questions & answers: itinerary check

jr pass/kyushu rail pass? sapporo-osaka-kagoshima-fukuoka

JR Pass/Kyushu Rail Pass? Sapporo-Osaka-Kagoshima-Fukuoka

Hi,

I would like to ask what is the different between JR Pass and Kyushu Rail Pass??

And here is my proposed itinerary in this December, comments and suggestions are very welcome:

Sapporo-Osaka-Kagoshima-Fukuoka

Start from Sapporo then will fly down to Osaka, from Osaka would like taking Nozomi train to Kagoshima and back to Fukuoka.

May i know which rail pass should i take or any better ideal that could make it nicer trip.

Many thanks & much appreciated,

Chloe

chloe_cheungyt
chloe_cheungyt

HI there!

The JR Pass covers the entire of Japan - Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu and Hokkaido. Here's a map showing the coverage. By contrast the Kyushu Rail Pass only covers the island of Kyushu in the south of Japan.

Based on your itinerary, I think it really depends on how long you intend to take to travel from Osaka to Kagoshima/Fukuoka. If it is 5 days or less, then you may want to look into the JR-Sanyo pass which will cover your trip for ¥25,000. If it is longer than 5 days, then your best option is a 7 day Nationwide JR Pass for ¥28,300 (or 14 day option). Note that with the Nationwide JR Pass you will not be able to use Nozomi, but can use the Sakura class bullets which reach the same top speeds but stop at slightly more stations.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Hi mari,

Any place that you know allow people with tattoos for hotsprings/onsen base on the area I am going? My boyfriend had a tattoos on his whole back and one on his whole arm.

Thanks again!

chloe_cheungyt
chloe_cheungyt

Hi chloe!

I'm afraid I'm not sure about exact onsen. I think i'd advise that you contact the onsen directly before you decide to visit - maybe as part of the booking process? Onsen are becoming much more progressive towards tattoos, especially for non-Japanese, so you may find that you have no problems. For your locations listed, I recommend looking at onsen in Noboribetsu, Sakurajima, Ibusuki and Kinosaki.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Hi Mari,

Plan have a little bit change and need your advise again.

We will be land at Fukuoka (at 8am), we rent a little apartment and plan to stay a week in Fukuoka, in between we might do a day trip to Kumamoto, and after the one week in Fukuoka we will take the JR move on to Kagoshima for 2 days; and from Kagoshima take the JR to Osaka stay for 3 days, in between we will do day trip to Kyoto; and from Kansai international airport flight to Sapporo for 4 days, in between we will take your advise stay in Noboribetsu for a night and way back to Sapporo city do some sightseeing.

In this case, should i get 14 days pass? since i assume when we stay in Fukuoka we will using subway more often and i guess JR pass do not cover those cost. or get the 7 days pass issue the date i start travel from Fukuoka to Kumamoto, then it will be cover the trip in Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Osaka, Kyoto. And when we in Sapporo, we purchase 3 days JR Hokkaido pass. Which one will make more sense? Plus where can I exchange my JR pass at Fukuoka.

thanks,

Chloe

chloe_cheungyt
chloe_cheungyt

Hi Chloe,

The key thing to remember is that the difference in price between a 7 and 14 day Japan Rail Pass is ¥16,800. As a 3 day Hokkaido pass is ¥15,000, I think I recommend spending the extra ¥1,800 for the 14 day pass and retaining some flexibility in your plans if you are just choosing between the 2 options. Similarly, you'll need to spend at least ¥16,800 on additional JR tickets to make a 14 day pass worthwhile over a 7 day pass + tickets.

Looking at your plans you have 5 days of confirmed travel, with one additional trip to Kumamoto or Noboribetsu possible within your 7 day validity period depending on your plans. As the Fukuoka/Hakata to Kumamoto return is around ¥10,000 and Sapporo to Noboribetsu return around ¥8500, I recommend using the 7 day JR Pass validity period for the Kumamoto trip.

As to whether a 7 day pass + tickets or 14 day pass is the best option, you'll need to spend at least ¥16,800 on separate JR tickets in addtiion to the 7 day pass for the 14 day pass to be worthwhile. Your trip to Noboribetsu will likely come to around ¥8,500 return so this means you'd need to spend a further ¥8300 on JR travel to make a 14 day pass worthwhile. You mention further sightseeing within Sapporo, and although you'll be using the non-JR metro within Fukuoka, you can do easy day trips by JR to Hiroshima/Miyajima, Nagasaki, Dazaufu-Tenmangu or even Yufuin/Beppu. Whether you hit ¥8300 extra JR travel is down to your plans so I think I'd base my decision on whether I though I was likely to do that much more travel at either end of my trip or wanted to retain the flexibility to decide when I was there.

The exchange office in Fukuoka is at the main station, called "Hakata" station for historical reasons. The JR-Kyushu ticket office can exchange your JR Pass from 5:30-23:00, and there is also a travel service centre open from 10:00-20:00 for exchanging JR Passes and further queries.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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