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.

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.

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!

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

  1. Hi Takeshi,
    I am so glad I came across your site. My family is traveling to Osaka in February. I need your advice on what pass to get. Here is our itinerary:

    Day 1
    – arrive at KIX around lunch time
    – after dropping off stuff at the hotel (Nipponbashi), go to Osaka Castle
    – dinner at Dotonbori

    Day 2
    – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
    – Tenjimbashisuji Shopping area

    Day 3 (Kyoto)
    – Fushimi Inari Shrine
    – Arashiyama
    – Gion if possible
    – back to Osaka

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  2. Hi Takeshi san

    This is a really last minute trip so not sure if this itinerary is ok. I’ve read several websites and some of yours but not sure if I am on right track in the use of kansai one pass / other passes. Greatly appreciate if you can help me. And thank you for the many wonderful / helpful posts.

    Day 1
    Arrival at KIX 5.30pm. Travelling straight to Kyoto.
    Staying near Kyoto station for the night.
    [kansai one pass + haruka]

    Day 2 – Kyoto
    Arashiyama bamboo forest, tenryuji temple, kimono forest / Kinkakuji Temple / Nishiki Market / kiyomizu / fushimi Imari
    Staying near Kyoto station for the night.

    [kansai one pass + Kyoto 1 day bus pass]

    *can I confirm that the Kyoto City bus pass covers arashiyama and kinkakuji as well?
    I think it might not be possible to cover these all in one day (even if we start the day really early) so we might have to carry forward to day 3?

    Day 3 – Kyoto / Nara
    Kyoto to Osaka – deposit luggage at accommdation (Nagahoribashi)
    Then head to Nara for a day trip
    Back to Osaka at night.
    [kansai one pass]

    * if we have to do, for example, kiyomizu on day 3 morning before going to Osaka then to Nara, do you reckon there is enough time for Nara? Also, would the kansai thru pass for our day 2&3 be a better choice over kansai one pass + Kyoto 1 day bus pass?

    Day 4 – Osaka
    Osaka castle, umeda sky building floating garden, tsutenkaku and others if we have time
    [osaka amazing pass]

    Day 5 – Osaka
    Probably some shopping so either we buy the Osaka 2 day amazing pass in case we want to do other activities or we’ll just get the Osaka visitor’s pass.
    [osaka 2 day amazing pass for day 4/5 or Osaka visitor’s pass]

    Day 6
    Flight at 3pm.
    Since we only have the morning, I think we will just use the kansai one pass if we are going anywhere, if at all.
    [kanku chitatoku from nagahoribashi to KIX]

    1. Hi Jadzia san,

      Your itinerary and ticket choice are good. I didn’t see any issues. City bus pass covers Arashiyama and Kikakuji too. You can find the bus route map in the link below:

      As you mentioned, day 2 may be too much. If you cannot make it, you can drop by Nara on the way to Osaka from Kyoto. There are lots of coin lockers in Kintetsu Nara station.

      If you take this route, you can save your cost and time. It’s easy to visit Fushimi Inari before going to Nara.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi san

        Thank you very very much for the prompt response and the link on the luggage storage. Really appreciate it.

        Can I just understand and confirm that I should use the kansai one pass and not the kansai thru pass for day 2&3? Thank you once again 🙂

          1. Thank you for the clarification, Takeshi san.
            You/ your website have been a great help and I don’t think we can thank you enough. I think this website is immensely helpful to those planning trips to Japan. Super grateful to have found this. Thank you!
            Have a great week ahead!

  3. Hi Takeshi san,

    My family and i plan to visit to Osaka from 13 Feb – 22 Feb (9 actual days not including flight). Since this trip include my parents, so i did try to plan it not extremely pack (light and easy). Please give me your opinion about the pass that i choose. Below are some itinerary that i plan;

    Will stay at around Namba area.

    1) 13 Feb (Tuesday)
    Ticket> Nankai-Line,Limited Express rapi:t to namba
    – Walk around Dotonbori and relax for the day.

    2) 14 Feb (Wednesday) [Nara Day Trip]
    Ticket> Regular Ticket?
    – Nara Full/Half Day Trip (mainly Nara Park)
    – Reach back namba before 5pm/6pm

    3) 15 Feb (Thursday) [Osaka Day 1 Trip]
    Ticket> Osaka Amazing 2 day Pass (3,300 yen)
    – mix and match the Osaka area by using the pass

    4) 16 Feb (Friday) [Osaka Day 2 Trip]
    Ticket> Osaka Amazing 2 day Pass
    – mix and match the Osaka area by using the pass

    5) 17th – 18th Feb (Saturday & Sunday) [Light and Easy]
    Ticket> Might get 1 day Unlimited Pass (Enjoy Eco Card)
    -Kuromon Market and walk around namba

    6) 19th Feb (Monday) [Kyoto Day 1 Trip – Arashiyama Day Trip]
    Ticket> Hankyu 2 Day pass 1,400yen
    – Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
    – Okochi-Sanso Villa
    – Togetsuyo Bridge
    – Etc

    7) 20th Feb (Tuesday) [Kyoto Day 2 Trip]
    Ticket> Hankyu 2 Day pass
    – Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine
    – Kinkaku-ji Temple (is there any transportation from Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine? or the another way around?)

    8) 21th Feb (Wednesday) [Tama-Cat Station / Kobe Half Day Trip]
    Ticket> no idea, please advise.
    – Try to have half day trip on this day and have early rest since have an early flight on the next day.
    – Could be swap with #2 [Nara half day trip]

    9) 22th Feb (Thursday) Early Flight
    – My parents early flight
    – My brother and I will go to Tokyo (22th Feb – 27th Feb)
    > Which train do you recommend from Osaka to Tokyo?

    *Is there any other pass that provide much better value than the one i choose?

    *Beyond that, i do have pasmo and suica card, can i use it at train station and convenience store at Osaka/Kyoto?

    Thank you so much. ^^

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Lilien,

      Hankyu tourist pass does not cover Fushimi Inari. And it does not cover subway in Osaka either. You can use Pasmo or Suica to take subway, city bus and any other trains in Kansai region. But Kansai thru pass may be better option for trip to Kyoto.

      It’s much more expensive than Hankyu tourist pass but it covers all. It’s much more convenient and easy to use. If you use Kansai thru pass, you can use 3 days pass for trip to Nara and Kyoto. You don’t need to use it in consecutive days.

      Kobe and Tama cat train in one day is not recommended. Both destinations are completely different directions. It’s no impossible but it will not be slow trip. If you want to keep slow pace, you should choose one of those. If you choose Tama train, you can use Kansai area pass.

      If you choose Kobe, use Hanshin tourist pass.

      Shinkansen is the best way to get Tokyo.

      Platt Kodama is only deal available.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thanks for replying, it help so much. I have change my itinerary with using Kansai thru 3 day pass, will my itinerary (below) are easy/good to walk?

        Day 1 (Tues)- Reach (Relax around Dotonbori)

        Day 2 (Wed)- Kyoto Day Trip (Arashiyama Area)
        Ticket >Kansai Thru 3 day pass (Day 1)

        Day 3 (Thurs)- Osaka Day 1 Trip
        Ticket > Osaka Amazing 2 day Pass (Day 1)

        Day 4 (Fri)- Osaka Day 2 Trip
        Ticket > Osaka Amazing 2 day Pass (Day 2)

        Day 5 & 6 (Sat&Sun) – Kuromon, Namba & Shopping
        Ticket > Might get 1 day Unlimited Pass (Enjoy Eco Card)

        Day 7 (Mon) – South Kyoto & Nara Day Trip
        Ticket > Kansai Thru 3 day Pass (Day 2)
        – Mainly Fushimi Inari & Nara Park

        Day 8 (Tues) – Himeji Castle & Kobe Day Trip
        Ticket > Kansai Thru 3 day Pass (Day 3)
        – We might skip Himeji Castle

        Day 9 (Wed) – Relax / Tama Sation

        Day 10 (Thurs) – Early Flight


        1) Does the Kansai Thru 3 Day Pass worth on the itinerary (day 2,7,8)

        2) Are the pass still worth if i do Kobe as day trip without Himeji Castle?

        Thank You.

        Kind Regards,

        1. Hi Lilien,

          1. Yes.
          2. You can get the worth. Kansai thru pass 2 days + Hanshin tourist pass may be cheaper. Hanshin tourist pass covers only Hanshi railway. Kansai thru pass covers subway and city bus too. It depends on how much you use Kansai thru pass in Kobe.


          Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi san,

    Can I buy 3 Osaka Visitors’ Ticket because I will be spending 3 days there?
    Is the Ticket cover subway to Kansai Airport?

    Thank you


  5. Hi!

    I have 2 questions:

    1. Is this the fastest/cheapest train route from Gora @ Hakone to Hihashi-Hanazono @ Osaka (from and to the nearest train station of my airbnb stays) (no bus because my sis has motion sickness)
    Gora -> Odawara (via Hakone Tozan Railway)
    Odawara -> Shin-Osaka (via Shinkansen)
    Shin-Osaka -> Tsuruhashi (via Sen-Nichimae Line)
    Tsuruhashi -> Higashi-Hanazono (via Kintetsu Line)

    2. Would you recommend any day pass for our itinerary in Osaka?

    Day 1:
    Arrive from Hakone
    Amerikamura Shopping District

    Day 2 :

    Day 3:
    Minoo Park

    Day 4:
    Kuromon Ichiba Market
    Osaka Castle
    Osaka Station City
    Midnight flight back home

    1. Hi Ben,

      1. You can take JR trains from Shin-Osaka to Osaka and Osaka to Tsuruhashi. This connection is slightly cheaper because you can use same base fare ticket from Odawara to Tsuruhashi.

      2. You may use subway pass for day 4. But you need to pay single fare to get back to KIX. Single fare is okay for the rest of the days. You may use Kansai one pass instead of using single fare ticket.


      Takeshi /

  6. Hi Takeshi!

    I’ve been so stressed over choosing a good pass for my japan travels. There’s just so much information and it’s hard to process it all (not to mention the lines are all so confusing). I was wondering if you could help me! Here’s my itinerary as shown below:

    Day 1:
    Nipponbashinishi to Minami-Morimachi Station (Return)

    Day 2:
    Nipponbashinishi to Universal Studios

    Day 3:
    Nipponbashinishi to Nara
    (Todaiji Temple, Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, etc)

    Day 4:
    Nipponbashinishi to Kyoto
    (Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, etc)

    Day 5:
    Namba to Dotonbori, Shinsaibashisuji, etc (I know this may be walking distance, but I’d like to keep my options open if i’m pressed for time)

    Thank you so much, you would have helped me so much and saved me alot of headaches!

  7. 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

  8. 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.

      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.

      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.


      Takeshi /

      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!

  9. 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

    Takoyaki museum
    Dotonbori/Shinsabasi at night

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

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

    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:


      Takeshi /

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