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Pick the right JR Regional Pass for your trip to Japan – rather than opting for a nationwide JR Pass – and you could stand to save a good amount of money (enough for a few extra bowls of delicious ramen, at least!) Wondering how to find the right region for your trip? We’ve got it all mapped out for you below, so you can find the pass that works best for you and see how much you could save.

Japan Rail Regional Pass map

Check out our handy map for an overview of the main Rail Pass regions in Japan. The main 6 regions are JR West, Central, JR East, JR Shikoku, JR Kyushu and JR Hokkaido. These regions are split further with cheaper pass options that cover even small areas within each section. You can find all of these below the map.

Buying a national JR Pass will allow you to use JR Services across the whole of Japan, but if your trip is limited to just one of these regions, you could stand to save a lot of money by picking the right regional pass. 

These passes are often valid for shorter periods of time, from 2 to 7 days generally, so they're great if the majority of your travelling will be done within a short amount of time.

Please bear in mind that:

  • There are more than 20 types of Shinkansen high-speed trains, but only some of them are covered by JR Passes (find out about these below).
  • Trains in Japan are renowned for being punctual, so make sure you're always at your platform ready to board your train in good time!

Which JR Pass do I need?

Have a look at our guide to JR Regional Passes below and see which attractions and popular sports venues are reachable with each pass. While the National JR Pass covers travel to every single venue, the Regional Passes may be the better option if you only see a couple of games. To find out exactly which services you can use with each pass, follow the links provided.

JR West

Highlights for this pass include Hiroshima, where you can visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Dome, and the northernmost area of Kyushu Island, which features the beautiful Fukuoka City, rife with temples and other ancient relics well worth exploring. Bullet trains (Nozomi and Mizuho only) are covered by this pass, and you can use local JR services throughout the designated area.

Valid for 5 day’s travel

Buy a Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass.

History awaits you with the Hokuriku Pass, which covers JR travel around this northern coastal area of Japan. The main highlight with this pass is your ability to travel to and around Kanazawa, a city renowned for its Edo-era architecture. Some JR bus services are also useable with this pass.

Valid for 4 day’s travel

Buy a Hokuriku Area Pass.

Want to get away from the hustle and bustle and see some of the different sides to Japan? Then this is a fantastic pass for doing just that. Enjoy free reign of JR services between major cities including Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Hiroshima and more. You can also get around Takamatsu on Shikoku Island and use the JR Ferry to get to Miyajima Island, making this pass one of the best!

Valid for 5 day’s travel

Buy a Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass.

A combination of the Kansai and Hokuriku area passes mentioned above, so that you can add pretty Kanazawa and other northern destinations to your jaunt across Japan. From Kansai Airport, you’ll be able to use JR services to travel to Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and more.

Valid for 7 day’s travel

Buy a Kansai-Hokuriku Area Pass.

This Kansai area pass allows you to explore some major cities and popular tourist areas, from Kansai Airport you can take to Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Takada, Himeji, Tsuruga and more – while the Kansai Wide Area Pass extends your travel options even further. Feel like visiting pretty Takamatsu or relaxing at an Onsen in Kinosaki? Then the Wide Area Pass is for you!

Valid for 1-5 day’s travel

Buy a West Kansai/Kansai Wide Area Pass.

Covering the area west of the previously mentioned Kansai Passes, this pass allows you to travel by bullet train from Okayama all the way to Hakata in Fukuoka. Some of the lesser-known stops along this route are well worth exploring, but the highlight has to be Hiroshima and the JR Ferry to Miyajima Island, where tame deer roam free!

Valid for 5 day’s travel

Buy an Okayama-Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass.

This pass offers fantastic value and allows you to explore awesome locations such as Okayama, Tottori, Shinji and Hagi. Even if you only make a one-way trip from Okayama to Matsue, this pass works out cheaper than buying tickets in Japan on the day.

Valid for 4 day’s travel

Buy a Sanin-Okayama Area Pass.

Covering a wide area of western Japan, the West Sanyo San’in Area Pass is great for those wanting to explore several locations in quick succession. From Osaka to Kobe, Hiroshima and Fukuoka (and everything in between), use the ground-breaking bullet trains to get around in style.

Valid for 7 day’s travel

Buy a West Sanyo San’in Area Pass.

Buy a Setouchi Area Pass, and you can take in some of Japan’s most scenic sights, travelling along the coast from Osaka to Hiroshima and Shin-Yamaguchi before heading to the south island for Fukuoka, an amazing journey not to be missed! You can also take advantage of ferry services to the awe-inspiring island of Shikoku for even more scenic adventures.

Valid for 5 day’s travel

Buy a Setouchi Area Pass.

JR East

Opening up most of Eastern Japan and the more touristic areas of Hokkaido (the northern-most island) for your exploring pleasure, the East-South Hokkaido Pass is ideal for those landing at Haneda or Narita Airport and wanting to head North from Tokyo for the trip of a lifetime. Highlights include Kamaishi and Sapporo. To clarify in case there's any confusion, the pass allows you to travel around the eastern half of Japan's main island, and the south of its northern island, Hokkaido.

Valid for 6 day’s travel of your choice (within a two week period that you'll choose)

Buy an East-South Hokkaido Pass.

Feel like doing something a little different to the norm? Then why not travel the lesser-beaten path from Tokyo to Osaka via the Hokuriku region? You’ll be able to take in modern Japan in Tokyo, before hopping on a Shinkansen (Bullet train) to Kanazawa, enjoying history and culture along the way, before using normal JR lines to reach Kyoto and Osaka.

Valid for 7 day’s travel

Buy an Osaka Tokyo Hokuriku Pass.

JR Central

Let JR local services, buses and ferries whisk you around the Mt. Fuji – Shizuoka area for an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime. From beautiful coastal towns like Atami to Hamamatsu, it’s not just Mt. Fuji on offer here. Although, speaking of Mt. Fuji, this pass allows you to get up close and personal to the big Japanese wonder! Alternatively, take a JR bus to the north of the mountain for spectacular views.

Valid for 3 day’s travel

Buy a Fuji-Shizuoka Tourist Pass.

Explore Osaka and the Kii Peninsula with this handy little tourist pass – covering travel from Kansai Airport to coastal locations like Wakayama, Kii-Katsuura and Suzuka, up to Nagoya – for something a little different to the usual Japan itinerary!

Valid for 5 day’s travel

Buy an Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Tourist Pass.

This tourist pass offers a fun route from Kansai Airport through Osaka and Kyoto, then up to Kanazawa and Shin-Takaoka, before looping down to Nagoya. Highlights of this journey include the castles in Osaka and Nagoya, perfect for history buffs.

Valid for 5 day’s travel

Buy a Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass.

JR Kyushu

Explore the majestic southern island of Kyushu with the ‘All Kyushu Pass’. From bustling Fukuoka City down to Kagoshima in the south, with its coastal volcano views, a trip to Kyushu is unbeatable for culture and scenery. Take in the whole island while travelling on JR services including the Kyushu ‘Tsubame’ bullet train and the ‘Sonic’ Limited Express.

Valid for 3 or 5 day’s travel

Buy an All Kyushu Pass.

Pick up the Sanyo-San’in Northern Kyushu Pass if you want to kick off your Japan trip in Kyoto, travelling west through popular tourist locations like Okayama and Hiroshima before heading for the beautiful southern island of Kyushu. You can also check out Takamatsu on Shikoku Island or head north for Matsue – the choice is yours!

Valid for 7 day’s travel

Buy a Sanyo-San'in Northern Kyushu Pass.

Do some intimate exploring in southern Kyushu with this brilliant little pass. Take the bullet train from the stunning city of Kumamoto, with its epic castle, to the bustling Sendai, then use local JR lines to explore the rest of the island. Don’t miss out on coastal gems like Ibusuki and Miyazaki!

Valid for 3 day’s travel

Buy a Southern Kyushu Pass.

JR Shikoku

Shikoku has everything, from Buddhist temples to mountainous hiking trails and whitewater rapids, to bustling cities like Matsuyama. A trip to Shikoku Island promises to be unforgettable! Buy a Shikoku Pass for unlimited use of JR services.

Valid for 3, 4, 5 or 7 day’s travel

Buy an All Shikoku Pass.

Do a little exploring on the north of Shikoku Island, taking in all the beautiful sights over a couple of days. From Takamatsu, you can use JR lines to head to Kan-Onji to the west, or Hiketa to the east, for great history and culture.

Valid for 2 day’s travel

Buy a Kagawa Mini Rail & Ferry Pass.

JR Hokkaido

If hot springs and skiing are your kinds of things, then the Hokkaido Rail Pass is the one for you! The whole of the island is yours to explore with Japan Rail, and major highlights include the unmissable Sapporo, Shikotsu-Tōya National Park and Rusutsu Ski Resort.

Valid for 3, 4, 5 or 7 day’s travel

Buy a Hokkaido Rail Pass.