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a VirtualTourist member


JR vs. Subway confusion


Is anyone familiar with rail transportation around Fukuoka? I'm going to be living there for around 3 months, so I'm trying to figure out the details.

From where I'm staying, my destination would be Akasaka station, near the "heart" of the city.

From what I understand, I have 2 options:

I can walk 5 minutes to the local JR station, ride to Hakata station, and then transfer to the Kuko subway line until I reach Akasaka.


I can walk 15 minutes to the Nishitetsu Kaizuka line and ride the same subway train, without transfers, all the way to Akasaka. (At least, that's what it looks like based on their subway map. Please correct me if I'm wrong).

Here's my problem: Since I'm going to be staying for 90 days, I'd like to get a 90-day prepaid pass. So, if I choose the first option, will I need to get both a prepaid subway pass AND a prepaid JR pass? Or do they have a "one size fits all" pass that works for both? Both the JR and Subway sites aren't very helpful. Obviously I don't mind walking for 10 more minutes if it means I can save money.

Thank you in advance!

4 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Brussels

See "From March 13, the following prepaid cards will all be valid on all transportation in Fukuoka:
- SUGOCA (by JR Kyushu)
- nimoca (by Nishitetsu Railways)
- Hayakaken (by Fukuoka City, the operator of the subway lines)
- Suica (by JR East)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Tokyo

The previous post linking to the Japan Guide forum is a good source of information, but it doesn't truly answer the question in which card to buy or which is cheaper.

If you are going purely on which is cheaper, I'd say the subway pass is better. However, the Nishitetsu is more limited from the map. The JR Lines and subway will be more expensive, but might offer more options to get on and off, but honestly not much more. I've never been to Fukuoka, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

As for the actual pass, obviously, if you take the Nishitetsu, you can only get the "nimoca" card, but if you take the JR+Subway, you might have to get either the JR SUGOCA or the subway Hayakaken. You would have to ask the staff if you have to buy one or the other in that case. In Tokyo, if you combine a subway and JR line pass, you have to use the subway's Pasmo for a monthly pass which is valid on both lines. You can't use a Suica to buy a monthly pass to use both lines. I doubt you have to buy two passes, one for JR and one for the Subway, but I could be wrong.

I would NOT use a Suica in Fukuoka. It's limited and a commuter pass is probably not possible.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Thank you (both) for your replies! That helps tremendously.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

There seems to be some confusion here. Not all stations are JR stations, and if you have something like a JR Pass you can't use them on non-JR rail lines. Akasaka
is the city subway, and you need a separate ticket (or a monthly or other pass if you will be staying 3 mos and using it a lot). There are also day passes for the subway for about 600 yen or so. The Nishitetsu is also a private rail line and not
related to either JR or the city subways.
By the way since you are staying in Fukuoka for a while, one good site with info on what to see is at

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