Over the past couple of years, as Japan closes its borders to international tourists, JR has allowed foreign residents in the country to take advantage of the numerous transport deals usually reserved only for short-term visitors from overseas. If you’re already familiar with the Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East rail passes and the JR West Kansai Wide Area Excursion Pass, here’s another deal you should know about.
The JR Shikoku Pass gives those with a foreign (ie, non-Japanese) passport – including residents and visitors – unlimited travel around Shikoku island for three consecutive days. The pass costs ¥11,000 per person (¥5,500 for children aged 6 to 11) and is available until September 28 2022. The pass is good for use between May 1 and September 30 2022.
The pass offers free rides on limited express and local trains, with unreserved seats on the entire JR Shikoku Line and Tosa Kuroshio Line. Conveniently, it can also be used on fixed-route JR Shikoku buses (Otochi and Kumakogen routes), but not expressway buses.
For those who wish to reserve a seat or use the Green Car on local trains, a separate ticket must be purchased. Do note that the pass cannot be used on certain sightseeing trains including the Monogatari.
With this pass, you can visit the Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. This bathhouse, one of the oldest in Japan, was one of the inspirations behind Spirited Away. While you’re in Shikoku, you should also stop by Takamatsu, known for its art and participation in the Setouchi Triennale, the gorgeous beaches around Kochi, and Tokushima, home to Japan’s largest Awa Odori dance festival.
The JR Shikoku Pass can be purchased as an Electronic Miscellaneous Charges Order (E-MCO) via travel agency websites including Nippon Travel Agency, KKday and Klook. Once purchased, you must head to one of the selected locations to exchange the E-MCO for your physical pass. You will be asked to show your passport or residence card for verification, so have that ready when exchanging your E-MCO.
For more information on the pass and recommended routes, visit the website.
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