How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara
You can feel real tradition of Osaka in Shinsekai. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
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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:

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One-day unlimited Pass, Enjoy Eco Card

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
  • 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
  • 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

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:

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.

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 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.


  1. Good day Takeshi.
    Your article is really very helpful but Im still quite confused as to which pass to use. My family and I will be travelling for the first time in Japan this May. We will be coming from Tokyo via the shinkansen and will be staying near the Nagahoribashi station. Can you please help me which pass will suit our itinerary and the most practical at that.
    Day 1: Tokyo to Osaka
    Day 2: Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium and Umeda Sky Bldg
    Day 3: Shitennoji Temple, Kuromon Ichiba Market and Dotonbori
    Day 4: Osaka to Kyoto for 1 day only to visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Temple, Kiyomizudera Temple and Yasaka Shrine (will go back to Osaka)
    Day 5: Universal Studios Japan

    Your reply will be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks!

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    Your page is very helpful but I’m still confused on which rail pass is the best to buy. I hope that you can help me for my trip. Below is my itinerary, kindly advise what are the passes i should purchase for the trip

    Day 1: Osaka
    Kansai airport to Kamishinjo stn (Stay around that area)

    Day 2: Osaka-Universal Studios Japan/Shinsekai

    Day 3: Osaka – Shitennoji Temple/Osaka Castle/Umeda Sky Building/Dotonbori

    Day 4: Kyoto-Kinkakaku-ji Temple/Arashiyama/Gion/Nishiki Market

    Day 5: Kyoto South & Nara -Nara Park/Todaiji Temple/Kasuga

    Day 6: Kobe -Kobe & Himeji Castle

    Day 7&8: Kanazawa & Shirakawago
    Kamishinjo station to Shin-Osakaa Station transfer to Kyoto . From Kyoto to Kanazawa then take bus to Shirakwago.
    (Baesd on your sample itinerary of Day Trip to kanazawa and shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto as reference)

    Day 9: Nagoya-Osaka

    Day 10: Osaka – Kansai Airport

    1) Should i purchase ICOCA & Haruka pass or JR pass or only Haruka pass? Which pass is the best for Kansai airport round trip?

    2) Please advise me whether which pass is the best for this trip;
    a) Day 2&3: Kansai One Pass/ICOCA?
    b) Day 4-6: 3-Days Kansai Thru Pass
    c) Day 7-8: Takayama Hokuriku Area pass & Nohi Bus
    d) Day 9: Takayama Hokuru Area pass
    e) Day 10: Haruka pass or JR Pass or JR West rail pass?

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Thank you for your help.

    Best regards

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Agnes,

      1. Kyoto Access Ticket is the best deal for only arrival day.

      You don’t go to Kyoto but Kamishinjo. Kamishinjo is located on the route to Kyoto by this pass. You can take this ticket to get Kamishinjo. It’s cheaper than regular fare. ICOCA and Haruka is not recommended to get Kamishinjo. If you take Haruka, you can get Shin-Osaka. And then take subway and Hankyu. You have to change the trains twice at least. If you use my suggested deal, you may get Kamishijo directly from Tengachaya because some of subway train goes directly Hankyu line. But you may need to change the trains at Awaji station.

      This deal is not available for to KIX. you have to pay single fare which is around 1300 yen.

      2. You may have Kansai one pass. But for day 3, amazing pass may be better choice if you visit one more attractions on the list of this pass.

      Kansai thru pass is okay for day 4 to 6.

      Takayama Hokuriku area pass is okay for day 7 and 8. But on day 9, this pass does not cover Nagoya to Osaka direct route. If you use this pass to get Osaka, you have to go up to Toyama via Takayama, change train to Kanazawa there and then need to take train to Osaka. It’s a big big detour and wasting time. You should have one way ticket from Nagoya to Osaka. Most recommended deal is Platt Kodama.

      On last day, as I mentioned, Kyoto Access ticket is not available. You may use Kansai one pass to take Hankyu, subway and Nankai railway.


      Takeshi /

      • Dear Takeshi San,

        Thank you for your advise.

        I am wondering whether Kyoto Access Ticket still able to purchase from the counter as I will arrive Kansai Airport at 9.40pm?

        Moroever, I would like to know is it all passes as mentioned in the itinerary will be cover for me to travel between Kamishinjo Stn to those destination? Because me and my friend likely will stay there for 4-5 nights.

        Really appreciate for your help because this is our first time free and easy travel to Japan.

        Thank you for ur patience and advise again.

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi / says:

          Hi Agnes san,

          The ticket office is open until 23:00. Please see the links below:

          If you can get the ticket office at 9:40 pm, it’s no problem. But if your flight will arrive at 9:40 pm, you may spend one hour to clear custom and immigration. It may be tight to get there by 23:00. You may not be able to get a ticket and need to use regular ticket.

          If you spend many minutes in custom and immigration or late arrival of your flight, you may not be able to get Kamishijo by train. You must take 23:06 departure from Kansai airport if you want to take my suggested route by train. If you miss it, you still can get Umeda by midnight bus. Please see the link below:

          But you may have to take a taxi from Umeda to Kamishinjo. I don’t know the exact cost. I guess it costs more than 3000 yen if you take a taxi from Uemda.

          You can use Kansai one pass and Kansai thru pass from Kamishijo. Both pass covers Hankyu railway.

          You have to use Kansai one pass to get Osaka (Umeda) or Shin-Osaka when you use Takayama Hokuriku area pass. This does not cover Hankyu railway.


          Takeshi /

          • Dear Takeshi San,

            Thank you so much for your advise. I will do more homework for my trip. Love your advise and all your suggested itinerary in JPrail. I found all information very useful and guide me to plan my itinerary.

            Thanks again.


            • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
              Takeshi / says:

              No worries, Agnes san.


              Takeshi /

              • Hi Takeshi san,

                Thank you for your advice on my previous itinerary.However I have delay my Japan from Nov to end Dec 2017. I would like to seek your advice on my amendment.

                Day 1
                Kansai Airport to Kamishinjo Stn (Kyoto Access Pass)

                Day 2 &3- stay Osaka
                Osaka (2 days Osaka amazing pass)

                Day 4- stay Osaka
                Osaka USJ (Kansai One pass)

                Day 5- stay Osaka
                Kobe/Himeji (Kansai one pass)

                Day 6- stay Osaka
                Mt Koya (? Not sure what pass)

                Day 7 – 9 -stay Kyoto
                Kyoto/Nara (3 days Kansai Thru Pass)

                Day 10 -stay Kanazawa
                Kanazawa (Takayama Hokuriku Pass)

                Day 11 -stay Shirakawago
                Shirakawago (Takayama Hokuriku Pass)

                Day 12 -stay Takayama/Toyama
                Takayama/ Gero Onsen (Takayama Hokuriku Pass)

                Day 13 -stay Osaka
                Takayama back to Osaka (Takayama Hokuriku Pass + Kansai one pass)

                Day 14
                Kansai airport (not sure what pass?)

                Thank you so much for your advice. Truly sorry to trouble you again.

                • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
                  Takeshi / says:

                  Hi Agnes san,

                  When you use Osaka amazing pass 2 days, Hankyu railway is not covered. (only one day pass covers Hankyu railway Kamishinjo)
                  So you need to use Kanasi one pass to get Minamikata or Umeda. Minamikata is a bit closer than Umeda from Kamishinjo but the fare is same at 190 yen one way.

                  It’s not good idea to use Kansai one pass to get Kobe and Himeji. You should use Kansai thru pass for trip to Himeji/Kobe and actually Mt. Koya too. You can use one day for trip to Nara. But Kansai one pass is your choice from Kamishinjo to Kyoto. You may add all day bus pass for sightseeing in Kyoto and when you need to take trains, use Kansai one pass.

                  For Osaka to KIX, please see the link below:


                  Takeshi /

                  • Hi Takeshi san,

                    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. Just to clarify for passes I should buy as below;

                    Day 1
                    Kansai Airport to Kamishinjo Stn (Kyoto Access Pass) OK

                    Day 2 &3- stay Osaka
                    Osaka (2 days Osaka amazing pass + Kansai One Pass)

                    Day 4- stay Osaka
                    Osaka USJ (Kansai One pass)

                    Day 5- stay Osaka
                    Kobe/Himeji (Kansai Thru Pass)

                    Day 6- stay Osaka
                    Mt Koya (Kansai Thru Pass)

                    Day 7 – 9 -stay Kyoto
                    Kyoto/Nara (Kansai One Pass + Unlimited Bus Ride)

                    Day 10 -stay Kanazawa
                    Kanazawa (Takayama Hokuriku Pass)

                    Day 11 -stay Shirakawago
                    Shirakawago (Takayama Hokuriku Pass)

                    Day 12 -stay Takayama/Toyama
                    Takayama/ Gero Onsen (Takayama Hokuriku Pass)

                    Day 13 -stay Osaka
                    Takayama back to Osaka (Takayama Hokuriku Pass + Kansai one pass)

                    Day 14
                    Kansai airport (Haruka)

                    1) Can I buy 2days Kansai Thru Pass and another 3 days Kansai Thru Pass at the same time?

                    2) Takayama Hokuriku Pass did not cover Osaka to KIX?

                    I am so sorry to clarify everything as I am really unsure/ uncertain Japan transportation/ pass. Thank you so much for your advice. Really appreciate it.

                    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
                      Takeshi / says:

                      Hi Agnes,

                      I have one thing to mention to you about your plan. You will use one of three days Kansai thru pass for trip to Nara.

                      1. You can use 2 days and 3 days Kansai thru pass if you want. But it’s hard to get the worth to use it in Kyoto only.

                      2. You are right. I totally forgot you still have one more day of this pass. You can take Haruka to get there.


                      Takeshi /

  3. pawineebs
    Toey says:

    Could you help me choose the pass for my trip?
    1) I’ll arrive KIX around 10.40pm . I’ll be staying in Shinsaibashi, so I’m planning to take Nankai line to Namba, then change to subway to Shinsaibashi. Is there any pass I can use for Nankai line?

    2)On the next day, I’ll go to Shinsaibashi>>>Osaka Castle >>> Umeda Sky Building >>> Namba >>> KIX
    What pass should I use?

    Thank you

  4. Christine says:

    Hi, May i know is the one day unlimited passes (Enjoy Eco Card) still available? Where we can buy this card?

  5. JP says:


    please help me with what other pass I should get if necessary for the following itinerary, I plan to purchase the JR Rail pass. Staying at Osaka Tokyo Inn, 531-0072 4-12-13, Toyosaki Kita-ku Osaka-city

    Day 1 – Hiroshima sightseeing (do I need a whole day for this one?)
    Day 2 – Nara & Kyoto sightseeing
    Day 3- Osaka sightseeing


  6. Belle says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Do you know how many “osaka visitor ticket” can We buy from the airport? Per person? I will be at Osaka about 3 days, and had already bought amazing Osaka pass previously. I only need unlimited subway pass.

  7. thousandsthings – An ordinary working mother, and start to write in this blog to take notes and share about anything matters to me and anything comes in mind.
    Ayu says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    So much informations, thank you.
    I’m going to Japan on 9th – 15th February.
    I’ll be stayng in Kyoto for 2 nights and Osaka for 3 nights, and planning to visit some cities in Kansai area.
    Day 1 KIX – Kyoto (Arashiyama & Kinkaku-ji)
    Day 2 Kyoto (Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizudera, Kyoto sightseeing)
    Day 3 one day trip to Nara and Kobe (stay in Osaka)
    Day 4 Osaka
    Day 5 Osaka
    Day 6 KIX – Indonesia.
    What kind of pass should I choose the best?
    Thank you so much before.

  8. Ekoy – Nobody
    Adrian says:

    Hi Please help.

    Day 1: Osaka (arriving at KIX)
    Day 2: Osaka – Kyoto
    Day 3: Kyoto

    Let me know which pass is best for me.

  9. Sabri says:

    Hi , I’ll be staying in Temma area and would like to know the best pass to purchase to suit my itinerary. I hope to be able to get just one pass for everything.

    Day 1 – Kansai airport to Temma – travelling around downtown such as Dotonburi, Castle, Shinsekai
    Day 2 – Temma to USJ only and back
    Day 3 – Temma to Nipponbashi, Shinsaibashi, Minami, Tenjimbashi-suji, Ebisubashi (all the shopping areas)
    Day 4 – Temma to Mount Yoshino and back
    Day 5 – Return to KIX airport

    Thank you so much for your help!

  10. Peggy says:

    Hi , I stay in Shin-Osaka and would like to know the best pass to purchase to suit my itinerary :

    Day 1 – Shin -Osaka to Nara
    Nara- Kyoto
    Kyoto- Shin -Osaka
    Day 2 – Shin -Osaka to Kyoto
    Fushimi Inari
    Day 3 – Shin-Osaka – Hakodateyama resort
    Day 4 -Universal Studio
    Day 5 -Osaka
    Kyoto- Shin -Osaka

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