The JR Kyushu Northern Pass allows unlimited travel on all JR (national rail) trains all over northern Kyushu, including the Shinkansen (bullet) trains. 3 day and 5 day passes are available.
What does it cost?
3 days: 8500 yen (around $70)
5 days: 10000 yen (around $82)
When can I use it?
Is it worth it?
Kyushu has a modern Shinkansen system and some excellent Limited Express trains that would be crazily expensive to purchase on their own. This pass will have you a lot of money if you plan to visit a few major cities in a short space of time. Most cities in Kyushu can be done in a day or two, so we would highly recommend this pass.
If you are planning to travel far in Kyushu and don’t mind the odd night bus, then consider the cheaper SUNQ Pass for buses. The main JR Kyushu Pass is better if you want to quickly get around the whole of Kyushu.
What are the rules?
- For use only in northern Kyushu (as far south as Kumamoto).
- You cannot use on non-JR (national rail) trains,
- Only available to people with Tourist Visas,
- When riding a Shinkansen train with the Japan Rail Pass, you need to reserve seats. This can be done at the Shinkansen ticket office of any JR station with Shinkansen services.
- The pass cannot be used for the Sanyo Shinkansen (between Hakata and Kokura/Osaka).
- The pass cannot be used on the super fast Nozomi and Mizuho trains, plus ‘Liner’ commuter trains or highway buses.
Where can I buy it?
You have to buy it before coming to Japan. We recommend APC Rail
How do I use it?
Activating a JR Kyushu Northern Pass differs according to who you buy it from, so check with the company you purchased from. You are usually given a slip which you then take to a JR train station, then exchange for a pass (you will need to show your passport). You can exchange at major stations such as Hakata (Fukuoka), Kumamoto and Nagasaki stations, as well as major airports.
Once you have your ticket, just show it to the station staff at the ticket gates and they will let you in. They will sometimes stamp the pass.