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Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the traveler who wants travel to Kansai, Kanazawa and Toyama.

Dotonbori (Osaka/left) and Higashi Chaya district (Kanazawa/right)   	©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO  (Osaka/left) / © Kanazawa City/© JNTO (Kanazawa/right)
Dotonbori (Osaka/left) and Higashi Chaya district (Kanazawa/right) ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO (Osaka/left) / © Kanazawa City/© JNTO (Kanazawa/right)

Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass will be released after three JR West’s new passes, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass. It will be on sale on 14th March, 2015. This is the first ever deal that covers Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe) and Hokuriku area (Kanazawa, Toyama). JR West has been selling Kansai Wide Area Pass and Hokuriku Area Pass. This pass is the deal that these passes are combined. It is much more convenient than combination of two passes and much easier to purchase.

I believe this pass will be very useful for travellers who stay in Kansai and travel to Hokuriku area and other area of outside Kansai. I am very happy to share the information of this pass with you in this post.

Coverage Area

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This pass covers whole part of Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Kansai Airport, Himeji and Wakayama. It also includes Sanyo Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Okayama, and Hokuriku Shinkansen between Kanazawa and Joetsu-Myoko. This pass includes many more conventional lines as well, such as line to Takamatsu in Shikoku, Kinosaki Onsen, Shirahama and Shingu in Kii peninsula, Fukui, Kanazwa and Wakura-Onsen too. You may access to Toyama, Itoigawa by Hokuriku Shinkansen.

We have never had the pass that covers both Kansai and Hokuriku. Many visitors wanted to have a deal to Kanazawa from Osaka or Kyoto. Finally we will have that we want!

As you see, this pass does not cover most part of Japan, such as Hokkaido, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Takayama, most part of Shikoku and Kyush. 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, bus services, routes and class

Hokuriku Shinkansen between Kanazawa and Joetsu-Myoko is covered by this deal.
Hokuriku Shinkansen between Kanazawa and Joetsu-Myoko is covered by this deal.

All daytime trains in coverage area are covered. But reserved seat fee is NOT included. 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 pay full of express supplement and Green seat fare.

As of mid April 2017, this pass started to cover JR bus in Kyoto, Fukui and Kanazawa. In Kanazawa, you can take JR bus to get Kanazawa castle, Kenrokuen garden, Korinbo and Omicho market. In Kyoto, you can get Ryoan-ji temple, Kitano-Tenmangu shrine, Takao area via Nijo. This pass also covers Obamba to/from Omi-Imazu bus service and Sonobe to/from Fukuchiyama bus service.

This pass also started to cover Kyoto Tango railway as of mid April, 2017. You can get Amanohashidate, Miyazu without any extra charge.

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.

NON JR lines, IR Ishikawa Railway and Ainokaze Toyama Railway

This pass does not cover any NON JR lines. But it covers IR Ishikawa Railway between Kanazawa and Tsubata, and Ainokaze Toyama railway between Toyama and Takaoka. Because JR West own Tsubata to Wakura-Onsen, Takaoka to Himi and Takaoka to Johana. Especially you can never get Tsubata to Wakura-Onsen without NON JR trains. That is why these segments are allowed to take by this pass. On these NON JR segments, you cannot make any stopover. You can exit the station at departure and arrival points, Toyama, Takaoka, Tsubata and Kanazawa only.

Kagawaki on Hokuriku Shinkansen

Kagayaki that is the fastest train on Hokuriku Shinkansen does not have any non reserved seats. This pass does not cover any reserved seats. You cannot take this train. You can get other Hokuriku Shinkansen trains, Hakutaka and Tsurugi.

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Kanazawa
Hotels in Toyama

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:

Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass 7-day

 Purchasing from the travel agent overseas
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from JR West online
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from JR West station
(After arrival)
Adult15,270 yen16,090 yen16,290 yen
Child
(6-11 years old)
7,630 yen8,040 yen8,140 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 15,000 yen, 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 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. If you need more coverage, please think about combining with other deals in Kansai area, like Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Area Pass or pick up other deals, like Japan Rail Pass.

Compare to single fares

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

*All surcharges in the following table are non reserved seat rate.

SegmentBase fareSurcharge
Osaka – Kyoto560 yen
Osaka – Sannomiya (Kobe)410 yen
Osaka – Nara800 yen
Kyoto – Nara710 yen
Osaka – Himeji1490 yen1730 yen
Osaka – Kansai Airport1190 yen970 yen
Osaka – Okayama3020 yen2480 yen
Osaka – Kinosaki Onsen3350 yen1730 yen
Osaka – Kanazawa4750 yen2380 yen
Kyoto – Kanazawa4000 yen2380 yen
Osaka – Toyama5620 yen4220 yen
Kyoto – Toyama5080 yen4220 yen
Kanazwa – Toyama970 yen1840 yen

As you see, Osaka-Kanazawa one way fare and surcharge total amount is 7,130 yen. Round trip to Kanazawa from Osaka is slightly smaller than online purchase price, 15,000 yen. But you will use this pass in Kansai area, like Osaka-Kyoto, Kyoto-Nara. It is not difficult to pay off.

Assessment

I believe this deal will be fit to many travellers who want to go to Kanazawa and Toyama. At this point, Takayama Hokuriku Tourist Pass is available but this pass will be on sale until June.

Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. Perfect deal to get Takayama, Kanazawa, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

After that, this pass may be substitute choice for the tranvellers who want to go to Shirakawago via Kanazawa. If you have a plan to go to Hokuriku area when you stay in Kansai area, this pass is the best choice. Kanazzwa can be visited as day trip from Osaka or Kyoto.

How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.

You can visit other side of Kansai area, like Kinosaki Onsen and Shirahama by this pass.

This pass gives you many way to enjoy Kansai and outside Kansai area.

128 thoughts on “Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass user guide. Perfect deal for the traveler who wants travel to Kansai, Kanazawa and Toyama.”

  1. Hi Takeshi,
    I purchase JR Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass, it is cover all the place i go without extra charges.
    Day 1 – Osaka to Toyama
    Day 2 – Toyama
    Day 3 – Nara
    Day 4 – Uji and Kyoto
    Day 5 – Kobe and Osaka
    Day 6 – Himeji and Namba
    Day 7 – Namba and Kansai Airport.
    Thank you.

  2. Dear takeshi san,

    Selamat Pagi, (Good Morning in Indonesian)

    I am planning to Japan this weekend for a week, Please advise if kansai hokuriku pass best choice with my itinerary as below, i will be staying in Hanazonocho, Osaka.
    Day 1 : Arriving in Osaka, Rinku Town
    Day 2 : Kyoto; Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari,
    Day 3 : kanazawa; Shirakawago
    Day 4 :
    – Kobe; Kobe Nunobiki Ropeway, Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, Nunobiki, Kitano-cho
    – Okayama; Okayama Castle,
    Day 5 :
    -Toyama; Toyama City Tram Line, Fugan Unga Kansui, Toyama Glass Art Museum
    -Kanazawa ; Kanazawa Castle, Omicho Market, Nishi Chaya District, 1st Century Museum
    Day 6 : Nara; Nara Park, Tōdai-ji
    Day 7 : Osaka; Dotonbori, Universal Studio Japan (USJ), Osaka Castle, Kuromon Market, Tempozan,
    Day 8 : Will be flying back
    My understanding Hanazonocho in Nankai line, not covered by JR, to maximize JR we will walking to Imamiya from our hotel in Hanazonocho (Please advise if it is possible)

    Thank you very much for your advise

    1. Hi Rezvan san,

      You can use Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass. You can walk to Shinimamiya (not Imamiya. It’s differet) from Hanazonocho. It’s less than 1km.

      I think day 5 is a bit tight. But you will be Kanazawa on day 3. You can visit a few places on this day.

      You have too much on day 7. I don’t think you can make all places in one day. If you really want to visit all places, you can try. But you may not have enough time. Especially in USJ, you will spend half day at least to see whole park.

      Anyway, you can use Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass from day 1 to 7. You can take Nankai railway by a regular fare ticket on day 8.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi san

    I am planning to go to Japan in April 2020. my itinerary is as following
    Day 1 : arrival from KIX to OSAKA / Namba
    Day 2 : Visiting Osaka Castle and then Nara in the afternoon, returning back to Osaka
    Day 3 : Visiting Himeji Castle and then Kobe in the afternoon, returning back to Osaka
    Day 4 : Osaka city tour and then move to Kyoto
    Day 5: Fushimi Inari and then Arashiyama in the afternoon, returning back to Kyoto
    Day 6 : Exploring Kyoto (Kiyomizu Dera, maruyama, Sannenzaka)
    Day 7 : Exploring Kyoto (Ponto Cho, Gion market)
    Day 8 : moving to Toyama, and stop by Kanazawa (short sightseeing). stay at Toyama
    Day 9: Tateyama Alpine tour, and stopping at matsumoto
    Day 10 : Leaving via Tokyo Haneda

    I am not sure what is the best pass for me as it involves many local transport in main cities (Osaka and Kyoto). Currently considering Kansai 4 day pass with Suica or Suica with Hokuriku area 7D pass starting on day 2.

    Really appreciate your tips

    Han

    1. Hi Han san,

      Kansai Wide Area Pass and Hokuriku Area Pass are slightly cheaper than Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/the-newest-jr-west-rail-pass-for-kansai-and-okayama-kurashiki-kinosakai-and-shingu-area-kansai-wide-area-pass.html
      https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/hokuriku/

      These passes will cover for day 1 to 8.

      For day 9, you may be able to use Tateyama Kurobe option ticket:
      http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/
      I think this will be on sale again in next season.

      After arriving in Shinano-Omachi, only regular fare ticket is your choice.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi San.

        Thanks for your feedback.
        One more question, does the Kansai wide area pass or Hokuriku Area pass covers as well the local transport (bus and metro) in Kyoto and Osaka?

        Thanks
        Han

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