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JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/13 05:19
Hi, we will be in Kansai area, mainly based in Kyoto for 7 days. We arrive at KIX and the furthest travel we will go is Hiroshima and Miyajima.

Question: which JR West regional pass should I get?

JR Kansai Hiroshima which only 5 days or JR Sanyo Sanin Pass (7 days)?

Also I think we could only use the shinkansen to Hiroshima starting from Shin Osaka, right? That means we need to take a JR train from Kyoto station to Shin Osaka to catch the Shinkansen.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
by Jos (guest)  

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/13 12:17
Question: which JR West regional pass should I get?

It depends on your actual itinerary: If you stay Hiroshima area more than 5 nights then Kansai Hiroshima Pass will be expired during you travel. Other point is you can reserve seats only with Sanyo Sanin Pass.

Also I think we could only use the shinkansen to Hiroshima starting from Shin Osaka, right?

Yes.

That means we need to take a JR train from Kyoto station to Shin Osaka to catch the Shinkansen.

Yes.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/13 15:08
It seems obvious enough; unless you are spending nearly all your trip in Hiroshima, there is no need for the Sanyo Sanin Pass, as explained above.
You are correct that you can't take the bullet train between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka - but you can take limited express trains like the Haruka, Thunderbird, etc. I've done this many times - it is especially useful during the morning and evening rush hours - commuters generally don't take the ltd express trains, and usually you can get a seat even in the unreserved cars.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/13 23:33
Thanks for the reply. As for itinerary actually we are only going to Hiroshima as our day trip from Kyoto. The rest of our stay during 7 days only around Kyoto-Osaka and its surrounding.
Now I'm thinking if it's really worth to get JR Kansai Hiroshima pass at all.
any thoughts?
by Jos (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/13 23:49
Only you can answer that question with the little information you provided us. A round trip from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima is over 20,000JPY. That is more than either of those passes.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 00:12
Hi
Ok so here's the itinerary template for our 7 day trip in Kyoto

Hiroshima and Miyajima (itsukushima) - we might get Hiroshima 1 Day Street Car Pass - Day trip from Kyoto
Osaka - we might get 1 Day Osaka Amazing Pass - Day trip from Kyoto
Ohara - day trip from Kyoto
Arashiyama
Amanohashidate (if time permits)
Full day in Kyoto area

In addition to JR West pass, we might want to get either Suica or Pasmo card since they are the only ones that US vendor sells here (no Icoca card). I heard either one should work in Kansai area, right?

The only thing with JR Kansai Hiroshima, we might have to pay for Haruka train when we're going back to KIX, but shouldn't be too expensive, I think?

Looking at this, I think JR Kansai Hiroshima pass is more economical than JR Sanyo Sanin Pass? Thoughts are appreciated. thanks!
by Jos (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 01:54
If you buy an ICOCA for non-JR transportation, then there's no need to buy a one-day Hiroden pass (Hiroshima Dentetsu-tram). It will be unlikely to pay off. Hiroshima, the Hiroshima you will be visiting can be easily walked once you arrive at M10 Atomic Bomb Dome stop on the tram. The shopping streets, the Peace Memorial Park and Museum and Hiroshima Castle are within 10-15 minutes walking distance of each other, so your only trips on the tram should be to get to Peace Park and then back to Hiroshima Station.

As far as IC cards, you can buy the SUICA overseas if you wish, though I'm not sure how it's activated. I bought my last IC card about 10 years ago and still use my ICOCA. My old SUICA is just a bookmark because back then, only the ICOCA was used on the HiroDen.

I've used the Sanyo-San'In Area Pass a couple of time and will use it again in November. It allows for reserved seating on the Nozomi/Mizuho, which is convenient. It is a bit more expensive than the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass. The latter seems to get you to areas in Hyogo and Kyoto Prefectures than the former does. But it's also 2 days less and non-reserved only.

I tend to use the Sanyo-San'In Area Pass more because I usually fly back to Tokyo out of Fukuoka or similar airport and that pass allows you travel all the way to Hakata. I tend to stay in Hiroshima about 7 days per trip and use it as a base for day trips. I don't hang out much in Kyoto because it's so overrun with tourists, it's almost unpleasant.

As far as the rest of the places:
Ohara doesn't seem to be train-friendly, so you may need alternate transport, like a bus.
Arashiyama is on a JR line (if you're doing the bamboo forest there)
Amanohashidate can be reached using the Kansai/Hiroshima pass but NOT the Sanyo-San'In (unless you wish to pay the fare from Sonobe to Amanohashidate (1740yen or 4280yen one way-depending on which type of train you use)

Each has its advantages:
Sanyo-San'In is 7 days, all reserved
Kansai-Hiroshima is cheaper and gets you to places the other doesn't.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 02:40
If you are not returning to Japan, then I would suggest you wait until you arrive in Japan to buy your IC card (SUICA, ICOCA, etc.) unless it comes discounted with a travel bundle. The reason I'm suggesting that is this: IC cards can only be returned for the deposit in the geographical area of coverage of each card. SUICA is issued by JR East and therefore cannot be returned for the deposit in the Kansai area (JR West).

It takes no time at all to buy a card at Kansai Airport. You can return it there once you're done with your trip and prior to your departure.

I must inform you though, Neither pass can be exchanged at Kansai Airport if you're buying an exchange voucher. How are you going to buy the pass you choose? If you're getting it from a travel agent via an MCO, then there are more places to exchange. If you get it once you're there, then it's going to cost you a bit more than if you purchase it online. In my case, I will have to pay a bit more since my first Sanyo-San'In Area Pass station will be Okayama, which doesn't have an exchange office. Check the links below to get precise information about purchasing and exchanging for the pass.

https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/sanyo_sanin/
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/kansai_hiroshima/
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 03:17
Thanks for the insight! We might actually go back to Japan again sometime in the future. Also I heard IC card are now interchangeable, regardless what we get (ICOCA, PASMO or SUICA).

Does Hiroden only accept ICOCA? no Pasmo nor Suica?

This is the website where I'm going to order the JR Sanyo Sanin Pass with PASMO and pocket wifi.
https://www.japan-rail-pass.com

I will be exchanging the voucher for the JR pass and they do have the office at Kansai Airport.
by Jos (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 03:55
Glad to hear you'll be going back! The Hiroden takes all the cards now, so there is no problem with interchangeability. Back in the day, only the ICOCA and PASPY worked, so don't worry about that. I was more concerned with your inability to get a refund for your SUICA in the Kansai area.

$24USD for a SUICA is more than you'd pay in Japan and there's almost no time wasted getting an IC card at the station. You're paying more for the convenience as both have 2000JPY added to the card (1500JPY spending money). It it were me, I'd get it in Japan.

For the pass, you're buying an MCO (miscellaneous charges order), so yes, you can exchange it at Kansai International. I usually reserve mine through JR West's website. I used to use that website for the JR Pass, but since I haven't bought a JRP in over 10 visits, I don't deal with middleman and get mine in-country.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 07:12
The simplest way for you to obtain a JR-West pass
is buying one directly at the JR Ticket Office in Kansai-airport Station.

While the official price of the pass itself for direct sales
is set little higher by 1000 yen,
you neither pay a fee nor give your personal information to any third party.

Unless there is a special reason why you had better reserve your seats,
JR-West Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass sounds enough for your itinerary;
the regular cost for your additional trips (covered by Sanyo-San'in Area Pass)
probably would not surpass the gap in the prices of the two passes,
which is 5500 yen.

Neither pass can be exchanged at Kansai Airport if you're buying an exchange voucher.

That is not correct.
Any JR-West pass is available at the JR Ticket Office in the airport,
regardless of whether you directly buy your pass there or turning in the exchange order.
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/shop/pdf/JRW_EN.PDF

The Hiroden takes all the cards now

Precisely, only cards of the eleven specific brands are accepted by Hiroden.
Cards of any brand other than PASPY
which does not join the nationwide compatibility service (e.g. SAPICA, IruCa)
cannot be used for Hiroden street car lines.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: your itinerary 2019/8/14 07:21
When will you travel?
When in the day is your flight arrival scheduled?

A day trip from Kyoto sounds tight
to explore both Hiroshima City and Miyajima Island.
You spend about 5 hours
just to travel from Kyoto Station to Miyajima Pier and back.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 11:43
We will arrive at KIX on oct 16 at 10am and depart on oct 22 at 11am. LOL, you might not believe me but we've done day trip from Kyoto to Yura (Conan Town) a few years ago, so Kyoto-Hiroshima-Miyajima day trip might not compare to that.
by Jos (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/14 21:28
I think last time I had the kansai hiroshima pass and it was a great pass. at that time you could also use it on the maple bus in hiroshima, which is some kind of tourist bus going to all the major destinations in hiroshima. also it was quite nice to take a day trip to nara, hikone and himeji. (though I stayed in Osaka)
I would always say take the kansai hiroshima pass if you don't want to go farther than Miyajima
by me (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: JR Kansai hiroshima vs JR Sanyo Sanin Pass 2019/8/15 09:31
It is closer to 6 hours of total travel from Kyoto Station. That includes transfer times. Slower moving travel through Hiroshima City and the ferry. And you'll still need to add some time to access Kyoto Station from your lodgings.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

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