questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr regional pass

JR Regional pass

Hello,
if I am only going to be staying in Fukuoka and then going to Kyushu, what kind of pass should I buy and will it be cheaper or the same price for a regional JR pass?
thank you,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

This would depend on where you plan to go in Kyushu and for how many days.
In general the northern Kyushu pass offers great value and will allow you to visit, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Mount Aso and Beppu.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
thank you for your answer. So the northern Kyushu pass is a regular JR pass is that correct? We will be traveling mostly around Fukuoka area from city to countryside. Does the JR pass include trains that go from Fukuoka City to Ukihagun,Fukuokaken in the countryside about an hour away. I think we were told the nearest station to where we will be visiting is Kurume station. Thanks so much for your help, we need it

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

It is a local JR-Pass issued by JR Kyushu, you can buy it abroad or locally but you do need a foreign passport / tourist visa. Yes it does cover the trip from Fukuoka (Hakata station) to Ukiha, both the local trains and ltd express trains. You can also use it on the Shinkansen between Fukuoka and Kurume, which is a very nice ride on the Sakura express. Here you can find some more information on the pass, including prices and a coverage map.

Hope you enjoy it, personally I always loved Kyushu!
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
thank you for your messages, we appreicate them. I will try and contact the US office to buy the passes. I just hope that it all works out for us,
thanks again,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi Daniel,
How are you? I hope all is well.
Any how, I took your advice and I ordered the JR Kyushu passes.
When I ordered them over the telephone with an operator, everything went pretty smooth. The only thing is, is that
on my e-ticket, I noticed that in the billing section, my full address was not listed but the state was and it was incorrect. For some odd reason the operator put Alaska instead of California. I called them back immediately and they told me that it is just for billing purposes and I have nothing to worry about.
Do you think that I have anything to worry about?
I remember reading on another website that the people at the JR pass place where you turn in your information to to get your jr passes are some what strict?
thank you in advance,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

There is nothing to worry about! The thing that is important is that they the pass voucher should match your name as in your passport and that you exchange in within 90 days after purchase.

They could put Kashyyyk on the billing address and it would not matter :)

Make the most of your trip!
-Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
ok, thank you for your message as always.
As far as the E-ticket, I didn't give the operator our middle names, I only gave them our first and last names. Was that okay as well?
thank you in advance for all of your help,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

I don't think that will matter too much with the JR Kyushu pass because it is sold locally anyways.
I have never heard of JR not accepting the pass because of this but you may want to give your agent a call just to make sure.

Best wishes,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
as always,
thank you so so much your input, it is much appreciated,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi Daniel,
this is John again. How are you? I hope that you are fine.
Well, I made it to Japan and used the JR Kyushu passes. Thank you for all of your advice, I really appreciated it.
But now I am now living in Japan and now I need to get from Muromi, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan to the Tanushimaru Station, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Basically from my apartment to my mom's house which right by the Tanushimaru Station.
Do you have any advice on how to do this the cheapest way without a car?
thank you in advance,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

I would take the following route. Basically travel to Hakata station with the city subway, take the Kagoshima line to Kurume and from there the JR Kyudai Line to Tanushimaru. This route takes 96 Minutes / ¥ 1,370.

You can also use your PASMO for this route, if you have one.

Let me know what you think!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
thank you for your quick reply, I'm assuming that this would be one way? Is there an alternative way that might be a little cheaper?
thank you,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

This is indeed one way, this is also the most economic way to travel between the two places by rail. You could look into an express bus between Hakata and Kurume and take the train from there but I don't think that it will be any cheaper. ¥ 1,370 is not a lot for the amount traveled in Japanese terms, other option such as a limited express train or Shinkansen will set your back between 2,500-5,500.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
thank you for your input and time, I really appreciate this. Ok, if you can, can you please send me step by step directions or what to do as far as where to go and buy the Kagoshima line tickets (I'll be with my wife and 2 kids 8 and 3, I think the 3 year old is free) after I get to the Hakata station. Also, will I just be going to one place and purchasing one ticket each for my family to get to Tanushimaru or will I have to pay multiple times when I take the JR Kyudai Line from Kurume. Also, how do I do it on the return trip back? Do I pay for my tickets at the Tanushimauru train station or pay in advance for my return trip before I get to Tanushimaru?
sorry for all of my questions, I hope that it is not too much,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

I am more that happy to help :)

Could you post your planned travel days or at least the time that you would wish to arrive at Tanoshimaru?
This way I can find the best train connections.
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
thank you,
I'd like to possibly go to Tanushimaru this weekend but if not this weekend, in the next couple of weekends coming up and for sure, I will only take the trip on the weekends.
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi Daniel,
also, when I get to Hakata and it says: (Departure track No.6), what does this mean?
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

Travel for children under the age of 6 are free and between 6-12 are half price. Once you arrive at Hakata station, head to a ticket machine any JR Ticket machine, where you can buy a single ticket for the journey from Hakata to Tanushimaru. There's an English menu available and fares are displayed in different amount, the travel amount needed for Hakata - Tanushimaru is ¥1,080. You can buy a ticket of this amount or buy a ticket of a lower amount and pay the price difference using the fare adjustment machine at your arrival station. Both options are always possible.

Once you have bought your tickets, head to the ticket gate and insert your ticket to get access to the train platforms, sometimes Hyperdia displays the platform number from where your train will depart (for instance track No.7). There are also displays around the station with departure times and corresponding platform numbers. So look for the JR Kagoshima line heading to Tosu and Kurume, you can always ask the staff for help if you can't find your way.

Once you arrive at Kurume exit the train and look for the track where your next train will be departing from, this is the JR Kyudai line bound for Hita. Again, you can find displays around the station with the required number.

Once you are in the train wait until you arrive at Tanushimaru, this should be the 7th stop. Here exit the station trough the ticket gate and pay the fare difference if you did not pay the full price up front.

The same procedure is applicable when you travel back, so the best thing to do is buy tickets for your return when you travel back to Hakata.

Here's the route for Saterday if you depart around 10 a.m.

Let me know if everything is clear!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel, thank for your directions. I totally appreciate it. So if I perhaps I get a ride with a friend or family to Tanushimaru and on my return to Muromi is by train & subway, do I pay any fare at the Tanushimaru station or if the station may not have a machine in english or the attendant may not speak English, do I just pay the full fare once I get to the Hakata station? I'm sorry if I may have misunderstood anything you wrote.
Thank you again,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

When it comes to paying fares I would do the following. Buy a subway ticket from Muromi to Hakata station, then at Hakata station buy a one way fare ticket for each person of ¥1,080. If this does not work out for some reason you can simply buy a ticket of lower value and pay the difference when you arrive (more about this below).

For local trains in Japan you don't buy a ticket that's valid from point A to B but you pay a ticket which is worth a certain amount and will allow you to travel for this amount. For instance station 1-3 will costs 150 yen and station 4-6 will cost 250yen to travel to.

Japan has a wonderfull system of Fare Adjustment machines at every station. This is very handy if you don't know the correct fare or haven't payed the right amount, as it allows you to pay the extra amount upon arrival.

When you travel back to Hakata station from Tanushimaru buy a new ticket worth ¥1,080 and a subway ticket once you arrive at Hakata.

There's also a special JR desk for English speaking visitors, where you can also buy tickets or ask for information.
You can find it on the left side from the JR Ticket offfice left of the Tsubame caffee.

Let me know how it works out!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
how are you? I hope that you are fine. I haven't had a chance to go to Tanushimaru yet but I will be going soon I hope. Any how, I was wondering if I get the one day pass for the Fukuoka city Subway, and I board at Muromi and I get off at Tenjin and I want to transfer to the Nishitetsu tenjin omuta line, do I have to pay another boarding fare for that line if I want to go anywhere on that line? Or is the one day pass only good for the Kuko line and Hakozaki line and Nanakuma line only?
thanks again,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

I used to live in Fukuoka couple of years ago and must say that I really miss the place, it's one of the best places to live in Japan (or at least that's what I think).

The Fukuoka subway and Nishitetsu are different companies so you will have to pay an extra fare if you transfer between them. You can however buy a ticket for the full trip at any subway station.

The All day Subway ticket is valid on all metro station on the Kuko, Hakozaki and Nanakuma line but not on the Nishitetsu.

You can board the Nishitetsu with the all day metro ticket but you will have to pay the part traveled on the Nishitetsu when you arrive at your destination!

Have a good weekend!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
as always, thank you for your help. it was very helpful today on my journey.
thanks again,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi Daniel,
I finally took the trip to Tanushimaru with my family this past weekend. Your directions worked out just fine, thank you very much. The only bad thing was that we kind of left a little late from our house and only got to visit for a couple of hours and had to leave, oh well, I know next time to leave a lot earlier so we can get our money's worth for the trip there and possibly a shorter trip back as it seemed like it took a little longer to get back as we took the 9pm train back from Tanushimaru. All in all, I feel good about it due to your help. I don't think that I could have made the trip without it. Again, thank you and thank you for your help, I can't say thank you enough. You are awesome and I hope that I can return the help to you with instructions like this if you are ever to go to Los Angeles, California. I've lived there all my life. But public transportation is not very good there. If you ever do go, the best way to get around is to rent a vehicle and get the insurance and use a GPS or navigational device to get around and you will be fine.
thanks again Daniel,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John,

It's great to hear that your trip worked out so well! I've always wished to see more of the states and California is something I hope to see and experience for sure, so your instructions may come in handy!

In the mean time let me know if there's anything else I may be able to help with!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
how are you? I hope that you have been well. I'm doing ok. Any how, I'd like to try and go to Saga for the balloon festival. Would you happen to know how long and how much it would cost to go from the Muromi Station? Do you know if there is a price for entry? I have this big information flyer but it is all in Japanese. Any help from you would be much appreciated.
thank you,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

Hi John

It's been some time, more than a year it seems!

I've found the English website here: http://www.sibf.jp/e/

There's a station called JR Balloon Saga (station), it's a pretty cool name.
Here is the route from Hakata - BalloonSaga.

I don't think that there's a fee for entrance.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
yes, it has been while and I hope that all is well with you.
As always, thank you so much for the info, you are the best,
regards,
John

djjohnk
djjohnk

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