The Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass allows unlimited travel on JR (national rail) trains for 5 days within Kansai and southern Chugoku, from Miyajima in the west to Nara in the east. This includes the use of trains to major cities such as Hiroshima, Himeji, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe.
What does it cost?
5 days: Adults 13,000 yen (about $105/€95), Children 6,500 yen (about $52/€48)
When can I use it?
Is it worth it?
If you only have 5 days and want to see many, many places in that short space of time, this pass is perfect. As an example, a single ticket from Hiroshima to Osaka on the Shinkansen costs 10,440 yen and a bus would be 3000-5000 yen.
This pass does cover quite a wide area, so it would be good to first calculate how much it would cost by bus, as this may be cheaper and you will not be so pushed for time.
What are the rules?
- For use only in Kansai and southern Chugoku.
- For those on a tourist visa only.
- You cannot use on non-JR (national rail) trains.
- Unlimited use of the Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hiroshima.
- Unlimited use of all non-reserved seats Limited Express, Rapid and Local trains.
- Able to use on the JR Miyajima ferry.
- Not valid on the Tokaido Shinkansen going east of Shin-Osaka.
Where can I buy it?
It’s a little cheaper to buy before you come. You can buy the passes at travel agents (Japan related ones such as JTB or HIS are the best). You can also purchase online.
Activating a 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 major JR train station, then exchange for a pass (you will need to show your passport). You can exchange at major stations such as Hiroshima, Osaka or Kyoto stations, as well as major airports.
How do I use it?
This pass is used for non-reserved seats, so just show it to the station staff at the ticket gates and they will let you in. They will sometimes stamp the pass.