JR Kyushu rail passes
JR Kyushu has three options. The All Kyushu Area pass (3-, 5- and 7-days) covers the whole island; the Northern Kyushu Area pass (3- & 5-days) includes Nagasaki and Kumamoto on the west side and to Oita on the east coast); the Southern Kyushu Area pass (3 days) is only valid south of Kumamoto and Oita. They can be used on all JR services including Mizuho shinkansen. Shinkansen services east from Hakata (Fukuoka) are operated by JR West so these passes aren’t valid but they can be used on the normal line between Shimonoseki (Honshu) and Hakata.
Unlimited free seat reservations can be made for the All Kyushu pass but only up to six for the others. Passes can be bought: online, before going to Japan (see pp37-9 in in Japan by Rail for details), or in Japan. Foreign residents in Japan can buy JR Kyushu passes till September 2022.
All JR Kyushu passes are available only for Ordinary Class; there is no Green Car pass.
Prices are fixed in yen, but the charge is payable in local currency. The prices in brackets are for rough guidance only and are based on the exchange rate used at the time of research for the 5th edition of Japan by Rail. However, the exact cost will depend on the exchange rate at the time of purchase. It’s worth shopping around as agencies apply different exchange rates. Children aged 5 and under travel free providing they do not occupy a seat; those aged 6-11 pay half the adult rate.
For more details and a route map see JR Kyushu‘s website; for itinerary suggestions see p46 in Japan by Rail.
All Kyushu Area Pass
3-day ¥17,000 (£112/$147)
5-day ¥18,500 (£123/$160)
7-day ¥20,000 (£132/$173)
Northern Kyushu Area Pass
3-day ¥10,000 (£66/$86)
5-day ¥14,000 (£92/$121)
Southern Kyushu Area Pass
3-day ¥8000 (£53/$69)
All these passes can be used for travel on Mizuho services (in the designated validity area), which the Japan Rail Pass does not permit. However, neither the All Kyushu Area nor the Northern Kyushu Area pass can be used on shinkansen services north from Hakata (Fukuoka) as they are operated by JR West.