Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass. Perfect deal to get Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO
Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO

Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass was released in 2014 and it has been one of the most popular deals so far. But it is supposed to be discontinued at the end of June 2015 because this deal is Shinkansen 50th years anniversary product. I have received many comments that said this deal would be continued to sell or not after July 1, 2015.

Now JR Central and JR West have made a decision to continue this product. I think they noticed this is very popular and lots of demand. The price is higher but coverage is bigger. In my opinion, it is good change even though price is higher.

In this post, I would like to share the information about this deal, Takayama – Hokuriku Area Pass with you. I will tell you the difference from Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass (available until end of June) and compare the price of pass and single fare too.

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

This deal will be on sale after July 1, 2015. If you travel before Jun 26, please use the following deal.
Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass

Who is eligible

Visitors who land as “Temporary Visitor” status can purchase this pass.

Types and prices

There is only 5 days pass.

TYPES Adult Child (6-11yrs)
5 Days 14,000 yen 7,000 yen

*5 year old or younger child is free. Maximum 2 children per one adult.

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.

So the price is 3,000 yen higher than Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. But the coverage area is bigger and I will tell you later about coverage.

Sales location

You CANNOT purchase this pass in Japan. You have to purchase an exchange order before you leave your country. I believe sales location is same as current pass Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass:

Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass official site

This pass will be sold after July 1, 2015. But of course, you can purchase it in advance because this pass cannot be purchased in Japan. Since the official announcement has just placed, only PDF information is available at official site.

JR Central Tourist Pass official site

I think the detailed online information will come up soon at the site above.

Coverage area and valid transportation

Kentrokuen garden is one of three best Japanese Gardens.  ©JTA/ ©JNTO
Kentrokuen garden is one of three best Japanese Gardens. ©JTA/ ©JNTO
Coverage map of Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass (Click to enlarge)
Coverage map of Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass (Click to enlarge)

The pass covers Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Gero, Gifu and Nagoya as same as old version. And this pass also covers JR trains in Osaka city area, Kansai airport, JR Takayama line between Takayama and Toyama, Hokuriku Shinkansen between Toyama and Kanazawa, and Kaetsuno bus between Shirakawago and Shin-Takaoka. Now you can access to Toyama, Gokayama / Ainokura area, and Kansai airport. This additional coverage is a big difference for some travellers. Especially you can start to use this pass right after arrival in Kansai airport. This makes your trip be much easier.

I just want to list up of trains and bus services that are covered by this pass:

JR train (limited express Haruka) between Osaka and Kansai airport
JR train within Osaka city limit
JR train (limited express Thunderbird) between Osaka/Kyoto and Kanazawa
Hokuriku Shinkansen between Toyama and Kanazawa via Shin-Takaoka
JR train between Nagoya and Toyama via Takayama
Nohi bus between Takayama and Kanazawa via Shirakawago
Kaetsuno bus between Shirakawago and Shin-Takaoka

You can take limited express, rapid and local on the segments above. But it covers only ordinary class. This pass covers reserved seat up to four times too. And also you cannot use reserved seat on Limited Express Haruka (Kansai airport – Shin-Osaka/Kyoto) and Hokuriku Shinkansen. There are non reserved seats available on these train. So you still can take these trains. But the fastest train “Kagayaki” on Hokuriku Shikansen does not have any non reserved seat. You cannot take Kagayakai on Hokuriku Shinkansen. You have to take other two trains, Hakutaka or Tsurugi on Hokuriku Shinkansen.

Please find more details about Hokuriku Shinkansen at the following link:

Hokuriku Shinkansen, Direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo

Nohi bus is major public transportation to get Shirakawago and express bus service is operated. This bus service is covered by this pass fully but you need to book before on board. You can find the phone number and timetable at Nohi Bus Official Site.

This pass also covers another bus line, Kaetsuno bus that runs between Shirakwago and Hokuriku Shinkansen station, Shin-Takaoka. Now you can access to Gokayama and Ainokura by this pass without any extra.

This pass does not cover any trains and bus services between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto directly. You cannot take Shinkansen either. It is same condition as old version of this pass.


If you want to make circle tour, Osaka / Kyoto – Kanazawa – Shirakawago – Takayama – Nagoya – Osaka, Kintetsu Rail Pass may be considerable

If you are okay with taking same route to go back to Osaka or Kyoto in 5 days, you do not need to pay any extra. Now this pass covers Takayama – Toyama. So you can take a different route to go back to Osaka. You do not need to take same bus service from Takaymaa to Kanazawa via Shirakawago.

But some of you want to go down to Nagoya and make a direct access to go back to Osaka. But you have to pay around 6500 yen to go back to Osaka by Shinkansen reserved seat. If you are okay with this additional charge, you can go for it. If you want to save your extra cost, Kintetsu Rail Pass may be considerable. Kintetsu Railway’s Limited Express has same quality as JR’s Limited Express trains. It is much slower than Shinkansen. But it is cheap and also if you go to Namba, Kintetsu takes you there directly. Please find more information about Kintetsu Rail Pass, please refer the following link:

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

Compare cost between pass and single fare

First of all, please see the fare table for major segments below:

One way fare

Kansai airport – Shin-Osaka by Limited Express NON reserved seat 2330 yen
Kansai airport – Kyoto by Limited Express NON reserved seat 2850 yen
Osaka – Kanazawa by Limited Express reserved seat 7650 yen
Kyoto – Kanazawa by Limited Express reserved seat 6900 yen
Nagoya – Takayama by Limited Express reserved seat 6030 yen
Toyama – Takayama by Limited Express reserved seat 3360 yen
Toyama – Kanazawa by Hokuriku Shinkansen NON reserved seat 2810 yen
Kanazawa – Shirakawago by Nohi bus 1850 yen
Takayama – Shirakawago by Nohi bus 2470 yen
Kanazawa – Takayama by Nohi bus 3390 yen
Shirakawago – Shin-Takaoka by Kaetsuno bus 1800 yen

Let’s see the basic itineraries and compare costs. You may find more information about access to Takayama and Kazawa at the links beloiw:
How to access to Takayama by trains and buses
How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya

Round trip to Shirakawago via Kanazawa from Osaka by Limited Express Thunderbird and Nohi bus

Limited Express "Thunderbird"
Limited Express Thunderbird runs between Osaka/Kyoto and Kanazawa.

Return fares by Limited Express Thunderbird between Osaka and Kanazawa 7650 yen X 2 = 15300 yen
Return fares by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 1850 yen X 2 = 3900 yen
Total 19200 yen

Even if you don’t go to Takayama, this pass is still cheaper than single fare. If you depart from Kyoto, the pass is way cheaper than single fare too.

Round trip to Shirakawago via Takayama from Nagoya by Limited Express Wide View Hida and Nohi bus

Wide View Hida at Toyama station
Wide View Hida by KIHA85 series at Toyama station (C) JP Rail

Return fares by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Nagoya and Takayama 6030 yen X 2 = 12060 yen
Return fares by Nohi bus between Takayama and Shirakawago 2470 yen X 2 = 4940 yen
Total 17000 yen

Many travellers who stay in Nagoya want to visit Shirakawago. This pass is much cheaper than single fare as well.

One way trip to Nagoya from Osaka via Kanazawa, Shirakawago and Takayama

World Heritage Shirakawago has lots of traditional Japanese residences. ©Akimasa Yuasa/©JNTO
World Heritage Shirakawago has lots of traditional Japanese residences. ©Akimasa Yuasa/©JNTO

Single fare by Limited Express Thunderbird between Osaka and Kanazawa 7650 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 1850 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 2470 yen
Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Nagoya and Takayama 6030 yen
Total 18000 yen

If you arrive in KIX and depart from Chubu and make this route in 5 days, you also include Kansai airport to Osaka. This itinerary is very attractive and this pass gives you a great saving!

Small circle trip from/to Osaka via Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama and Toyama

Most of  train is operated by this fleet, E6 / W6 series.
Most of train is operated by this fleet, E6 / W6 series.

Single fare by Limited Express Thunderbird between Osaka and Kanazawa 7650 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 1850 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Shirakawago and Takayama 2470 yen
Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Takayama and Toyama 3360 yen
Single fare by Hokuriku Shikansen and Limited Express Thunderbird between Toyama and Osaka via Kanazawa 8910 yen
Total 24240 yen

Now you can make a different route on the way back to Osaka by this pass. You have only 5 days. But you can include Toyama. this pass does not cover any local transportation in Toyama. But you can visit Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route when you are in Toyama.
*You cannot go through Alpine route to Shinano-Omachi in this itinerary. It is completely outside coverage area. You have to make a round trip to Murodo or other point on Alpine route.

Suggested itinerary
Day 1 Osaka – Kanazawa
Day 2 Kanazawa – Shirakawago – Takayama
Day 3 Takayama – Toyama
Day 4 Toyama – Alpine route – Toyama or Kanazawa
Day 5 Toyama or Kanazawa – Osaka or KIX or Kyoto

Yes. You can do it in 5 days. If you arrive in Kansai airport early morning, you can start this sample right after you arrive in Kansai. You can reach Kanazawa on day 1.

Small circle trip from/to Nagoya via Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama and Toyama

Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Nagoya and Takayama 6030 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Takayama and Shirakawago 2470 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Shirakawago and Kanazawa 1850 yen
Single fare by Hokuriku Shikansen between Kanazawa and Toyama 2810 yen
Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Toyama and Nagoya 7650 yen
Total 20810 yen

It is similar plan as above but depart/arrive in Nagoya. You can make a trip to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route in this itinerary too.

Suggested itinerary
Day 1 Nagoya – Takayama
Day 2 Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa
Day 3 Kanazawa – Toyama
Day 4 Toyama – Alpine route – Toyama
Day 5 Toyama – Nagoya


As you saw the above, even though price is higher than old version, this pass is still a great deal. Actually when old version of this pass was on sale, I said “I hope this pass will be sold as regular product.” I love JR Central and JR West decisions. This deal will be

668 thoughts on “Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass. Perfect deal to get Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka”

  1. Dear Takeshi san,

    Thanx again for your assistance.

    Just a few clarification:

    3. Kansai area pass: ” You can purchase it at lower price online.” Can you refer me the online website?

    Is Kansai area pass the same with Kansai 1 day pass?

    I am so sorry to keep repeating myself. We are trying to be as efficient as possible in Japan 🙂

    In conclusion, based on your suggestion, Kansai area pass is the most efficient way for 1day return trip from Osaka? However, we still need to add the Kyoto bus pass to cover my Kyoto itins? There’s no other pass that covers everything which fits my Kyoto itin?

    For Osaka Kaiyu ticket, this covers Kaiyukan and unlimited subway on 1 day but doesn’t cover pass for Osaka Museum House of Living and Umeda? Whereas Osaka Amazing Pass will get me to Museum House of Living and Umeda for free and unlimited subway but doesn’t get me to Kaiyukan, correct?

    Thanks again

    1. Hi Lina san,

      I think I gave you the link below already. You can find online purchase info there.

      I have no idea about Kansai 1 day pass. And there is no deals to cover everything in your trip to Kyoto.

      In Osaka trip, Kaiyu ticket is better choice than amazing pass. You need to visit one more attraction on the list of amazing pass if you want to use amazing pass. But Kaiyukan is not covered by amazing pass as you think.

      I understand you want to make it be easier. But if you want to save your cost, you have to combine several tickets and deals.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Dear Takeshi san,

            A quick query: Is Kansai Area Pass the same with Kansai Thru Pass? Since we’ll only be going for 1 day return trip to Kyoto from Imamiya-Osaka, which is better and more economical?


  2. Hi Takeshi San,

    Would like to check whether this pass “Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass” able to travel from Namba station to Kyoto? if can then which line/train should i use?

    This is because I plan to use this pass :-
    D1 – Kansai International Airport to Shirakawago
    D2 – Shirakawago to Takayama
    D3 – Takayama to Namba Station
    D4 – Namba Station to Kyoto
    D5 – Namba Station to Kyoto

    Thank you.


    1. Hi Clarence san,

      You can get Kyoto from Namba by Takayama Hokuriku area pass. You can take a local train from JR-Namba to Tennoji. And you can take limited express “Haruka” from Tennoji to Kyoto.

      But after arrival in Kyoto, this pass does not cover any local transportation in Kyoto. You need to add regular fare or local deal:


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi San,

    Would you mind to help me with my itinerary below as I can’t figure out which pass should I purchase. Thank you very much.

    D1- arriving to Osaka at night. Planing to stay near Namva station.
    D2- Osaka to Kanazawa, staying in Kanszawa
    D3- round trip to Shirakawago by Nohi bus
    D4- Kanazawa to Kyoto
    D5- Kyoto
    D6- Kyoto
    D7- day trip to Nara from Kyoto
    D8- Kyoto to Osaka Kansai airport

    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Giselle san,

      You can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass for the first 5 days.

      After arrival in Kyoto, add city deal. This pass is useless in Kyoto.

      Single ticket is only choice for trip to Kyoto.

      You can add Haruka discount ticket at 1,600 yen for Kyoto to KIX.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hello Takeshi-San 🙂

    My family of 5 is travelling for 14 days (13 nights) to Kansai area.
    Itinerary as follow:

    (1) Use 2-Day Kansai Thru Pass:
    D1: Arrive KIX at 9.30am – STAY in OSAKA-Namba/ Sakuragawa area (explore Osaka)
    D2: Go to Kobe/ Himeji

    (3) Use 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass:
    D3: Explore Kyoto (day1)
    D4: Explore Kyoto (day2)
    D5: Explore Nara + Mt. Koyasan
    (PLEASE ADVISE: Should i put Mt. Koya in separate day?)

    (4) Use 5-day Takayama-Hokuriku Pass
    D7: STAY in KANAZAWA (Explore kanazawa)
    D8: Explore Shirakawago + Takayama (half-day)
    D9: Explore Takayama (full-day)
    D10: Explore Toyama?
    (PLEASE ADVISE: Not sure if i can go Alpine using Takayam-Hokuriku Pass)
    D11: Explore Kanazawa b4 going back Osaka

    (5) Use Osaka Kaiyukan Pass
    D12: Explore Aquarium + Explore Osaka (day2)

    (6) PLEASE ADVISE: Kansai 2-day pass
    (OR Round-trip using JR + One-way Back to KIX?)
    D13: Go Kobe-Sanda outlet
    D14: Go back (afternoon flight)

    There are “3 specific questions” as stated in “please advise” above.
    4th ques: Is my plan ok? If too long, will cut short into 13 days instead.

    Tqvm for your time Takeshi-San 🙂

    1. Hi Ling Ling san,

      1 Mt Koya and Nara in one day is too tight. You should visit these places in different days.

      2. Takayama Hokuriku area pass does not cover Alpine route. You can get Toyama but after that, you need to pay extra.

      3. You can take express bus to visit Outlet. Please see the link below:
      Don’t use any deals for outlet. You can add other deal or single ticket to get KIX. Please see the link below:

      Your itinerary is okay but as I mentioned, you have to rearrange for Nara and Koyasan.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Tq Takeshi san for your recommendations.
        I’ve rearranged accordingly:

        (1) Use Yokoso! Osaka Ticket
        D1: Reach KIX (930am) – Stay in Osaka-namba area (Explore Osaka using Yokoso! Osaka Ticket)

        (2) Use One-day Osaka Kaiyukan Ticket
        D2: Explore Aquarium + Osaka

        (3) Use 3-day Kansai Thru Pass
        D3: Kobe/ Himeji
        D4: Osaka
        D5: Mt. Koya

        (4) Use 3-day Kansai Thru Pass
        D6: Kyoto
        D7: Kyoto
        D8: Nara (Please advise: If you have any good place to recommend too after visiting Nara! :D)

        (5) Use 1-day Bus trip to Kobe-Sanda Outlet
        D9: Bus round-trip to Kobe-Sanda Outlet – 1 day Shopping!

        (6) Use Takayama-Hokuriku Pass
        D10: Stay in Kanazawa + Explore Kanazawa
        D11: Shirakawago + Takayama
        D12: Takayama
        D13: Toyama + Alpine Route
        D14 – Fly home (4 pm flight)

        Question 1: I hope this is a better and more organised plan than before 🙂

        Question 2: Whether 1 day in Nara is ok? Do you have a good place to recommend to add on to the day of Nara? 🙂

        Question 3: I think this plan saves more money than the old one. Because I use Takayama Hokuriku Pass to get back to KIX, and also I use Yokoso Osaka Pass on Day 1 since i will only be traveling in Osaka that day.

        Please correct me if i am wrong.
        And do recommend me if you think/ know there is a better option of passes 🙂

        Thank you!!!!!!!!

          1. Thank you Takeshi San.
            Just to clarify something with you because i want to be more sure.

            I plan to use Osaka Kaiyukan Pass on the 2nd day..
            Will i be able to access to Ikeda to visit the Momofuku Ramen Museum?
            Though “Ikeda” wasn’t written on the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket Map, but it is part of Hankyu Line.
            So it should be accessible? 🙂

        1. Hi Takeshi San.
          Thanks for clarifying that point 🙂

          Another point i am confused is how to access from Takayama or Kanazawa back to KIX?

          a) I plan to use my Takayama Hokuriku Pass from 2/11 to 6/11. And I will only be visiting Kanazawa, Shirakawago & Takayama in these days. (Not visiting Toyama anymore).

          b) All the flight time available is at 11am from KIX.

          c) haven buy my flight ticket yet.. Thinking to buy it on the 7/11. If so, i will overnight in the KIX instead.

          1) My confusion –> How to access from Takayama to KIX? Is it a direct access by Wide View Hida? Thx 🙂

          2) I was thinking to Avoid confusion/ too rushing.. I should move the 5days Takayama trip to the beginning of the trip..
          ie, Day 1-5 (Takayama, Shiraukawago, Kanazawa), Day 6-14 (Osaka, Kyoto, Koyasan, Nara). I wonder if This will be a better plan?

          3) Please share your opinion on whichever path is more convenient 🙂

          THANK YOU!!!!!

          *Very confused Ling hahaha

          1. Hi Ling Ling san,

            1. You have to go to Kanazawa anyway. Takayama Hokuriku area pass does not cover direct train to Osaka.

            2. As long as you leave by morning flight, you have to stay in Osaka. So the plan which you are thinking is better.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          2. If i were to remove Kanazawa from My plan, and only spend about 2 days and 1 night in Takayama & visit Shirakawago…

            1. Should i get to Takayama on the 1st day.. Or staying in Osaka 1st day & Go Takayama on 2nd day.
            If so, how do i get to Takayama for the first day?
            Will using Takayama-Hokuriku Pass be worth it?

            I’m abit cost sensitive 🙂 Thx for helping me out.

            2. 2 days 1 night in Takayama & shirakawago is enough? or 3 days 2 night is better 🙂

            3. I have just bought flight ticket (20/10 to 2/11).. 14 days 13 nights.

            So far my plan is –
            3 days – Osaka
            3 days – Kyoto
            2 days – Takayama (is a must to go)
            1 day – Koyasan
            1 day – Nara
            1 day – Kaiyukan
            1 day – Kobe Outlet
            1 day – FREE (will research to go somewhere OR Takayama if spending 3 days 2 nights there is a Better plan than 2 days 1 night)

            THANK YOU X1000…

          3. Hi Ling Ling san,

            As long as you use Takayama Hokuriku area pass, you have to go to Kanazawa first. I think your original plan includes Kanazawa. That is why I recommended this pass. If you visit only Takayama (and Shirakawago), you cannot get Takayama directly by this pass. You should take express bus.

            But Takayama Hokuriku area pass covers bus to Shirakwago and train to Hida-Furukawa. And you can go to Toyama or Kanazawa when you are in Takayama if you want. If you take express bus, you have to pay one by one. Total cost will be higher than Takayama Hokuriku area pass. So you have to choose which one is better choice for your trip.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

        2. Also.. Does This Takayama-Hokuriku Pass Cover JR transport within Takayama?? 🙂
          Like between JR Hida Furukawa Station and JR Takayama Station etc.

          1. Hi Takeshi san,

            You are right.. I calculated and checked the route properly again.

            One question.. Whether Takayama-Hokuriku Pass cover JR Transport between JR Johana line and Tonani Station?
            My mum is interested to visit the Tonami Tulip Park.
            But the Timetable on the website does not state Tonami station.

          2. Hi Ling Ling san,

            No. It’s not covered by this pass unfortunately.

            Please try to find where you really want to visit and then choosing the deal.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’ll be on the following itinerary with my elderly mom, so taking things easier.

    Day 1 : Red eye in Nagoya
    Day2: Nagoya
    Day3: Nagoya to Takayama
    Day4: Takayma to Shirakawago
    Day5: Takayama
    Day6: Takayama to Tateyama
    Day7: Tateyama Alphine up to Murano, then to Kanazawa
    Day8: Kanawaza
    Day9: Kanawaza to Fukui (Tojinbo Cliff) to Osaka
    Day10: Osaka
    Day11: Morning flight out of Osaka

    Which pass should I buy?

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Can 1 person buy 2 Takayama Hokuriku pass? and can they be exchange at the same time but activated on different dates?

        1. Hi Daphne san,

          Yes, you may.
          But if you use second pass for Kanaawa-Osaka-Kansai airport, you cannot get the worth. I cannot find any reasons to have two passes.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass- can we use this pass from Toyama to Kurobe Gorge?

    Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass & Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass- Are we allowed to buy these 2 passes & exchange it at the same time in Nagoya station?
    Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto- Will be using from day1-day5
    Takayama-Hokuriku Area-using from day3-day7

      1. Hi
        This is my schedule
        Day 1-Nagoya–>Takayama
        Day 2-Takayama
        Day 3-Takayama–>Shirakawago –>Toyama
        Day 4-Alpine Route (group 1 ppl) Kurobe Gorge (group 2 ppl)
        Day 5- Toyama –> Osaka
        Day 6- Osaka–>Kyoto–>Osaka
        Day 7 Osaka

        What kind of passes will u recommend?

        I am thinking of Group 1 Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass & Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass

        Group 2 ppl- Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass & Kansai Pass 2 days

        1. Hi Ching,

          I think Takayama Hokuriku area pass is okay for both groups. Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto area pass is too expensive to use just taking alpine route. If group 1 want to go through whole part of alpine route, use Tateyama Kurobe option ticket and single ticket from Nagano to Toyama (around 7,000 yen).

          Kansai area pass is okay for both group.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Dear Takeshi san,

    My upcoming trips to Japan will be as follow:
    16 Jun : arrive Osaka in afternoon – staying near Imamiya station
    17 Jun : Tenjinbashi-Umeda-Kaiyukan-Dotonbori
    18 Jun : Kyoto (use 1day Bus Pass)- go back to Osaka
    19 Jun : Kuromon Ichiba (morning) – Nagoya (overnight)
    20 Jun : Takayama – Toyama (overnight)
    21 Jun : Alpen route (use
    Tateyama Kurobe option ticket) – Nagano (overnight)
    22 Jun : Tokyo
    23 Jun : Hakone – Tokyo
    24 Jun: Odaiba
    25 Jun : Disney Sea
    26 Jun : Shinjuku-Ginza and around – home (late flight)

    Kindly advise what JR Pass must I use? I was thinking of getting individual JR Pass and Shinkansen for long trip, getting Osaka Kaiyu ticket for 17 Jun and the rest just using ICOCA card. As for Tokyo, I’m thinking of just getting Metro card to commute around.

    I came accross the Takayama Hokuriku area pass recently, which makes me wonder whether I should be getting this one to make my trip more economical?

    Please note that I’ll be taking elderlies with me, so I think it’d be better to have something fast with seats ^_^

    Can ICOCA card be used all the way to Tokyo and for monorails?

    Thank you and have a good weekend

    1. Hi Lina san,

      Takayama Hokuriku area pass does not work because you will travel from Nagoya-Takayama-Toyama only. As you think, you can use local deals, such as bus pass, Kaiyu ticket, ICOCA card in each cities. And add single ticket for city to city transfer. You may consider using Platt Kodama for Shin-Osaka to Nagoya.

      You can use ICOCA in Tokyo. Of course you use it for taking Monorail. But ICOCA include 500 yen deposit. If you refund this, you have to do before you leave Osaka/Kyoto. You cannot refund it in Tokyo.

      When you purchase a ticket for long distance trip, such as Nagoya to Takayama, you can reserve your seat.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi san,

        Thank you for your reply.

        I was advised to use Nankai rapi-t train to go to Imamiya from Kansai. Is this better than Haruka train?

        As for Osaka Kaiyu ticket, can it be bought anywhere in Osaka or must it be purchased in Kansai airport only? I understand from one of your page that the ticket can also be used for metro in that day. How much is the coverage area so we can make the most of it.

        Kindly advise also whether Tokyo has something similar to ICOCA card, and where can we purchase it. Since, we’ll be spending most time in Tokyo.

        Since you don’t advise on Takayama Hokuriku pass, we’ll buy single tickets on our trip. Do we reserve the same treatment for getting reserved seats on shinkansens as JR Pass’ holders? Can we actually reserve tickets in advance before the date?

        Thank you again and have a good weekend…

        1. Hi Lina san,

          There are two stations which are Shin-Imamiya and Imamiya. Nankai railway Rapi:t or ordinary express trains go directly to Shin-Imamiya. If you meant Shin-Imamiya, Nankai is better. Imamiya is one station away from Shin-Imamiya. If you meant Imamiya, it doesn’t matter which train you take, Haruka or Rapi:t. If you take Haruka, get off Haruka at Tennoji and then take local train to Imamiya.

          You can purchase Osaka Kaiyu Ticket at any subway stations. Subway Daikokucho station is 500m away from Imamiya station. You can walk to get Daikokucho station. Imamiya station is JR station and you cannot catch subway there. Shin-Imamiya station is Nankai railway and JR station. But Dobutsuenmae station is almost same location as Shin-Imamiya. You can catch subway there. Please check the subway route map in the link below. You can take all subway line in the map by Osaka Kaiyu ticket. You can find Daikokucho (Y16/M21) and Dobutsuenmae (M22/K19) in the map.

          I recommend you to book a ticket in advance if you have a time. You can book at most of JR stations. You don’t need to do it in Nagoya. You can do it when you are in Osaka.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Takeshi san,

            Thanx again for the reply.

            Yes, it’s in between Imamiya and Daikokucho station. The place is around Naniwa-ku area. Which is more efficient to use from Kansai? Haruka or rapi-t train?

            So, if I don’t have a JR pass, it’s better to take trains from Daikokucho station? Can we go to Kyoto, Nagoya from this station?

            I wonder if you know similiar ticket to ICOCA ticket that can be used anywhere and refunded in Tokyo?

            Just to double cek with you, does the pass for Tateyama Kurobe option ticket covers Dentetsu Toyama to Nagano? I understand cabin luggage is not allowed. How about bagpack? Is there any recommended size allowed in Alpine route?

            Thank you

          2. Hi Lina san,

            You can take either train but Haruka may be a bit better because you will take JR local train to Imamiya. You can change trains inside ticket gate in Tennoji station. If you take Nankai, you need to exit Nankai railway exit and enter JR station.

            When you use subway ticket, you can take train at Daikokucho. When you go to Kyoto, you should catch train at Imamiya. When you go to Kyoto, you may think about using Kansai area pass.

            You can take local train at Imamiya. Or you can go to Tennoji by local train and then catch Haruka to Kyoto. You can get Kyoto from Tennoji directly.
            If you go to Kyoto on 17th (day 2 of your trip), you can use 2 days Kansai area pass for taking Haruka and local train to Imamiya. And then use this for trip to Kyoto.

            You need to get Shin-Osaka when you go to Nagoya by Shinkansen. You can get there by either subway or JR.

            You need to buy IC card (ICOCA in Osaka, Suica in Tokyo) separately if you want to refund it. There is no cards available which you want.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          3. Hi Takeshi san,

            I’m sorry I’m still a bit puzzled with the transportation once I arrived in Osaka. You mentioned Haruka will be better for me to get to my accommodation. Correct me if I am wrong, does Haruka charges a surcharge fee again on top of seat fee? I read somewhere, it will cost me more than Y2000 using Haruka from Kansai to Tennoji/Imamiya. Wouldn;t rapi-t train be cheaper?

            In one of the page you suggested, I came accross Yokoso Osaka ticket. For Y1500 , it can be used for Kansai-Namba using rapi-t train and also Osaka city subway , new tram and bus 1-day unlimited pass. I think it’s a pretty good deal. Is this ticket OK? Do you think I can use this for day 1 when I arrived in Osaka? Given that I’ll be arriving in the afternoon and after cek-in, we wish to wander around Dotonbori area.

            You also suggested 2 days Kansai area pass, this is if I change my plan to day 2: Kyoto instead of Osaka. Can the Kansai area pass be used for commuting in between Kansai and Imamiya, around Osaka on day 1, shinkansen to Kyoto, also around Kyoto? May I know how much does it cost?

            As for shinkansens, will we still be allowed to reserve seats in advance even though we don’t hold JR Pass?

            Truly appreciate your advice..

            Have a fabs weekend


          4. Hi Lina san,

            If you take Haruka, you can use Haruka discount ticket at 1,100 yen for Tennoji. This ticket covers not only Haruka to Tennoji but also local train from Tennji to Imamiya.

            You can use Yokoso Osaka ticket if you like. In this case, you need to change trains at Namba. And take subway from Namba to Daikokucho. You cannot get Imamiya by this pass as I mentioned Imamiya is JR station, not subway station.

            If you use Kansai area pass, you can get unlimited JR trains ride. But you cannot take Shinkansen. It’s not covered and you don’t need to take it. You can take Haruka from Tennoji to Kyoto. It’s totally fine. You can get Arashiiyama, Fushimi and Nijo by this pass, but other areas are not covered.

            If you want to know the cost, you have to make sure all trip plans and how many times/which train you take. But I don’t think you can do it at this point because you have a rough plan. So don’t think too much and try to use the pass as many as you can. You will get a flexibility and easier to handle.

            Yokoso Osaka ticket for day 1 and Kansai area pass 1 day for day 2 is fine. It’s cheaper and may be better.

            You can book and purchase Shinkanesen ticket in advance at most of JR stations.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          5. Dear Takeshi san,

            Hopefully my last question . My Kyoto trip will only be Fushimi inari, Gion, Nishiki market, Kiyomishudera and then go back to Osaka. Do you think 1 day Kansai area pass is worthwhile? Does Kansai area pass cover reserved seats too given that I’ll be taking elderlies with kid.

            I check in hyperdia, tickets to Kyoto from Daikokucho will have extra fee for reserved seats. Does it mean if ee don’t pay the extra fee, we won’t be getting any seats?

            Can we buy Haruka ticket straight in the airport once we arrived in Kansai?

            As for Yosoko ticket, does it entitle me for unlimited subway ride back and forth? Since we were thinking of checking in hotel first before going to Dotonbori and around.

            Seems like you are very familiar with Osaka, do you happen to know how late does Kuromon Ichiba market close?

            Thanks again

          6. Hi Lina san,

            As I mentioned, you can take Haruka by Kansai area pass from Tennoji to Kyoto. This is the easiest and more comfortable way to get Kyoto. If you pay for single fare to take Haruka, it’s much more expensive than Kansai area pass. There is non reserved car in Haruka. You can take any seats there . Reserved seat is not available for Kansai area pass. If you really need it, you need to pay single fare. Kansai area pass can be purchased in Kansai airport station.

            If you don’t take Haruka, you need to take commute trains. It’s much busier and may be need to stand up in the car.

            Yokoso Osaka ticket gives you unlimited ride of subway. You can take subway ride as many as you want.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          7. Dear Takeshi san,

            Hope you had a good weekend..

            I’ve finalised my route. Could you kindly check whether my itin plan and transportation is alright..

            16 Jun : arrive Osaka 4.00 PM – cek in Naniwa-ku – explore Dotonbori at night (use Yokoso ticket)
            17 Jun : Osaka House Living Museum-Umeda Building-Kaiyukan-Dotonbori (use Osaka Kaiyu Ticket)
            18 Jun : to Kyoto (Fushimi Inari – Gion – Nishiki Market – Kiyomizu dera) – go back to Osaka (use Kanzai area Pass 1day)
            19 Jun : Kuromon Ichiba (morning) – Nagoya (use single subway ticket – transfer in Namba then Kodoma/Nozomi shinkansen to Nagoya )
            20 Jun : * Nagoya – Takayama ( use View Hida 7)
            * Takayama – Toyama (use View Hida 13)
            21 Jun : Dentetsu Toyama – Alpen route – Nagano ( use Toyama Chico Railway then Tateyama Kurobe option ticket)
            * Alpen route – Nagano (use Express Alpico Bus)
            22 Jun : Nagano – Shinjuku (pick up Hakone pass) -Ryogoku (use Shinkansen Kagayaki then single subway)
            23 Jun : Ryogoku – Hakone – Ryogoku (use Suica – Hakone Free pass – single subway)
            24 Jun: Ryogoku – explore Odaiba (use Suica for monorail – Hinomaru Free Bus)
            25 Jun : Ryogoku – Disney Sea (use free pick up from hotel)
            26 Jun : * Ryogoku – Shinjuku-Shibuya-Ginza-Ikebukuro and around (use Metro 1 day pass) –
            * to Haneda International terminal – use Suice for monorail from Shimbashi

            Anything that you can adjust cost-wise?

            Thank you kindly again… Truly appreciate your assistance!

          8. Hi Lina san,

            It looks good.

            For 17 Jun, if you are pretty sure to visit Osaka House Living Museum, Umeda Building, Kaiyukan and Dotonbori, Kaiyu ticket is the best deal. But if you visit other places, amazing pass may be cheaper.

            By the way, Monorail to Haneda departs from Hamamatsucho, not Shinbashi.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          9. Dear Takeshi san,

            Thanx again for your reply.

            For day 1, if I use Yokoso ticket, can we get off in Tennoji transfer to Daikochu then go back to Namba and Dotonbori on that day without incurring extra cost?

            Does Yokoso ticket have child fare? Can you suggest other ticket with child fare+senior fare from KIX to Daikochu on day 1?

            As for monorail to Haneda, how do we go to Hamamatsucho? Can we catch them from Ryogoku? Is monorail ticket covered by metro subway pass?

            For all the tickets I’ll be using, can we buy them all there on the spot in Japan?

            Kindly shed me some light

          10. Hi Lina san,

            You cannot get off at Tennoji because you need to take Nankai railway. Nankai railway does not have any stations in Tennoji. Just go to Namba to change subway.
            Yokoso ticket must be purchase online or designated travel agency in foreign countries before you arrive.

            Child rate is not available for Yokoso Oskaa ticket. Single fare and subway pass are the choices for child. But if child is less than 5 years old, it’s free of charge as long as you share the seat when you take limited express train “Rapi:t”. When you take subway, child less than 5 year old is free. Otherwise purchase subway pass on the spot.

            You can take subway Oedo line from Ryogoku to Daimon. Daimon is same location as Hamamatsucho.

            Monorail is not covered by subway pass. You need to pay single fare to get Monorail. Tokyo subway pass can be purchased in Japan.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          11. Good evening Takeshi san,

            I think I’m a bit overwhelmed with the subway system in Japan .

            So, for Yokoso I need to interchange in Namba before going to Daikokucho. After checking in the hotel, can we use the Yokoso ticket to go back to Namba/Dotonbori that evening or must we get another subway ticket?

            The child is 8. What ticket can be used for him in conjunction with Yokoso ticket?

            Can Kansai area pass be purchased anywhere in Osaka?


          12. Hi Lisa san,

            Yokoso Osaka ticket is consist of two parts, Nankai railway from KIX to Namba, and subway unlimited pass. So you will start subway pass after you arrive in Namba. It’s valid until midnight.

            Kanku Webtoku for KIX to Namba is the choice for your child.

            And add Eco card (subway pass). I think I gave your the link of city deal in Oaska in previous reply. Please refer it.

            You can purchase Kansai area pass at the designated station only


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

          13. Hi Takeshi san,

            Hope you have a good weekend…

            Just to clarify everything:

            1. Yokoso ticket can be used from KIX to Namba, then I can use subway from Namba to Daikokucho. The unlimited subway means the ticket can be used back and forth until midnight that day, right? from Daikokucho to Namba, Dotonbori and around, and back to my hotel again?

            2. Kanku Webtoku for KIX to Namba = does the child fare only applicable thru online booking? Must we set the time for booking also? is it possible to get the Yokoso ticket with same schedule?

            3. I have checked http://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/kansai/
            => mentions it is cheaper to be bought outside Japan. I can’t seem to find travel agent that sells this pass in my home country. Can the pass be bought online? If I bought them in Kansai airport and activate them on day 3, is this allright?

            You said ‘You can get Arashiiyama, Fushimi and Nijo by this pass, but other areas are not covered’ Are the places I want to visit, ie: Fushimi Inari, Ginza, Nishiki market, Daimaru, Kiyomizu dera covered with this pass?

            Does Kansai area pass cover Haruka from Daikokucho to Kyoto?

            Thank you again ^_^

          14. Hi Lina san,

            1. That’s right.

            2. It’s online deal. You can book same train.

            3. You can purchase it at lower price online.

            All day bus 500 yen is recommended for addition.

            You cannot take JR train at Daikokucho. I think I have mentioned several times about Imamiya station (JR) and Daikokucho station (subway). You need to go to Imamiya station to take JR trains, not Daikokucho. And also you need to take JR local train from Daikokucho to Tennoji because Haruka does not stop at Imamiya.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Dear Takeshi San,

    I’ve written to enquire on the same thing 🙂
    But would like to give u more details so it is easier for u to advise me.

    My family of 5 would like to travel to Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Takayama and shirakawago.

    Current Itinerary as follow:
    D1: Arrive KIX @ 8.35am – Osaka Day 1 [Stay in Osaka]
    D2: Osaka Day 2
    D3: Kyoto Day 1 [Stay in Osaka]
    D5: Kyoto Day 2
    D6: From Kanazawa to Takayama [stay in Takayama]
    D7: Shirakawago + Gokayama [stay in Takayama OR Shirakawago Minshuku if more convenient]
    D8: Visit Alpine Route (if possible) b4 go back to Osaka
    D9: Himeji + Kobe [still Stay in Osaka]
    D10: Fly back home

    QUES 1: Which Pass will u recommend that suit us most? I am confused to choose between Takayama-Hokuruku Area Pass OR Kansai Thru Pass. Is there better and more suitable pass? 🙂
    QUES 2: Whether staying in Shirakawago Minshuku on Day 7 will make it more convenient for us?

    Thank you for your time 🙂

    1. Hi Ling san,

      For day 1, you can choose one of the deals in the link below:

      I recommend you to switch Osaka on day 2 and Himeji/Kobe on day 9. So you will visit Kobe/Himeji on day 2 and use 3 days Kansai thru pass for Himeji, Kobe and Kyoto 2 days.

      And then you can start using Takayama Hokuriku area pass when you leave for Kanazawa.
      If you stay in Shirakawago, you can visit this area easily. But you can stay in Takayama for 2 nights and make trips to Shirakawago/Gokayama on the way to Kanazawa. If you want to visit Alpine route, I recommend you to stay in Kanazawa or Toyama. Takayama is not very accessible to get Alpine route.

      Takayama Hokuriku area pass covers local train in Osaka and you can get KIX by this pass.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you so much for your reply Takeshi-san.

        After considering your advise… If i were to extend my itinerary as below-
        D1: Arrive KIX @ 8.25am – Use KANSAI 2-days pass – Explore Osaka (half-day) [Stay in Osaka]
        D2: Himeji/ Kobe (full-day)

        D3: Use TAKAYAMA-HOKURIKU PASS – Takayama (half-day) [Stay in Takayama]
        D4: Takayama (full-day)
        D5: Explore Shirakawago/ Gokayama b4 going Kanazawa [Stay in Kanawaza]
        D6: Explore Kanazawa (maybe Alpine Route)
        D7: Leave Kanazawa & Go to Osaka – Explore Osaka Day 2 (Half day)

        D8: Use Kansai 3 days pass – Explore Kyoto (full-day) [Stay in Osaka]
        D9: Explore Kyoto (full-day)
        D10: Explore Osaka (Full-day)

        D11 – Fly home
        (Use One-time Ticket to go from Osaka to KIX)

        (1) Is this plan Better than the plan b4?
        Means, i will use 2 days Kansai, then 5 days Takayama Pass, then 3 days Kansai pass.
        Will want to use the passes to their maximum value hehe.
        (2) Can Kansai thru pass be used to go from Osaka to KIX airport?


        1. Hi Ling san,

          Your plan looks okay. You can use this.

          Kansai thru pass covers the trip to KIX. But you can take only Osaka subway and Nankai railway. You cannot take JR trains, like Haruka.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thank you for your Very prompt replies Takeshi-San.
            You’re the best!

            Ohh.. I see. If so, will you recommend JR Rail pass (if it covers more places)?

            Ps.. We don’t mind a little more walk.
            If Kansai thru pass allows us to explore just as much places as JR rail pass.. We don’t mind using kansai thru pass 🙂

            TQVM! Cheers <3

          2. Hi Ling san,

            Kansai thru pass is much better choice to get Kyoto than JR Kansai area pass. Kansai thru pass covers non JR trains, subway and city bus. That is much more convenient to explore in Kyoto than Kansai area pass. As long as you travel in Kansai area, Kansai area pass does not have any better benefits than Kansai thru pass. If you go outside Kansai area, it’s different story. But you have to make sure what you want to go first.


            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hai Takeshi,

    Please advise to my itin below what pass should we use :
    Apr 22 arrived osaka – afternoon go to universal
    Apr 23 nabana no sato illumination
    Apr 24 osaka – takayama
    Apr 25 takayama – shirakawago – kanazawa
    Apr 26 kanazawa
    Apr 27 kanazawa- tateyama – matsumoto
    Apr 28 matsumoto – tokyo
    Apr 29 tokyo – ashikaga flower park wisteria – tokyo
    Apr 30 tokyo
    Mei 1 fly back

    Is jr 7 days pass is suitabla for day 2- day 9? Or any other pass?

    Thanks before

    1. Hi Chrisian,

      You can use JR pass 7 days for day 2 to 9 as you think. You can use Haruka discount ticket to get Universal city if you go straight to USJ after arrival.

      If not, get ICOCA and Haruka, and use ICOCA to get Universal city.

      You can use ICOCA in Tokyo as well but you cannot get refund for deposit in Tokyo. If you want, you need to do it before you leave Osaka. Otherwise you can use Haruka discount ticket only and use single fare ticket.

      You may use subway pass in Tokyo.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi,

        Thanks for the quick response.

        If i make the schedule like below :
        24 Apr Osaka – Takayama
        25 Apr Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa
        26 Apr Kanazawa – Gokayama – Kanazawa
        27 Apr Kanazawa – Tateyama Alpine Route – Matsumoto

        Could we use hokuriku takayama pass ? the rest schedule i will use single fare. so we no need to buy JR Pass. Please advise. Thanks before

        1. Hi Chrisian,

          You cannot get Takayama directly by Takayama Hokuriku area pass. You have to take the route via Kanazawa and Toyama (or Shirakawago). As long as you want to get Takayama first, you need to have other deal, such as JR pass.


          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Hi Takeshi,

    Below is my itinerary. Please advise which pass is suitable for my trip. Thanks a lot. ^_^

    Day 1: KIX (late flight at 9.20pm) > Namba > Stay at Namba
    Day 2: Sightseeing at Osaka
    Day 3: Universal Studios Japan
    Day 4: Osaka > Kyoto > Kiyiomizudera > Higashiyama/Gion > Stay at Kyoto
    Day 5: Kyoto > Shinkansen to Takayama via Nagoya > Takayama > Stay at Takayama
    Day 6: Takakyama > Bus to Shirakawago (half day) > Takayama > Nagoya > Stay at Nagoya
    Day 7: Nagoya > Chubu Airport


    1. Hi Clare,

      You may use Yokoso Osaka ticket for day 1 and 2.

      On day 3, you can start using Takayama Hokuriku area pass in the post above. You can take JR train to Universal city (USJ) and taking train to Kyoto from Osaka on day 4.
      But you need to add all day bus pass at 500 yen in Kyoto. Takayama Hokuriku area pass does not cover any local transportation in Kyoto.

      Takayama Hokuriku area pass does not cover Shinkansen from Kyoto to Nagoya. You need to add Platt Kodama for Shinkansen ride to Nagoya.

      You can restart using Takayama Hokuriku area pass after arriving Nagoya. All trips will covered after Nagoya except Nagoya to Chubu airport. You have to pay single fare for taking Meitetsu railway.

      You have to add many other deals on top of Takayama Hokuriku area pass. But it’s still the best deal.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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