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Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass user guide. The deal for the tourist who travels between Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and 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)

Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass covers Hiroshima and Yamaguchi. And it also covers the Sanyo Shinkansen to Hakata. It is the perfect option for the trip to Hiroshima from Hakata, Kyushu.

I would like to explain you about this pass in this post.

Coverage Area

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

The Kyushu Shinkansen

Even though this pass covers the 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 has reserved seat only. A reserved seat ticket is required beside the pass.

This popular seasonal train runs between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano. It is in coverage area, but this train does not have any non reserved seat. If you want to take this train, you have to pay a reserved seat fee. It is 530 yen for ordinary seat and 980 yen for Green seat.

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Hiroshima
Hotels in Hakata

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:

Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass 5-day

Purchasing from
the travel
agent overseas
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from
JR West online
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from
JR West station
(After arrival)
Adult11,200 yen12,000 yen12,200 yen
Child
(6-11 years old)
5,600 yen6,000 yen6,100 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 the lowest price, you can purchase it at authorized travel agents. 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 the price is not much cheaper than the price which is sold at the station.

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.

SegmentBase fareSurcharge
Hiroshima – Hakata5080 yen3340 yen
Hiroshima – Miyajimaguchi410 yen
Hiroshima – Miyajimaguchi410 yen
Miyajimaguchi – Miyajima (Ferry)180 yen
Hakata – Mihara / Onomichi5940 yen4040 yen
Hakata – Tsuwano3670 yen3070 yen
Hiroshima – Tsuwano3670 yen3070 yen
Hiroshima – Iwakuni760 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.

40 thoughts on “Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass user guide. The deal for the tourist who travels between Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Hakata.”

  1. Hi

    Thanks for the Japanese link. At least I can recognize kanji, so it really helps. Many thanks.

    Could you check whether I got my stations, timing etc right by reviewing my day itinerary. I will be using up 1 day of Hiroshima Yamaguchi pass.

    Depart Shimonoseki at 0858
    Arrive Kottoi at 1031 JR train free
    Catch bus to Tsunoshima at Kottoi at 1103. Must pay fare amount depending on distance. Am I correct to say the complete loop costs 1260 yen, Kottoi to Kottoi 940 yen and Kottoi to Takibe at 1100 yen and this whole route is covered by Yamaguchi bus pass and 1 day pass costs 1000 yen. If I am right then I should buy the bus pass as I intend to make a complete loop.

    Option 1: Just make a complete loop and return to Kottoi (1204) or Takibe (1220)
    Still early, any suggestions to go from here by bus or train?

    Option 2:
    Still take 11.03 bus from Kottoi Return to Takibe at 1758. Catch JR train at 1822 reaching Shimonoseki at 1931.

    This option will allow me to stop a maximum of 3 times and get on the bus again in the same direction. Can you recommend 3 points or worthwhile sights that I should. Overall which option would you recommend.?

    Thanks again for your valuable advice.

    1. Hi KC,

      You have chosen the right schedule and the fare is correct. But I think Yamaguchi bus pass one day is 2000 yen.
      http://www.visit-jy.com/model_route_guide/en/guide/

      You may not be able to get the worth of it.

      Actually I have never been to Tunoshima before. I have taken Sanin line but I didn’t stop by any stations. I have a plan to visit Tsunoshima and Motonosuminari shrine:
      https://nanavi.jp/sightseeing/motonosumiinarijinja/

      But this shrine is not accessible. You have to take a taxi from Hitomaru station. It costs about 2000 yen one way. Hitomaru is about 30 minutes away from Kottoi or Takibe by train and this train ride is covered.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi san
        Thanks for the correct pass price. I will plan accordingly.

        On a related note, I intend to use a separate 3 day Visit Hiroshima Middle Area Pass to go to Iwakuni from Hiroshima purely by bus since JR trains are not covered. Can I confirmed that all my segments are covered and please provide links to the timetables.

        Bus from Hiroshima Bus Center to Iwakuni.

        Iwakuni Bus 21(?) to Kintai bridge. Buy combo ticket for bridge rope way and castle.

        Iwakuni bus back to Iwakuni Station.

        Iwakuni Bus 70(?) to You Me Mall to meet a friend and to shop!

        Iwakuni bus back to Iwakuni station.

        Bus from Iwakuni station to Hiroshima bus center.

        Thanks

  2. Thanks. I guess we will go to Mojiko instead of Kokura.

    Moving on, where can I find info on the Blue Line Kotsu Bus from Kottoi station to Tsunoshima. Also what is the difference between taking the bus from Taikbe Vs Kottoi.

    KC

  3. Hi

    We will be flying in and out of Hiroshima from 8 to 18 June and for the weekend of 13/14June we will intend to take the SL Yamaguchi from shin-yamaguchi to Tsuwano. Can you give me the link to book in advance? How much is the basic and reservation fees? And if you have the Hiroshima Yamaguchi area pass, do you pay just the reservation fees or the total?
    According to the Jr west website, “a separate seat reservation is needed to ride the SL Yamaguchi.” What does that mean?

    1. Hi KC,

      Hiroshima Yamaguchi area pass does not cover reserved seat fee. All seats on SL Yamaguchi are reserved seat. That is why separate reservation fee is required. The fee is 530 yen for ordinary seat and 980 yen is Green class seat. You must pay either fee. If you don’t use a pass, base fare is 1130 yen is also required. But if you travel from Hiroshima by train, you can use one base fare ticket. Please see the link below to find the info about the ticket:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/for-non-jr-pass-travellers-guide-to-use-jr-single-ticket-basic-rules-validity-and-stopover.html

      I have never booked this train online before. But please try to do it at JR West Online reservation. You may be able to do it.
      https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/overview/

      By the way, the reservation is open one month prior to travel day.

      e.g.
      Travel day Jun 13
      Booking is open at 10:00 am on May 13.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thanks Takeshi San. Your reply says that only reservation fee need to be paid using the pass. But in your article, you say must pay total. So which is correct?

        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.

        Also how to reserve online if you need not pay base fare using pass or is it possible just to pay reservation fee online?

        Thanking you in advance for all your help.

        Kc

        1. Hi KC,

          I forgot to update the info. Thank you for letting me know.

          Now this pass covers a base fare of SL Yamaguchi. Only seat fee ticket is required.
          You can choose seat fee ticket only or seat fee + base fare. Just try to do it and you will find it how. You will be able to chooce in the process.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thanks. I will try to reserve on 13 May.

            Since I have 1 more weekend day free, we intend to use the Hiroshima yamaguchi pass to travel free on unreserved seats on the 2 remaining sightseeing train: Setouchi Marine View or Misuzu Shiosai. Which one do you recommend and which one is easier to get a unreserved seat?. Also how are the weekend trains different from their regular weekday runs?

            Thanks as usual for your great help.

              1. Thanks again for correcting my outdated info. We have decided to take SL Yamaguchi and Marumaru no Hanashi on Sat/Sin on 13/14 Jun paying just the reservation fee using Hiroshima Yamaguchi pass.

                On a weekday with the pass we intend to start our day at Shimonoseki station, take a bus to
                Kanmon Tunnel Jindō-guchi” (関門トンネル人道口), walk the undersea tunnel and take a bus to Kokura Station and short shinkansen ride to Hakata. In the evening, take a shinkansen to Shin-shimonseki then a local train back to Shimonoseki. My questions are:

                Is this routing sensible? I believe all train rides are covered by the Hiroshima Yamaguchi pass but the 2 bus rides are not covered. So is there anyway that I can follow this route without paying extra or other alternative route that will allow us to walk the tunnel in either direction.

                Can you also give me the fare.duration of ride, operation hours and frequency. If links are available please provide them.
                The 2 rides that I am interested in:
                Bus Shimonoseki eki to Tunnel
                Walk to Kyushu side
                Bus Tunnel to Kokura eki

                So sorry to ask so many questions. Regards.
                KC

                1. Hi KC,

                  As you think, all train trips are covered and you have to pay the fare for bus. There is no other choices.

                  Google map is the best way to find the bus route and timetable:
                  https://goo.gl/maps/WwUrYRuGjUHDMpZH9
                  https://goo.gl/maps/atJwjyQUneqkuPCu8

                  You may walk from tunnel exit at Kyushu side to Mojiko station. You have to pay to ride a local train from Mojiko to Kokura. But the train is faste than bus to get Kokura.

                  Cheers,

                  Takeshi / JPRail.com

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