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

Izumo taisha shrine shimaneHiroshima and Miyajima
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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.

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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.

Comments

  1. Nurchalimah says:

    Dear Takeshi..
    I hope you will give me an advice again,,
    I’ve ask you before about my plan, but now I’ve changed my plan.
    Same with my plan before, I will stay in Japan for 14 days.
    I choose to explore Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Okayama, Tottori, Hiroshima and Miyajima If I can, and still not decide about how many days I will spend my time in those cities.
    Actually I have a plan to stay in Kita Ward Kobe for 9 days and another 5 days in Sakai.
    But now I confused whether I have to stay all of my trip in Kobe or I have to follow my first plan (9 days in Kobe and 5 days in Sakai).
    Another think that I have to ask is about the pass. I have a plan to buy Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass and San’in Okayama Area Pass to cover some of my transportation budget.
    I think that choice is better than I choose Sanyo San’in Area Pass. What do you think about it ? Or do you have a better option for me ?
    Kindly reply me soon..

    Thank you..

  2. Leah says:

    Hi, Takeshi,
    I am travelling to Kansai from 30Nov to 8 Dec with my family. The first two nights in Kyoto, and the rest in Osaka. The 7 of us will be making day trip to Himeji on 4 Dec -Fri and another day trip to Hiroshima on 6 Dec -Sun. Both from Osaka. My original plan is to get the five-day Kansai Hiroshima pass , but I am worried that the seven of us will not be able to sit close to each other without seat reservation. How crowded will the shinkansen be on my travel days? I am thinking of getting the 7 day Sanyo Sanin pass for seat resevation. What is your advice.?

  3. Kha Yun says:

    Hi,

    I would like to go to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Kinosaki & Hiroshima. I will be in Japan for 8 days and I wiil arrive late night at Kansai Airport. Which one will be more suitable for me ? The Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass or the Sanyo-San’in Area Pass ? Can I activate my pass at Kansai Airport at 2am ? Does the train from Kansai Airport to Kyoto operates until late night ? Do both of the passes cover subways ? Thank you !

  4. Meng says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    With Sanyo-Sanin Area Pass can we board the following trains directly from Kyoto Station if we are going to the following destinations? Or do we need to transfer at Shin-Osaka?

    1) Shinkansen from Kyoto to Shin-Yamaguchi?

    2) Ltd Exp Super Hakuto from Kyoto to Tottori?

    Thank you
    Regards
    Meng

  5. Juliet says:

    Hi. I want to travel from Hakata to Kyoto to Osaka to Kobe. What’s the best way to do it? Thank you.

  6. Jam says:

    Hello takeshi san. Will i be able to access Beppu from Hata station with this pass? Thanks!

  7. Adam Meehan says:

    Hi – the Sanyo Sanin Area pass looks like it will be what I need but at least the location Ube is not on the map. I wish to make the following trips:
    Osaka Airport to Kyoto
    Kyoto to Ube
    Ube to Fukuoka city

    Does this pass work for all this? Any restrictions?

  8. Yaha says:

    Thank you ! Takeshi-san.

    Unfortunately, my Singapore Airlines flight will land in Kansai at 21.20pm. Too rush to take the Haruka to Kyoto.

    Thank you for highlighting and letting me know of the 5 days Kansai-Hiroshima Pass.

    Can this pass be used for travel between Kyoto and Osaka ? As I will be staying 2 weeks in Kyoto and travelling to Nara, Kobe & Hiroshima doing day trip, it would be good if this pass can be use for all trains between these few places.

    I will be staying at Hotel Granvia, Kyoto and will be arrive in Nov 15 and depart Nov 28. It is the super peak season for Autumn colours and sometimes Kyoto city buses will be very packed. From Japan Guide website, it was recommended that take a combination of buses and train to get to the most visited places would be ideal, so that we will not be caught in traffic jam !.

    Is there any difference between the 5 days & 7 days pass, in terms of the area of coverage ?
    If this covers the train ride from Kyoto & Osaka, I am okay with taking the 7 days pass too. Since we should be going over to Osaka for some sight seeing, shopping and eating.

    Thank you once again. Your guide and advices is very helpful.

    Regards
    Yaha

  9. Yaha says:

    Hello,

    I was at a travel fair in Spore yesterday. The travel agent also suggested that I get the Sanyo-San’in Pass.

    I will stationed in Kyoto and intend to go to Kobe, Nara & Hiroshima, doing 1 day trip from Kyoto. Additionally, I will probably be travelling from Kyoto & Osaka (to and fro) since I will be staying in Kyoto for 14 days.

    Based on your table above, you show examples from Osaka to the various place, is it the same if the starting point is Kyoto ?
    By the way, can this pass be used for buses in Kyoto city too ?

    I will be staying at Htl Granvia, Kyoto.

    Thank you very much.

  10. Jessica says:

    Hello!

    First of all, I want to thank you for such an informative post!

    I just want to clarify, can I use this pass to get to Mt. Koya from Osaka, and from Kyoto to Kinosaki Onsen and then to Osaka?

    Thanks so much for your help!

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