Japan Rail Pass Tickets
Tickets
English
JPY
Language
Currency
Contents

Unlock the Best of Shikoku | The Essential JR Shikoku Pass Guide

Japan Rail PassJR Shikoku Pass

The Shikoku Railway Company, also known as JR Shikoku, operates an extensive network of train lines within Shikoku Japan's smallest main island, known for its Buddhist pilgrimage route, mountains, and island-hopping adventures. With the JR Shikoku Pass in your hand, you'll enjoy unlimited rides on JR Shikoku trains, including local, rapid, and even limited express services, for a designated period. This flexibility lets you design your ideal Shikoku itinerary, hopping between cultural gems, historical landmarks, and hidden natural treasures at your own pace.

Ready to discover the magic of Shikoku? Read on to learn about your different JR Shikoku Pass options, what to expect, top sights in Shikoku, and other essentials for an unforgettable adventure!

Navigate your JR Shikoku Pass guide

  1. What is the JR Shikoku Pass?
  2. Why get the JR Shikoku Pass?
  3. Things to know before booking your JR Shikoku Pass
  4. Your JR Shikoku Pass options
  5. Areas covered with the JR Shikoku Pass
  6. What rail lines are covered with my Japan Rail Shikoku Pass? Is the Shinkansen included?
  7. How to buy & activate a JR Shikoku Pass
  8. Top sights & things to do in Shikoku
  9. Visit Shikoku with your JR Shikoku Pass: Your itinerary
  10. Frequently asked questions about the JR Shikoku Pass

What is the JR Shikoku Pass?

The JR Shikoku Pass is a game-changer for exploring Shikoku, Japan. It’s a special pass by the Shikoku Railway Company (JR Shikoku) that allows foreign visitors to travel unrestricted on their train network for a predetermined number of consecutive days. Imagine zipping between all four prefectures of Shikoku — Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime, and Kagawa — with the freedom to discover hidden gems or revisit must-see sights, all while saving money, time, and energy.

Why get the JR Shikoku Pass?

A couple on a train station in Japan
  • Unlimited train travel: Travel seamlessly across Shikoku with unlimited rides on JR Shikoku lines, including scenic local trains, speedy rapid trains, and comfortable limited expresses.
  • More than just JR:  Your adventure isn't limited to JR! The pass grants access to trams in Matsuyama and Kochi, letting you explore vibrant cityscapes with ease. Plus, experience the charm of private railway lines like the Tosa Kuroshio Railway, known for its scenic views of the rugged Pacific coastline, lush rice paddies, and charming fishing villages.
  • Ferry adventures included: The JR Shikoku Pass covers ferry rides between Shikoku and Shodoshima, allowing you to explore its olive groves, art sites, and stunning coastlines.
  • Discounted bus travel:  Travel efficiently between Matsuyama and Kochi with a special discounted fare on the Nangoku Express Bus. Save time and money while enjoying a comfortable journey.

Things to know before booking your JR Shikoku Pass

  • The JR Shikoku Pass is exclusively for foreign visitors with temporary tourist visas entering Japan for leisure purposes.
  • This pass does not allow the use of first-class green cars nor does it cover seat reservations.
  • You cannot buy the JR Shikoku Pass more than 3 months before your trip due to the validity period of the exchange order. Don't wait too close to your departure date, either!
  • Choose the pass that best suits your travel style – 3, 4, 5, or 7 consecutive days of unlimited travel. This pass only needs to be activated once at the beginning and can be used as many times as needed, as long as it is still valid. You do not even need to get it stamped at each station.
  • The pass allows you to travel to and from Shikoku up to Kojima Station (near Okayama).
  • The Wakayama-Tokushima ferry route offers discounted fares to pass-holders.
  • The Shinkansen is not included in the JR Shikoku Pass.
  • JR Shikoku passes are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Your JR Hokkaido Pass options

Sakura Train (Kotoden Kotohira Line) Ayagawa Town, Kagawa Prefecture

All Shikoku Rail 3-Day Pass

With this pass, you can ride JR trains and trams in Kotoden, Iyotetsu, Tosaden, the Tosa Kuroshio Railway, and the Asa Kaigan Railway. This JR Shikoku Pass is perfect for short stays and maximizes your time with unlimited train travel for 3 consecutive days. It can also be used on some ferries to and from Shodoshima Island, as well as on buses within the island.

JR Shikoku Dosan Line Limited Express

All Shikoku Rail 4-Day Pass

Strike a balance between exploration and relaxation with 4 days of unlimited JR Shikoku train travel. Hop on Shikoku JR trains and trams in Kotoden, Iyotetsu, Tosaden, Tosa Kuroshio Railway, and the Asa Kaigan Railway at a comfortable pace. Additionally, it is available for use on some ferries that go to Shodoshima Island and on buses that go around Shodoshima.

JR Shikoku-Yosan Line

All Shikoku Rail 5-Day Pass

This 5-day pass grants access to extensive Shikoku JR trains and trams in Kotoden, Iyotetsu, Tosaden, Tosa Kuroshio Railway, and the Asa Kaigan Railway, allowing you to delve into local culture, hidden gems, and all the must-see destinations across the island. It can also be used on some ferries that travel to Shodoshima Island and on buses that travel within Shodoshima.

Train running on a railway bridge over the river, Takamatsu city, Kagawa, Shikoku, Japan

All Shikoku Rail 7-Day Pass

Experience Shikoku's full spectrum with unrestricted train travel for 7 days. This pass is ideal for those seeking an in-depth exploration. Take the JR trains as well as the Kotoden, Iyotetsu, Tosaden, Tosa Kuroshio Railway, and Asa Kaigan Railway trains and trams to explore the island. It is also compatible with certain buses on Shodoshima and ferries to Shodoshima Island.

What rail lines are covered with my Japan Rail Shikoku Pass? Is the Shinkansen included?

The JR Shikoku Pass unlocks a world of train travel across Shikoku Island, granting you access to JR Shikoku's entire network as well as Kotoden, Iyotetsu, Tosaden, Tosa Kuroshio Railway, and Asa Kaigan Railway trains and trams. This means you can avail of local trains, ideal for relaxing sightseeing and soaking up the scenery; rapid trains for efficient travel between major towns and cities; and even limited express trains, the fastest option for longer distances.

 However, it is crucial to remember that the JR Shikoku Pass does not apply to Shinkansen bullet trains, which are run by independent businesses. For limited express trains within Shikoku, while the JR Shikoku Pass allows you on board, some require advanced seat reservations (usually at an additional cost), which you can typically arrange after activating your pass in Japan.

How to buy & activate a JR Shikoku Pass

Traveling on Shikoku's railways is effortless with the JR Shikoku Pass! Here's a quick guide to get you started:

A woman opening an envelope on a desk at home

Get your pass

You'll receive a JR Shikoku Pass exchange order via email after your purchase.

Head to a JR redemption office - JR Shikoku Pass

Head to a JR redemption office

 Locate a JR Pass exchange counter at major stations.

A woman at a ticket counter

Exchange your order

Present your passport and the exchange order to the staff at the counter.

Woman at a train station in Japan

Activate and go

The staff will assist you in exchanging your order for a physical JR Shikoku Pass and activate it for your chosen travel dates. Now, you're ready to explore Shikoku!

Important information:

  • While the JR Shikoku Pass grants unlimited rides on JR Shikoku trains, some limited express trains require seat reservations, typically done in Japan after activating your pass. Check with JR Shikoku staff or ticketing machines for details on specific trains.
  • Please reserve passes separately for each visitor, as there can only be one pass reserved per order.
  • Provide your full name, residential address, and accurate personal data that can be cross-referenced with your passport.
  • You should activate your pass on the day you wish to begin exploring the Shikoku rail system.



Book your JR Passes

JR West Kansai Area Rail Pass
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
2 hr. - 96 hr.
More details
from
¥2,800
5 Day JR Kansai Wide Area Pass
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
2 hr.
More details
from
¥12,000
JR Pass: Kansai with Hiroshima or Hokuriku
Free Cancellation
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
1 hr. - 168 hr.
More details
from
¥17,000
7 Days Kansai-Hokuriku Area Pass
Free Cancellation
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
168 hr.
More details
from
¥19,000
5 Day JR Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass
Free Cancellation
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
10 hr. 9 min.
More details
from
¥15,000
JR Pass: Whole Japan Access with Ordinary Seats
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
10 hr. 9 min.
More details
from
¥50,000
5 Day JR Okayama-Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass
Free Cancellation
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
120 hr.
More details
from
¥17,000

Visit Shikoku with your JR Shikoku Pass: Your itinerary

Kochi Castle Tower, Japan

3-Day Shikoku adventure

  • Day 1
    Arrive in Takamatsu (Kagawa) and explore the Ritsurin Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Savor the local specialty, Sanuki udon, for lunch. In the afternoon, take a scenic limited express train (around 1 hour and 40 minutes) to Matsuyama (Ehime). Familiarize yourself with the history of Matsuyama Castle and unwind in the Dogo Onsen, one of Japan's oldest hot springs.
  • Day 2
    Dedicate the morning to a thrilling experience – crossing the Iya Valley's vine bridges (Tokushima), accessible by local train with a change at Koboke (around 2 hours 30 minutes from Matsuyama). In the afternoon, travel by limited express train (around 1 hour 45 minutes) to Kochi (Kochi). Explore the vibrant Kochi Castle and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Kochi City.
  • Day 3
    Relax on a scenic boat ride along the crystal-clear Shimanto River (Kochi), reachable by local trains with a change at Nakamura (around 2 hours, 15 minutes from Kochi). Reflect on your Shikoku adventure as you travel back to Takamatsu by limited express train (around 2 hours, 40 minutes).
Shikoku pilgrimage Kan'onji temple and Jinnein temple in Kagawa, Japan

4-Day Shikoku escape

  • Day 1 & 2
    You can follow the itinerary for Days 1 & 2 of the 3-Day Shikoku Adventure.
  • Day 3
    Go on a spiritual journey along the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Visit a couple of temples in Matsuyama, like Ishitetsu-ji Temple and Ekoin-ji Temple, and experience the serenity of these sacred sites. In the afternoon, travel by limited express train (around 1 hour and 40 minutes) to Tokushima City (Tokushima).
  • Day 4
    Hike or take the ropeway to the summit of Mount Ishizuchi, the highest peak in Shikoku, for beautiful views. In the afternoon, travel back to Takamatsu by limited express train (around 1 hour, 50 minutes).
Yoshino River Flow and Oboke and Koboke Gorges in Tokushima, Japan

5-Day Shikoku unveiled

  • Day 1 & 2
    Follow the itinerary for Days 1 & 2 of the 3-Day Shikoku Adventure.
  • Day 3
    Delve deeper into the Iya Valley. Explore the Okumura Dam, a marvel of modern engineering, and hike through the scenic Koboke Gorge.  In the afternoon, travel by limited express train (around 1 hour 45 minutes) to Kochi.
  • Day 4
    Take a day trip to Awaji Island, accessible by ferry from Tokushima Port (around 1 hour, 10 minutes ferry ride). Explore the island's beautiful coastline, witness the iconic Naruto whirlpools, and savor the fresh seafood bounty. Return to Tokushima City by evening.
  • Day 5
    Relax in a traditional Japanese garden at Tokushima Awa Sunpark before your onward journey. Travel back to Takamatsu by limited express train (around 1 hour, 30 minutes).

Frequently asked questions about the JR Shikoku Pass

What’s the JR Shikoku Pass and what does it cover?

The JR Shikoku Pass, offered by the Shikoku Railway Company (JR Shikoku), is a cost-effective travel solution for exploring Shikoku, Japan. It grants foreign visitors unlimited rides on JR Shikoku trains (local, rapid, and even limited express) for a designated number of consecutive days within the validity period. This covers travel across all four prefectures of Shikoku: Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime, and Kagawa.

Is the JR Shikoku Pass really worth it?

Absolutely! The JR Shikoku Pass is a fantastic deal, especially for multi-city trips across Shikoku. With unlimited train travel, you'll save money compared to buying individual tickets. The flexibility it offers allows you to design your dream itinerary, hopping on and off trains to explore hidden gems and bustling cities at your own pace.

Is the JR Shikoku Pass easy to use?

Absolutely!  The JR Shikoku Pass is designed for ease of use. Once activated, simply present your pass to train staff when boarding JR Shikoku trains (local, rapid, and limited express) within the validity period. Remember to validate your pass at the beginning of each train journey by inserting it into the reader at the platform. Enjoy the scenic train rides and explore Shikoku at your own pace!

Does the JR Shikoku Pass cover local buses on Shikoku?

Yes, JR Shikoku Pass can also be used on some ferries to and from Shodoshima Island, as well as on buses within the island. These facilities are quite limited, and it is recommended to make proper inquiries before booking your pass.

What are some popular day trips from major Shikoku cities like Matsuyama or Kochi accessible with the JR Shikoku Pass?

With the JR Shikoku Pass connected areas, you can easily go on day trips from major cities. From Matsuyama, take a scenic limited express train to Iya Valley (Tokushima) and experience the thrill of crossing the vine bridges. Kochi offers a charming getaway to the Shimanto River, a haven for nature lovers, accessible by local trains with a change at Nakamura. These are just a few popular examples. The benefit of having the JR Shikoku Pass is that you can conveniently hop on a day trip to a place of your choice, any time.

Is the Shikoku Pilgrimage route easily accessible with the JR Shikoku Pass?

Yes! The JR Shikoku Pass is a perfect companion for experiencing the Shikoku Pilgrimage, a network of 88 sacred temples. While some remote temples may require short bus rides or taxi connections, most are accessible by JR Shikoku trains. Plan your itinerary to effectively utilize the JR Shikoku Pass and embrace the spiritual journey.

What is the luggage policy for JR Shikoku trains?

JR Shikoku trains are generous with luggage allowances. You can generally bring two pieces of luggage with a maximum total size of 203 cm (length, width, and height) free of charge. For oversized or overweight luggage, additional fees may apply. Check with JR Shikoku staff for specific details.

What’s not covered by the JR Shikoku Pass?

The JR Shikoku Pass excludes travel on bullet trains (Shinkansen), private lines, expressway buses, and some local buses. Additionally, seat reservations on some limited express trains may require a separate fee  (usually purchasable after activating your JR Shikoku Pass in Japan).

What happens if I lose my JR Shikoku Pass?

Unfortunately, lost JR Shikoku passes cannot be replaced. Safeguard your pass throughout your trip to avoid any inconvenience.

Can I get a refund on my JR Shikoku Pass?

The JR Shikoku Pass is generally non-refundable.