Kyushu Discover Rail Pass: On sale for a limited time

Kyushu Shinkansen

The Kyushu Discover Rail Pass is a discount regional train pass that Japan Rail is making available for a limited sales period, from December 11th, 2020 until March 29th, 2021.

Holders of this pass will be able to take advantage of the impressive discounts it offers to travel around the southernmost island of Kyushu during a limited usage period, which ends on March 31st, 2021.

Benefits of the Kyushu Discover Rail Pass

The Kyushu Discover Rail Pass allows you to travel freely around the island and get on and off as many trains as you like during its period of validity.

It covers all JR Kyushu rail services across the island, including local and rapid trains, limited express trains, and even the high-speed Shinkansen bullet train lines.

Kyushu japan map
Image by JR Kyushu

The pass can be issued for travel around the north of the island, including destinations such as Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki, or all of Kyushu, including the southern cities of Kagoshima and Miyazaki.

Both of these versions of the pass have a validity of 3 consecutive days and allows for 6 seat reservations on any of the JR Kyushu train services included.

Prices

The prices for the pass are incredibly reasonable and will save the holder a lot of money over buying individual train tickets at every station:

AreaUserPrice
All KyushuMain userJPY 12,000
CampanionJPY 14,000
Northern KyushuMain userJPY 6,500
CampanionJPY 7,500

The price for the All Kyushu Pass is over half the cost of what a traveler would spend on individual tickets to get around the entire island. Additionally, children aged between 6-11 are issued a Kyushu Discover Rail Pass for half the price of the adult version.

Where you can visit with a Kyushu Rail Pass

Trains included with the Kyushu Discover Rail Pass include the 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen which can get you from Hakata Station near Fukuoka Airport in the north to Kumamoto in the center of the island in just 45 minutes.

Kumamoto is included on most recommended itineraries for the island as it is one of the most beautiful destinations on Kyushu, an incredibly green city surrounded by abundant nature and historic architecture such as the 17th-century Kumamoto Castle.

kumamoto castle

The pass also allows you to take the unique ‘Yufuin no Mori’ limited express train, fitted with beautifully designed wooden interiors, from Hakata to the popular hot spring town of Yufuin, famous for its ample onsen baths surrounded by stunning natural scenery.

If you enjoy your onsen experience in Yufuin, you may also want to visit Kagoshima, which itself offers a wealth of hot springs to enjoy, and then take the colorful and comfortable “Ibusuki no Tamatebako” limited express train to Ibusuki and experience its unique sand steam baths.

ibusuki onsen

Other regional rail passes for Kyushu

Although the Kyushu Discover Rail Pass is only being offered for a limited sales and usage period and can not be purchased after March 2021, there are also a number of discount rail passes for the region available indefinitely.

These include:

  • All Kyushu rail pass – Covers train travel across the entire island, and is available with a validity of either 3, 5, or 7 days
  • North Kyushu rail pass – Issued as either a 3 or 5-day pass and allows travel between cities including Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, and Oita
  • South Kyushu rail pass – This 3-day pass permits the holder to travel between Kumamoto and Oita in the center of Kyushu to Kagoshima and Miyazaki in the south

Like the Kyushu Discover Rail Pass, these regional rail passes save the traveler a significant amount of money over what they would spend on buying individual tickets for their trip and are also offered at half-price for children between 6-11 years.

They are an ideal option for visitors who only plan to travel within the southernmost island of Japan during their trip, and the flexibility of validity offered with each one will allow you to customize your pass according to your needs.

Nevertheless, if you are planning to visit other parts of Japan during your stay, then the country-wide JR Pass may be the best option for your trip.

It’s easy to get to Hakata Station in Fukuoka from Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka with a JR Pass on a huge range of train services, and once there, the pass also allows you to explore the entirety of Kyushu while saving a significant amount of money at the same time!

Visit the official website.

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