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The JR-WEST RAIL PASS - A Good Deal On Travel In Kansai

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If you are planning to travel around the Kansai area, you should check out the JR-WEST RAIL PASS and the five different types of passes offered in this region.

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The Kansai region offers a lot of attractions to visit such as Kyoto and Nara, places with many historical buildings, shrines and temples, as well as Osaka, which is well known for its unique local dishes. There are many attractive destinations for travelers to explore here, however transportation costs might have you worried.

The JR-WEST RAIL PASS, created for visitors from other countries, allows you to go around the Kansai region and the west of Japan for a reasonable price. If you buy this pass, you can get unlimited rides on trains and bullet trains within designated areas and for a specific period of time. There are several types of passes available based on validity periods and areas.

In addition, you can purchase these passes outside of Japan via the WEST JAPAN RAILWAY COMPANY website in advance.

*You need to pick up these passes in Japan.
*Japanese people cannot buy it.

Travel to the Kyushu Region for a Week: Sanyo-San'in Area Pass

The Sanyo-San'in Area pass is for those who want to stay longer in the west of Japan and thoroughly explore the area.

Area of coverage:

The main areas of the Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe) and the whole area of the Chugoku region to Takamatsu city in Kagawa prefecture, Shikoku region.

For instance, transportation systems you can use with this pass include the Sanyo shinkansen which brings you from Shin-Osaka station to Hakata station, a limited express train "Haruka" which operates from the Kansai airport station to Kyoto station and a limited express train "Super Hakuto" which passes through Himeji station in Hyogo prefecture and brings you to Tottori prefecture.

In addition, you can get unlimited rides on the JR West Miyajima ferry which takes you closer to see the torii gate of Itsukushima shrine out in the sea.

Valid trains:

A reserved seat on the Sanyo shinkansen (between Shin-Osaka station and Hakata station) and limited express trains within its coverage area, a non-reserved seat on express and local trains and JR West Miyajima ferry.  Please note that Tokaido shinkansen trains (between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto) are not included. Regular train services except shinkansen service (between Hakata station to Shimonoseki station) in Kyushu are not included either.

Price, Valid Period and Other Information

This pass costs 19,000 yen (20,000 yen if you buy it in Japan) per ticket and is valid for one week. You must keep in mind that you cannot take the Tokaido shinkansen which runs between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto with this pass. Also trains which run further south than Hakata in the Kyushu region are out of the area as well. But being able to take almost every train served in its coverage area for a whole week for 19,000 yen is a really good deal.

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To Enjoy the West of Japan: Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

The Kansai-Hiroshima Area pass is for those who want to go further than just Kansai region.

Area of coverage:

This pass covers the area from Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures to Takamatsu city in Kagawa prefecture. It also has a wider coverage in the Kansai area than the Sanyo-San'in Area pass. For example, you can travel through all of both Hyogo and Wakayama prefectures with this pass. We recommend this pass to those who want to focus more on the Kansai and Chugoku regions.

Valid trains:

The Sanyo shikansen (between Shin-Osaka and Hiroshima, including Nozomi and Mizuho trains), a non-reserved seat of limited express trains, express trains and local trains within its coverage area and JR West Miyajima Ferry.

Price, Valid Period and Other Information:

This pass costs 13,000 yen for five days. It is pretty reasonable as you can cover all the transportation services with this pass.

But please bear in mind that you cannot travel to Yamaguchi, Shimane, Tottori prefecture in Chugoku region and other parts of the Shikoku region except Takamatsu city in Kagawa.

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Focus on the Kansai Area: Kansai WIDE Area Pass

If you plan to go for only Kansai area, you must get a Kansai WIDE Area Pass.

Area of coverage:

The Sanyo shinkansen, limited express trains, express trains and local trains which run through Kansai airport, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Okayama, Takamatsu, Wakayama and Shiga prefectures. If you compare the Kansai WIDE Area Pass with the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass, the only thing Kansai WIDE Area Pass doesn't cover is the JR West Miyajima ferry.

Valid trains:

The Sanyo shinkansen (between Shin-Osaka and Okayama) and a non-reserved seat of limited express trains, express trains and local trains within the coverage area.

Price, Valid Period and Other Information:

The pass is valid for five days but the area you can travel with this pass is too wide to fully travel within in such a limited amount of time. Five days is not enough to get to see everything within the Kansai region. It costs 8500 yen.

Read also:
Osaka Prefecture
Kobe City

Add to Other Passes Flexibly: Kansai Area Pass

Area of coverage:

From Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and to Himeji in Hiroshima.

Valid trains:

A limited express train "Haruka" which operates from Kansai Airport Station to Kyoto Station and any local trains.

Price, Valid Period and Other Information:

You can select your own validity period for this pass from anywhere from 1-4 days. So, if you have a Kansai WIDE Area Pass but want to add some extra time to your trip, purchase this pass. One day pass costs 2200 yen, two days for 4300 yen, three days for 5300 yen and four days for 6300 yen.

A Summary of the Prices for each Pass

Children aged 11 and under can travel for half the listed fare price.

Purchase outside of Japan Purchase in Japan
Sanyō-San'in Area Pass(7 days) 19,000 20,000
Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass(5 days) 13,000 14,000
Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass (5 days) 11,000 12,000
Kansai WIDE Area Pass(5 days) 8,500 9,000
Kansai Area Pass(1 day) 2,200 2,300
Kansai Area Pass(2 days) 4,300 4,500
Kansai Area Pass(3 days) 5,300 5,500
Kansai Area Pass(4 days) 6,300 6,500

When you want to focus on traveling in the Kansai area, you can travel to various places all the while saving money on transportation by using these passes wisely. So please try them out.

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