The Setouchi Area Pass is five day discount pass for overseas visitors offered by JR West and JR Shikoku to promote travel in western Japan. The pass currently gives unlimited access for unreserved seats on JR trains between Kansai Airport, Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata as well as select buses, and ferries to islands of the Setouchi area. From July 1st of this year the pass will become more inclusive and the services it covers broadened to include JR trains in the Kyoto and Nara area, JR buses in the Chugoku region (including the Hiroshima sightseeing loop bus), Setouchi sightseeing steamboats between the ports of Hinase and Obe, and Okayama Electric Railway Trams.
Also, though currently the Setouchi Area Pass can only be bought overseas, from July 1st of this year it will be possible to buy the pass within Japan, fulfilling certain requirements. The current pass costs 16,000 yen for an adult and 8,000 yen for a child. This price will go up to 17,000 yen for an adult and 8,500 yen for a child when purchasing the pass overseas. Tourists who wish to purchase the pass in Japan will be able to do so at the slightly higher price of 18,000 yen for an adult and 9,000 yen for a child. The Setouchi Area Pass is only available for overseas visitors on short term tourist visas and you must present your passport to receive the pass.
Article by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.