How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area

Dotonbori (道頓堀) is one of the popular spot around Osaka Namba area. ©JNTO
Dotonbori (道頓堀) is one of the popular spot around Osaka Namba area. ©JNTO

I wrote about the transfer among Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe in the previous post. There are lots of railways by Japan Railway and several private railways, such as Hankyu, Hanshin, Kintetsu and Keihan. This means you have many many choices to choose the ticket or pass. All private railways have own pass. And also JR West has Kansai Area Pass. You may be overwhelmed to choose the right ticket.

In this post, I would like to share the information about the discount ticket and pass that cover Kansai area. But if you stay in Kyoto or Osaka and visit the places in the city, you may find the deals in the links below:

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Kyoto
How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Kansai Thru Pass (Surutto Kansai Pass)

  • Price (two days) – Adult:4,000 yen / Child:2,000 yen
  • Price (three days) – Adult:5,200 yen / Child:2,600 yen
  • Coverage – All Non JR railway lines, subway lines and city bus in whole part of Kansai area
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight) and two days (not required using in consecutive days)

This is the most recommend one! This pass includes all major private lines and subway lines, such as Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan, Kintetsu, Nankai, Osaka Subway and Kyoto Subway. You can access Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Himeji, Mt. Koya, Kansai airport, Wakayama and many more place. This pass is sold at 5,200 yen for 3 days and 4,000 yen for 2 days. It gives you the greatest value in any railway pass of Kansai area. But if you think about only round trip between Kyoto and Osaka, the regular fare may be cheaper. Please see the details at the post, .How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare. I compare the price of pass and single fare in many cases. You will find which you should buy or not.

JR West Rail Pass – Kansai Area Pass

  • Price (one day) – Adult:2,200 yen / Child:1,100 yen
  • Price (two days) – Adult:4,300 yen / Child:2,150 yen
  • Price (three days) – Adult:5,300 yen / Child:2,650 yen
  • Price (four days) – Adult:6,300 yen / Child:3,150 yen
  • Coverage – All JR railway lines in whole part of Kansai area
  • Valid period – one to four days (midnight to midnight)
Limited Express Haruka connects Kansai airport and Kyoto via Tennoji and Shin-Osaka. This is covered by Kansai area pass.
Limited Express Haruka connects Kansai airport and Kyoto via Tennoji and Shin-Osaka. This is covered by Kansai area pass.

This pass includes most of JR lines in Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji and Kansai airport. Shinkansen and all express trains are not included except Kansai airport express “Haruka”. Please see the details about this pass on the post, How to use JR West Kansai Area Pass. Compare pass and single fare..

As long as you travel within Kansai area, limited express train is not an issue. There are lots of Rapid train services. These urban commute train services give you fast and frequent movement. Please see the post, Rapid service network in Kansai area about Rapid trains in Kansai area.

If you think about using this pass for sightseeing in Kyoto or Osaka, it may not work. However JR train coverage is very limited especially in Kyoto. Please see these following links to make sure the coverage of JR trains in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

Guide to take trains in Kyoto. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?
Guide to take trains in Osaka. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?
Guide to take trains in Kobe. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Hankyu Tourist Pass one day and two days

  • Price (one day) – Adult:800 yen / Child:Not available
  • Price (two days) – Adult:1,400 yen / Child:not available
  • Coverage – All Hankyu railway lines
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight) and two days (must be used in consecutive days)

Hankyu Railway operates trains among Umeda (Osaka), Takarazuka, Kawaramachi (Kyoto near Gion), Arashiyama (Kyoto) and Kobe (Sannomiya). The price of this deal is very attractive to cover three cities, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. If you access to Kobe-Sannomiya from Umeda, single fare is 320 yen. If you access to Kawaramachi from Umeda, single fare is 400 yen. You can get the worth of one day pass by one round trip to Kawaramachi from Umeda. If you look for deal to access to just Kobe, Arashiyama and Gion area, this is the one for your trip.

But if you want to visit all part of Kyoto and many places in Kobe, Kansai Thru Pass may be better choice.

Kyoto-Osaka Sightseeing Pass one day and two days

  • Price (one day) – Adult:700 yen / Child:350 yen
  • Price (two days) – Adult:1,000 yen / Child:700 yen
  • Coverage – All Keihan railway lines
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight) and two days (must be used in consecutive days)

Keihan Railway connects Yodoyabashi (Osaka) and Demachiyanagi (Kyoto). It covers Kyoto and Osaka only but the price is cheaper than Hankyu Tourist Pass. And many places in Kyoto are located along Keihan Railway. Fushimi Inari shrine, Uji, Kiyomizu-dera temple and many places in Higashiyama area can be accessed from Keihan Railway stations.

This pass has same issue as Hankyu Tourist Pass. You may need to take subway to get Keihan Railway station in Osaka, such as Yodoyabashi, Nakanoshima, Kitahama, Temmabashi and Kyobashi. And when you visit western part of Kyoto, such as Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji temple, you need to pay extra to access this place. Kansai Thru Pass may be better choice.

Kintetsu Rail Pass one day and two days

  • Price (one day) – Adult:1,500 yen / Child:750 yen
  • Price (two days) – Adult:2,500 yen / Child:1,250 yen
  • Coverage – All Keihan railway lines
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight) and two days (must be used in consecutive days)

This deals covers Kintetsu Railway in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.

In Nara, many of places can be accessed by walk from the station. But this deal can take you to Kyoto station only You cannot use this deal to access to most of places in Kyoto.

Hanshin Tourist Pass

  • Price – Adult:700 yen / Child:Not available
  • Coverage – All Hanshin railway lines
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight)

Hanshin Railway operate trains among Umeda (Osaka), Osaka-Namba, Kousoku-Kobe and Kobe (Sannomiya). The price of this deal is very attractive. If you access to Kobe-Sannomiya from Osaka-Nmaba, single fare is 410 yen. It is paid off by just one round trip. If you look for deal to access to just Kobe, this is the one for your trip.

However if you access to Arima-Onsen and/or Himeji, Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Area Pass may be better choice.

Kansai Wide Area Pass

Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura and Mizuho give you direct trainsfer to Shin-Osaka from Kyusyu.
All Shinkansen trains non reserved seat on Sanyo Shinkansen are covered by this deal.

If you may travel both inside and outside of Kansai area, Kansai Wide Area Pass is the best choice. You can get same coverage as Kansai area pass in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji and Wakayama. And also this pass covers Kinosaki Onsen, Shirahama, Kii-Katsuura, Shingu, Okayama, Kurashiki and even Takamatsu in Shikoku. You can take non reserved seat on limited express trains and Sanyo Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Okayama.

ICOCA, Pitata and other IC cards

ICOCA is most popular IC card in Kansai area. (C) タンジェント (own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
ICOCA is most popular IC card in Kansai area. (C) タンジェント (own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

You may use these cards to take any trains and buses in all Kansai area. You can use even other area’s card, such as Suica, Pasmo too. These cards give you convenience. You can avoid to purchase a ticket whenever you make a train trip. You can take any kinds of trains, such as JR, subway and Non JR trains. However these cards do not give you any discount and unlimited ride.

If you meet these following things, IC card is your choice.

1. You intend to visit a few places in a day.
2. You need to take several kinds of trains and buses, like subway, Hankyu, Keihan, JR.
3. You cannot fix your plan and want to have some flexibility.

However if you have day trip to other cities, such as day trip to Kyoto from Osaka, Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Area Pass is better choice in most of cases.

Kansai One Pass

This is same type of card as ICOCA. You can use this pass by same way as ICOCA. But this card is designed for overseas tourist. Preload amount is 2,500 yen (plus 500 yen deposit and sold at 3,000 yen) and you can get discount at many attractions. ICOCA is sold at any JR stations throughout Kansai area. But Kansai One Pass is sold in the designated stations only. Please see the link below to find the detailed information at official site.

Kansai One Pass official site

For traveler who use national or regional pass

If you use JR pass (national pass) or other regional deal, such as Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, JR train network in Kansai area is covered. You may have same or better coverage than Kansai Wide Area Pass. If you use these passes, please try to use this pass as much as you can. I think you may add only city deal, such as bus pass in Kyoto.

I hope you get the best deal in this post and enjoy your trip in Kansai area.

742 thoughts on “How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area”

  1. Hi Takeshi San,
    Pls kindly review our Itn (Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara),
    we’ll be travelling this June (Me, Hubby, 2 children : 7 & 9 y.o).
    D1 – Arrival Kix 9.30 am – single ride – Overnight Osaka
    – Leave luggage at Namba Sta.
    – Dotonbori, Hozenji Yokocho, Shinsaibasi

    D2 – Osaka Amazing Pass 1 Day for Adult only, kids using Enjoy Eco Pass
    – Osaka Castle, USJ City Walk, Umeda Sky Building, HEP Ferris

    D3 – From Osaka go to Kobe then overnight in Kyoto, using Kansai 2 days pass (1 of 2)
    – Kitano Ijinkan, Kobe Port Area, Nankinmachi, Motomatchi all using Kobe City Loop
    – Go to Kyoto

    D4 – Kyoto City 2 days Pass (1 of 2)
    – Kiyomizu-dera, Gion Area, Fushimi Inari

    D5- Kyoto City 2 days Pass (2 of 2)
    – Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji Temple, Sagano Train, Raillway Museum

    D6 – From Kyoto go to Nara then overnight in Osaka, using Kansai 2 days pass (2 of 2)
    – Go to Nara, Leave luggage at Sta.
    – Nara Park Area
    – Back to Osaka

    D7 – Depart from Kix

    Please kindy advise:
    – should I need any other pass, considering we’ll be travelling w/ kids?
    – would it be to tiring for children to follow our itn?
    – can we leave luggage at nara sta?
    – would it be better to travel by train or bus while in Osaka & Kyoto?
    Many thanks for your help !

    1. Hi Ariana san,

      – should I need any other pass, considering we’ll be travelling w/ kids?
      You have picked up the right deals.
      If you intend to visit some more places, please consider using Yokoso Osaka ticket.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/yokoso.html

      You can take limited express Rapi:t to get Namba from KIX. And you get unlimited ride of subway. Child deal is not available. You need Rapi:t Webtoku and subway pass for children if you use Yokoso Osaka ticket.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/webtoku.html

      – would it be to tiring for children to follow our itn?
      It’s hard to say. My daughter is 8 years old. If I do this with my daughter, I’m sure she makes lots of complains. LOL

      – can we leave luggage at nara sta?
      Yes. you can.

      – would it be better to travel by train or bus while in Osaka & Kyoto?
      I recommend you to switch railway museum and Fushimi Inari.

      D4 – Kyoto City 2 days Pass (1 of 2)
      – Kiyomizu-dera, Gion Area, Fushimi Inari Railway Museum

      D5- Kyoto City 2 days Pass (2 of 2)
      – Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji Temple, Sagano Train, Raillway Museum Fushimi Inari

      And then you can use all day bus pass at 500 yen for day 4.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      You can use 3 days Kansai thru pass and use one of three days for day 5.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      It’s cheaper and more smooth. Subway does not cover Fushimi and Arashiyama. Places on day 4 can be covered by bus only.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi San,
        Many many thanks for your review, really appreciate it !
        Noted to change Railway Museum with Fushimi so my kids won’t complain LOL. So it would be like this:
        D1 – ICOCA
        D2 – Osaka Amazing 1 Day Pass (Adult) + Enjoy Eco Pass (Kids)
        D3, D5, D6 – Kansai Thru 3 Days Pass
        D4 – Kyoto City Bus 1 day pass (adult & kids)

        * For D3 – Do I still need to purchase Kobe City Loop (1 day)?

        * We’ll be staying nearby: Awaza Sta (Osaka), Kujo Sta (Kyoto) and Rinkutown Sta (Osaka, before departing), all of them are covered using Kansai Thru Pass?

        * Is it possible to add Kawaramachi Catholic Church on D4
        or Osaka Cathedral on D6?

        Best Regards,
        Ariana

        1. Hi Ariana,

          Your itinerary looks good.
          Actually many places in Kobe can be accessed by walk from the station.
          http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/osaka-kyoto-kobe-and-nara/guide-to-take-trains-in-kobe-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

          You may have city bus pass but may not be required.

          All places to stay are covered by Kansai thru pass.

          I’m not sure you can squeeze both places in Osaka. Anything is possible but it depends on how fast you visit other places.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hey Mr. Takeshi- San,

    We are coming in on May 22nd evening and leaving on June 1st–KIX airport. *Total of 4 people Still deciding if we should use kate limousine bus to OCAT as it’s a 20 min walk to the place we at. (based in Namba parks for the 9 full days. We currently have passmo cards from our trip last year from Tokyo. We would like to try the shinkansen bullet train from Osaka to Kyoto. What would be the best pass or combination passes for our itinerary? Don’t mind changing the days to the places but we do have reservation on Day 2 and Day 5. Our Itinerary Is :
    Day 1: Destination: Nara
    Nara Deer park
    Toda Ji
    Check out the Naktanidou Mochi
    Explore Nara for a bit then head back to Osaka
    Tennoji Station Area (possibly Abeno Harukas)
    Day 2: Destination: Ikeda/Osaka
    Namba Parls/Namba City in the morning
    13:00pm reservation at Ando Instant Ramen Museum *arrive 15 mins early a. My Cup Ramen and Chicken Ramen
    Osaka Station – Grand Front Osaka /Herbis and area
    Possibly Umeda Sky building at night
    Day 3:Destination: Osaka
    Osaka Castle
    Osaka Museum of History
    Maybe Japan Mint tour ( tour available 25/26 possible date switch with day 4)
    Dotonbori
    Day 4: Destination: Osaka
    Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street
    Free time not sure what to do this day yet
    Day 5: Destination: Suita 1. Asahi Brewery Tour @ 10am 2. Gundam Square 3. Pokemon Gym 4. Optional National Museum of Ethnology 5. Shin Osaka Station
    Day 6: Destination: Kobe *still Deciding if we should go to Kobe or Kyoto for Toei Studio Park
    Takenaka Museum
    Explore
    Kobe Harborland
    Chinatown
    possibly Nunobiki Waterfall
    Day 7: Destination: Kyoto –West
    Arashiyama
    Bamboo Forest
    Kimono Forest
    Togetsukyō Bridge
    Imperial Palace
    Ginkaku-ji
    Ryoan Ji
    Day 8: Destination Kyoto- East
    Rengeoin Sanjusangendo
    Kyoto Station
    Fushimi Inari Taisha
    Kiyomizu-dera
    Gion Area
    Day 9: Destination: Osaka
    Sakai Crafts Museum *not sure if there’s a tour here to check out the forging of the knifes
    Rinku outlet
    Thank you for checking and for your suggestions
    Regards,
    Bryan

    1. Hi Bryan san,

      I recommend you to use the following deals and tickets.

      Single ticket for KIX to Namba by Nankai railway
      Namba Parks is just located at Nankai railway Namba station:
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Kansai thru pass 3 days for day 1, 7 and 8
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      Hanshin tourist pass for day 6
      http://www.hanshin.co.jp/global/en/tourist/

      Osaka amazing pass 2 days for 3 and 4
      https://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/en/
      You should visit Umeda Sky Bldg on day 3 or 4 by Osaka amazing pass

      Single ticket or using Pasmo instead

      I recommend Kansai thru pass for the trip to Kyoto. But it does not cover Shinkansen. There is no deals to cover Shinkansen. If you want to take it, you need to purchase a regular ticket. Please check the fare at Hyperdia:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

      In this case, don’t use Kansai thru pass for this trip to Kyoto. Single ticket and using city deal in Kyoto, such as bus/subway pass is your choice.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      You may use one day of 3 days coverage by Kansai thru pass for day 9.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Mr. Takeshi,

    Good day to you!

    What is the best train pass for this Itinerary:

    May 18 (Day 1)
    Arrival at KIX Airport to Nankai, Namba – Which is a better transpo? Train or bus? Since i am with an elderly person.

    May 19 (Day 2)
    Namba to Kyoto – this is a wholeday activity. Planning to visit, Arashiyama, Inari, Gion, and some temple along the way.

    May 20 (Day 3)
    Namba to Nara – halfday
    Osaka/ Dotonbori

    May 21 (Day 4)
    Osaka tour (whole day) planning to go to the fmous tourist spots in Osaka

    May 22 (Day 5)
    Universal Studios – since this is Monday, I am not sure if USJ is open. If it is closed then planning to tour the rest of Osaka.

    May 23 (Day 6)
    Osaka tour

    May 24 (Day 7)
    Nankai, Namba to KIX Airport

    I hope you can help me with what train pass to take or buy. Out trip will be commencing very soon and I am still confused what train pass to buy. Thank you very much and hope you would reply to me. Read most of your entries already. It is very helpful! 🙂

  4. Hi Mr. Takeshi,

    Good day to you!

    What is the best pass to get if this is my Itinerary?

    Day 1 (May 18, 2017)
    Arrival at KIX to Nankai, Namba – is it better to take the bus or the Nankai rapit? (Since I am with elder people)

    Day 2 (May 19, 2017)
    Namba to Kyoto (whole day) – planning to go to Arashiyama, Fushimi Inara, Gion town, and Kinkaku-ji Temple – what is the best rain pass to take?

    Day 3 (May 20, 2017)
    Namba to Nara (half day) – what is the best train pass to take?
    Osaka

    Day 4 (May 21, 2017)
    Osaka/Dotonbori/Shinshaibashi Area – this day is Sunday – so I am just wondering is Osaka Amazing Pass will be a good choice?

    Day 5 (May 22, 2017)
    Universal Studios – What is the best train pass to take? and do you happen to know if it is open on Mondays?

    Day 6 (May 23, 2017)
    Osaka

    Day 7 (May 24, 2017)
    Nankai, Namba to KIX

    Thank you very much in advance. Your reply would be greatly appreciated! I hope to hear from you soon!

  5. What is the best card to use for this itinerary?
    Day-1 May 3, 2017
    1. Arrival at Osaka Airport 08:00PM (Luggage Collection and Miscellaneous time 1 hour)
    2. Going to Kyoto place near takeda station

    Day-2 May 4, 2017
    List of places to go on this day
    1. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Free
    2. Kyoto Imperial Palace Free
    3. Kimono Forest (4PM to 9PM) Free
    Shopping centers:
    4. Nishiki Market
    5. Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcade
    6. Shijo-Dori

    Day-3 May 5, 2017
    Places to visit
    1.Nijo castle (600yen per person) (8:45AM to 5PM)
    2.Kinkaku-ji Temple (400 per person) Timining 9AM-5PM
    3. Ryoanji Temple (¥500) (8am-5pm)
    4. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
    5. Kyoto International Manga Museum (optional)
    6. Teramachi (shooping area)
    7. Gion district

    Day-4 May 6, 2017
    Nara
    1. Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine1.
    2. Todaiji Temple (Largest temple with a big Buddha Statue)
    2. Nigatsu do
    3. Omizutori (Buddhist Ceremonies including fire and water)
    4. Nara Deer Park (Play with the wild dear, most famous in Nara)
    5. Isuien Garden
    6. Kasuga Grand Shrine
    7. Nara Nagomikan
    8. Go to osaka place near Umeda station

    Day-5 May 7, 2017
    OSAKA
    1. Himeji Castle and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
    2. Kobe
    3. Shinsekai

    Day-6 May 8,2017
    Osaka
    Places to visit
    1. Osaka Castle and park (9AM to 5PM)
    2. Osaka Museum of History (9:30-5:00PM) 600yen per person.
    3. HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL (optional)
    4. UMEDA SKY BUILDING, FLOATING GARDEN OBSERVATORY
    5. Shitennoji Temple
    6. Osaka Aquarium (optional)
    7. The Instant Ramen Museum (optional)
    8. Sumiyoshi Taisha

    Day-7 May 9,2017
    1. Universal Studio
    Shopping Centers:
    2. Dotonbori and namba
    3. Shinsaibashi
    4. Nipponbashi Denden Town

    Day- 8 May 10, 2017
    • Osaka city tour and shopping centers
    • Going to Kansai airport

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    First, I would like to thank you kindly for writing such helpful articles and taking the time to reply comments! Much appreciated!

    I was hoping you can make some suggestions as to which Kansai pass (JR area vs. Kansai Thru) would be best suited for our itinerary?

    Day 1: Arrive at KIX airport in the morning – travel to airbnb near Shin-Osaka station – explore Osaka.

    Day 2: Explore Himeji and Kobe (including Himeji Castle, Kobe ropeway, Nunobiki falls and Kobe animal kingdom). Return to Osaka.

    Day 3: Depart Osaka and check in Kyoto airbnb (Shimogyo-ku). Explore Kyoto.

    Day 4: Explore Nara. Return to Kyoto. Explore Kyoto.

    Day 5: Depart Kyoto for Nagoya (accommodation in Habashita).

    Thank you once again, I hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards,
    Elaine

    1. Hi Elaine,

      You can choose either one actually.

      If you take Kansai area pass, you can get Shin-Osaka directly from Kansai airport. And also you can get Himeji, Kobe and Kyoto directly from Shin-Osaka. You can make round trip to Nara from Kyoto by JR trains. But the coverage is limited. You may need to add some fare to take subway or city bus in Osaka, Kobe and Nara. Please see the links below to find the coverage in these cities.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kobe-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      If you take Kansai thru pass, you can use Haruka discount ticket to get Shin-Osaka from KIX.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/icoca-and-haruka-ticket-very-flexible-and-good-deal-for-tourist-who-stay-in-kansai.html

      And you may add city deal in Osaka as you need.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Single ticket may be okay if you visit one or two places on day 1.
      And on day 2, you will start using Kansai thru pass 3 days. It covers all part of your trip. You don’t need to add other deals and very easy to handle your ticket. But you need to change trains at Umeda when you go to Himeji. And trip time is longer than taking JR trains. You need to change trains when yo go to Kyoto from Shin-Osaka.

      Roughly the cost is almost same. So you can choose easier access or easier ticket handling.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Dear Takeshi
    Good afternoon I plan to travel to kyoto / Osaka in May. This is my itinerary
    Day 1 – Arrival in KIX and transfer to Minami ward Kyoto
    Day 2 – Travel to Osaka USJ from Minami and back
    Day 3 – local sight seeing Kyoto
    Day 4 – Minami to Osaka for Day in Osaka and back

    Can you suggest what pass should I buy?

    Thank you for your assistance

    1. Hi Andy,

      I think JR West Kansai area pass 4 days is the best choice for your trip. But it covers only JR line. You may need to add bus pass in Kyoto and subway pass in Osaka. Please check the coverage in the links below:
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi,

    Here’s our Itinerary,

    KIX to Namba (airbnb room) April 22
    what to buy ticket to get from KIX to Namba (nankai line)?

    April 23 Day 1 – Osaka
    We plan to visit Osaka Castle, Umeda building, kaiyukan, dotonbori, shinsekai – may i know what card/ pass should we buy to have discount?

    April 24 day 2 – USJ
    may i know what card should we use on this day? we will be near Nippombashi station or Namba station.

    April 25 day 3 – Kyoto
    We will be travelling from near namba or nippombashi station to Arashiyama –> Kiyumiza-dera –> Fushimi-Inari. may i know what card/pass should we use to have discount, and also if you give us guide what train to use to travel to this location please 🙂

    April 26 day 4 – going from Namba-Nankai to KIX Airport
    What ticket should we buy

    Hope you help me on this on what access card should we buy to have more discount on traveling these are, Many Thanks

    btw, our house is near denden town, near also in namba-nankai line and nippombashi.

    1. Hi gau ban,

      Single ticket (920 yen) is most affordable way to take Nankai railway between KIX and Namba. You may use Kansai one pass instead of single ticket.
      http://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

      You can use either Osaka Kaiyu ticket or Osaka amazing pass on day 2.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Single ticket is the best choice for USJ and Kyoto. Kansai one pass can be used instead of single ticket. Please see the links below to find the route in Osaka and Kyoto.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thanks for the information.

        forgot to mention that we will arrive in KIX Airport at around 9PM.

        and we change the itinerary in Osaka.
        from apartment (near Namba and denden town) to Osaka Museum –> Osaka Castle –> Umeda Sky building –>Dotonbori May i know what pass to use? is it advisable to use single ticket by using ICOCA? or do you recomment other ticket?

        so is it safe to say that we should buy the ICOCA card to travel from KIX to Namba(nankai) to USJ and Kyoto according to my itinerary?

        Thanks again,
        Gau

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