Ise access guide. Kintetsu is the best way but we can use JR Pass too.

This building is Naiku Kaguraden. It is one of the buildings in one of two shrines, Naiku and Gaiku.
This building is Naiku Kaguraden. It is one of the buildings in one of two shrines, Naiku and Gaiku.

Ise is well known as home of Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu). This is one of the most sacred and most famous Shinto shrine throughout Japan. And most part of Ise area is located in Ise-Shima National Park. There are lots of beautiful scenery and you can enjoy many kinds of fresh seafood. If you are family traveller, there are aquarium in Toba area and Shima Spanish village theme park in Shima area. There are many kinds of attraction for all types of travellers.

Ise, Toba and Shima areas are very accessible by Kintetsu Railway’s train. Most of domestic travellers use this train. But if you are Japan Rail Pass user, you can use the pass with small restriction. I tell you about access to this area by both Kintetsu trains and JR trains.

Gateway stations

Access map to Ise area. (Click to enlarge)
Access map to Ise area. (Click to enlarge)

Nagoya is a primary gateway station to go Ise. Especially if you use JR trains which is covered by Japan Rail Pass, Rapid Mie is only direct service to get Ise. Kintetsu trains go directly from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. But it is not covered by Japan Rail Pass.

Access from Nagoya by Rapid train Mie

KIHA 75 series runs as Rapid train Mie from Nagoya to Ise.
KIHA 75 series runs as Rapid train Mie from Nagoya to Ise.

Once you reach Nagoya from Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and many more stations by Tokaido and Sanyo Shikansen, simply transfer to this train, Rapid Mie. It will take you to Ise and Toba easily and directly. The trip time is around 1.5 to 2 hours. But this train goes on non JR line, Ise Railway on the way to Ise. So even this route is NOT fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Please see the post, JR direct train to Ise from Nagoya. Rapid train Mie to get the details.

And if you need more info about Nagoya station, please see JR Central official site to get the layout of Nagoya station.

Access from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya by Kintetsu Railway’s train

Kintetsu is the first railway company to introduce double decker train in Japan.
Kintetsu is the first railway company to introduce double decker train in Japan.

Kintetsu Railway is the biggest private railway company. The trains run directly to Ise from three major ciites, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. Especially if you want to access to Ise from Osaka or Kyoto, Kintetsu is much better choice than JR because of fast and direct.

Travel time comparison between Kintetsu and JR trains
Osaka-Namba – Toba — 2 hrs by Kintetsu limited express
Shin-Osaka – Toba — 3 hrs by Shinkansen and Rapid Mie

Kyoto – Toba — 2 hrs 15 mins by Kintetsu limited express
Kyoto – Toba — 2 hrs 45 mins by Shinkansen and Rapid Mie

Nagoya – Toba — 1.5 hrs by Kintetsu limited express
Nagoya – Toba — 2 hrs by Rapid Mie

Kintesu’s limited express trains have same quality as JR’s limited express trains. JR do not operate any limited express train to Ise. If you want to have more comfortable trip, Kintetsu is better choice. Especially the newest fleet “Shimakaze” has very beautiful reputation. It is almost impossible to book a seat so far.

Kintetsu limited express trains are operated very often. It mostly runs every one hour between Osaka/Nagoya and Toba/Kashikojima. Kyoto departure trains run less than Osaka and Nagoya departure trains. But regular express trains from Kyoto takes you Yamato-Yagi and transfer to limited express trains from Osaka.

If you use Kintetsu limited express trains, use Kintetsu Rail Pass. Regular type that is sold at 3700 yen is cheaper than round trip to Toba from Nagoya by limited express. It gives you great deal. I strongly recommend you to use this pass!

22 thoughts on “Ise access guide. Kintetsu is the best way but we can use JR Pass too.”

  1. Hello Takeshi,

    I am planning to visit Toba from Kurashiki on June 19 and then go to Shuzenji from Toba 2 days later. I have purchased a JR pass for my trip.

    I see that from Kurashiki to Toba, I would need to transfer from the JR Shinkansen to either Kintesu Limited Express to Rapid Mie at Nagoya. I read your other article and I wanted to confirm if Rapid Mie was the better/more economic option? Can I purchase the tickets at Nagoya Station? It appears that the duration from Nagoya to Toba is similiar on the Rapid Mie vs. the Kintesu Limited Express.

    From Toba to Shuzenji, I assume I would take the same train back to Nagoya and then transfer to the JR Shinkansen? Would I purchase a round trip ticket or is there another more economic pass?

    If you could help, that would be great!

    Thanks in advance!


    1. Hi Eileen,

      You have JR pass. So most part of your trip is covered. As you read the post about Rapid Mie, you have to pay for non JR segment. And also you have to pay for Mishima to Shuzenji.
      If you meant to purchase reserved seat ticket, it’s also covered. You can reserve your seat at the ticket window in any major JR stations.

      Kintetsu limited express is not covered at all by JR pass. So Rapid Mie is obviously better way. Shinkansen is the way for other segment in your trip.


      Takeshi /

  2. I will be travelling to Nagoya to Ise Shima in Feb 2019, I wonder is the Aozora Free Pass 2,570 yen free pass by JR Central still valid?

    Was unable to find any information on the Aozora Free Pass on the JR Central English website.

    Just to check if this pass is able to use on Sunday? Cause some websites states that the pass is able to use on Saturdays & National holidays only.

  3. I am planning to go to Iseshi, Shima Peninsula & Toba from Nagoya, and leaving for Osaka by train. Please let me know how to get there by JR or Kintetsu. Tks

  4. Hi Takeshi,
    We’re planning a trip next year and was wondering how do we get from Mt. Koya to Ise Pennisula then to Kyoto… hope you can help us.


    1. Hi Joyce,

      I think you can find the route among Osaka, Ise and Kyoto in the post above. Mt. Koya can be accessed from Namba. So after visiting Mt. Koya, you need to go back to Namba. There is no direct routes from Mt. Koya to Ise.


      Takeshi /

  5. Hello Takeshi san,

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help.
    My itinerary for my Dec 2017 holiday is as such:
    1) 3rd Dec arrive at KIX airport.
    Airbnb in Dontonburi from 3rd Dec till 8th Dec.
    2) 8th Dec
    Travel from Nippombashi to Ujiyamada (Ise)
    Stay for 2 night, check-out 10th Dec
    3) 10th Dec
    Travel from Ujiyamada to Kashikojima (Shima) and stay for one night
    4) 11th Dec
    Travel from Kashikojima to Kyoto
    Stay Kyoto from 11th Dec till 14th Dec
    5) 14th Dec
    Stay 1 night at Bentencho, Osaka
    6) Bentencho to KIX

    I am confused by the 3 options (Kansai thru pass, JR Pass, Kintetsu Rail Pass)???
    In Singapore (where I am from), most people talks about JR Pass but I think Kintetsu rail pass is more suitable for my itinerary? Correct? Or is it even better to buy the Kansai thru pass?

    1. Hi Victor san,

      You need Kintetsu Rail Pass. This is only pass to cover Ise area. You can use it from 8th to 11th. But this pass is valid for 5 days. You have one more day. If you intend to visit Nara when you are in Kyoto or Osaka, you should use this one day for trip to Nara. Nara can be accessed from either Kyoto or Osaka.

      You may use local deals in Osaka and Kyoto. Please see the links below to find more info:


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi san,

        Thanks for advice, I have now included Nara into my trip. Basically,
        7th Dec (day trip to Nara from Nippombashi).
        8th Dec (Nippombashi to Iseshi).
        9th and 10th Dec (places around Shima, Toba and Shima). 11th Dec (Iseshi to Kyoto).

        But when I search on hyperdia versus search on Kintetsu website, the routes recommended are different. Which one should I rely on??

        1. Hi Victor san,

          You can use Kintetsu website. Hyperdia shows you the best routes in all railways. It includes the train which is not covered by Kintetsu pass. Kintetsu website shows you Kintetsu train only. It’s covered by the pass.


          Takeshi /

  6. I will be travelling from Tokyo to Ise City. What is the best route but cheap transportation that you can suggest?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Julius,

      If you visit only Ise, there is no deals available. Only JR Pass covers your trip. But one way fare + Shinkansen surcharge is less than half amount of JR Pass 7 days.

      Even if you have round trip in 7 days, you still cannot get the worth of the pass. But if you have another trip, you may get the worth of 7 days.


      Takeshi /

  7. Hello Takeshi san,

    I will be arriving in Osaka (KIX) next Feb at around 4pm. Will you be able to provide a cheapest route to Ise-Shi Station? Time isn’t a factor for me here.

    Thank you!

  8. Hello Takeshi san,
    I am planning a day trip to Ise jingu from Osaka this September. I looked at the
    Kintetsu home page for timetables of trains to Ise but they are in Japanese. Would you have a link to an english version?
    Thanks always for your help!


  9. I used the Kintestu 5 day pass a couple of years back and thought it was great, Kintetsu is a well run company and I belive the pass allows for through trains on the hanshin line to Kobe, making it a good option for touring the main sites in Kansai and adding Ise as well,

    I hope also to go back and see the new kintetsu terminus at abenobashi and the surrounding area, after the construction of Japan’s tallest office building above it.

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      When I visited in this past March, Abenobashi building was still under construction. But it looked quite tall. Especially Abenobashi/Tennoji area do not have such high rise buildings, like Umeda.

      I haven’t taken Kintetsu train for a ling time. I really want to take the newest train, Shimakaze!


      Takeshi / JP Rail

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