New Discount Japan Rail Pass Allows Cheap Train Travel in Kyushu

Photo by Norimoto/Shutterstock

New Discount Japan Rail Pass Allows Cheap Train Travel in Kyushu

Fresh on the heels of JR East's alluringly cheap JR East Welcome Pass, JR Kyushu have just released a low-cost rail pass for exploring Japan's southern island of Kyushu. The JR Kyushu Discover Rail Pass costs just 12,000 yen for three days of unlimited train travel around Kyushu and can be used by anyone with a foreign passport (including residents of Japan). Better yet, unlike the Tohoku-based welcome pass, Kyushu's new rail pass can be used by Japanese nationals as well, for only slightly more expensive at 14,000 yen.

If you're just planning on visiting North Kyushu you can get the pass for almost half price too.

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New Discount Japan Rail Pass Allows Cheap Train Travel in Kyushu

Details of the JR Kyushu Discover Rail Pass

JR Kyushu Discover Rail Pass

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The JR Kyushu Discover Rail Pass went on sale last week on December 11th and will be sold until March 29th for use until March 31st. The main user must hold a foreign passport and can be accompanied by one Japanese national. The 'companion pass' must be purchased at the same time.

It costs 12,000 yen for foreign passport holders and 14,000 yen for Japanese nationals accompanying them to purchase the pass for use all over Kyushu. The North Kyushu pass will only cost 6500 yen for foreigners and 7,500 yen for Japanese nationals, which can be used for places such as Fukuoka to Kumamoto, Nagasaki and Oita, but no further. The pass will allow unlimited travel on JR trains for three consecutive days.

For children aged 6-11 years old the pass will cost half the price of a full adult pass.

Usage of the Pass

Kagoshima, Japan with Sakurajima Volcano.

Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The full priced pass covers the entire Kyushu region such as Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, and Oita. You can use it on all JR trains including the Kyushu Shinkansen and limited express trains however it cannot be used for the Sanyo Shinkansen, Seven Stars, Aru Ressha, JR Kyushu buses and non JR trains.

The pass can't be changed or reissued after purchased, however unused passes can be cancelled and refunded for a fee of 440 yen.

As it currently costs around 10,000 yen one way to take the shinkansen from Hakata to Kagoshima, the pass can be used to save a fair amount on train travel around Kyushu.

Using with Go To Travel for Further Discounts

While the governments Go To Travel campaign is to be suspended for a short period during the new year, you can use the campaign to save on hotel prices in addition to purchasing the new discount rail pass. Note that the rail pass must be purchased separately to hotel or package tour bookings with Go To Travel and so you can't use the promotion to get the pass for cheaper.