Kansai Thru Pass sample itineraries

There are lots of NON JR trains in Kansai. Most of them can be taken by Kansai Thru Pass.
There are lots of NON JR trains in Kansai. Most of them can be taken by Kansai Thru Pass.

If you go to Osaka, Kansai Thru Pass may be your choice. But as I explained about this pass on the post, How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare, we need to take a train many many times. And I compared single fare and the price of pass. But it may be complicated for some readers. Some of you may be overwhelmed. So I show you more detailed itineraries in this post. I hope you can understand this pass much easier.

*All fares and schedules are as of February 2013. But the price of Kansai Thru Pass was updated to new price on April 1, 2014.

Ride a train/bus for 2,000 yen worth or more in one day

The price of pass is 4,000 yen for 2 days and 5,200 yen for 3 days. So you have to ride a train or bus or getting discount at attraction for 2,000 yen (1,740 yen for 3 days pass) value or more. Otherwise you can never make a worth of the pass.
All following itineraries require 1800 yen total fare or more. So you can pick two or three itineraries to combine.

In all sample itineraries, departure time is around 9:00 am. Of course you can start earlier if you want. But some of attractions open around 10:00 am. Please check the hours for the attractions that you want to visit.

Himeji, Kobe and Tarumi

Of course, spring is a good season to visit Himeji castle. ©JNTO
Of course, spring is a good season to visit Himeji castle. ©JNTO

If you go to Himeji and Kobe in one day, this pass gives you a great deal.

Depart from Namaba : Namba 09:10 (Hanshin train) 09:30 Amagasaki 09:36 (Hanshin train) 10:27 Sanyo Tarumi (840 yen)
Depart from Umeda : Umeda 09:27 (Hanshin train) 10:27 (750 yen)

Visit Mitsui Outlet Park Marine Pia Kobe
You can skip this point. The reason why I put it in this itinerary is that the trip is too long if we go to Himeji directly by Hanshin and Sanyo railways. This is not Must-See spot for the tourist. But you can see the world longest suspension bridge, Akashi Ohashi bridge here. And you can shop and eat here. I think it is nice place to take a break. It is only 9 minutes away from the station by foot. If you skip this spot, you can spend more time at Kobe or Himeji.

Sanyo Tarumi 12:00 (Sanyo train) 12:39 Sanyo Himeji (740 yen)

Visit UNESCO World Heritage site Himeji Castle and have lunch break. You can get 20% off for Himeji Castle admission by Kansai Thru Pass.

Sanyo Himeji 15:04 (Sanyo train) 16:08 Sannomiya (Walk) Sannoiya Hanadokeimae 16:20 (Kobe subway) 16:24 (940 yen + 200 yen = 1140 yen)

Visit Kobe port area. You can enjoy Kobe port cruise if you want. You can get a discount for cruise and Kobe Port tower. You can have a dinner at Kobe before heading back to Osaka.

To Namba : Sannomiya 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:34 Amagasaki 20:39 (Hanshin) 20:59 Namba (400 yen)
To Umeda : 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:42 Umeda (310 yen)

Total fare is 3120 yen from/to Namba and 2940 yen from/to Umeda.

Kobe and Arima hot springs

Taiko-hashi bridge in Arima hot springs. If you want to stay, it is a nice place too. © Kobe Convention & Visitors Association/© JNTO
Taiko-hashi bridge in Arima hot springs. If you want to stay, it is a nice place too. © Kobe Convention & Visitors Association/© JNTO

Arima hot springs is one of most three famous hot springs and one of the three oldest hot springs. Actually it is most accessible hot springs from Osaka. You can stay there but I put this hot springs as day use in this trip.

From Umeda : Umeda 09:03 (Hanshin train) 09:36 Sannomiya 09:49 (Kobe subway and Hokushin Kyuko) 10:00 Tanigami 10:06 (Kobe railway train) 10:17 Arimaguchi 10:19 (Kobe railway train) 10:23 Arima Onsen (310 yen + 900 yen = 1210 yen)
From Namba : Namba 08:45 (Hanshin train) 09:02 Amagasaki 09:07 (Hanshin train) 09:32 Sannomiya 09:49 (Kobe subway and Hokushin Kyuko) 10:00 Tanigami 10:06 (Kobe railway train) 10:17 Arimaguchi 10:19 (Kobe railway train) 10:23 Arima Onsen (400 yen + 900 yen = 1300 yen)

Visit Arima hot springs, Kinnoyu (Gold springs), Ginnoyu (Silver springs) or Taiko no Yu. You can get discount to go these hot springs. These hot springs open from 9:00 am. By the way, Taiko is a name of title of Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

If you want to have more relaxation, you can use daily plan of high end hotels. Arima Grand Hotel has daily hot springs use plan at 3500 yen (4000 yen on weekend). It includes hot springs and 2000 yen voucher. You can use this voucher for shopping or meal.

Arima Onsen 14:09 (Kobe railway train) 14:13 Arimaguchi 14:29 (Kobe railway train) 14:39 14:41 Tanigami (Hokushin Kyuko and Kobe subway) 14:51 Sannomiya (900 yen)

You can visit anywhere in Kobe you want, such as Kitano, Kobe port.

To Namba : Sannomiya 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:34 Amagasaki 20:39 (Hanshin) 20:59 Namba (400 yen)
To Umeda : 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:42 Umeda (310 yen)

Total fare is 2600 yen from/to Namba and 2420 yen from/to Umeda.

Kyoto Highlight

Autumn in Arashiyama is breathtaking. ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Autumn in Arashiyama is breathtaking. ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

You can complete most of Kyoto Must-See spots in one day!

From Namba : Namba 08:59 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 09:05 Yodoyabashi 09:10 (Keihan Ltd Exp train) 09:58 Shichijo (200 yen + 600 yen = 800 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 9:01 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 09:05 Yodoyabashi 09:10 (Keihan Ltd Exp train) 09:58 Shichijo (200 yen + 600 yen = 800 yen)

Shichijo, Kiyomizu-Gojo, Gion-Shijo and Sanjo are the gateway station to Higashiyama area. There are tons of spots there. It is impossible to visit most of spots in half day. If you really want to see this area, don’t try this itinerary. Actually even one full day is not enough to cover most of spot.
In this itinerary, I assume to visit Sanjusankendo (三十三間堂), Kiyomizudera temple (清水寺) and Yasaka Jinja shrine (八坂神社).

Kawaramachi 13:05 (Hankyu train) 13:06 Karasuma 13:09 (Kyoto subway Karasuma line) 13:19 Kitaoji (Kyoto bus 12-20 minutes) Kinkakujido (金閣寺道) bus stop (150 yen + 250 yen + 220 yen = 620 yen)

Actually Kyoto city bus #12 goes straight to Kinkakujido bus stop from Kawaramachi or Sanjo-Keihan. This is the easiest. But it is affected by traffic congestion. When you explore Kyoto, try to use trains as much as possible. That is a key to save your time. From Kitaoji to Kinkakujido, you can take #101, #102 or M1. Bus comes every 10 to 15 minutes. Kikakuji temple is 5 minutes walk from bus stop.

Kikakujido (Kyoto city bus 5 minutes) Kitano-Hakubaicho 15:06 (Keifuku railway a.k.a. “Randen”) 15:17 Katabiranotsuji 15:25 (Keifuku railway a.k.a. “Randen”) 15:32 Arashiyama (220 yen + 200 yen = 420 yen)

Kitano-Hakubaisho station is only 3 bus stops away from Kikakujido. You can walk if you want. It takes about 20 minutes. Keifuku railway is a small local railway. It is like a street car.
In Arashiyama, you don’t have much time to visit temples and shrines. You can walk along Katsura river. And you may be able to ride Sagano sightseeing tram night train. But Sagano sightseeing train is not covered by Kansai Thru Pass.

Arashiyama 20:03 (Hankyu train) 20:11 Katsura 20:21 (Hankyu train) 20:55 Umeda 21:00 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 21:08 Namba (390 yen. If you go to Namba, add 230 yen for subway)

If you have just round trip to Kyoto, it is not enough to use Kansai Thru Pass. But if you visit several places, this pass gives you a great deal.

Total fare is 2230 yen from/to Umeda and 2460 yen from/to Namba.

Nara and south Kyoto one day

There are a big number of Torii at Fushimi Inari shrine. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO
There are a big number of Torii at Fushimi Inari shrine. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO

If you visit only Nara, it is not enough to get 1800 yen worth. So I combine south Kyoto and Nara because it is the closet place from Nara.

From Namba : Osaka-Namba 09:01 (Kintetsu railway Rapid Express) 09:39 Kintetsu-Nara (540 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 8:45 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 08:54 Namba (walk) Osaka-Namba 09:01 (Kintetsu railway Rapid Express) 09:39 Kintetsu-Nara (230 yen + 540 yen = 770 yen)

Subway Namba station is very close to Kintetsu Osaka-Namba station. If you miss 9:01 train, next train comes in 10 minutes.

Most of places in Nara can be accessed by walk from the station. Please see the post, How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient to get more details.

Nara 13:43 (Kintetsu railway Rapid Express) 14:24 Kintetsu-Tanbabashi (walk) Tanbabashi 14:33 (Keihan railway local train) 14:40 Fushimi-Inari (540 yen + 200 yen = 740 yen)

Kintetsu-Tanbabashi station is located at same place as Keihan’s Tanbabashi station. 9 minutes is way enough to transfer. Both stations are not big terminal stations. You cannot miss it.

Fushimi Inari shrine is 10 minutes away from the station.

Fushimi-Inari 15:39 (Keihan railway local train) 15:54 Chushojima 16:04 (Keihan train Uji line local train) 16:18 Uji (300 yen)

Uji 18:02 (Keihan railway Uji line local train) 18:16 Chushojima 18:21 (Keihan railwa Limited Express) 19:04 Yodoyabashi (Osaka subway Midousuji line 10 minutes ride) Namba or Umeda (400 yen + 200 yen = 600 yen)

Total fare is 2180 yen to/from Namba and 2410 yen to/from Umeda.

If you have more, you can go to Gion in Kyoto. After you finish Uji sightseeing, you can take the train to Gion-Shijo at Chushojima.

Uji 18:02 (Keihan railway Uji line local train) 18:16 Chushojima 18:21 (Keihan railwa Limited Express) 18:33 Gion-Shijo

You can enjoy dinner and walk in Kyoto if you want. The last train departs at 23:06 from Gion-Shijo. You can transfer subway at Yodoyabashi from this last train. You still have lots of time for Gion, Kyoto.

Yoshino. Recommended for cherry blossom season

Yoshino must be the best Sakura spot in Japan! ©NARA TOURISM FEDERATION/©JNTO
Yoshino must be the best Sakura spot in Japan! ©NARA TOURISM FEDERATION/©JNTO

Yoshino is located at south part of Nara. It is very famous as cherry blossom viewing spots. But the pass does not cover all part of the trip to Yoshino. You have to pay some extra to get there.

From Namba : Namba 08:56 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:03 Tennoji (walk) Abenobashi 09:20 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:53 Yoshino (230 yen + 690 yen = 920 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 08:47 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:03 Tennoji (walk) Abenobashi 09:20 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:53 Yoshino (270 yen + 690 yen = 960 yen)

The pass cover the trip to Tsubosakayama station. It is still 50 minutes away from Yoshino. The extra fare is 420 yen for one way.

Once you arrive in Yoshino, you can enjoy as much as you want until the last train depart at 22:12.

Total fare is 1840 yen to/from Namba and 1920 yen to/from Umeda.
*Above fare is the worth that is covered by the pass. You need to pay another 840 yen on top.

Mt. Koya one day trip

There are lots of places to see in Mt. Koya. ©JNTO
There are lots of places to see in Mt. Koya. ©JNTO

If you want to visit Mt. Koya as day trip, Kansai Thru Pass is one of the choice. But if you want to stay in Mt. Koya, Koyasan World Heritage Ticket is much better choice.

From Namba : Namba 09:01 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:49 Hashimoto 09:54 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:31 Gokurakubashi 10:36 (Cabel car) 10:41 Koyasan (850 yen + 380 yen = 1230 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 08:47 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 08:56 Namba 09:01 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:49 Hashimoto 09:54 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:31 Gokurakubashi 10:36 (Cabel car) 10:41 Koyasan (230 yen + 850 yen + 380 yen = 1460 yen)

You can get the worth easily to have just return trip to Mt. Koya. And also you can take a bus and get some discount at several temples there.

Total fare is 2460 yen to/from Namba and 2920 yen to/from Umeda.

311 thoughts on “Kansai Thru Pass sample itineraries”

  1. Dear Takeshi-san,

    First, thank you for all this wonderful information. I apologize if you already replied to this question before, but I have a question:
    I am traveling with 2 other people, and we will arrive in Kyoto by night bus from Tokyo. We will spend one week in Kyoto, doing an excursion to Himeji castle and Osaka on two separate days, and on the 8th day we will be spending one night in Koyasan before heading to Kansai airport on 9th day to fly back to Tokyo.
    Do you recommend:
    1. Buying individual tickets
    2. Buying Kansas through pass
    3. Buying JR western pass

    Many thanks for your help and advice.

    Best,

    Noemi

    1. Hi Noemi san,

      If you want to save your cost as much as possible, Kansai thru pass 3 days is the best choice. But when you go to Himeji, you need to change trains once at least. There is no direct ways by Kansai thru pass.

      If you want to get easy access to Himeji, you may use Kansai area pass one day for this trip only and get Kansai thru pass 2 days for Osaka and Koyasan. You can take Special rapid train from Kyoto to Himeji which is direct train service.
      http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/rapid-service/special-rapid-service.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hello,
    I am planning a 17 days of trip in Japan. I have already purchased 7 days JR Pass. I would like to be optimum, meaning that within the time there I want to use the pass as much as I can with purchasing other regional passes.

    I will arrive to KIX and will be staying for the first three nights in Kyoto. So my idea is not to start to use the JR pass straight away when I land. I would rather use other possible passes to explore Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Mt. Koyasan area and then activate my JR pass to when I travel on 5th or 6th day such as to Hiroshima/Miyajima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Kanazawa, Takayama, and Tokyo area. I would like to spend some 7 to 9 days around Tokyo including day trips to Nikko, Fiji five lakes, Kamakura and other attractions I can not remember at this time.

    My question is which pass or combination of passes would be more reasonable for the first 4 or 5 days at Kansai area ? I have 3 nights of reservation in Kyoto already but I have not booked any places other than this yet, so I am little bit still flexible.

    Thanks and best regards
    Halid

    1. Hi Halid,

      There are some deals available in Kyoto. Please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      Kansai thru pass is the best choice for Nara and Mt. Koya.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      If you visit Osaka from Kyoto as day trip, you may use Kansai thru pass too. If you stay in Osaka, you may use other local deal.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Mt. Koya is more accessible from Osaka than Kyoto. Nara can be accessed from either Kyoto or Osaka. Trip time is almost same.

      So make sure how much you want to spend for Kyoto and decide how you visit other areas, Osaka, Mt. Koya and Nara. And then you may find which pass you need.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hello again. Thanks for the quick reply. May i ask again what are my options other than approx. 25 mins walk from Keihan Railway Kiyomizu-gojo going to Kiyomizu-dera temple. Can we ride bus here or just taxi? Is ICOCA accepted as payment or cash only? Will be using the Kyoto-Osa 1day sightseeing pass. Lastly, what should we say to the taxi driver for the drop-off. We are group of 10.

    Thank you so much in advance, Takeshi! Almost complete with my itinerary.

    Best,
    Romz

    1. Hi Romz,

      There is no convenient bus from Kiyomizu-Gojo. If you don’t want to walk for 25 minutes, take a bus from Gion-Shijo or Shichijo.
      http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/en/location/

      If you take a taxi from Kyoto station or Gion, I think the fare is around 1500 yen. You can tell just “Kiyomizudera” to taxi driver. I don’t know about the fare from Kiyomizu-Gojo to take a taxi. Most of taxi can accommodate max 4 passengers. You need three taxies.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hello Takeshi,
    Based on your itinerary for Arashiyama, is it possible to go there first (half day) then visit Kinkaku-ji, then Nishiki Market. From Tennoji, will take midosuji line towards Shin-Osaka, alight in Nishinakajima-minamigata. Transfer to Hankyu-Kyoto line and alight in Katsura and transfer towards Arashiyama Hankyu. From here to Kinkakuji, will take Randen Keifuku. Transfer from Katabiranotsuji to Kitano- Hakubaicho. What is the bus no. here going to Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)? From there, how do i transfer to Nishiki Market? And Then back to Tennoji Station. Hope this is clear. Thank you so much again.
    Best,
    -Romz

    1. Hi Romz,

      I recommend you to transfer from subway to Hankyu at Umeda. Because only local train stops at Nishinakajima-minamigata. If you transfer at Umeda, you can take rapid service train, such as limited express or express. Surcharge is not required to take these express trains.
      http://www.hankyu.co.jp/global/common/pdf/traffic/routemap/kyoto/routemap.pdf

      Just take a city bus from Kinkakuji to Nishiki market. #205 takes you to Kawaramachi from Kinakakuji.
      http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/koho/eng/access/img/pdf/ENG160319(map).pdf

      Nishiki Market is near Kawaramachi. You can take Hankyu railway from Kawaramachi and take same route as Hankyu to Subway.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    Can you give me your advice on what pass should I use..

    I will be arriving in Kyoto from Tokyo, sightseeing in Kyoto for a day and stay a night in Kyoto.

    From Kyoto, I planned to go to Nara and do some sightseeing. After that, I will continue to Osaka.

    I will stay in Osaka for two nights. One full day of sightseeing in Osaka.

    Will it worth it if I buy Kansai thru pass 3 days?

  6. Thanks a lot, Takeshi. To be clear, Kansai one pass is also an ICOCA card with special discounts to specific shops/attractions. I can still avail the haruka discount RT tennoji, right? This pass is not limited to 1 or 2 day like the Kansai thru pass. And no expiration date.
    2nd question please. When will the 3 day Kansai thru pass starts? What is the validity period? Appreciate much the help!
    -Romz

    1. Hi Romz,

      You have understood Kansai one pass. It’s valid for 10 years from the last day of usage. So if you come back Japan in Jun 1, 2019 and use this card, it will be valid until Jun 1, 2029.

      You can start using Kansai thru pass anytime. You don’t need to use it in consecutive days. You can use it, like day 2, 4 and 6. It’s valid until March, 2018.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Thank you Takeshi! For day 1 and day 6, i can use Icoca card right? I will buy this card to get discount in haruka for airport transfer. Great help!
    -Romz

  8. Hi! First off, this is a very good and informative blog. But, I am still confused as to what passes should I get considering this itinerary of mine:

    Day 1 arrival at KIX (7am)
    Head to Kyoto (Stay for 2nights)
    Day 3 (half day kyoto tour then transfer to Namba, Osaka)
    Day 4- Nara
    Day 5- kobe and himeji
    Day 6-7 Osaka sightseeing

    Thanks!!!

  9. Hello Takeshi,
    Is the KTP for 3 days ok for my Day 2-4 itinerary? Im staying in Tennoji area:
    Day 1: Osaka Castle-Umeda-Dotonbori
    Day 2: Fushimi Inari – Kiyomizudera- Yasaka Shrine- Gion- Silver Pavilion
    Day 3: Kyoto – Arashiyama – Kinkakuji – Nishiki Market
    Day 4: Nara –
    Day 5: Mt. Koya daytrip (optional)
    Day 6: USJ

    Thanks in advance for the reply!

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        I have found your blog to be super useful in planning for visit to Japan. It’s so packed with information!

        I would like to know whether the KTP for 3 days is good for my 6 Day itinerary in Kansai region. I’m staying in Osaka-Namba area:

        Day 1: Osaka Castle – Umeda – Dotonbori – Back to Namba
        Day 2: Osaka Namba to Kyoto – Yamazaki Distillery – Kyoto Distillery – Fushimi Inari – Stay in Kyoto
        Day 3: Kyoto – Kiyomizudera- Yasaka Shrine- Higashiyama Jisho-ji – Stay in Kyoto
        Day 4: Kyoto – Arashiyama – Kinkakuji – Nishiki Market – Stay in Kyoto
        Day 5: Nara – Todai-ji – Nara Park – Hōryū-ji – Back to Osaka
        Day 6: Osaka – Kobe – Himeji Castle – Back to Osaka

        Thanks for your help!

Before you leave your comment, please see the conditions below.
  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded and nothing happens. But your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals.
  • Please do not ask me to reply to your inquiry by email. In this website, I would like to share all information with any readers. I do not communicate with you directly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*