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Sanyo Sanin Area Pass user guide. The train pass that covers Kansai, Sanyo and Sanin regions

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)

Sanyo Sanin Area Pass covers most part of Sanyo and Sanin regions. Sanyo region includes Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi. Sanin region includes Shimane and Tottori. This pass also covers most part of Kansai region. And you can access to Hakata and Kokura by the Sanyo Shinkansen.

In this post, I will explain you the details about this deal.

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.

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, JR Pass is maybe more suitable for you. Please see the the post below:

Valid trains, bus services, 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 the coverage area are covered. The reserved seat fee is included as well. You can book the reserved seat as many as you want. But this pass covers the ordinary class seat only. Green seat is not covered fully. If you want to take Green seat, this pass covers the base fare only. You have to full of surcharge and Green seat fare. If you need the network map of the limited express trains in Sanyo and Sanin area, please see the post below:

The overnight train 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 area 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, you can take the limited express Super Hakuto from Osaka and Kyoto, and the limited express Super Inaba from Okayama. It is a big bonus for the traveler who wants to go to Tottori.

This pass also covers JR bus in Kyoto, Fukui, 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 useful. You can get most of popular spots in Hiroshima by this bus. Please see the link below:

Hiroshima sightseeing bus Meipuru-pu

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.

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.

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.

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Hiroshima
Hotels in Hakata
Hotels in Okayama

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-day

Purchasing from
the travel agent overseas
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from
JR West online
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from
JR West station
(After arrival)
Adult19,400 yen20,200 yen20,400 yen
Child
(6-11 years old)
9,700 yen10,100 yen10,200 yen

As you have seen, you can purchase this pass after you arrive in Japan. But the price is slightly higher. This pass is available for only ordinary class. Green car pass is not available.

If you want to purchase this pass at the lowest rate, you have purchase it at authorized travel agents before you come to Japan. 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 different from 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. 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.

SegmentBase fareSurcharge
Osaka – Kyoto560 yen
Osaka – Sannomiya (Kobe)410 yen
Osaka – Nara800 yen
Kyoto – Nara710 yen
Osaka – Himeji1490 yen2250 yen
Osaka – Kansai Airport1190 yen1490 yen
Osaka – Okayama3020 yen3000 yen
Osaka – Hiroshima5620 yen4820 yen
Osaka – Miyajimaguchi5940 yen4820 yen
Hiroshima – Miyajimaguchi410 yen
Miyajimaguchi – Miyajima (Ferry)180 yen
Osaka – Hakata9610 yen5700 yen
Osaka – Tottori3890 yen3200 yen
Osaka – Matsue6260 yen4550 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:

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.

78 thoughts on “Sanyo Sanin Area Pass user guide. The train pass that covers Kansai, Sanyo and Sanin regions”

  1. Hi Takeshi-San,

    Can I use JR Sanyo Sanin area pass on Limited Express (Yufuin no Mori, Limited Express Sonic) to Beppu and Yufuin

    I’m a bit confused on area coverage of this pass

    Thank you

  2. Hi Takeshi,
    Need your advice for my trip from Fukuoka-osaka-fukuoka this coming november.
    I m planning to buy Sanyo San’in 7days area pass. can i used for my travel plan (5days base in Osaka,2days Hakata)
    Day 1- morning arrival at Fukuoka airport, take shinkansen to Wakayama and Rinku town-Osaka Namba
    Day 2-Kobe – Himeji..back to Namba.
    Day 3-Kyoto -uji back to Namba.
    Day 4-Osaka-Nara
    Day 5-Osaka to Okayama-Hiroshima
    Day 6-Hiroshima to Hakata
    Day 7-sightseeing arround Tenjin,Canal city
    Day 8-fly out

    Thank in advanced.

    1. Hi Lyn,

      Sanyo Sanin Area Pass is the perfect choice for your trip. Most part of your trip are covered by this pass.

      I just want to mention you a few things.

      1. JR-Namba station
      You will stay in Namba, Osaka. You can take JR train from Namba but JR-Namba station is not located in the center of Namba. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/namba-stations-guide-how-to-change-the-trains-among-nankai-kintetsu-hanshin-subway-and-jr.html

      2. JR trains only
      Sanyo Sanin Area Pass covers only JR trains. You cannot take other trains and subways, such as subway in Osaka and Kyoto, Nankai railway from Namba to Wakayama. You may go to these places by JR trains. But you have to change the trains. Please see the link below to learn more about the train network in Kansai region:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you Takeshi.
        So i can use the pass in kansai with jr line but need to change line right. Is it okay if i take Hankyu day pass for my trip in kansai.

        🙂 Lyn

  3. Hi Takeshi San,
    Do you know if this pass covers the SL Yamaguchi steam train that travels between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano?

    Cheers,
    Tim

      1. Thanks Takeshi-san,

        Is it possible to reserve a seat online before exchanging the ticket order (ie. buying the reservation seat fee only online first and using the pass to cover the basic fare component)?

        Or is the only way to reserve a seat before exchanging the order going to be purchasing a separate ticket altogether?

        Cheers,
        Tim

          1. Thanks so much Takeshi-San!

            I think it’d be safer for me to reserve and pay for the seat fare now (and use the pass to cover the basic fare on the day), rather than save the 520 yen fare and potentially not have a seat for the train.

            Cheers,
            Tim

  4. Hi Takeshi San,

    Do you know if Limited Express Yufuin no mori coverred by Sanyo San’in Nothern Kyushu?

    I will be travelling as per below:

    23-24 Sapporo Tomamu
    24-26 Sapporo (city only)
    sapporo -tokyo (airplane)
    26-27 Tokyo (mostly in the city)
    tokyo- fukuoka (airplane)
    27-1 Fukuoka (hakata, tenjin, yufuin)
    1-4 Osaka (kobe kyoto nara)

    I am thinking to buy JR pass for Tomamu return and buying Sanyo San’in Northern Kyushu. Do you think this will be the best option for my trip?

    Thank you.

    Selviana

    1. Hi Selviana san,

      You can take Yufuin no Mori by Sanyo San’in Northern Kyushu area pass. If you intend to use Hokkaido Rail Pass for round trip to Tomamu, it’s not a good idea. Round trip fare to Tomamu is around 10,000 yen. You cannot get the worth of it. Regular fare ticket is better way.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi-san
    We will be travelling from Hakata from 6 – 10 June. Its not 7 days but I think this pass should be more than worth it.
    6 June Hakata – Hiroshima-Miyajima
    7 June Miyajima-Hiroshima-Okayama-Kyoto
    8 June Kyoto-Amanohashidate-Arashimaya- Kyoto
    9 June Kyoto-Osaka
    10 June Osaka – Kansai
    Is there any alternative pass or other combinations? Understand that route to Amanohashidate is not fully covered – what’s the additional cost?
    Is there a senior rate (>68 years old)?
    Many thanks for your advice!

    1. Hi Tan YS san,

      I recommend you to use regular fare from Hakata to Hiroshima which is around 9,000 yen (seat fee + base fare).
      After you arrive in Hiroshima, you may purchase Kansai Hiroshima area pass at 14,500 yen. It covers Amanohashidate. This combination is slightly cheaper than Sanyo Sanin area pass + regular fare to Amanohashidate which is around 6,000 yen for round trip.

      But Kansai Hiroshima area pass does not cover reserved seat fee. Sanyo Sanin area pass does. Please find the difference in the link below and you want to reserve your seat, go for Sanyo Sanin area pass and regular fare ticket to Amanohashidate.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/reserved-seat-vs-non-reserved-seat-how-to-get-a-seat-on-non-reserved-car.html

      Unfortunately there is no senior discount.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi!

    Is the bus from Kyoto to Izumo covered in this pass? I’m thinking of buying it to cover the itinerary below, but my friend said to take the bus from Kyoto to Izumo.

    Oct. 30 – Kyoto to Izumo / Shimane (bus)
    Nov. 1 – Shimane to Tamatsukuri Onsen
    Nov. 2 – Tamatsukuri Onsen to Naoshima
    Nov. 4 – Naoshima to Kyoto
    Nov. 5 – Kyoto to Kansai Airport

    Will the rail pass cover this?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Nikki,

      This pass covers train mostly. Long distance bus is not covered. If you use this pass, you need to take the following route by train.

      Kyoto to Shin-Osaka by Special rapid or Haruka
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/kansai-airport-limited-express-haruka.html
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/rapid-service/special-rapid-service.html

      Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Okayama
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-departure-arrival-stations/stations-in-tokai/nagoya-toyohashi/what-is-shinkansen-bullet-train.html

      Limited express Yakumo from Okayama to Izumoshi
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/limited-express-yakumo.html

      As long as you take trains, all places are covered except ferry to Naoshima.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    1. Hi Nancy,

      I don’t think Yufuin no Mori go through Kurume in November. As you probably know, Yufuin no Mori takes different route now because of the damage by rain storm. I think the route from Kurume will be open in sometimes next summer.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi-San!

    This is not a request for advice. I just thought you would enjoy the story!

    I traveled with family on the Sanyo-San’in pass in July 2017. Our train travels started in Hakata, and finished (for the time being!) in Takamatsu. (That included Nozomi trains all the way from Hakata to Okayama — try doing that on the system-wide JR Pass. 🙂 ) Then we rented a car to see things on Awaji Island on our way to Kobe. From Kobe, we went to Kii-Tanabe, passing through Wakayama to do so.

    The only train travel the pass did not cover for such a broad swath of Japan — on 3 of the home islands! — was the segment from Wakayama to Kii-Tanabe. This was a really positive experience. 😀

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