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

Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara
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.

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 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 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)
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)
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.


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. Kit Mee says:

    Hi Takeshi

    My husband and I will be visiting Osaka come end Jan (30.01.2020 ~ 04.02.2020)…
    We are really excited about it but still not sure as to how to go about the kansai tru pass (3 day pass) and with combination of others..
    Here’s the draft of our itinerary :
    Day 1 (30.01.20)
    -arrive KIX at 5.40am and
    -after custom & immigration clearance, proceed to collect Kansai Tru Pass
    – head to Sakai (staying here throughout)
    -check in and drop luggage
    i. Nanshuji Temple & Daianji Temple
    ii. Sakai City Museum
    iii. Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko (tea ceremony expereince)
    iv. lunch at Umenohana
    v. walk over from Umenohana to visit Hamono Museum(knife makers)
    vi.Central Sakai (Oshoji & Hanataguchi)
    v. Ohama Park & old lighhouse
    Day 2 (31.01.20)
    i. Shitennoji Temple
    ii. Umeda Sky Building
    iii. Osaka Castle (lunch nearby, Chibo)
    iv. Shinsaibashisuji shopping street
    v. Dotonbori Food Street
    iv.Osaka-Sakai (Hotel)
    Day 3 (01.02.20)
    i. Nijo-jo Castle
    ii. Ninna-ji Temple
    iii. Ryoan-ji Temple
    iv. Kiyomizu-dera Temple
    v. Osaka for dinner (if time permits)
    vi. Sakai (Hotel)
    Day 4 (02.02.20)
    -Todai-ji Temple
    -Yakushi-ji Temple
    -Kasuga Grand Shine & Nara Park
    – Ubibashi Bridge, Murasaki Shikibu
    -Byodo-in Omotesando Street
    -Byodo-in Temple (a brief stroll )
    -Tsuen-chaya Tea shop
    iii.Uji-Sakai (Hotel)
    Day 5 (03.02.20)
    i. Arima-Onsen (take train)
    ii. Mount Rokko
    iii. cable car up mountain, bus to Rokko Sanjo station, take Rokko Cable Car down mountain
    iv.Shushinkan Sake Brewery (take bus from Rokko Cable Car)
    v. dinner
    vi. Kobe-Sakai (Hotel)
    Day 6 (04.02.20)
    -Sakai-KIX (flight at 9.55 am)

    We intend to spend short time at the major tourist must-see attractions only. We decided not to go to USJ, unfortunately. This trip is more on food hunting and some photo takings at major spots only.

    We will purchase a 3 Day Kansai Tru Pass and ain’t sure how to maximize it …Furthermore, it isn’t enough to cover our 5 days trip, what other combination of transportation passes that is best fits in?

    Your recommendation is much appreciated.

    Kindly advise.

    Thanks with best regards
    KItMee Wong

  2. Dylan says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    It’s my first time travelling to Japan so I’m overwhelmed with all the different passes. As with any other traveller, I’m on a budget. I’ve been looking online and studying the different passes but I’m still confused as to which one to get. This is my rough itinerary

    Jan 20 – KIX to Kyoto (I read that I could take the Haruka line from KIX?)
    Jan 21 – Arashiyama
    Jan 22 – Fushimi Inari, Gion
    Jan 23 – Day trip to Kobe (I’ve looked at different activities and I’m not sure how many I can squeeze in 1 day because I don’t know the distance to each one but they’re Kobe Animal Kingdom, UCC Coffee Museum, Kawasaki World, Rokkosan Pasture)
    Jan 24 – Day trip to Tottori (still checking what activities to do)
    Jan 25 – Day trip to Nara (Kofukuji Temple, Todaiji Temple, Nara Park)
    Jan 26 – Train to Osaka from Kyoto (should I buy a JR Pass or will the ICOCA card work the same?)
    Jan 27, 28, 29 – still looking for activities in Osaka, might include Osaka Aquarium
    Jan 30 – USJ
    Jan 31, Feb 1 – looking for activities
    Feb 2 – Osaka to KIX

    I grouped all the day trips together because so that I can fully utilize whatever pass I end up getting. But I’m confused which ones to get. Hoping you could help me. Thank you so much!

    – Dylan

  3. AOM says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Thank you for this great article. But I would like to ask for your thoughts with our itinerary,
    if Kansai Thru Pass or the regular ICOCA card would be better.

    Day 1: Arrive at KIX >>> Hotel at Naniwa-ku >>> Dotonbori
    Day 2: Osaka Castle >>> Museum of History >>> Nakanoshima
    Day 3: Go to Kyoto >>> return to Osaka
    Day 4: Kasuga taisha >>> Nara >>> Kofoku-ji >>> back to Osaka
    Day 5: Travel to airport (KIX)

    We are considering getting the Kansai Thru Pass but not quite sure if it will be worth it with the itinerary. Looking forward to your suggestions. Thank you so much!


  4. Faiz says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Thanks for all the great information you have provided in this article.
    We are still a bit confused whether to get the Kansai Thru Pass or just a regular ICOCA card for our trip.
    Would the Kansai Thru Pass be worth it for an itinerary as below,

    11 Dec – Arrive at KIX > Hotel in Nishinari Ward > Dotonburi , Shinsaibashi, Mizukakefudoson > Back to Hotel
    12 Dec – USJ
    13 Dec – Osaka Castle > Go to Kobe for Lunch > Back to Osaka for HARUKAS or Umeda Sky Building for night view, Stay in Osaka
    14 Dec – Kuromon Market > Go to Kyoto Hotel near Tofukuji station > Fushimi Inari Taisha, Rengeoin Sanjusangendo/ Hanamikoji Dori, Stay in Kyoto
    15 Dec – Kiyomizu-dera, Gion , Kinkaku-ji or Kitano Tenmangu, Stay in Kyoto
    16 Dec – Nishiki Market > Return to KIX from Kyoto

    Looking forward to your very helpful advice & suggestions, thanks a lot.


  5. Michelle says:

    Hi Takeshi san!

    I’m heading to Japan on Dec 9-15. Here’s my itinerary.

    Dec 9- arrival at Chubu airport
    Dec 10- explore Nagoya; depart for Namba, Osaka at night via Willer Bus
    Dec 11- Arashiyama + Northern Kyoto tour
    Dec 12- Eastern Kyoto Tour + Fushimi Inari
    Dec 13- USJ
    Dec 14- Nara
    Dec 15- Osaka castle, Tour around Osaka; departure at Kansai airport

    For my trip in Kansai area, I’m planning to use 3 day- Kansai Thru Pass on Dec 11-12 and 14. And ICOCA on Dec 13 and 15.

    Is Kansai Thru Pass worth the money for my itinerary? Or Kansai Area Pass is more suitable?

    By the way, your blog is very helpful and informative! Keep it up!
    Thank you so much!


  6. Hi Takeshi,
    I’ll be taking a 14 days trip to Japan in end Dec – early Jan. Below are my plans:-
    Dec 23 Arrive KIX, stay in Osaka (activate my Takayama-Hokuriku pass?)
    Dec 24 Osaka to Takayama
    Dec 25 Takayama to Shirakawago to Takayama
    Dec 26 Takayama to Gero Onsen
    Dec 27 Gero Onsen to Kanazawa to Osaka (if i activate Taka-Hoku pass on 23rd, then should end today)
    Dec 28 Osaka to Hiroshima to Iwakuni to Hiroshima (activate Kansai-Hiroshima pass)
    Dec 29 Hiroshima to Miyajima to Hiroshima
    Dec 30 Hiroshima to Okunojima to Kurashiki
    Dec 31 Kurashiki to Tottori
    Jan 1 Tottori to Osaka (last day of Kansai-Hiro pass)
    Jan 2 Osaka to Kyoto Kiyomizudera + Gion to Osaka (if I activate Taka-Hoku pass on 24th, then i will slot this in on Dec 28)
    Jan 3 Osaka USJ
    Jan 4 Osaka area + maybe Uji
    Jan 5 Osaka to Kobe to Osaka
    Jan 6 Osaka to Kansai Airport
    Now my questions are:-
    1). Should i activate Taka-Hoku pass on 23rd or 24th?
    2). Should i get a 5 day Kansai-Hiro pass or a 7 day Sanyo-Sanin pass?
    3). What other passes should i add in for the remaining days? Kansai Thru Pass? Or jus use the ICOCA?
    4). Which way to best safe on airport transfers?
    Thanks for your help in advance!

  7. seaglasskies
    Syahira says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    This page has been super convenient for me to limited my Kansai Thru Pass usage. Would appreciate your kind help to check my itinerary whether I can make the most out of my KTP. I am also using my 5 Day JR Kansai Hiroshima pass (“5D KH Pass”).

    Things to note:
    1. my kyoto airbnb location is walking distance to (Kintetsu Kyoto Line) and walking distance to Keihan Line to which I will stay for 8 days. In Osaka I will be staying in Shinsaibashi.

    Day 1 – KTP – Arrival (9am) then Kyoto, golden pavillion, philosopher’s path then back to gion at night

    Day 2 – KTP – Arashiyama

    Day 3 – icoca, 5D KH Pass – Hiroshima, Miyajima Island,

    Day 4 – icoca, 5D KH Pass – Kurashiki, Okayama, Takamatsu (Ritsurin Park)

    Day 5 – KTP + 5D KH Pass – Kobe, Himeji

    Day 6 – KTP + 5D KH Pass – Fushimi inari shrine (airbnb hike), Hikone

    Day 7 – icoca, 5D KH Pass – Tottori, Kinosaki Onsen, Amanohashidate

    Day 8 – KTP – Nara Park then head out to Osaka , Haruka Observatory, Minami (Namba)

    Day 9 – KTP – osaka castle, Sky Building+Takimikoji, Shinsaibashi/Dotonbori

    Day 10 – icoca – USJ whole day

    Day 11 – icoca – Any locations that I did not manage to complete on Sunday, KIX (Flight 5:30 pm)

    I realize the cost however I have a good deal (50% discount) hence I am considering it heavily.

    Thank you and Regards,

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi ( administrator) says:

      Hi Syahira,

      I don’t recommend you using Kansai Thru Pass for Kansai airport to Kyoto. Because you have to change trains twice and it take a long time. And also it is wasting your fund to use Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Kansai Thru Pass same time.

      I recommend you using Kansai One Pass and Haruka deal for the arrival day.

      You can get Kyoto directly and can maximize your time in Kyoto. After arrival in Kyoto, you can use Kansai one pass to take subway, city bus and any trains. Kansai one pass is enough on day 2 too.

      I don’t think you need Kansai thru pass on day 5, 6, 8 and 9 either. On day 5 and 6, most part of your trip is covered by Kansai Hiroshima area pass. When you need to take non JR trains, just use Kansai one pass. On day 8, just use Kansai one pass. On day 9, you may add subway pass. Osaka amazing pass may be considerable if you are intersted in other attaction on the list of Osaka amazing pass:

      At last, it is very hard to visit Amanohashidate, Kinosaki and Tottori in one day. The trip time is the following:
      Kyoto (2 hours) Amanohashidate (1.5 hours) Kinosaki (2 hours) Tottori.

      You cannot use the direct train to Tottori from Osaka/Kyoto. And you have to take a local train between Kinosaki and Tottori. I recommend you to visit only Kinosaki and Amanohashidate.


      Takeshi /

      • seaglasskies
        Syahira says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        I appreciate your fast reply 🙂

        I see~ it’s just I have been reading that Kansai Thru Pass has been helping tourist on trip to kobe nara and arashiyama that’s why I included them however after reading your response. I believe it’s better not to 🙂

        In fact I have one kansai wide area pass (i got it for free) on top of 5Day Kansai Hiroshima.

        By any chance based on itinerary should I include any locations ought not to be missed? I have included Yoshino as I scrolled through your website. 🙂 what a wonderful suggestion since my trip is on 28th March until 7th April!

        Thank you again for your kind reply ^_^

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi ( administrator) says:

          Hi Syahira,

          If you get Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Kansai Wide Area Pass, you can use Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass for the day 1 to 5 and Kansai Wide Area Pass for day 7 to 11. You may buy only Kansai One Pass. You don’t need to buy Haruka + Kansai One Pass combo because you can take Haruka by Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass.

          And you have to change your trip plan if you want to include Yoshino.

          Day 1 – no change
          Day 2 – Arashiyama and Hikone
          Day 3 – no change
          Day 4 – no change
          Day 5 – Yoshino and Nara (if too much, visit Nara after Fushimi Inari on day 6)
          *You have to add Kintetsu Rail Pass 2 days because of Yoshino. Kintetsu has the station in Nara at better location than JR:

          Day 6 – Fushimi inari shrine (airbnb hike)

          Day 7 – Tottori, Kinosaki Onsen, Amanohashidate
          *I mentioned that it is too much to visit 3 places in one day. But you will use Kansai Wide Area Pass. This pass covers Kyoto-Tottori direct express train “Super Hakuto”. You may be able to do it.

          Day 8 – Kobe, Himeji
          Day 9 – no change
          Day 10 – no change
          Day 11 – Haruka Observatory, Minami (Namba) before you leave for KIX


          Takeshi /

          • seaglasskies
            Syahira says:

            Hello Takeshi,

            I appreciate your thoughtful response. Apologies as I have mistook my pass.

            Here are things to note and questions:
            1) The fushimi inari hidden trail is actually flexible. I can squeeze in any day. Do you have any day suggestion? The hike will take around half day.
            2) These are all of the passes I am getting – 5Day Kansai Hiroshima Pass, 1Day Kansai Area Pass (I mistook it with 5Day Kansai Wide), 2Day Osaka Amazing Pass, KOP+Haruka and 2Day Kintetsu Rail Pass. Are the number of dates for passes okay?

            I am okay with changing my itinerary as I am rather flexible. In fact I appreciate your kind help to consider rearranging my itinerary ^_^ Here is final draft, I have added dates so my estimation on the cherry blossom is almost as close.

            Day 1 (Saturday,28th)– KOP+Haruka – Arrival (9am) then Kyoto, golden pavillion, philosopher’s path then back to gion at night
            Day 2 (Sunday)– KOP+5D KH Pass– Arashiyama and Hikone
            Day 3 (Monday) – KOP+5D KH Pass – Hiroshima, Miyajima Island,
            Day 4 (Tuesday) – KOP+5D KH Pass – Kurashiki, Okayama, Takamatsu (Ritsurin Park)
            Day 5 (Wednesday) – KOP+5D KH Pass + Kintetsu – Yoshino and Nara
            Day 6 (Thursday)– KOP+5D KH Pass – Kinosaki Onsen, Amanohashidate
            Day 7 (Friday) – KOP+1Day Kansai Area Pass – Kobe, Himeji
            Day 8 (Saturday) – KOP+Osaka Amazing Pass – Fushimi inari shrine (airbnb hike) then head to Osaka, HEP five ferris wheel, Shinsaibashi/Dotonbori
            Day 9 (Sunday) – KOP+Osaka Amazing Pass – osaka castle, Umiyosha-Taisha, Umeda Sky Building+Takimikoji,Shitennoji, Shinsekai, Tempozan Ferris Wheel
            Day 10 (Monday) – KOP – USJ whole day
            Day 11 (Tuesday)– KOP+Haruka – Haruka Observatory, Minami (Namba) (Flight 5:30 pm)

            Apologies again for the TLDR post. Thanks for your gracious help!

  8. sandy says:

    I need help.
    I am very confused on how to use the kansai through pass, I will be flying in to Kansai airport and stay 2 nights in shin-osaka then Kyoto Station (or shichijo station kyoto).
    I am also planning to go to
    1) nara park
    2) Hieizan cable car
    3) amanohashidate
    I bought a 3-day KTP. Can you please advise me how I should use the pass?

  9. Sae says:

    Hello again Takeshi san!
    I am wondering about a rail pass for Kansai region, maybe Kansai Thru Pass. What do you think about this?
    Day 1: Kyoto Sanjo Station (Keihan Limited Express) > Yodoyabashi Station (Midosuji Line) > Namba Station — Use Day 1 Kansai Thru Pass (+ limited express fee?)
    Day 2: Osaka Namba Station (Hanshin Rapid Express) > Kobe Sannomiya Station > Osaka Namba Station — Use Hanshin Tourist Pass
    Day 3: Osaka Namba Station (Kintetsu Nara Rapid) > Kintetsu Nara Station > Osaka Namba Station — Use Day 2 Kansai Thru Pass
    Day 4: Osaka Namba Station > Nankai Limited Express to Kansai Airport — Use Day 3 Kansai Thru Pass (+ limited express fee)

    Is that best choice or should I buy other option or individual ticket? Thank you in advance!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi ( administrator) says:

      Hi Sae san,

      Kansai thru pass does not work. Because you cannot get the worth of it. It costs only 600 yen for day 1. It costs only 570 yen to get Nara for one way. Kansai thru pass covers base fare only to get Kansai airport on day 4. It costs only 930 yen. Regular fare ticket is way cheaper.

      On day 4, you can use the deal in the link below:


      Takeshi /

      • Sae says:

        Thank you Takeshi san! I appreciate your help.

        I am wondering about typhoon impact and I hope you and your family are safe.

        We are reserved at the Hakone Airu Hotel November 11. It is a very expensive room and we are excited to visit Hakone. But I am not sure if Hakone transportation, ropeway, train, and cablecar will be operating. Do you think we should cancel our Hakone one-night trip?

  10. dingodogbabydaddy
    Matt from Baltimore says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I very much enjoy reading your posts, thanks in advance for your assistance. I will be taking a 10 night trip to Kansai area, Hiroshima, and Kyushu from November 18-27. I’m considering buy 3 separate area passes for this trip, but I would appreciate your feedback on what’s the best combination of rail passes to purchase for best price and experience.

    My initial plan is to buy a JR Kasai Thru Pass 3 day (Nov. 18-20); JR Kasai Wide Area Pass (Nov. 21-24); and a JR Kyushu Northern Rail Pass 3 day (Nov. 25-27). But I welcome any alternative suggestions you may have. I’m a little concerned about a slight gap in my strategy, as I may have to pay separately for a ticket from Hiroshima to Fukuoka on Nov. 25. Any advice for me on this?

    Nov. 18–Arrive KIX in evening, train to Osaka Umeda area hotel, where I will stay for 4 nights
    — I do plan on spending several evenings in Namba during stay in Osaka
    Nov. 19–Day trip to Kyoto
    Nov. 20–Day trip to Nara
    Nov. 21–Day trip to Kyoto/Arishiyama
    Nov. 22–Osaka to Kinosaki onsen
    Nov. 23–Kinosaki to Naoshima island
    Nov. 24–Naoshima to Hiroshima, overnight at Miyajima
    Nov. 25–Hiroshima to Fukuoka, day trip to Nagasaki
    Nov. 26–Fukuoka to Yufuin
    Nov. 27–Yufuin to Beppu, then to Fukuoka airport


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