How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO
Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO

There are many deals for sightseeing in Osaka. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Osaka and want to visit the places in Osaka. I believe you will find most suitable for your trip.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Osaka from other cities, such as day trip to Osaka from Kyoto, from Kobe, Kansai thru pass is most recommended. Because Kansai Thru Pass and other deals are available. Please find the detailed information in the link below:

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

One-day unlimited Pass, Enjoy Eco Card

Subway Midousuji line Namba station
Subway Midousuji line Namba station
  • Price (weekday) – Adult:800 yen / Child:300 yen
  • Price (weekend) – Adult:600 yen / Child:300 yen
  • Coverage – All Osaka subway lines and Osaka city bus in allocated area
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight)

This is most common deal to cover Osaka. You can get unlimited ride of Osaka city subway and city bus. You can visit almost anywhere in city of Osaka.

Osaka subway map

If you use buy this pass on weekends or holidays, you can get this pass at lower price, only 600 yen. If you take subway train from Umeda (same place as JR Osaka) to Namba, the fare is 230 yen.

Roughly, if you make 4 trips by subway a day, it is paid off. It is not hard to use more than worth of 800 yen. You can purchase this pass at Osaka subway stations.

Osaka Visitors’ Ticket

  • Price (weekday) – Adult:550 yen / Child:Not available
  • Coverage – All Osaka subway lines and Osaka city bus in allocated area
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight)

This deal gives you the exactly same coverage as Enjoy Eco Card above. But the price is 550 yen and it is much cheaper if you use it on week days.

This pass is not available in the station. You must purchase it in Kansai airport or Tourist Information Center in Shisaibashi. Please see the detailed information in the official site.

Osaka Amazing Pass

Umeda Sky Building is on the attraction list of Osaka Amazing Pass. (C) JNTO
Umeda Sky Building is on the attraction list of Osaka Amazing Pass. (C) JNTO
  • Price (one day) – Adult:2,500 yen / Child:Not available
  • Price (two days) – Adult:3,300 yen / Child:Not available
  • Coverage – All Osaka subway lines and Osaka city bus in allocated area
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight), two consecutive days

This deal is 28 attractions free entry adding on Enjoy Eco Card (subway day pass). Please find the link below to find which attraction is included.

Attraction list of Osaka Amazing Pass

If you visit three or more attractions on the list, this deals gives you a better deal than subway pass.

There are two kinds of Amazing Pass available, 1 day and 2 days. The difference is coverage trains. Actually 1 day pass has better coverage. It covers not only subway but also non JR lines in city of Osaka, such as Nankai railway, Hanshin Railway, Kintetsu Railway and Keihan Railway. Please see the links below to compare the coverage trains:

Osaka Amazing Pass one day coverage map
Osaka Amazing Pass two days coverage map

As long as you stay in downtown Osaka, subway is okay to visit all places. But if you stay outside downtown Osaka, one day pass coverage may help you to access downtown Osaka. Please check the location of your stay before choosing the deals.

Child rate is not available. You need to use Eco Card (one day subway pass) and pay admission separately. But some attractions offers discount rate for Eco Card user.

Osaka Kaiyu Ticket

Kaiyukan is one of the most popular venue in Osaka. It can be accessed by Osaka subway. (C) JNTO
Kaiyukan is one of the most popular venue in Osaka. It can be accessed by Osaka subway. (C) JNTO
  • Price (Basic Osaka city version) – Adult:2,550 yen / Child:Not 1,300 yen
  • Coverage – All Osaka subway lines and Osaka city bus in allocated area
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight)

This is combo deal of Osaka subway unlimited ride pass and Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium admission. You can take subway train to get Osakako station which is the nearest station to Kaiyukan Aquarium. If you visit there from Namba or Umeda by this pass, it is paid off. If you take subway train after visiting Kaiyukan Aquarium, your saving is getting bigger and bigger. There are several versions of Osaka Kaiyu Ticket available. Some deals include other railway trains to get Osaka from other cities. Please see the detailed information in the link below:

Osaka Kaiyu Ticket basic information

I have used this ticket before and wrote about it in the link below. It may help you to plan for your visit Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium.

Trip to Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium by Osaka Kaiyu Ticket

If you use Osaka Amazing Pass, you can get a discount to enter this aquarium. Osaka Amazing Pass covers other attractions around Kaiyukan Aquarium, such as Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel, Cruise Ship Santa Maria. If you have a plan to visit these places when you visit Kaiyukan Aquarium, Osaka Amazing Pass may be better than Osaka Kaiyu Ticket.

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 Osaka. 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 travel.

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 both subway and JR trains.
3. You cannot fix your plan and want to have some flexibility.

If you visit three places in subway coverage area, you may need to take subway 4 times. It costs around 800 yen that is equal to one day subway pass.

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 visit Osaka and other cities in same day

As I mentioned at the top of this article, there are some deals available, such as Kansai Thru Pass. But if you move other city after sightseeing in Osaka, Kansai Thru Pass and other deals may not be suitable.

e.g.
Sightseeing in Osaka, move to Kyoto and stay (no sightseeing in Kyoto)

In this case, the combination of one of the deals in Osaka and single fare between Osaka and Kyoto is usually cheaper than Kansai Thru Pass or other pass. But if you do sightseeing in two cities, Kansai Thru Pass is your choice.

e.g.
Sightseeing in Osaka, move to Kyoto and sightseeing in Kyoto

But sightseeing in two cities in one day is very tight and not very recommended.

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, Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass, JR train network in Osaka is covered. You may visit many places by these passes. You may not have any other passes beside these deals. Please see the link below to find the coverage of these national and regional deals in Osaka.

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

I hope this post helps you to find the best deal!

134 thoughts on “How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka”

  1. Hallo Takeshi-san,,
    I want to ask you again if i
    Day 1 & Day 2 : Spend in Kyoto and sightseeing around, like Kiyomizudera, Arashiyama, Kinkakuji-Ginkakuji

    Day2 in noon: going to osaka, check in airbnb and sightseeing around osaka castle and dontonburi
    Day 3 : Kaiyukan Aquarium, Tempozan Ferries Wheel, Daisen Park
    Day4: USJ & Kobe

    Can you give advise which pass are suitable and lowest cost? And Is Kobe suitable in day 3 or day 4?

    Thankyou so much ..

      1. Thankyou for your suggest and advise Takeshi-san. It Help me a lot.

        What about pass in tokyo? Which one is affordable, low cost and eficient to spend 3 days and sightseeing in tokyo?

        if i combine suica and tokyo subway ticket 3 days make my plans eficient?

        Thankyou so much

  2. Hello there! Your blog is really of big help.

    Kinda confuse about the passes that i’ll be purchasing, worried that I might not be able to maximize it’s use and end up wasting money. Here is my itinerary and please let me know what you think of it.. Your feedback will be much appreciated.

    1st day:
    – arrive at kix
    – travel to kyoto (will be using JR Haruka Ltd Express. I’ll be staying near kawaramachi area – do you think using haruka is worth it? Or would there be a cheaper means of transpo considering i’ll be arriving in KIX at 8pm)

    2nd & 3rd day: kyoto sightseeing –
    Kyoto imperial palace, kiyomizu dera temple, fushima inari,
    Arishiyama bamboo forest
    (do you have any suggetions on what passes i may purchase? Or is Icoca just fine to use for train and bus rides?

    4th and 5th: travel to osaka (will be staying at namba) and osaka sightseeing – shintennoji temple, tennoji zoo, osaka castle, hep five, umeda sky building (planning to buy osaka amazing pass for 1 day only, coz on the 4th day im just planning to go to dotonbori and shinsaibashi)

    6th day: Daytrip to Nara (will go back to osaka after, is it better for me to buy a kansai thru pass instead of osaka amazing pass because of this daytrip?)

    7th day: USJ (will be back at namba after, will be using icoca for the train ride)

    8th day: daytour in kobe (after the tour will go directly to KIX for our evening flight, planning to ride airport bus or train whichever is faster for us to catch our 8pm flight)

    I would also want to know if by using the osaka amazing pass, the admission fees to selected tourist spots, bus and train rides are really free and unlimited? While kansai thru pass will only give you discounts on admission fees (still need to shellout money) but the good thing is bus and train rides are free of charge? Am I correct?

    My apologies for all the queries, it’s my first japan trip and trying to get as much info as i can. Thank you so much in advance! best regards.

    1. Hi Jill,

      Mostly you have picked the right deals. ICOCA and Haruka is the best way on arrival day. There is cheaper deal to get Kyoto actually.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/kyoto.html

      However you need to change trains at least twice if you use this deal. And all trains are commuter trains, not like Haruka. If you don’t care about it and really want to save your cost, you can go for this. Even if you use ICOCA and Haruka, you need to take subway or bus to get Kawaramachi. But you can get Kyoto directly by Haruka.

      If you use ICOCA and Haruka, you may use it for taking trains and subways only by this deal. City bus is covered by ICOCA but one day unlimited ride bus pass is only 500 yen. You can get the worth by only 3 rides. If you visit only places which you mentioned, you will not ride a bus more than 3 times. But if you add the places, you may take a bus more. So please make sure where you go.
      jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      I suggest you to use Kansai thru pass for day 4, 6 and 8. You can use 3 days pass and use it for day 4 too. You can take Hankyu railway from Kawaramachi to Umeda and subway from Umeda to Namba. You can take subway in Osaka as much as you can by Kansai thru pass. It gives you only discount to attractions. But Osaka amazing pass does not cover Kyoto to Osaka, Nara and Kobe anyway. You need this pass. You can get KIX from Namba by Nankai railway. It’s covered by Kansai thru pass too.

      You can use Osaka amazing pass on day 5 and ICOCA on day 7 as you think.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you very much Takeshi-san. You’re the best! I’ll take note of these suggestions and hope everything will go smoothly as planned. Reading all of your articles/blogs made me even more excited! Take care and more power!

  3. Hi!

    We’ll go to osaka this november. I would like to ask for your advice regarding train tickets.

    We plan to get a 2-day osaka amazing pass for days 1-2 and kansai thru lass for days 3-4. We are also planning to get a two-way airport transfers.

    This is our itinerary:

    Day 1: OSAKA
    Harukas 300 observatory
    Osaka Castle
    Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
    Nakanoshima River Cruise
    Umeda Sky Building
    Dotonbori/Shinsabasi at night

    Day 2: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
    Takoyaki museum
    Dotonbori/Shinsabasi at night

    Day 3:
    KOBE/NARA
    Bigbang concert – Kyocera Dome
    Tenjimbashi-suji shopping street

    Day 4: KYOTO
    Fushimi Inari
    Jishu Shrine
    Kiyomizu-dera temple
    Sanneizaka
    Gion

    Day 5: HOME

    1. Hi Marichu,

      I don’t think you need two days Osaka amazing pass. Just one day amazing pass is okay because you need to take JR train to get USJ. JR train is not covered by Osaka amazing pass. Just regular ticket is okay for day 2.

      You may use Kansai thru pass for day 3 and 4. You may choose other deal for day 5 in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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

Leave a Reply

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

*