travellers market deeper and deeper. It improve the product.

In this post, I tell you the details about this deal.

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

Coverage Area

Sanyo Sanin Area Pass coverage map (Click to enlarge)
Sanyo Sanin Area Pass coverage map (Click to enlarge)

This pass covers whole part of Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Kansai Airport, Himeji and Wakayama. And it includes Sanyo Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, all conventional lines in Okayama, Hiroshima, Tottori, Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures. And also this pass includes Takamatsu in Shikoku and Hikone and Tsuruga too. The coverage area is much bigger than Sanyo Area Pass. I am very impressed by this big improvement. I think JR West made a good move.

By the way, other part of Japan, such as Hokkaido, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Takayama and most part of 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.
*Osaka – Tokyo one way trip is not enough to use JR Pass. Please see the the post, 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. Reserved seat fee is included as well. You can book the reserved seat as many as you want. But this pass covers ordinary class seat only. Green seat is not covered fully. If you want to take Green seat, this pass covers base fare only. You have to full of surcharge and Green seat fare. If you need the network map of Limited Express trains in Sanyo and Sanin area, please see the post, Sanin area train access guide. How to access to Kinosaki, Izumo, Matsue, Tottori and other major cities in Sanin area.

Overnight option is not available in the coverage area. There are two overnight trains, Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto are depart/arrive in the coverage area. But these trains run to Tokyo. You cannot stay overnight in the coverage ares by this pass.

Miyajima ferry is also covered. And non JR line, Chizu Express line (a.k.a. Chizu-Kyuko line) is covered as well even though this is not JR trains. If you go to Tottori, Limited Express Super Hakuto takes this express route. It is a big bonus for the traveller who want to go to Tottori.

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.

Tokaido Shinkansen among Maibara, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka

Even though it is in the coverage area, you cannot take Shinkansen train in this segment. Because Tokaido Shinkansen belongs to other JR company, JR Central. It is same JR Group company and many trains go through both areas each other. But technically it is different company. Therefore this deal cannot include this Shinkansen segment. When you depart from Kyoto or Maibara and take Shinkansen, you have to take Special Rapid Service to Shin-Osaka and then transfer to Shinkansen train there.

Kyushu

Kyushu is not a territory of JR West but JR Kyushu. But Sanyo Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hakata belongs to JR West. So you CAN get Hakata and Kokura in Kyushu by this pass. However you cannot take any other trains in Kyushu other than Sanyo Shinkansen by this pass.

Price, eligibility and how to purchase

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:

Sanyo Sanin Area Pass 7 days

Purchase outside Japan or online Purchase inside Japan
Adult 19,000 yen 20,000 yen
Child
(6-11 years old)
9,500 yen 10,000 yen

As you have seen, you can purchase this pass after you arrive in Japan. But you have to pay 1000 yen more. This pass is available for only ordinary class. Green car pass is not available.

If you want to purchase this at 19,000 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 link 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) : Kyoto, Ibaraki, Shin-Osaka, Osaka, Kobe, Shin-Kobe, Sannomiya, Nishi-Akashi, Himeji, Nijo, Uji, Saga-Arashiyama, Kitashinchi, Kyobashi, Tsuruhashi, Tennoji, Shin-Imamiya, Bentencho, Nishikujo, Kansai-airport, Nara, JR-Namba, Okayama, Hiroshima, Shin-Shimonoseki, Shimonoseki, Kokura, Hakata

Valid period

It is valid for 7 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. But I think 7 days is enough for most of you to travel in this region. You can purchase 14 days Japan Rail Pass at 46,390 yen. It covers all part of Japan. And also Green pass is not available for Sanyo Area Pass. If you think about 7 day or more or taking Green car, you should compare with Japan Rail Pass.

Compare to single fares

Base fare and surcharge for the major segments are the following. Please compare the price of Sanyo Sanin Area Pass and these fares. If you use Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, these following fare, both base fare and surcharge, are covered.
*All surcharges in the following table are regular season rate. In peak season, another 200 yen is added on regular surcharge. In shoulder season, 200 yen is subtracted from regular surcharge. Base fare is same in all season.

Segment Base fare Surcharge
Osaka – Kyoto 560 yen
Osaka – Sannomiya (Kobe) 410 yen
Osaka – Nara 800 yen
Kyoto – Nara 710 yen
Osaka – Himeji 1490 yen 2250 yen
Osaka – Kansai Airport 1190 yen 1490 yen
Osaka – Okayama 3020 yen 3000 yen
Osaka – Hiroshima 5620 yen 4820 yen
Osaka – Miyajimaguchi 5940 yen 4820 yen
Hiroshima – Miyajimaguchi 410 yen
Miyajimaguchi – Miyajima (Ferry) 180 yen
Osaka – Hakata 9610 yen 5700 yen
Osaka – Tottori 3890 yen 3200 yen
Osaka – Matsue 6260 yen 4550 yen

As you see, if you have round trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka, it is pay off.

Assessment

If you have very simple itinerary to visit Hakata from Kansai Airport or Osaka in 7 days at 19,000 yen, this pass is the best deal. As I mentioned you above, you also can use this deal to travel Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka. But JR West will release Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass at 13,000 yen for 5 days. If you are looking for the deal to travel to Hiroshima, Kansai Hiroshima Pass may be better choice. Please see the link below to get more information about Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass.

Perfect deal for travellers who travel Kansai and Hiroshima Miyajima, Kansai Hiroshima Area pass.

This is a big development from Sanyo Area Pass. That pass is sold at 20,570 yen for 4 days. But this deal, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass is sold at cheaper price 19,000 yen, wider coverage area and long duration, 7 days.

50 thoughts on “Sanyo Sanin Area Pass. It is much better deal than Sanyo Area Pass.”

  1. Hi Takeshi-san

    I am very impressed with your website. It has helped me greatly in learning about Japan’s transport systems and planning our 21 day Japan trip. Below is my itinerary so far. I’ve tried to check all the different passes and think that JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass (Y17000, 5 days in 14 days) and Sanyo San’in Area Pass (Y19000, 7 consecutive days) would be a saving for us. Thanks for checking this over for me. I would appreciate any advice.

    Sun 2 April Arrive Toyko (3 nights)
    Start using JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass Y17000, 5 days
    Arrive at Tokyo Narita airport
    N’Ex to Hotel: Mitsui Gardens, Shiodome

    Mon 3 April Tokyo – Nikko – Tokyo (day trip)

    Tue April 4 Tokyo

    Wed April 5 Tokyo – Nagano – Matsumoto (2 nights)
    Afternoon: Shinkansen bullet train to to Nagano, then Matsumoto

    Thurs April 6 Matsumoto

    Fri April 7 Matsumoto – Takayama (2 nights)
    Morning: bus to Takayama 3190 yen, 2hrs 30 mins

    Sat April 8 Takayama

    Sun April 9 Takayama – Shirakawa-go – Kanazawa (2 nights)
    Morning bus to Shirakawa-go
    Afternoon bus to Kanazawa

    Mon April 10 Kanazawa

    Tue April 11 Kanazawa – Kyoto (2 nights)
    Afternoon train to Kyoto 2hr 20mins

    Wed April 12 Kyoto

    Thu April 13 Kyoto – Nara (1 night)
    Start using Sanyo San’in Area Pass Y19000, 7 days
    Morning Train to Nara

    Fri April 14 Nara – Osaka (2 nights)
    Morning train to Osaka

    Sat April 15 Osaka

    Sun April 16 Osaka – Himeji (1 night)
    Afternoon Train from Osaka to Himeji

    Mon April 17 Himeji – Hiroshima (2 nights)
    Afternoon train to Hiroshima

    Tue April 18 Hiroshima – Miyajima – Hiroshima

    Wed April 19 Hiroshima – Fukuoka (3 nights)
    Afternoon train to Hakata 1 hr 10 mins

    Thu April 20 Fukuoka

    Fri April 21 Fukuoka

    Sat April 22 Depart Fukuoka Airport

  2. Hello Takeshi-san,
    I have the Sanyo Sanin area pass and plan to travel from Hakata to Osaka while stopping by Hiroshima/Miyajima on the way for Day 1. Planning to where to go for Day 2-4 and wondering if you have any suggestion.

    Any Onsen area (similar to Kinosaki and Kusatsu) covered by this pass? I’ve been to Kinosaki Onsen last year, but it isn’t covered by this pass.

    I’ve been to Himeji (for about 4 hours) last year as well and don’t mind going there again. Other than that, looking at places like Tottori, Tsuruga (Fukui), etc, but not sure what to expect.

    We (2 people) can’t use this pass much for day 5-7 as we will be joined by other travel companions in Osaka and need to stay in Kyoto/Osaka area, but figured it would still pay off by Hakata-Hiroshima-Osaka and 1-3 side trips nearby for Day 2-4.

    Alternatively I suppose I could just cancel the pass I bought (just need to pay 10% fee to do so) and get a different pass if something else is more suited, but I think for the main travel (Hakata-Osaka), this Sanyo Sanin pass seems to be the best deal.

    Thanks and I’d appreciate your response.

    1. Hi Vincent san,

      I recommend you to travel Sanin area. There are a few Onsen town. Most recommended is Tamatsukuri Onsen. Unfortunately there is no English site but I put Japanese link just in case.
      http://tamayado.com/

      It’s a few stations away from Matsue. Matsue can be accessed by limited express Yakumo from Okayama. Matsue is very lovely town too. Matsue castle is one of most beautiful castles in Japan.
      http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5800.html

      You may access to Tottori from Matsue/Tamatsukuri Onsen.

      And also Tsuwano and Kurashiki are very beautiful towns and highly recommended.
      http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5875.html
      http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5750.html

      All recommended places above are covered by Sanyo Sanin area pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hello Takeshi-san,
        Thanks for the reply.

        Based on your recommendation, I would like to spend the night at Tamatsukuri Onsen while stopping by Matsue/Kurashiki/Tottori – and perhaps Himeji again for Day 2-3 of the pass.

        But it seems like it might be better to stop by Okayama or Himeji station (coming from Hakata) instead of going all the way to Osaka then coming back to Okayama to get to Matsue/Tamatsukuri Onsen/Tottori as it takes about 4 hours if coming from Shin-Osaka.

        Ideally it would be best if I would go straight to Tamatsukuri Onsen from Hakata (after stopping by Hiroshima) on day 1 but as I’d want to stay until late afternoon/early evening at Hiroshima/Miyajima, not sure if it’d be doable.

        And I’m not sure how the train route works to visit Tamatsukuri Onsen/Tottori/Himeji between Hiroshima and Osaka, but which station, between Okayama and Himeji, would you say is the more convenient stop point to store a luggage at station locker for 2 days before continuing to Osaka?
        I’d want to store my luggage at the station (either Okayama or Himeji station) and only carry a small bag going to Matsue/Tamatsukuri Onsen/Tottori like I’ve done going to overnight trips last year at Kyoto and Shibuya station.

        It seems like Okayama (Kurashiki) is more convenient stop point for Tamatsukuri Onsen, but perhaps storing the luggage at the Himeji station would be a better choice due to Tottori and Himeji?

        And my other concern is that I am not sure if Okayama or Himeji stations have a big enough locker for it. My luggage fits in 500 yen lockers (among 300,400, and 500 yen lockers available in big stations), btw.

        Thanks and I’d appreciate the help.

        1. Hi Vincent san,

          Okayama is the best spot as a base. Please find the route map in the link below:
          http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/sanin-area-train-access-guide-how-to-access-to-kinosaki-izumo-matsue-tottori-and-other-major-cities-in-sanin-area.html

          As you see there are direct trains both to Tottori and to Matsue.

          There are large size lockers in Okayama station and in the station building. I don’t have a map and hard to explain the location. But there are large size lockers anyway. But large size lockers are always busy and hard to find because of limited number. It costs 600 yen now.

          If you go to Tamatsukuri onsen, you have to leave Hiroshima around 19:00. Otherwise you cannot get there. The last limited express train to Matsue/Tamatsukusi Onsen departs from Okayama at 20:05. You can find the detailed timetable at Hyperdia:
          http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi san,

    Here is our 7D6N itinerary for our trip to Kansai on November:

    16 Nov – KIX to Kyoto (Haruka train) and stay in Kyoto for 3N.
    17 Nov – Kyoto (buy ICOCA and combine it with taxi for sightseeing)
    18 Nov – Kyoto sightseeing (ICOCA and taxi)
    19 Nov – One day trip to Nara and then check-in near Namba (stay for 3N). I am not sure to use JR train or Kintetsu.
    20 Nov – Day trip from Osaka to Hiroshima & Miyajima.
    21 Nov – Day trip from Osaka to Himeji.
    22 Nov – Return to KIX in the morning.

    I was thinking to buy Hiroshima Kansai Wide Area 5 days pass but it only valid on shinkansen for non-reserved seat. Since we travel on peak autumn season, we afraid may not get a seat on shinkansen non-reserved car for our Hiroshima & Himeji trip. Therefore, I am thinking of to buy Sanyo San’in 7 days pass as it valid on shinkansen reserved seat. Does this pass worth it for our itinerary above? If we have this pass, do we need to go to JR office to reserve our seat every time before boarding to shinkansen? On the last day to KIX, it seems more convenience to ride Nankai Rapit train from Namba (we stay at Hotel Il Cuore) but if we have Sanyo pass, we should go to Tennoji and catch the Haruka train right?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Mac san,

      Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima round trip fare with Shinkansen reserved seat fee is almost same as Sanyo Sanin Area Pass. So it will work.
      You have to book your seat before on board. Otherwise your seat is not secured. You can book it in advance. If you want, you can book all seats when you exchange/purchase a pass.

      Nankai railway is not covered as you think. You need to take local train from JR-Namba to Tennoji and take Haruka. If you pay extra 1130 yen, you can catch limited express Rapi:t of Nankai railway. It’s more convenience and direct.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/tokuwari.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I need your suggestion. Here my itinerary:

    Day 1: KIX- Shin Osaka
    Day 2: Osaka Amzing Pass 1 day
    Day 3: USJ
    Day 4: Nara /Kobe
    Day 5: Hiroshima/Miyajima
    Day 6: Kyoto (Day trip)
    Day 7: Kyoto (Day Trip) and Move to Tokyo

    p/s: I stay at Osaka for 6 Days and will have a “day trip” to entire Kansai.

    I would to ask which pass is worth it for my trip? either JR Pass or this Sanyo Sanin Area Pass for my trip?

    From Kyoto, is there any single trip to Tokyo? or better for me to purchase JR Pass?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Nurul san,

      JR pass 7 days is your choice. JR pass is only choice to cover whole part of your trip, except subway, non JR trains and city bus in the cities. JR Pass is also cheaper than total single fares.

      Sanyo Sanin Area Pass is wrong choice. It does not cover trip to Tokyo.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JRPail.com

  5. Hi, can I use the Sanyo sanin area pass for SL YAMAGUCHI train from Tsuwano station to Hiroshima station?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Dear Takeshi-san
    When we saw this page, we are delighted. Takayama – Hokuriku Area Pass looks to be tailored made for the first half of our itinerary.
    However the other half of our journey also include Hakata, we are considering Sanyo Sanin Area Pass.
    Please advise, our itinerary below. Thank you
    Sincerely, HuiLi
    (23-24 Mar 16 is fixed, cannot be changed)
    19-20 Mar 16:Kansai international Airport-Kanazawa
    20-22 Mar 16:Ainokura
    22-24 Mar 16:Kyoto
    24-27 Mar 16:Hakata-Kansai international airport

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    Can you recommend a pass for me based on my itinerary:

    March 17 arrival in hakata
    March 18 Fukuoka city tour
    March 19 travel to Beppu
    March 20-21 still at Beppu
    March 22 travel to Hiroshima
    March 23 still at Hiroshima
    March 24 travel to Kagoshima
    March 24-25 still at Kagoshima
    March 26 travel back to Fukuoka
    March 27 Fukuoka Hakata to Osaka
    March 28 morning still at Osaka and back to Fukuoka at night
    March 29 to Philippines

    Thanks.

    Anna

  8. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Need your advise again. We are traveling on the following itinerary below:

    Mar 19-Arrive Fukuoka (whole day) – stay near Hakata Station
    Mar 20-Nagasaki (Back to Fukuoka)
    Mar 21-Yufuin (spend night here)
    Mar 22 – Hiroshima (spend night here)
    Mar 23 – Osaka (stay near Osaka/Umeda Station)
    Mar 24 Totorri – Himeji – Kobe (Osaka base)
    Mar 25 Kyoto (Osaka base)
    Mar 26 Kyoto+Nara (Osaka base)
    Mar 27 Depart via KIX (Osaka Kansai)

    My plan is to get the 3-day Northern Kyushu Pass and the 7-day Sanyo Sanin Pass. Are there alternatives to my plan? Also, we’ll probably get the 1 day kyoto pass. Not sure if we will get Osaka 1 day eco pass since we are arriving in the afternoon in Osaka.

    Also, I’m not sure if Osaka->Tottori->Himeji->Kobe is doable in 1 whole day? I’m hoping so we could ride the Limited Express Super Hokuto.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    1. Hi Jam,

      3-day Northern Kyushu Pass and the 7-day Sanyo Sanin Pass are the best deals for your trip.
      Osaka->Tottori->Himeji->Kobe is not impossible but as you expected, it’s very tight. If you take the earliest train, Super Hakuto, it depart at 7:37 and arrive there at 10:12. So it depends on how much you want to stay in Tottori. You will spend 1.5 hour to get back to Himeji.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thanks for the advice, Takeshi-san. I really appreciate your tips in the site. Will share my experience as well after my tip.

          1. Hi Takeshi-san,

            Just a clarification, can I take the shinakasen from Osaka-Kyoto like the Ltd EXP Thunderbird or the Ltd EXP Wide View Hida? Or am I limited to the special rapid service using the Sanyo Sanin pass?

            Thanks!

          2. Hi Jam san,

            Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto is not covered. You can take other limited express train, like Thunderbird, Wide View Hida.
            Only Shinkansen on this segment is not covered.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

        1. Hi Takeshi-san

          Just a report back from my trip. Thank you this site and we were able to save lots of money and enjoy the trip in Northern Kyushu and Western Japan.

          As mentioned, we went to Tottori, Himeji and Kobe in 1 day. It is defnitely doable and we were able to rest in the train. However, if you spent a lot of time in Tottori you might not be able to catch a visit inside Himeji castle. We just enjoyed the view from outside which is awesome as well.

          We also enjoyed Tottori so much and this pass allowed us to go there. We won’t think of going there if it wasn’t for this site. Thanks again for highlighting it in this page.

          Regards,
          Jam

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