Discounts for Travelling around Kyushu

Kyushu, the southernmost region in Japan, may be a bit far out of the way to be on most visitors' itineraries. With fame of getting around Kyushu being quite difficult, many recommend a car to travel the area, but there are also numerous passes for those who'll be using public transportation, as well as a discount for toll fares on the road. After this, there are few excuses to miss out on a visit to the wonderful island!

Regional Passes

JR Kyushu Rail Pass  (good for those using the shinkansen)
- Price: 7,000 - 18,000 (price depends on type of pass)
The JR Kyushu Pass is a discount that allows unlimited rides on all JR Kyushu train lines within the designated area during three or five consecutive days. There are three versions for this pass: Northern Kyushu area, Southern Kyushu area and All Kyushu area. This usually pays off if using the shinkansen or doing long distances and is the most commonly used pass for travelling around the region.
With the JR Kyushu Pass you can go from Fukuoka in the north all the way down to Kagoshima in the south!
(Image from Kakitabi)

Kyushu Expressway Pass - KEP (good for those driving)
Unlimited use of Kyushu expressways through the tolls at a flat rate. The prices depend on the amount of days (consecutive) you'd want to use the pass, starting at 2 days (3500 yen) to 10 days (11,500 yen). You can check the same link for details on where to rent a car.

SUNQ Kyushu  (good for long distance bus travel)
Unlimited travel on almost 2400 bus routes across Kyushu (and Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi) during either 3 or 4 consecutive days. There are 3 types of SUNQ pass: “All Kyushu 4 Days” (14,000yen), “All Kyushu 3 Days” (10,000 yen) and “Northern Kyushu 3 Days” (8,000 yen). However, this doesn't include getting from Tokyo (or elsewhere) to Kyushu, so you could combine this with a bus from Willer Express, Japan Bus Lines or Meitetsu that could get you there. Willer Express also has a Bus Pass that covers a lot of long distance trips on the main island, including a journey to Fukuoka from Osaka. You can read about my experience using Willer's buses here.

Kyushu Mankitsu Kippu(for moving around using local trains)
You can use unlimited local trains when the pass is activated (three days) at a flat rate of 10,800 yen. The good thing about this pass is that the three days don't have to be consecutive and you can also share the pass with other people. For example, you can use the pass for three days, or three people use the pass on one day.

City Day Passes

Day passes are usually a small discount card that lets you travel around a city during a day or two, usually by bus, for a cheaper price than paying for a few rides separately. Here are some for cities in the Kyushu Region:

Fukuoka City Tourist Pass
Unlimited rides on Fukuoka city's buses, trains and subways, during one calendar day. There are two versions of this pass; 820 yen for the Fukuoka pass or 1340 yen for the Fukuoka + Dazaifu city pass. Also includes discounts to some of the attractions in Fukuoka and Dazaifu.

Marutto Fukuoka Pass
Includes the pass above, as well as unlimited rides for one day on trains between different cities in Fukuoka Prefecture (such as to Dazaifu, Kurume and Yanagawa).

Fukuoka Airport Roundtrip discount
Bus roundtrip journey between Fukuoka Airport and Hakata Station or Tenjin, 500 yen.

Fukuoka Kippura
A collection of transportation passes within Fukuoka Prefecture combined with experiences, food and courses. For example, a roundtrip train ticket between Tenjin Station in Fukuoka, boat ride ticket in Yanagawa and Yanagawa speciality meal with the Yanagawa Tokumori Ticket. Organised by the Nishitetsu Train company.

Visit Miyazaki Bus Pass
One day of unlimited bus rides (on designated buses) within Miyazaki Prefecture for only 1000 yen! You can go from Takachiho Gorge to and around Miyazaki city and down to Aoshima, Kirishima or the Nichinan coast.

Shiromegurin Loop Bus
Unlimited rides on Kumamoto's Shiromegurin Bus, which goes to most of the city's attractions, during one calendar day. 400 yen. A single ride is 160 yen, so it pays off with 3 or more rides.

Kumamoto City Tram day pass
Unlimited rides for one day on the city's tram system that runs east and west in Kumamoto City. 500 yen. A single ride is 170 yen, so it pays off with 3 or more rides.

Waku-waku Pass
Unlimited rides for one day on Kumamoto Prefecture buses and city trams within a designated area. It costs ¥700, ¥900 or ¥2000 depending on the area you want to go to.

Nagasaki City Tram day pass
Unlimited rides for one day on Nagasaki's streetcar system. 500 yen for adults, 250 yen for kids. A single ride is 120 yen, so it pays off with 5 or more rides. Note that you can't buy this pass on the tram, only at Nagasaki Station's Tourist Information Center.

Welcome Cute Pass
The pass is valid on all Kagoshima City Transport Bureau bus routes, tram lines, and ferry lines and includes some discounts at local sites entry fees. One (1000 yen) or two (1500 yen) day passes available. 

Unlimited rides on Sakurajima's Island View Bus, which circles the island stopping at most of its attractions, during one calendar day. 500 yen. A single ride costs between 120 and 440 yen depending on the distance travelled, so it's recommended for those who'll be going to Yunohira Observatory.
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(Photo from AQUA Geo Graphic)

Okinawa passes

Okinawa is part of the Kyushu Region too, but because it's so far away and often done in a separate trip I've included it in a different category.

Okinawa Island Pass (good for those flying between Okinawa islands)
Flights from Naha (on the main Okinawa island) to Ishigaki, Miyako or Kumejima. Domestic flights can add up quite a bit, especially to smaller airports, so if you're planning to fly you could consider this (of course comparing first with the price of buying tickets individually).

Naha Monorail Day Pass
Unlimited rides for one or two days on Naha city's monorail. 800 yen for the day pass, 1400 yen for the two day pass.

Ishigaki Bus Pass
Unlimited rides on Ishigaki island's buses (sightseeing bus not included), during one calendar day (1000 yen) or 5 consecutive days (2000 yen, called the Michikusa Pass).
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These are all the Kyushu passes I know of! Hopefully I'll be going to Kyushu on my next trip and will be able to try out the Miyazaki Pass. Are there any discounts I've forgotten?

Sam Lesmana