Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.
Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.

Kintetsu Railway will change the condition of Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide in October 2016. These deals will not include limited express voucher any more. Please be careful when you purchase and use these deals.

I have received many inquiries about Nagoya-Osaka or Kyoto trip. There are lots of travellers who arrive in Chubu (Nagoya) airport and depart from Kansai (Osaka) airport or reverse or arrive in/depart from Chubu. Even if you have round trip between Nagoya and Osaka, JR Pass is too expensive choice. And there is no options to cover both Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by JR. One way ticket from Nagoya to Osaka or Kyoto by Shinkansen is very common choice. However JR is not only railway that connect Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto. Kintetsu Railway that is the biggest private railway company operates many trains among these three cities, Nara, Ise and Yoshino. Kintetsu Railway has very useful deal for the travellers who want to travel in this area.

In this post, I would like to show you Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide.

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

What is Kintetsu Railway?

In Japan, there are many railway services. This is the biggest reason why you are very confused. Kintetsu Railway is NON JR and the biggest private railway company in Japan. Of course this railway service is not covered by any JR deals, such as JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass. Please see the map below to find Kintetsu Railway network.

Kintetsu Railway lines are shown in bold navy blue line. Other railways are shown in this map for your convenience. (C) JP Rail
Kintetsu Railway lines are shown in bold navy blue line. Other railways are shown in this map for your convenience. (C) JP Rail

Kintetsu Rail Pass covers all part of this network. As you see the map above, you can use this railway to get Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka (Namba, Uehonmachi, Tsuruhashi), Nara, Yoshino and Ise. And this pass includes three vouchers to take Kintetsu Railway Limited Express. Kintetsu Railway Limited Express has very nice accommodation and have same level service as JR’s limited express train. I tell you about detail of this limited express train and coverage below.

You may know about Kansai Thru Pass. This pass covers Kintetsu Railway and other major private railways in Kansai area. But this pass does not include Nagoya and Ise. And it does not include Kintetsu Railway Limited Express train voucher. As long as you travel both Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto, Kansai Thru Pass is not your first choice. Please find the detailed about Kansai Thru Pass at the link below:

How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

How good is Kintetsu Railway Limited Express?

Ise-Shima Liner 23000 series is used for limited express to Ise area.
Ise-Shima Liner 23000 series is used for limited express to Ise area.

Some of major private railway companies operate limited express as commute train without extra charge, such as Hankyu, Keihan and Hanshin. But Kintetsu operates limited express as special train. It has reserved seat only. You have to pay limited express surcharge on top of base fare and this limited express train has same level of interior as JR’s limited express train.

There are many kinds of fleets for limited express trains. But all fleets have 2+2 seat configuration and seat pitch is 1000 to 1050 mm. It is spacious and comfortable.

Regular seat car interior of 21000 series, Urban Liner. Most of Kintetsu Railway Limited Express has like this interior. (C) By 2013.1.28 (Own work)
Regular seat car interior of 21000 series, Urban Liner. Most of Kintetsu Railway Limited Express has like this interior. (C) By 2013.1.28 (Own work)
The regular seat of 22600 series. This fleet is used for most of limited express trains.
The regular seat of 22600 series. This fleet is used for most of limited express trains.

Especially if you travel between Nagoya and Osaka, trip time is more than 2 hours. The seat and interior are very important factor.

You can take limited express train up to three times by Kintetsu Rail Pass if you use it until the end of September, 2016. After 1st of October, 2016, you have to purchase a separate ticket to take limited express train.

Who is eligible

Visitors who land as “Temporary Visitor” status can purchase this pass. And Japanese who live in foreign country as permanent resident or who are married to a foreigner residing outside of Japan can purchase this deal as well.

Types and prices

A few types of pass, Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass wide are available.

Price until 30th September, 2016

Types Adult Child (6-11yrs)
Kintetsu Rail Pass
5 Days
3,800 yen 1,900 yen
Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide
5 Days
5,860 yen Not available

Price after 1st October, 2016

Types Adult Child (6-11yrs)
Purchase
in Japan
Purchase
outside Japan
Purchase
in Japan
Purchase
outside Japan
Kintetsu Rail
Pass 5 Days
3,800 yen 3,600 yen 1,900 yen 1,800 yen
Kintetsu Rail
Pass plus
5 Days
5,000 yen 4,800 yen 2,500 yen 2,400 yen

5 year old or younger child is free. But when you take Limited Express train, all seats are reserved. You have to share your seat with your child. If you want to have a seat for your child, please purchase child pass for even 5 years old or younger child.

The pass must be used in consecutive days. The validity of a rail pass starts from 12 O’clock at night.

ex) If you start to use 5 days pass on May 1, the pass is expired at 23:59 on May 5.

Sales location

If you want to purchase an exchange order before you leave, you can find the authorized travel agent list at the link below:

Kintetsu Rail Pass official site

They may ship the exchange order to you by mail. Please contact the nearest vendor. Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide can be purchased at both Chubu airport and Kansai airport. But Kintetsu Rail Pass can be purchased at Kansai airport only. You can find the sales location in the airport at the link above as well.

Coverage area and valid transportation

Both Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide covers all part of Kintetsu Railway network and include three limited express vouchers.

Kintetsu Rail Pass does not include limited express voucher after 1st of October, 2016. Separate ticket for taking limited express train is required.

And Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide includes three more things:

Sightseeing Limited Express Shimakaze is not covered by this pass. This is one of most difficult trains to book in Japan now. (C) Oka21000
Sightseeing Limited Express Shimakaze is not covered by this pass. This is one of most difficult trains to book in Japan now. (C) Oka21000
  • Round-trip access from airport to Kintetsu Railway and back to airport
  • 5 days of unlimited rides on Mie Kotsu buses and Toba’Kamome'(Sea gull)Bus in the Ise-Shima area
  • Discount coupons to sightseeing facilities

Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide will be no longer available after 1st of October, 2016. Kintetsu Rail Pass plus will be introduced. It will be very similar deal with Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide. But Kintetsu Rail Pass plus will not include limited express voucher and round trip access between airport and Nagoya/Namba.

Some of Kintetsu Railway Limited Express trains have upper class seat. But this pass covers ordinary reserved seat only. And Kintetsu Railway operates Sightseeing Limited Express “Shimakaze”. This train is not covered by this pass either.

If you use all limited express voucher, you can take rapid express, express, semi express and local trains. It is a commute train. The interior is totally different from limited express.

The exterior of Kintetsu Railway commute trains
The exterior of Kintetsu Railway commute trains
Interior is nothing special. (C) ちょろ
Interior is nothing special. (C) ちょろ

When you take a train among Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, you can use these trains because of short distance transfer.

Compare the pass and single fare

I would like to show you the fare table. Upper fare is base fare and lower is limited express surcharge.

station Osaka
(Namba)
Kyoto Nara Nagoya Ise
(Toba)
Osaka
(Namba)
940
900
560
510
2360
1900
2040
1610
Kyoto 940
900
620
510
2590
1900
2280
1610
Nara 560
510
620
510
2250
1610
1940
1610
Nagoya 2360
1900
2590
1900
2250
1610
1710
1320
Ise
(Toba)
2040
1610
2280
1610
1940
1610
1710
1320
station Osaka
(Osaka-Abenobashi)
Kyoto Nara Nagoya
Yoshino 970
510
1230
900
850
900
2390
2120

If you travel from Nagoya to Osaka or Kyoto by limited express by 30th of September, it is higher than Kintetsu Rail Pass at 3800 yen. It is really good deal for the traveller who wants to travel from Nagoya to Kyoto or Osaka. If you go to Ise from Kyoto, Osaka or Nara, it is better deal than single fare too. But if you visit Ise, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide may be better deal for you. Please see next chapter.

If you travel after 1st of October, limited express voucher will not be included. You must have at least one round trip between Kansai area (Osaka, Nara and Kyoto) and Nagoya or Ise.

What is the benefit to use Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide?

As I mentioned above, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide will be no longer available after 1st of October, 2016.

As I mentioned above, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide has three more things than Kintetsu Rail Pass. The difference of the price is 2,060 yen (5,860 – 3,800). Is it worth purchasing Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide? I would like to break down.

Airport access ticket

You can use Nankai Railway between Kansai (Osaka) airport and Namba or Meitetsu Railway between Chubu (Nagoya) airport and Meitetsu-Nagoya. You can use this ticket for round trip for Kansai, round trip for Chubu or one way each for Kansai and Chubu. The base fares are the following:

Nankai Railway from Kansai airport to Namba — 920 yen
Meitetsu Railway from Chubu airport to Meitetsu-Nagoya — 870 yen

Even if you use for highest fares, Nankai Railway round trip, total fares are 1840 yen. If you intend to use this pass just for airport access, it is not a good idea. You can go for Kintetsu Rail Pass and add single fare for airport access.

By the way, this airport access ticket can be used for outside of 5 days valid. You DO NOT need to use this airport access ticket in 5 days valid periods. At this point, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide will be on sale until October 31, 2016. Airport access ticket portion can be used until October 31, 2016.

Mie Kotsu buses and Toba Kamome bus unlimited ride

If you go to Ise, this portion is very useful. You can get most of places in Ise-Shima area. If you purchase one day unlimited ride bus ticket separately, the price is 1000 yen for one day. If you use airport access ticket and this bus portion, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide is obviously your choice.

Discount coupon

There are lots of attractions that you can use discount coupon. There is no information how much you can get the discount. I guess it is 5 to 10% off. You can find which facility you can use at the link below. If you see “Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide” at right side of the facility name, you can use your discount coupon.

In my opinion, the discount coupon is not a big part of Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide. It is a sort of bonus.

Compare cost and trip time between Shinkansen fare and Kintetsu Rail Pass

Shinkansen is most common way to get Kyoto and Osaka from Nagoya. It is much faster than Kintetsu Railway Limited Express trains. But Shinkansen is much more expensive too. Before you decide to go for Kintetsu Rail Pass, you should compare these trains by cost and time.

Nagoya – Namba

Trains Trip time Fare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
2 hrs 30 mins 3800 yen
Shinkansen (Nozomi)
and Subway
1 hr 20 mins 6840 yen

Shinkansen and subway combination is much faster but the cost is almost double. And Kintetsu Railway is direct access without any transfer. This is the strongest point.

Nagoya – Osaka (Umeda)

Trains Trip time Fare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
and JR local train
2 hrs 45 mins 3800 yen +
180 yen (JR)
Shinkansen (Nozomi)
and JR local train
1 hr 10 mins 6560 yen

You have to transfer at Shin-Osaka to get Osaka by Shinkansen. But it is same station and very easy to transfer from Shinkansen to JR local train. If you take Kintetsu Railway, you can transfer at Tsuruhashi to JR Osaka Kanjo line. It is much easier than transfer at Namba to subway. Tsuruhashi station is much smaller than Namba. JR and Kintetsu stations are connected directly.

Nagoya – Shin-Osaka

Trains Trip time Fare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
and Subway
3 hrs 3800 yen +
280 yen (subway)
Shinkansen (Nozomi) 50 mins 6560 yen

Shin-Osaka is Shinkansen’s terminal station. Shinkansen is much more accessible than Kintetsu Railway. If you take Kintetsu Railway, you have to transfer at Namba to get subway. And subway fare is extra.

Nagoya – Kyoto

Trains Trip time Fare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
Need to transfer at Yamato-Yagi
2 hrs 35 mins 3800 yen
Shinkansen (Nozomi) 36 mins 5800 yen

Both Kintetsu Railway and Shinkansen are direct access to Kyoto. Shinkansen is 2 hours faster than Kintetsu Railway Limited Express.

Nagoya – Nara

Trains Trip time Fare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
and Kintetsu local train
Need to transfer at Yamato-Yagi
2 hrs 15 mins 3800 yen
Shinkansen (Nozomi)
JR local train
1 hr 30 mins 6560 yen

Shinkansen and JR trains are still faster than Kintetsu Railway. But the difference is smallest in all above cases.

Assessment

If you are really sensitive with cost, Kintetsu Rail Pass is a good choice for even Nagoya to Osaka or reverse one way trip. If you travel from Nagoya to Osaka and visit Nara and Kyoto, this pass gives you a huge savings.

Even though Shinkansen is much faster, this pass is one of my most recommended deals.

399 thoughts on “Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    This is very informative and helpful.

    I will arrive in Nagoya and move to Kyoto, folllow by a day trip to Nara and finally to Osaka. Will be departing from Osaka airport. From what I read, Kintetsu railway plus will be the one I need. Am I correct? Also what else do I need to travel arouns these few places?

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Yes, you may use Kintetsu rail pass. But you don’t need to have “plus”. “Plus” offers bus in Nara but you can walk most of places in Nara. It’s not an issue and regular type of Kintetsu rail pass is okay.

      Kintetsu rail pass does not cover airport to Nagoya. You need to add regular fare to take train.
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/chubu-ngo/chubu-nagoya-airport-transportation-guide-find-info-about-airport-station-and-access-to-nagoya.html

      It does not cover local transportation in Kyoto and Osaka, and access to KIX either. You need to add local deal.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hello Takeshi!
    We will be arriving at Nagoya chubu airport on May 27 Saturday 7am. We plan to go to Namba, Osaka and stay there until May 29. We plan to leave around early afternoon from Namba and go back to Nagoya chubu airport or Nagoya Aichi area and stay there for another 4 days. Departing airport is Nagoya Chubu. Will the Kintetsu rail pass for 5 days work for us? Thanks!

    1. Hi Edwin,

      It works. But I recommend you to add limited express surcharge for Nagoya to Namba and Namba to Nagoya. There is no direct trains other than limited express. And if you take ordinary trains, you may need to change two or three times. Trip time is much longer than limited express.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    Have plan to travel to Japan this June, I was thinking of
    Tokyo (2 Days)
    Kyoto/Osaka (4)
    Nagoya (2)
    Tokyo (2 Days)

    Need your suggestion on which ticket is more economical.
    Should I take JRPass for commuting, between those cities and just purchase pre-paid card for subway not cover by JR?

    Thanks

  4. Hi Takeshi,
    I would like to check what is the best way to Namba from Kyoto?

    Is the Kyoto bus & subway pass include Keihan and Hankyu line?

    Cheers,
    Celest

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I found that your website is really helpful, however i still confused to choose whether JR pass, Kintetsu Pass, or Kansai Thru pass that suit for me.
    I will be travelling to Osaka-Nara-Kyoto for 7 days with following Itinerary;

    Day 1 : Arrive to Kansai, stay in Osaka
    Day 2-3 : Stroll around Osaka (Dotonburi, USJ, Kaiyukan, Umeda Sky, Osaka Castle, Tsutenkaku)
    Day 4 : Day trip to Nara, back To Osaka
    Day 5-7 : Stroll around Kyoto, stay in Kyoto (Gion, Kiyomizudera, Fushimi Inari, Tofukuji Temple, Arashiyama)

    Do you think 7 days is enough time to visit all of those places? and which pass is suit for it?

    Thanks Takeshi 🙂

  6. Hi Takeshi
    Any tips on how to book Shimakaze train. we wanted to try this train.
    We are coming from Osaka-Namba and transferring to Nagoya on April 15. The plan is ride shimakaze from Osaka-Namba to Toba, little sight seeing, then transfer from Toba to Nagoya-kintetsu.
    I heard on weekend its single journey is at 10:20AM from Osaka-Namba.

    Thank you.
    Hanne

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be travelling to Japan on June 10 for 7 days. Here is my itinerary:
    Day 1: Arrive to KIX in 9:20 and go to Kyoto
    Day 2,3: Kyoto
    Day 4,5: Nagoya
    Day 6: Nara and then back to Osaka
    Day 7: Osaka to KIX
    Please give me an advise on my planned itinerary and the most saving transportation. Is JR pass or Kintetsu may be better?
    And, please help me clarify, if i take Kintetsu pass plus, what is the difference between using the pass and extra the base fare for limited train?
    Really appreciate for your reply.

    1. Hi Anh Tú,

      Kintetsu rail pass is most affordable deal. You can use it for Kyoto-Nagoya-Nara-Osaka. Both Kintetsu rail pass and Kintetsu rail pass plus do not cover limited express fee. You need to pay this fee when you go to Nagoya. Ordinary train is too slow to get Nagoya and you need to change the trains many times. Kintetsu rail pass plus gives you more coverage of bus services in Ise and Nara. But in Nara, most of places, like deer park, Big Buddha can be accessed by walk from Nara station. So regular type of Kintetsu rail pass is okay for you.

      Kintetsu rail pass does not cover other part of your trip. You need to add other deal or single fare.

      KIX to Kyoto
      Haruka discount ticket at 1600 yen
      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

      Sightseeing in Kyoto
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      Osaka to KIX
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Really kind of you for detailed advises. But one more concern that Kintetsu Rail Pass is not available for sale in my country ( Vietnam), so I think that I will purchase it after entering into Japan. So where can I purchase Kintetsu Rail Pass? Is there its office in KIX? And is it available all the time for sale? In June for my case?

        Thanks Takeshi.

  8. Hi Takeshi

    Hope you’re doing well.

    Am curious to find out if I bought Kintetsu Rail Pass plus, would I be able to use it to cover the base fares for Shimakaze and Blue Symphony? I understand there’s Limited Express charges for Shimakaze (¥2,640) and Blue Symphony (¥720). Am thinking of doing 2D1N at Yoshino and 2D1N at Kashikojima from Osaka.

    Thank you!

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you so much for your information which it’s very helpful for me. I need your suggestion, if i’d like to go to Nagoya from Kinosaki then leave Japan from Nagoya airport. Do you think it’s worth buying Kintetsu pass or should I go with just regular fare?

        Best,
        Narissa

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