Huzzah! Many international travelers to Japan are aware of the JR Pass, which allows temporary visitors a chance to save on extensive travel throughout the country. For those focusing their travel in any given region there are cheaper area passes, and now the San’in region gets to have its name represented in one–and its JR routes and then some too, of course.

JR West will be offering the JR Sanyo Sanin Pass, effective March 1, 2015, for ¥20,000 (¥19,000 if you order outside of Japan). It includes service on the Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains between Shin-Osaka and Hakata (Fukuoka), which can get you in and out of the region in either direction. Considering going straight between these two stations would cost ¥15,310 anyway, that means you can get to any other the other (literally) hundreds of stations covered for ¥4,690. Given the depreciating value of the Yen against other major currencies, that’s not much at all.

Map credit goes to Click the image to read their page about this pass and see a larger version.

Map credit goes to Click the image to read their page about this pass and see a larger version.

For a consecutive week of travel, this will cover towns to get your Edo Era kick from Hagi to Tsuwano to Matsue to Bicchu-Takahashi and to Kurashiki to even Hikone and Iga-Ueno. For the 8th century history buffs, this will take you from Nara to Izumo and to everything in between. Ocean lovers will enjoy the different views of both the Sea of Japan and the Seto Inland Sea. Even first time travelers to Japan and hit major sites on the Golden Route, like Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima, and still be able to get to a wealth of places off the severely beaten track.

It’s at times like this I sort of wish I didn’t live here, because my work visa makes me ineligible for JR Passes. For a full San’in tour, I’d like to start in Kyoto, work my way through Tottori, then Shimane, and down through Hagi. But then again, I do get to live in the beautiful Edo Era-esque city of Matsue with a view of Matsue Castle and wide breadth of choices for tea and wagashi or fresh seafood, so I guess it’s not that bad of a trade-off.

Side note: Fuji Dream Airlines is starting service from Nagoya Komaki airport to Izumo on March 29th!

Come see us here in Matsue and the rest of the San’in region, Travelers! And keep those passports handy for discounts on admission!

Who says the Shadowy Side can't be sunny?

Who says the Shadowy Side can’t be sunny?