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.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Osaka from other cities, such as day trip to Osaka from Kyoto, please see the link below:

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 Metro 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 1-day pass and 2-day pass

  • Price (1-day) – Adult:700 yen / Child: Not available
  • Price (2-day) – Adult:1,300 yen / Child: Not available
  • Coverage – All Osaka Metro lines and Osaka city bus in allocated area
  • Valid period – one day (midnight to midnight)

This deal offers same coverage of Enjoy Eco Card. But this deal is cheaper than Enjoy Eco Card weekday rate. This deal is available for the foreign tourist who stays in Japan as the short term visitor.

This deal is sold in Kansai Tourist Information Center at Kansai International Airport only. You cannot purchase it at Osaka Metro station.

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:2,700 yen / Child:Not available
  • Price (two days) – Adult:3,600 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-day. The difference is the coverage trains. 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 1-day coverage map
Osaka Amazing Pass 2-day coverage map

As long as you stay in downtown Osaka, subway is okay to visit all places. But if you stay outside downtown Osaka, 1-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:2,600 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 Osaka 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, Kansai One Pass 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.

Please refer the post below to find the information about IC card in Japan:

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Namba
Hotels in Umeda (JR Osaka station)
Hotels in Tennoji
Hotels in Osaka
Hotels in Kansai International Airport

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 JR regional deals, such as Kansai Area Pass, 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.

I hope this post helps you to find the best deal in Osaka.

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

  1. Hi Takeshi-San,

    I’m going to Osaka and Kyoto on this coming April (cherry blossom), is it possible for you to verify whether my choice of transport is correct?

    Day 1: (Osaka One Day Pass)+ICOCA
    -KIX-Namba Oriental Hotel for 5D4N
    -Dotombori, Kuromon Market,, Shinbaishi, Den Den Town

    Day 2: (Osaka Amazing Pass)
    -Osaka Castle
    -Osaka Bay Area (Osaka Aquarium, Tempozan Ferris Wheel)
    -Umeda Sky Building

    Day 3: (Kansai Thru Pass)
    -From Namba travel to Kyoto
    -Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji, Nijo, Tenryuji
    -Back to Namba from Kyoto

    Day 4:(Kansai Thru Pass)
    -From Namba travel to Kyoto
    -Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizudera, Gion
    -Back to Namba from Kyoto

    Day 5: (Nozomi)+ICOCA
    -From Namba, take train to Shin-Osaka and board the Nozomi to Tokyo

    Thank you very much for your help, deeply appreciate it 🙂

    Regards

    1. Hi Cathy san,

      You may use Yokoso Osaka ticket for the arrival day:
      https://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/yokoso.html

      Osaka amazing pass and Kansai thru pass are good choice.

      You may have ICOCA because you can use it in Tokyo too but in Osaka, you need it for Namba to Shin-Osaka only. I don’t think you need it. If you want IC card, you can buy Welcome Suica after you arrive in Tokyo. Please find more info about IC card in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/what-is-ic-card-suica-icoca-pasmo-how-to-use-these-cards.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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