How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.
Dotonbori(道頓堀) is most popular spot in downtown Osaka.

Kansai Thru Pass is one of the best pass if you travel in Kansai area. This pass offers the unlimited travel of most non JR trains, the subway lines and most local bus services. It covers most part of this region, such as Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Koyasan and Himeji.

In this post, I would like to explain this pass and you will find how to use this pass.

Who is eligible

The overseas tourist with short stay status and Japanese who lives abroad as a permanent resident can purchase it. And also a person with overseas tourist as a guide can purchase this pass.

Types and prices

2-day pass and 3-day pass are available. If you purchase it online, the price is slightly cheaper.

Purchasing online

TYPESAdultChild (6-12yrs)
2-Day4,300 yen2,150 yen
3-Day5,300 yen2,650 yen

Purchasing in Japan

TYPESAdultChild (6-12yrs)
2-Day4,400 yen2,200 yen
3-Day5,500 yen2,750 yen

You can use this pass on unconsecutive days on the sales period.

e.g.
Day 1 – Day trip to Kyoto from Osaka (Kansai Thru Pass the first day of 3-day)
Day 2 – Visit USJ (not use Kansai Thru Pass)
Day 3 – Day trip to Koyasan from Osaka (Kansai Thru Pass the second day of 3-day)
Day 4 – Stay in Osaka (not use Kansai Thru Pass)
Day 5 – Day trip to Kobe and Himeji (Kansai Thru Pass the third day of 3-day)

The sales period is usually year by year, April to March in next year. Actually you can pick any three days (two days for two days pass) in this sales period. The validity of a rail pass starts from 12 O’clock at night.

Under 6 years is free of charge. You are not required to buy the pass for the child who is 0 to 5 years old.

How to purchase

If you want to buy it in advance online, you can refer the official site of Kansai Thru Pass:

Kansai Thru Pass official site – Internet Purchase

You also can purchase it at Klook. Klook is one of the biggest ticket seller. You can buy it at your country’s currency. The price may be cheaper than Kansai Thru Pass official site:

Kansai Thru Pass online purchasing by Klook

You also can purchase this pass at Kansai Airport Tourist Information Center and other many visitor centers in Kansai area. Please see the list of sales location in the Kansai Thru Pass official site:

Kansai Thru Pass official site – Where to buy in Japan

I would like to show you price comparison between pass and single fare later in this post.

Coverage area

Please refer the map in Kansai Thru Pass official site.

The pass covers most of Kansai area, such as Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Kansai airport, Osaka airport, Kobe airport, Himeji, Mt. Koya and Otsu (beside Biwako lake)

You can go almost every popular spots by this pass without any extra fares. As long as I know, there are a few major spots where cannot be accessed by this pass.

USJ (Universal Studio Japan)

You have to take JR Yumesaki line to get Universal City station. This pass does not cover JR train. The nearest station where you can get by Kansai Thru Pass is Nishikujo. Please find the information about the train network in the link below:

Yoshino

Yoshino is popular to see the cherry blossom in the spring season. Kintetsu Railway connects Osaka-Abenobashi (same location as Tennoji) and Yoshino. Kansai Thru Pass covers Kintetsu Railway but it does not cover whole lines of Kintetsu Railway. Yoshino is outside the coverage area of this pass. You have to add the fare for Tsubosakayama to Yoshino which is the segment outside the coverage area.

The extra fare is 430 yen for one way. You can pay this extra fare when you exit Yoshino station. You can show your Kansai Thru Pass at the gate with the station staff. The staff collects the fare. You can buy the ticket to Tsubosakayama when you leave Yoshino. You can show both the ticket and Kansai Thru Pass when you arrive in Osaka-Abenobashi or other stations where you want to get off.

Nagoya

Nagoya is not in Kansai region and it is completely outside the coverage area as you probably understand. But Kansai Thru Pass covers Kintetsu Railway and Kintetsu Railway runs between Osaka-Namba and Nagoya. Sometimes it makes you get confusing. Kintetsu Railway is the biggest private railway companies in Japan. Kansai Thru Pass does not cover whole part of Kintetsu Railway network. Kansai Thru Pass covers Kintetsu Railway in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara only.

Valid trains and bus lines

Kansai Thru Pass does not include the limited express surcharge. You have to pay additional to take Nankai Airport Express Rapi:t (in the photo above), Kintetsu railway limited express trains.

The pass covers most of non JR railway lines, all subway lines in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, and most local/city bus services. You can find the full list of the coverage transportation in the official site. I show you the major services here.

  • Nankai railway (Osaka, Koyasan, Kansai airport and Wakayama)
  • Hankyu railway (Osaka, Mino, Kobe, Kyoto and Takarazuka)
  • Hanshin railway (Osaka, Kobe)
  • Keihan railway (Osaka, Kyoto, Otsu, Uji)
  • Kintetsu railway (Osaka, Nara, Kyoto)
  • Sanyo railway (Kobe, Himeji)
  • Kobe railway (Kobe, Arima onsen, Sanda)
  • Keifuku railway, a.k.a. Randen (Arashiyama)
  • Eizan railway (Kifune, Hieizan)
  • Osaka Metro subway and city bus
  • Kyoto city subway and city bus
  • Kobe city subway and city bus
  • Osaka Monorail (Itami airport)
  • Kobe Portliner (Kobe airport)

Any JR lines are not covered by Kansai Thru Pass. Please see the link below to find the information of the train network in Kansai area:

Highway bus and Airport limousine bus are not covered by Kansai Thru Pass. And the limited express seat fee requires on top of Kansai Thru Pass to take the following trains:

  • Kintetsu Railway limited express trains among Osaka-Namba, Osaka-Uehonmachi, Tsuruhashi, Kyoto and Nara
  • Nankai Railway limited express “Rapi:t” between Kansai airport, Tengachaya, Shin-Imamiya and Namba
  • Nankai Railway limited express “Koya” and “Rinkan” between Namba and Hashimoto/Gokurakubashi
  • Nankai Railway sightseeing train “Tenku” between Hashimoto and Gokurakubashi
  • Nankai Railway limited express “Southern” between Namba and Wakayama
    This train has non reserved seat too. If you ride on non reserved seat car, no extra charge is required. But accommodation is completely different. Reserved seat is an express train seat but non reserved seat is a commute trains’ interior. You may have to stand up.
  • Keihan Railway limited express Premium car
    This train has non reserved seat too. Non reserved seat is not bad but reserved seat is much bigger.

Other railway company, such as, Hankyu, Hanshin, Sanyo, operate the limited express trains. But these trains are just the fastest train. Some of trains have better interior than a local train. But any extra charge is not required.

Compare cost between pass and single fare

Kaiyukan aquarium is one of the most popular venues in Osaka. You can access there by Osaka Metro Chuo line. Kansai Thru Pass covers all lines of Osaka Metro. ©JNTO

I show you some trip plans and compare the cost. Actually it is not easy to spend same cost as 2-day pass at 4,300 yen.

Kansai airport to Osaka (Namba and other area in downtown)

If you go to Namba area, Nankai railway is the best choice. The fare is 920 yen. But as I mentioned above, you have to pay another 520 yen at least to take the Limited Express “Rapi:t”. Of course there are many express trains without any extra charge between Kansai airport and Namba. If you want to save the money, don’t take Rapi:t.

You can transfer to most of subway lines at Namba. You can access to most of places in downtown Osaka by subway. Subway fare is from 200 yen. If you go to Umeda from Namba, fare is 230 yen. But if you will stay in Shin-Osaka area, consider to take limited express Haruka. It gives you direct access there. Even if you stay in Umeda area, JR Kansai Airport Rapid takes you JR Osaka station (Umeda) directly. Please refer the post, How to access from Kansai airport to downtown Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

If you use one of two days in Kansai Thru Pass, you need to spend another 3,000 yen on next day. Otherwise it is hard to get your money worth. I think it is not a good idea to use the pass for Kansai airport access. I recommend you to use Rapi:t Tokudane Return-trip ticket (round trip by Rapi:t between Namab/Shin-Imamiya/Tengachaya and Kansai airport) or
Kanku Chikatoku ticket (Nankai railway base fare from Kansai airport to Namba and subway one way ticket) at 980 yen.

Kansai airport to Kyoto

Actually it is not a good idea. Total fare is 1,550 yen. You can spend more than access to Osaka. But there is no direct train. The best way to Kyoto from Kansai airport is the following:

Kansai airport -> (Nankai) -> Tengachaya -> (Osaka subway Sakisuji line/Hankyu) -> Awaji -> (Hankyu) -> Kawaramachi

Subway Sakaisuji line and Hankyu go through the trains each other. But usually you need to transfer the train at Awaji. You have to transfer at least twice at Tengachaya and Awaji. And there are only commute trains between Tengachaya and Kawaramachi. And also if you stay around JR Kyoto station area, you need to transfer to Kyoto subway at Karasuma. I think it is too much right after you arrive by international flight. If you really want to take this route (Nankai-Subway-Hankyu), you can use Kyoto Access Ticket at 1,200 yen. This gives you better deal. You may be stay in Kyoto on next day for sightseeing. You can purchase Kyoto city pass (subway and city bus) at 1,200 yen for one day. Total cost will be much cheaper than Kansai Thru Pass.

But I recommend to use JR lines instead of above route, especially limited express Haruka. That train take you to Kyoto directly. It is much more comfortable and there are a few good deal, JR West Kansai area pass and ICOCA and Haruka. Please refer the post, Direct access to Shin Osaka, Kyoto from Kansai airport, Kansai Airport Limited Express “Haruka”.

Kansai airport to Kobe

There is no direct access as well. Total fare is 1,290 yen. Kobe Access Ticket at 1,100 yen is also available. If you want to save your days of Kansai Thru Pass, this ticket gives you better deal. The fastest and easiest way it the following:

Kansai airport -> (Nankai) -> Namba -> (Walk) -> Osaka-Namba -> (Hanshin) -> Sannomiya (Average travel time is 100 minutes)

If you take Rapi:t, travel time is getting 5 to 10 minutes shorter. Hanshin’s Osaka-Namba station is not far from Nankai Namba station. But you need to exit from Nankai station and walk about 5 minutes at least.

If you take JR trains, single fare is 1,660 yen. And travel time is almost same.

Kansai airport -> (limited express Haruka) -> Shin-Osaka -> (Special Rapid) -> Sannomiya (Average travel time is 90 minutes)
or
Kansai airport -> (Kansai Airport Rapid) -> Osaka -> (Special Rapid) -> Sannomiya (Average travel time is 105 minutes)

If you worry about transfer at Namba, I recommend you to take JR. You still need to transfer the train even if you take JR trains. But you can transfer the trains in the station. There are many more signs and it is obviously easier.

Kansai airport to Nara

There is no direct access as well. Total fare is 1,430 yen. Nara Access Ticket at 1,200 yen is available as well. If you want to save your days of Kansai Thru Pass, this ticket gives you better deal. The fastest and easiest way it the following:

Kansai airport -> (Nankai) -> Namba -> (Walk) -> Osaka-Namba -> (Kintetsu) -> Nara (Average travel time is 100 minutes)

If you take Rapi:t, travel time is getting 5 to 10 minutes shorter. Kintetsu’s Osaka-Namba station is same station as Hanshin Osaka-Namba station. These two railway companies’s trains go through each other. You need to exit from Nankai station to get Kintetsu Osaka-Namba station and walk about 5 minutes at least.

If you take JR trains, single fare is 1,660 yen. And travel time is a bit shorter than Nankai-Kintetsu combination. If you take Haruka, you can save another 10 to 15 minutes.

Kansai airport -> (limited express Haruka) -> Tennoji -> (Yamatohji Rapid) -> Nara (Average travel time is 75 minutes)
or
Kansai airport -> (Kansai Airport Rapid) -> Tennoji -> (Yamatoji Rapid) -> Nara (Average travel time is 90 minutes)

Transfer at Tennoji by JR trains are much easier than transfer at Namba between Nankai station and Kintetsu station.

Day trip to Kyoto from Osaka

Kiyomizudera is one of most popular temple in Kyoto Higashiyama area. ©Sue Ann Simon/©JNTO

Hankyu Railway and Keihan Railway take you to Kyoto from Umeda by Hankyu, from Yodoyabashi, Tenmabashi and Kyobashi by Keihan. One way fare to Kyoto is about 400 yen. Most of you take subway or city bus for sightseeing in Kyoto. If you purchase one day city pass for subway and city bus, it is 1,200 yen for one day and 2,000 yen for 2 days. But Kansai Thru Pass includes Kyoto subway and city bus.
So if you use Kansai Thru Pass for this trip, you can spend 2,000 yen worth at least. But if you have same trip in two days in row, total cost is 2,000 yen (Kyoto 2 days pass) + 1,600 yen (Keihan or Hankyu two round trips) = 3,600 yen. Actually Kansai Thru Pass 2 days is not cheaper. There are still some more cases that you can spend more.
*If you stay in Namba or other areas and need to take Osaka subway to get Hankyu or Keihan station, you will spend another 200 yen worth. At result, Kansai Thru Pass may be cheaper.
*If you go to Arashiyama and other areas (Kyomizudera temple, Kinkakuji temple, etc) in one day, you may be take Keifuku Railway, subway and bus in one day. Keifuku Railway runs among Arashiyama, Kitano-Hakubaicho (near Kintakuji) and Shijo-Omiya. Basic fare is only 200 yen. But this 200 yen makes your cost of Kansai Thru Pass cheaper than regular fare.
*If you go to Kurama by Eizan Railway, one way fare is 410 yen. If you go to Kurama, Kansai Thru Pass is the best choice.

Day trip to Kyoto from Kobe

The only difference from day trip to Kyoto from Osaka is round trip fare to Kyoto. One way is 600 yen by Hankyu. But Hankyu do not have any direct train from Sannomiya (downtown Kobe) to Kyoto. You need to transfer the train at Juso (junction of Kyoto line and Kobe line) or Umeda. One day total cost (Hankyu fare+Kyoto 1 day Pass) is 2,400 yen. It is smart way to use Kansai Thru Pass.

Day trip to Nara from Osaka or Kyoto

Actually Nara is very accessible by Kintetsu Railway from both Kyoto and Osaka. You can catch Kintetsu train at Osaka-Namba, Kintetsu-Nihonbashi, Osaka-Uehonmachi and Tsuruhashi. Osaka-Namba station is located within walking distance from Nankai Namba and Subway Namba. And also Kintetsu-Nihonbashi is same location as Subway Nihobashi, Osaka-Uehonmachi is same location as Subway Tanimachi Kyuchome and Tsuruhashi is same location as JR Osaka Kanjo line Tsuruhashi.

On way fare from Namba/Kintetsu-Nihonbashi/Osaka-Uehonmachi to Nara is 540 yen and travel time is 40 minutes. Travel time and fare from Tsuruhashi to Nara are 480 yen and 35 minutes.

If you access to Nara from Kyoto, you can use Kintetsu line too. Kintetsu Kyoto station is exactly same location as JR Kyoto station. One way fare is 610 yen and travel time is 50 minutes.

But actually most of popular spots are within walking distance from Kintetsu Nara station. Please refer the post, How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient. to get the details about Nara. If you access to the spots where is located at other than city center of Nara, like Houryuju temple, Heiankyo, you need to get some more trips. But as long as you see the spots around Nara stations, Kansai Thru Pass is not the best choice. Total fare is too low to use Kansai Thru Pass.

Day trip to Kobe from Osaka or Kyoto

You can get discount when you go in Port tower at Harborland by Kansai Thru Pass. ©JNTO

Sannomiya (downtown Kobe) can be accessed by Hankyu or Hanshin. From Umeda, both Hanshin and Hankyu have stations. Travel time and fare are completely same. Those are 310 yen and 30 minutes.

If you depart from Namba, you can catch Hanshin train at Osaka-Namba. Travel time is 40 minutes and fare is 400 yen.

If you depart from Kyoto, it is reverse way from Kobe to Kyoto. You can take Hankyu but you need to transfer at Juso or Umeda. Travel time is 70 minutes and one way fare is 600 yen.

As you see, return fare to Kobe is not so expensive. If you want to use Kansai Thru Pass for trip to Kobe, you need to take extra transportation in Kobe. There are Kobe subway and Port Liner. You can take subway to Harborland (Kobe port waterfront area) and Port Liner to Port Island. Basic fare starts at 200 yen. If you have several trip, you can make around 500 yen value.

Day trip to Himeji from Osaka, Kobe or Kyoto

Himeji Castle is most beautiful castle in Japan. It is well know as UNESCO World Heritage Site. ©JNTO

Sanyo Railway runs train service between Sannomiya (Kobe) and Sanyo-Himeji (same place as JR Himeji station). Both Sanyo and Hanshin go through the train each other. “Direct Limited Express” connects Hanshin Umeda with Sanyo-Himeji directly. Some of Sanyo trains operate to Hankyu Sannomiya station too. You can transfer from/to Sanyo and Hankyu at Sannomiya station.

If you access from Sannomiya (Kobe) or Umeda, you can take Direct Limited Service to Sanyo-Himeji. If you access from Kyoto, the easiest way is using Hankyu to Sannomiya and transfer to Sanyo trains. Travel time and one way fare are the following:

From Sannomiya to Sanyo-Himeji – 60-65 minutes / 940 yen
From Umeda to Sanyo-Himeji – 90-100 minutes / 1,450 yen
From Kawaramachi (Kyoto) to Sanyo-Himeji via Hankyu Sannomiya – 130 minutes / 1,540 yen

If you use Kansai Thru Pass for trip to Himeji, you can easily get more value than price of pass. However, if you use JR trains Special Rapid Service, it is so much faster.

Kyoto -(28 minutes)- Osaka -(22 minutes)- Sannomiya -(40 minutes)- Himeji

Special Rapid Service is operated between Himeji and Kyoto directly. It is 30 minutes shorter between Osaka and Himeji, and 40 minutes faster between Kyoto and Himeji. It is much faster and more convenient. So JR West Kansai Area Pass may be considerable. JR’s return fare between Osaka and Himeji is 2,900 yen. It is much cheaper than 1 day Kansai Area Pass at 2,000 yen.

Day or overnight trip to Mt. Koya

Nankai Railway connects Namba with Mt. Koya. This train is the easiest and the fastest to get Mt. Koya. Please refer the post, How to access World Heritage Mt. Koya. Japan Rail Pass can be used to get Mt. Koya?.

One way fare from Namba to Mt. Koya is 1,230 yen by Nankai Railway and Nankai Koyasan Cable Car. If you want to take Limited Express “Koya”, you need to pay express surcharge, 760 yen. This surcharge is not included in Kansai Thru Pass. And also Kansai Thru Pass cover most of local bus lines on Mt. Koya. So you can get maximum value to use the pass for the trip to Mt. Koya.

However if you stay in Mt. Koya, you spend 2 days. It is very hard to get same value as Kansai Thru Pass 2 days at 3,800 yen. It is very hard to get the value of 3 days either. If you have overnight trip to Mt. Koya, please think about Koyasan-World Heritage Ticket. It includes return fare, local bus and limited express surcharge too. Of course you can use this ticket for day trip too.

Assesment

If you use Kansai Thru Pass for trip to Kyoto, Himeji and Mt. Koya, you must get more value than price. On the other hand, it is hard to get the value for trip to Kobe and Nara basically. And you have to compare Kansai Thru Pass and other pass/ticket, such as JR West Kansai Area Pass, Koyasan-World Heritage Ticket for trip to Mt. Koya or Himeji.

However this pass is still useful. Because you might use the pass after you finish your day trip. Especially if you stay in Osaka, you might have a lots of chance to take Osaka subway after you finish day trip for shopping or dining. Minimum fare of Osaka subway is 200 yen. For example, if you have return trip to Shinsaibashi from Namba, it costs 400 yen. You can make 1,000 yen value easily for just using Osaka subway.

And also you can get discount at more than 350 attractions by Kansai Thru Pass. This is a big benefit, like 100 yen discount at Kaiyukan aquarium, Osaka castle, and many more.
Full list of facilities where you can get benefit (PDF file)

If you stay in Kansai area for 4 or more days, think about using multiple passes, such as Kansai Thru Pass and JR West Kansai Area Pass. I hope this post will help you to find the best and most economical way.

1,141 thoughts on “How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.”

  1. DearTakeshi,

    I will be going to osaka and kyoto for 8 days and will be staying at Temmabashi area. I would like to know if it will be worth for me to purchase the osaka amazing pass and kansai pass. Thank youu!

    Day1
    1. kansai airport to temmabashi
    2. have dinner near temmbashi

    Day 2 ( Kansai Thru Pass)
    1.Kiyomizudera Temple
    2. Nara Park
    3. Dinner at Shijo

    Day 3 ( Osaka Amazing Pass )
    1. Osaka Castle + Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden
    2.Osaka Musuem of History
    2. Umeda sky building
    3. Hep 5 ferris wheel
    4.SHinsaibashi

    Day4 ( Osaka Amazing Pass)
    1. Natural Hot Spring Naniwa No Yu
    2. Tombori River Cruise
    3.Shop at dondonbori
    4.Osaka Tower
    5.Arahakasan Shitennoji temple

    Day 5 (Kansai Thru Pass)
    1. Arashimaya
    2.Fushimi Inari Shrine
    3. Nazenji Temple

    Day 6
    1.Dondonbori
    2. Sumiyohi Shrine

    Day 7
    1. Mitsui Outlet Park Osaka Tsurumi

    Day 8
    1.check out and have lunch at airport

  2. Hi, thank god I found your blog. I’ve been looking everywhere for reliable information. Can you help me figure out of Kansai Pass through is worth it with my itinerary?

    DAY 1
    Late arrival in KIX, take one way Nankai Line Express train to Osaka

    Day 2 – Use Kansai Thru Pass
    Travel to Kyoto
    Go around Kyoto, destinations unknown yet but I want to see Fushimi Inari and Gion and tohers. I stay at a hostel in Kawaramchi. Will I be using the pass alot in Kyoto?

    Day 3 – Use Kansai Thru Pass
    Arashiyama
    Travel back to Osaka – Hostel at near Tanimachiyonchome Subway Station
    Explore Osaka–I don’t have any detailed plans but I want to go check out all must-eat restaurants. :p

    Day 4 – Purchase 1-Day Osaka Metro
    Explore Osaka, I don’t mind using subway exclusively

    Day 5 – Use Kansai Thru Pass
    Day trip to Nara
    Use Kansai Thru from Osaka to KIX airport for night flight

    Do you think my itinerary makes sense? Will it save me more if I got two-day Hankyu pass for Kyoto side trip? But I think Day 5 with Nara round trip and airport train ride can help me payoff, or no?

    Will really appreciate the response. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kristine CF,

      You may use Kansai thru pass on day 2, 3 and 5. You have picked the right deal. Kansai thru pass covers all non JR railway, such as Keihan railway, Hankyu railway, Kintetsu railway, Nankai railway, Randen railway, subway in both Osaka and Kyoto and city bus in Osaka and Kyoto. You can go almost anywhere.

      On day 4, you can use subway pass or if you intend to visit many attractions, you can use Osaka amazing pass. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I and my hubby will go osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo for around 10 days. I would like to get your advice for the pass that is worth to be use during our holiday.

    My arrangement is below
    Day 1- arrived Kansai at 9.45pm
    Day 2- stay osaka, to osaka castle, kurumon market, dotonbori, Shinsaibashi
    Day 3-USJ
    Day 4- to Kyoto, Fushimi Inari, Gion, Yasaka shrine
    Day 5- Arashiyama, Kinkakuji temple, Nijo castle, Nishiki market
    Day 6- to tokyo using Shinkansen, Tokyo Skytree
    Day 7,8- going around Shinjuku, Odaiba, Ginza, Meiji Jingu,
    Day 9-disneysea
    day 10-going around Akihabara, Shibuya
    Day 11-mount Fuji-join tour
    Day 12-back home

    1) I oledy buy tokyo subway pass 72 hour for using it for day 7-9. Is it worth?
    2) thinking of taking Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo, can I bought it online and go to Kyoto station redeem the ticket? Please advice.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Candy,

      1. You may not be able to get the worth. Subway fare is actually quite reasonable. For example, if you ride subway from Shinjuku to Ginza, it’s only 200 yen. Odaiba and Tokyo Disneyland are not covered by subway.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      So if you visit many places in Tokyo, you may get the worth. But in your trip plan, only Skytree, Shinjuku, Ginza, Meiji Jingu. And also you can get Shinjuku, Ginza, Meiji Jingu by JR Yamanote line too. IC card, such as ICOCA or Suica may be better.
      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

      2. If you can use Smart EX app, you can book online.
      https://smart-ex.jp/en/index.html

      Otherwise you have to book at the station after you arrive in Japan.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-reserve-seat.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thanks for your reply.
        May I get advice for day 2,4 and 5, is it worth if I buy Kansai thru pass and use for this 3 non-consecutive day? If not, any other suggestions for it?

        Is there any other place can I buy welcome Suica card in Osaka other than Tokyo? Is this card can be use for whole of Japan? Kyoto bus?

        I just want to clarify For the Shinkansen link that you suggested to buy the Tokaido Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo, I am confused regarding the article for receiving of the ticket. After make reservations, Can I redeem it at Osaka? Or need to be Kyoto station? Pls let me know the station name.

        Thanks.

        1. Hi Candy,

          You may use Kansai thru pass 3-day for day 2, 4 and 5. However there are lots of deals available in Osaka for day 2 trip. Please see the link below:
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

          I think you need Kansai thru pass 2 days and pick up one of the deals in the link above for day 2. It’s cheaper.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Dear Takeshi,

    I am intending to get the 3-day Kansai Thru Pass.
    I am going to Himeji and Kobe over 2 days from Shinsaibashi and intend to use the pass.

    For the 3rd day, I intend to use it for my trip to Kyoto from Shinsaibashi.

    I want to go to Kyoto for 2 days:
    1) Arashiyama
    2) Fushimi Inari, Higashiyama area

    Must I pay extra to take the Keihan Ltd Express for the train ride to Fushimi Inari? If yes, then I guess it is more worth it to use the pass for my day trip to Arashiyama instead?

    Appreciate all your help!

    Grace

    1. Hi Grace,

      If you take a regular seat on Keihan limited express, you don’t need to pay any extra. Extra fare is required to get Premium seat. You can use Kansai thru pass anyway for the trip to Kyoto.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi,
    Me & my wife will travel 3 days day-trip to Kyoto, and 1 day-trip to Nara. We are staying at Sakai area (nearby Nankai main line).

    1. Since we already booked and paid all our hotel stays at Sakai area and decided to go and return in the same day. Is it more worth to use kansai thru pass?

    2. Since we need to travel 4 days to Kyoto + Nara, and longest kansai thru pass is only 3-day pass. Can we buy two 3-day pass, and one 2-day pass to use? Each of us will be using the 3-day pass, and sharing to use the 2-day pass (1 day for each people). Do we need to show our passport or is the kansai thru pass writing our name on it?

    3. Knowing that this kansai thru pass cannot board the train with reserved seat, will we can’t find a seat on the long hour journey? We plan to depart around 7am and return around 7pm. Is it peak hour and the train is crowded on that time?

    1. Hi SK101,

      1. Yes. Kansai Thru Pass is the best choice.

      2. You cannot share the one pass. Both of you must have one pass each. So your choice is 2 x 2-day pass.

      3. If you leave 7am on weekday, the train is crowded. Morning rush hour is 7 to 9. But even day time, the train is busy anyway. You may not be able to find the seat. Basically all trains which you will take are commuter’s train. You may have to stand up. But if you take the train from the original departure station, the train is empty when you take. It’s much easier to take the train.
      e.g.
      When you go to Kyoto by Keihan railway, take the train from Yodoyabashi.
      When you go to Kyoto by Hankyu railway, take the train from Umeda.
      When you go back to Sakai by Nankai railway, take the train from Namba.

      You will take Kintetsu railway to Nara. You will take Kintetsu at Namba. Namba is not the original departure station and located in the middle of Kintetsu-Hanshin railways. But many passengers get off and many passengers get on. If you wait for the train at the beginning of the line, you may get the seat.

      Please find the map of the train lines in Kansai area in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        Thanks for the quick reply, appreciate that!

        On the below:
        ” You cannot share the one pass. Both of you must have one pass each. So your choice is 2 x 2-day pass.”

        Let’s say I buy 2 x 3-day pass (namely pass-A, pass-B), and buy 1 x 2-day pass (namely pass-C).

        If I use it that way:
        Day-1 to Kyoto: i use pass-A, my wife use pass-C
        Day-2 to Kyoto: i use pass-C, my wife use pass-B
        Day-3 to Kyoto: i use pass-A, my wife use pass-B
        Day-4 to Nara: i use pass-A, my wife use pass-B

        In that case, pass-A and pass-B are being used 3 times each, pass-C is being used 2 times each and on different days. So that will work?

        I am more prefer to buy 2 x 3-day pass and 1 x 2-day pass because that will cost cheaper compare to 4 x 2-day pass (for both persons).

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Thanks for your advice.
            If I only purchase a 3-day pass for my three days travel to kyoto. Do you have any pass recommendation for my Nara day-trip?

            1. Kintetsu rail pass 1-day ?
            2. Other rail pass?
            3. Just use ICOCA? (can I use ICOCA card on private railway?)

            1. Hi SK101,

              If you need just round trip to Nara from Sakai, just use ICOCA or regular fare. You can use ICOCA to take any trains. You will take Nankai railway and Kintetsu railway. The round trip fare is 2,000 yen. 3-day pass + 2,000 yen is cheaper than 2×2-day pass. However if you take a bus in Nara or make some extra trips in Osaka after trip to Nara, 2×2-day pass may be cheaper. It totally depends on your trip plan.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

              1. Hi Takeshi,

                If I plan to walkaround Osaka after Nara day trip, using Osaka metro/subway. How much does that cost (is metro fare flat rate, or increase by distance)? I can’t find the metro cost calculator. Is Google Map fare estimation accurate?

                  1. Hi Takeshi,

                    Thanks for the Hyperdia website, very useful.
                    Another question, can I eat or drink in the train / metro?
                    If I am going to take train to Kyoto in the early morning, I may not have time to eat breakfast, therefore will grab a bread or sushi and consume it in the train/metro.

                    Is that allowable? I know in some countries food/drinks are not allowed in metro/subway.

                    1. Hi Takeshi,

                      I had changed my itinerary as below now, instead of going day trip everyday to Kyoto, I had decided to overnight 3 days in Kyoto.

                      Day 1: Airport > Hotel in Sakai (put my big luggage there) > Osaka > Kyoto (overnight in Kyoto).
                      Day 2: Kyoto (Overnight in Kyoto).
                      Day 3: Arashiyama (Overnight in Kyoto)
                      Day 4: Kyoto (check out hotel) > Sakai (overnight in Sakai).
                      Day 5: Day-trip to Nara > Sakai (overnight in Sakai).
                      Day 6: Osaka (overnight in Sakai)
                      Day 7: Osaka (overnight in Sakai).
                      Day 8: Airport

                      Looking at the new itinerary, I don’t think I need the expensive Kansai Thru Pass anymore. Do you recommend any other pass for it?

                    2. Hi SK101,

                      You may be able to get the worth of Kansai thru pass 3-day at 5,300 yen. Because you will spend about 2,000 yen on day 1 and day 5. And you will spend 1,200 yen on day 4. If you take one ride of subway in Kyoto or Osaka, on day 1, 4 or 5, you will get the worth.

                      For day 3, 4, 6 and 7, please see the links below:
                      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
                      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

                      There is no deals for day 8.

                      And I don’t recommend you to eat and drink on board. It is not prohibited. But you will take a commute train mostly. Most trains are busy and you may have to stand up. It is not recommended to eat and drink.

                      Cheers,

                      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi,
    I hope you can still see my message. Your post is really informative! but wanted to clarify a few things 🙂

    1. 6 day trip (4 days around OSAKA, 1 day in Kyoto, 1 USJ) Is it worth it to get the Kansai Thru Pass?

    2. Is this a good arrangement of activities to get the money’s work oft a 2 day Kansai Thru Pass and 1 day OSAKA Amazing Pass?

    Day 1 – Osaka (temple and walk around Dotomburi)
    Day 2 – USJ
    Day 3 – Kyoto
    Day 4-6 – Around Osaka

    Thank you so much!:)

    1. I meant 3 day Kansai Thru Pass and 2 days OSAKA Amazing pass?

      What are the other options if we plan to just go around Osaka for the remaining days? Thank you

      1. Hi Dins,

        If you arrive in and depart from Kansai airport on day 1 and 6, and use Kansai thru pass on this day, you may use 3-day pass for day 1, 3 and 6. The fare from Kansai airport to Osaka is around 1,000 yen. So you have to make a few subway trips at least in Osaka on day 1 and 6 to get the worth of it. If you use Kansai thru pass just for sightseeing in Osaka, it’s not enough to get the worth.

        If you are not sure how much you can use the pass on day 1 and 6, do not use Kansai thru pass. This pass is a good choice for the day trip to outside Osaka, such as day trip to Kyoto, Nara, Himeji, Koyasan.

        If you don’t use Kansai thru pass 3-day, you may think about using other deals, such as Kansai area pass 1-day, Kyoto-Osaka sightseeing pass. Please see the link below:
        https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html

        Osaka amazing pass is a good choice. And you don’t need any passes for visiting USJ.

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. Thank you for your reply! So I can use Kansai Thru pass to and fro the airport?

      Also, I was thinking of another option instead of the amazing pss which is the OSAKA 2 day unlimited pass which i believe covers all subway and bus in osaka. As I dont think will be going inside all the usual tourist spots(might only be going in Umeda Sky and Osaka Castle).
      so iti will be like this? what do yiu think?:)

      day 1-Arrival at 1pm ,airport to hotel and go around osaka area (Kansai thru Pass)
      day 2- USJ (singletrip ticket or prepaid card)
      day 3- Kyoto (Kansai Thru Pass)
      day 4 – Go around Osaka (OSAKA 2 day unli travel pass)
      day 5 – Go around OSAKA (2day unli travel pass)
      day 6- to Kansai Airport (Kansai Thru Pass) (no time to go around)

      thank you so much!! 🙂

      1. Hi Dins,

        I don’t think you can get the worth of Kansai thru pass. 3-day pass is sold at 5,300 yen. Roughly you have to make 1,800 yen value of the ride in each day. The fare from Kansai airport to Namba by Nankai railway is 920 yen. You will arrive there around 1:00. You don’t have enough time to make many train trips. On day 6, you will go back to Kansai airport. So Kansai thru pass does not suit your trip plan.

        Please think about using Kansai Area Pass one day or Kyoto-Osaka sightseeing pass as I mentioned in the last reply.

        If you visit Umeda Sky building before 6:00 pm, you can go for Osaka amazing pass one day. Sky building and Osaka castle admission will be 2,100 yen. If you buy subway pass, it costs at least 600 yen. Osaka amazing pass one day is 2,700 yen. The costs are same and you can visit another one if you have a time.

        For other day, 1 day subway pass is okay.

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Dear Takeshi-san

    I need recommendation on which pass the best to use for

    Day trip Osaka to Arima and Kobe
    Day trip Osaka to Nara

    Thank you

  8. Hi Takeshi,

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, just some clarifications:

    3. I noticed that from Gion (Kyoto) to Nara Deer Park there was no JR Lines/Trains, only Kintetsu-Kyoto & Kintetsu-Nara Line. Is this covered by the JR West Kansai Pass or we will buy another regular ticket for this ride?
    Also, would you recommend that from Osaka, we start our sightseeing in Kyoto or Nara?

    Again, I really appreciate your helpful response. Thanks!

    1. Hi lillybelow,

      You can take JR train from Kyoto to Nara. Please see the link below to find the route. Basically you cannot get Gion by JR train and you have to pay the fare to take the city bus. But other trips are covered by Kansai area pass:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/subway/how-to-access-to-nara-by-japan-rail-pass-if-you-dont-use-jr-pass-kintetsu-railway-is-more-convenient.html

      I recommend you to visit Nara first. And then visit Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama and Gion at the end.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you so much for your help, Takeshi! We would surely enjoy our stay in Osaka. Thanks to your suggestions! We greatly appreciate it! 🙂

  9. Hi! I would just like to ask, if I’m going to get the Kansai Thru Pass, how will I be able to go the USJ? All the routes I see uses JR railways (which is not included in Kansai Thru Pass). What Train stations/railways should we take?

    1. Hi lillybelow,

      You cannot take any trains to get USJ by Kansai thru pass. As you saw, it is JR line and not covered by Kansai thru pass. If you really really want to use Kansai thru pass, you can get Osaka city bus. But it’s slow and hard to find the bus stop. It’s not a realistic choice. Just pay the fare to take JR train from Nishikujo to Universal city. The one way fare is only 160 yen. You can get Nishikujo by Hanshin railway and it’s covered by Kansai thru pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for your prompt & insightful response. Below is our itinerary during our stay in Osaka, Japan. I would really appreciate it you could suggest the most appropriate passes we should avail. Thank you so much!

        1.) KIX to Osaka, Nishinari-ku, Tsurumibashi, 1-chōme−1−7(AirBnb)
        -What railway should we take from KIX to our Airbnb? We would be arriving at 6:30 PM.

        2.) From Airbnb (nearest station is Shin-Imamiya & Haginochaya station) to Universal City (USJ). We will be staying there for the whole day. Which pass should we take, the Kansai Thru Pass or JR West?

        3.) Kyoto & Nara (1 day only)
        -(Kyoto) Arashiyama Bamboo grove
        -(Kyoto) Fushimi Inari Shrine
        -(Kyoto)Gion District
        -(Nara) Nara Deer Park
        -Train from Nara back to Osaka

        4.)Osaka (2 days); We would be getting the 2 Day Osaka Amazing Pass for this.
        -Osaka Caste
        -Umeda Sky Building & Floating Garden Observatory
        -Kuromon Ichiba Market
        -Shinsaibashi
        -Dotonbori
        -Nakanoshima River Cruise
        -Osaka Science Museum
        -Natural Hot Spring Naniwa no Yu
        -NAKANOSHIMA Night View Cruise
        -Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
        -Musuem of Housing and Living
        -Shitennō-ji Temple
        -Osaka Museum Of Natural History
        -HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
        -Osaka Tower

        We would greatly appreciate your suggestion on what passes we should take depending on our itinerary above. Thank you so much Takeshi!

        1. Hi lillybelow,

          1. Take Nankai railway to Shin-Imamiya. Haginochaya may be closer but the train from KIX does not stop at Haginochaya.
          Regular ticket is 920 yen. This is most affordable.

          2. Take JR train from Shin-Imamiya to Universal city via Nishikujo. The regular fare is only 180 yen one way.

          3. JR West Kansai area pass one day is the choice.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-use-jr-west-kansai-area-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html
          This day will be very very busy day.

          4. Osaka amazing pass is the good choice.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

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