Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass

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Discover western Japan with the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass. Save money on unlimited travel on JR West transport in the region, including Shinkansen.

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Discover the charm of western Japan with the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass, one of the JR regional passes. This pass offers a simple and efficient way to explore the western part of Honshu, Japan’s largest island. It grants unlimited travel in the area.

If you're drawn to the peace and serenity of Hiroshima, the samurai tales of Yamaguchi, or the urban delights of Fukuoka, the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass is the perfect travel companion for the region.

On this page, we explore the transportation options and benefits available with the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass, including JR West trains and the Sanyo Shinkansen. We also outline how to easily apply online.

Additionally, we’ll allow you to assess its advantages compared to the JR Pass for the whole country.

How It works

What is included?

The Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass offers extensive travel opportunities on the JR West lines connecting Onomichi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Masuda, Hagi, and Hakata (Fukuoka).

It permits passage on the Sanyo Shinkansen, which provides a quick and comfortable way to get between several important locations.

The limitless coverage includes:

  • Unlimited rides on JR West trains within the Hiroshima and Yamaguchi areas (see the map above). This includes local, rapid, and limited express trains.
  • Use of Sanyo Shinkansen services between Mihara in Hiroshima Prefecture and Hataka Station in Fukuoka (including Nozomi and Mizuho trains and the Hello Kitty Shinkansen).
  • Reservations for up to 6 seats free of charge.
  • Full access to JR West bus services in the region, enabling broader exploration beyond rail-connected destinations. This includes buses from Yamaguchi to Hagi and Akiyoshidai.
  • Unlimited usage of the JR ferry to Miyajima island.
  • Use of bike rental services at Ekirin Kun outlets in the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi area.

When is it good for?

When is it good for?

The Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass is good value if you’re planning to exclusively explore western Japan and visit Hiroshima and Yamaguchi Prefecture.

For example, the full cost of the pass is already cheaper than a single round-trip ticket between Hiroshima and Fukuoka on the Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train.

It's ideal for:

  • Visiting multiple cities within Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, and parts of Fukuoka without the hassle of buying individual tickets.
  • Traveling as far north as Hagi, Masuda or Miyoshi, and as far east as Onomichi.
  • Experiencing the rich history and culture, from Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park and famous okonomiyaki to Yamaguchi's samurai heritage to Fukuoka’s vibrant Hakata district.
  • Exploring the region’s natural attractions, such as the Yamaguchi coast, the Akiyoshido cave, and the flower-filled Nokonoshima Island.
  • Visiting the picturesque port town of Onomichi, which is famous for its exceptional ramen soup and for inspiring the Studio Ghibli film Ponyo (2008).
  • Discovering the wonders of Miyajima Island in the Seto Inland Sea, the Itsukushima Shrine and its world-famous Torii Gate, and the rest of Setonaikai National Park (be aware that you need to pay a visitation tax of 100 yen when boarding the Miyajima Ferry).

With its 5-day validity, the pass is best suited for short to medium-length stays, allowing for a deep dive into the area's offerings.

On the other hand, you might want to think about getting a nationwide JR Pass if you intend to stay longer or visit other parts of Japan.

Eligibility and validity requirements

Eligibility and validity requirements

The Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass has a validity of 5 consecutive calendar days from the date you exchange/activate it.

The pass's validity is assessed in days rather than in 24-hour periods, from midnight to midnight. Any day that you use it for the first time is considered complete, regardless of when you started. 

Like the JR Pass, only foreign citizens with temporary visitor status in Japan can purchase the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass. Japanese residents are not eligible.

The rules for minors are as follow:

  • Children aged 6 to 11 at the time the exchange order is issued are eligible for a half-price pass.
  • Those aged 12 and older must purchase an adult pass.
  • Up to 2 infants aged 1-5 years can ride for free with an adult or other child with a valid pass.
  • A third infant aged 1-5 will need their own pass.
  • Infants under 1 ride for free (unless they will use their own reserved seat).

Use and refund conditions

You should keep the following in mind when using your Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass:

  • You must present a valid passport that verifies your eligibility when exchanging and using the pass (if a JR staff member asks to see it).
  • The pass is only valid for use by the designated passport holder. It cannot be transferred between multiple people.
  • You cannot use your pass at station automatic ticket gates; you need to show your pass at a manned ticket gate to enter or exit the platforms to the trains.
  • You can reserve up to 6 seats at JR West ticket offices or using ticket machines for free. However, you can only use ticket offices to make seat reservations beyond this.

Exchange your Pass

Exchanging your Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass when you arrive in Japan is a straightforward process:

  • Prepare your voucher: Ensure you have your exchange order and your passport when you visit the exchange location.
  • Visit a designated JR West exchange office (see the table below): Located at major stations, these offices are where you'll receive your pass.
  • Start using: Once you have your pass, you're all set to start exploring the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi region.

You can exchange your voucher for the pass at any of the following locations:

Why a Regional Pass?
Why a Regional Pass?

Choosing a regional pass like the Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass or the Kansai-Hiroshima Pass offers several benefits:

  • Cost-effective: Provides significant savings compared to purchasing individual tickets for each journey.
  • Convenience: With unlimited travel within the region and no need to purchase tickets for each ride, your travels are smoother and more flexible.
  • Great for multiple day trips: Take advantage of the pass for day trips from major bases like Hiroshima city to explore the surrounding attractions.
  • Enhanced experience: The pass encourages widespread exploration in the region, allowing you to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations you might not otherwise consider.

A regional pass offers both practical benefits and the chance to immerse yourself fully in the region you're exploring.

Whole Japan Rail Pass

Considering hopping across multiple regions? Here's why a nationwide JR Pass might be your best bet:

unlimited acces

Unlimited Access: Roam freely across Japan's regions without restrictions.

whole Japan

Covers all of Japan: The JR Pass covers all JR trains from the north of Japan to the very south. It’s the ultimate explorer's ticket.

full Shinkansen network

Full Shinkansen Network: Experience Japan's iconic, super-fast bullet trains across the whole country.

main airport transfers

Main Airport Transfers: Easily navigate major airports (including Narita, Haneda, and Kansai) and the biggest cities, ensuring a smooth journey.

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