Kansai Thru Pass sample itineraries

1 to 3 days
There are lots of NON JR trains in Kansai. Most of them can be taken by Kansai Thru Pass.
There are lots of NON JR trains in Kansai. Most of them can be taken by Kansai Thru Pass.
There are lots of NON JR trains in Kansai. Most of them can be taken by Kansai Thru Pass.

If you visit Osaka and make some day trips to outside Osaka, such as Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Kansai Thru Pass is a good deal. But as I explained about this pass on the post, How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare, you have to make many train and/or bus trips. And I compared a regular fare and the price of pass in the link above. But it may be complicated for you. You may be overwhelmed.

I will show you some sample itineraries by using Kansai Thru Pass in this post. I hope this post let you understand this pass easier.

Ride a train/bus for 2,000 yen worth or more in one day

The price of pass is 4,000 yen for 2-day and 5,200 yen for 3-day. You have to make the worth at least 2,000 yen value per day (1,740 yen per day for 3-day pass) by making train trips, bus trips and/or getting discount at attraction. Otherwise you cannot make the worth of the pass.

All following itineraries require 1,800 yen total fare or more. You will get a discount at many attractions. If you can pick two or three itineraries to combine and you will get the worth of Kansai Thru Pass.

In all sample itineraries, departure time is around 9:00 am. Of course you can start earlier if you want. But some attractions open around 10:00 am. Please check the hours of the attractions that you want to visit when you make your trip plan.

Himeji, Kobe and Tarumi

Of course, spring is a good season to visit Himeji castle. ©JNTO

If you go to Himeji and Kobe in one day, this pass gives you a great deal.

Visit Mitsui Outlet Park Marine Pia Kobe

Depart from Namaba : Namba 09:10 (Hanshin train) 09:30 Amagasaki 09:36 (Hanshin train) 10:27 Sanyo Tarumi (840 yen)
Depart from Umeda : Umeda 09:27 (Hanshin train) 10:27 Sanyo Tarumi (750 yen)

You can skip this place if you are not a shopping spree. The reason why I put it in this itinerary is that the trip is too long if we go to Himeji directly by Hanshin and Sanyo railways.

But you can see the world longest suspension bridge, Akashi Ohashi bridge here. And you can shop and eat here. I think it is nice place to take a break. It is only 9 minutes away from the station by foot. If you skip this spot, you can spend more time at Kobe or Himeji. You can stop by there on the way to Kobe from Himeji as the lunch break.

Himeji Castle and the lunch break.

Sanyo Tarumi 12:00 (Sanyo train) 12:39 Sanyo Himeji (740 yen)

You can get 20% off for Himeji Castle admission by Kansai Thru Pass. Himeji Castle is about 20 minutes away from the station. You can walk but it is too long, you can take a bus. But the bus fare is not covered by Kansai Thru Pass.

Please see the post below to find more information about Himeji.

Visit Kobe

Sanyo Himeji 15:04 (Sanyo train) 16:08 Sannomiya (Walk) Sannoiya Hanadokeimae 16:20 (Kobe subway) 16:24 (940 yen + 200 yen = 1140 yen)

You can enjoy Kobe port cruise if you want. You can get a discount for cruise and Kobe Port tower. You can have a dinner at Kobe before heading back to Osaka.

To Namba : Sannomiya 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:34 Amagasaki 20:39 (Hanshin) 20:59 Namba (400 yen)
To Umeda : 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:42 Umeda (310 yen)

Total fare is 3120 yen from/to Namba and 2940 yen from/to Umeda.

Kobe and Arima hot springs

Taiko-hashi bridge in Arima hot springs. If you want to stay, it is a nice place too. © Kobe Convention & Visitors Association/© JNTO

Arima hot springs is one of most three famous hot springs and one of the three oldest hot springs. Actually it is most accessible hot springs from Osaka. You can stay there but I put this hot springs as day use in this trip.

Visit Arima hot springs, Kinnoyu (Gold springs), Ginnoyu (Silver springs) or Taiko no Yu.

From Umeda : Umeda 09:03 (Hanshin train) 09:36 Sannomiya 09:49 (Kobe subway and Hokushin Kyuko) 10:00 Tanigami 10:06 (Kobe railway train) 10:17 Arimaguchi 10:19 (Kobe railway train) 10:23 Arima Onsen (310 yen + 900 yen = 1210 yen)
From Namba : Namba 08:45 (Hanshin train) 09:02 Amagasaki 09:07 (Hanshin train) 09:32 Sannomiya 09:49 (Kobe subway and Hokushin Kyuko) 10:00 Tanigami 10:06 (Kobe railway train) 10:17 Arimaguchi 10:19 (Kobe railway train) 10:23 Arima Onsen (400 yen + 900 yen = 1300 yen)

You can get discount to go these hot springs. These hot springs open from 9:00 am. By the way, Taiko is a name of title of Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

If you want to have more relaxation, you can use daily plan of high end hotels. Arima Grand Hotel has daily hot springs use plan around 4,000 yen.

Visit Kobe

Arima Onsen 14:09 (Kobe railway train) 14:13 Arimaguchi 14:29 (Kobe railway train) 14:39 14:41 Tanigami (Hokushin Kyuko and Kobe subway) 14:51 Sannomiya (900 yen)

You can visit anywhere in Kobe you want, such as Kitano, Kobe port.

To Namba : Sannomiya 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:34 Amagasaki 20:39 (Hanshin) 20:59 Namba (400 yen)
To Umeda : 20:11 (Hanshin train) 20:42 Umeda (310 yen)

Total fare is 2600 yen from/to Namba and 2420 yen from/to Umeda.

Kyoto Highlight

Autumn in Arashiyama is breathtaking. ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

You can complete most of Kyoto Must-See spots in one day!

From Namba : Namba 08:59 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 09:05 Yodoyabashi 09:10 (Keihan Ltd Exp train) 09:58 Shichijo (200 yen + 600 yen = 800 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 9:01 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 09:05 Yodoyabashi 09:10 (Keihan Ltd Exp train) 09:58 Shichijo (200 yen + 600 yen = 800 yen)

Shichijo, Kiyomizu-Gojo, Gion-Shijo and Sanjo are the gateway station to Higashiyama area. There are tons of spots there. It is impossible to visit most of spots in half day. If you really want to see this area, don’t try this itinerary. Actually even one full day is not enough to cover most of spot.
In this itinerary, I assume to visit Sanjusankendo (三十三間堂), Kiyomizudera temple (清水寺) and Yasaka Jinja shrine (八坂神社).

Kawaramachi 13:05 (Hankyu train) 13:06 Karasuma 13:09 (Kyoto subway Karasuma line) 13:19 Kitaoji (Kyoto bus 12-20 minutes) Kinkakujido (金閣寺道) bus stop (150 yen + 250 yen + 220 yen = 620 yen)

Actually Kyoto city bus #12 goes straight to Kinkakujido bus stop from Kawaramachi or Sanjo-Keihan. This is the easiest. But it is affected by traffic congestion. When you explore Kyoto, try to use trains as much as possible. That is a key to save your time. From Kitaoji to Kinkakujido, you can take #101, #102 or M1. Bus comes every 10 to 15 minutes. Kikakuji temple is 5 minutes walk from bus stop.

Kikakujido (Kyoto city bus 5 minutes) Kitano-Hakubaicho 15:06 (Keifuku railway a.k.a. “Randen”) 15:17 Katabiranotsuji 15:25 (Keifuku railway a.k.a. “Randen”) 15:32 Arashiyama (220 yen + 200 yen = 420 yen)

Kitano-Hakubaisho station is only 3 bus stops away from Kikakujido. You can walk if you want. It takes about 20 minutes. Keifuku railway is a small local railway. It is like a street car.
In Arashiyama, you don’t have much time to visit temples and shrines. You can walk along Katsura river. And you may be able to ride Sagano sightseeing tram night train. But Sagano sightseeing train is not covered by Kansai Thru Pass.

Arashiyama 20:03 (Hankyu train) 20:11 Katsura 20:21 (Hankyu train) 20:55 Umeda 21:00 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 21:08 Namba (390 yen. If you go to Namba, add 230 yen for subway)

If you have just round trip to Kyoto, it is not enough to use Kansai Thru Pass. But if you visit several places, this pass gives you a great deal.

Total fare is 2230 yen from/to Umeda and 2460 yen from/to Namba.

Nara and south Kyoto one day

There are a big number of Torii at Fushimi Inari shrine. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO

If you visit only Nara, it is not enough to get 1800 yen worth. So I combine south Kyoto and Nara because it is the closet place from Nara.

From Namba : Osaka-Namba 09:01 (Kintetsu railway Rapid Express) 09:39 Kintetsu-Nara (540 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 8:45 (Osaka subway Midosuji line) 08:54 Namba (walk) Osaka-Namba 09:01 (Kintetsu railway Rapid Express) 09:39 Kintetsu-Nara (230 yen + 540 yen = 770 yen)

Subway Namba station is very close to Kintetsu Osaka-Namba station. If you miss 9:01 train, next train comes in 10 minutes.

Most of places in Nara can be accessed by walk from the station. Please see 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 more details.

Nara 13:43 (Kintetsu railway Rapid Express) 14:24 Kintetsu-Tanbabashi (walk) Tanbabashi 14:33 (Keihan railway local train) 14:40 Fushimi-Inari (540 yen + 200 yen = 740 yen)

Kintetsu-Tanbabashi station is located at same place as Keihan’s Tanbabashi station. 9 minutes is way enough to transfer. Both stations are not big terminal stations. You cannot miss it.

Fushimi Inari shrine is 10 minutes away from the station.

Fushimi-Inari 15:39 (Keihan railway local train) 15:54 Chushojima 16:04 (Keihan train Uji line local train) 16:18 Uji (300 yen)

Uji 18:02 (Keihan railway Uji line local train) 18:16 Chushojima 18:21 (Keihan railwa Limited Express) 19:04 Yodoyabashi (Osaka subway Midousuji line 10 minutes ride) Namba or Umeda (400 yen + 200 yen = 600 yen)

Total fare is 2180 yen to/from Namba and 2410 yen to/from Umeda.

If you have more, you can go to Gion in Kyoto. After you finish Uji sightseeing, you can take the train to Gion-Shijo at Chushojima.

Uji 18:02 (Keihan railway Uji line local train) 18:16 Chushojima 18:21 (Keihan railwa Limited Express) 18:33 Gion-Shijo

You can enjoy dinner and walk in Kyoto if you want. The last train departs at 23:06 from Gion-Shijo. You can transfer subway at Yodoyabashi from this last train. You still have lots of time for Gion, Kyoto.

Yoshino. Recommended for cherry blossom season

Yoshino must be the best Sakura spot in Japan! ©NARA TOURISM FEDERATION/©JNTO

Yoshino is located at south part of Nara. It is very famous as cherry blossom viewing spots. But the pass does not cover all part of the trip to Yoshino. You have to pay some extra to get there.

From Namba : Namba 08:56 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:03 Tennoji (walk) Abenobashi 09:20 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:53 Yoshino (230 yen + 690 yen = 920 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 08:47 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:03 Tennoji (walk) Abenobashi 09:20 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:53 Yoshino (270 yen + 690 yen = 960 yen)

The pass cover the trip to Tsubosakayama station. It is still 50 minutes away from Yoshino. The extra fare is 420 yen for one way.

Once you arrive in Yoshino, you can enjoy as much as you want until the last train depart at 22:12.

Total fare is 1840 yen to/from Namba and 1920 yen to/from Umeda.
*Above fare is the worth that is covered by the pass. You need to pay another 840 yen on top.

Mt. Koya one day trip

There are lots of places to see in Mt. Koya. ©JNTO

If you want to visit Mt. Koya as day trip, Kansai Thru Pass is one of the choice. But if you want to stay in Mt. Koya, Koyasan World Heritage Ticket is much better choice.

From Namba : Namba 09:01 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:49 Hashimoto 09:54 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:31 Gokurakubashi 10:36 (Cabel car) 10:41 Koyasan (850 yen + 380 yen = 1230 yen)
From Umeda : Umeda 08:47 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 08:56 Namba 09:01 (Osaka subway Midousuji line) 09:49 Hashimoto 09:54 (Kintetsu railway Express train) 10:31 Gokurakubashi 10:36 (Cabel car) 10:41 Koyasan (230 yen + 850 yen + 380 yen = 1460 yen)

You can get the worth easily to have just return trip to Mt. Koya. And also you can take a bus and get some discount at several temples there.

Total fare is 2460 yen to/from Namba and 2920 yen to/from Umeda.

Comments

  1. Viel says:

    Hello, good afternoon,
    Im going to to Osaka and will be staying near Shin-Imamiya Station, We have a ” full pack” itinerary in Osaka and We plan a one day trip to Kyoto and Nara, Is it worth it if we use a 3 day Kansai Thru pass for a 5 day stay. Thank you so much.

  2. Chen says:

    Hi Takeshi-san
    I wonder if 3 days kansai thru pass is worth for the trip

    Day 1
    KIX to Namba
    Namba to Kobe
    (Rokko area)

    Day 2
    Kobe to Kyoto Arashiyama
    Kyoto area

    Day 3
    Kyoto only

    Day 4
    Kyoto Nara Yoshino Namba

    I wonder if use it for day 1-3 or 2-4 ?
    Because I will stay in Kobe and Kyoto (not doing day trip)

    or is it better to do daytrip to namba than stay on hotel in kyoto?

    Please advise

    Thanks

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Chen san,

      Single ticket maybe slightly cheaper than Kansai thru pass but not much different. If you want convenience, you can use Kansai thru pass on day 1, 2 and 4. You may stay in Namba and make day trips by Kansai thru pass. You can get more saving.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Kae says:

    Hello Takeshi-san,

    My family and I will be in Japan for 8 days and we’ll be staying in Osaka. Here’s our itinerary for a party of 7 so far.

    Day 1: Arrival at KIX, transfer to Airbnb apartment

    Day 2: Day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima; return to Osaka in the evening.

    Day 3: Sightseeing/shopping in Osaka (Osaka Castle, Dotombori, Shinsaibashi, etc.) If we have time/my father is feeling well enough, we might also see the Osaka Kaiyuukan on this day. If not, I’ll be moving the aquarium trip to another day.

    Day 4: Free day

    Day 5: Day trip for sightseeing in Nara (deer park) and Kyoto (Fushimi Inari, Kinkakuji, Gion).

    Day 6: Day trip to either Kobe or Mount Koya (depending on which one my family wants to do more).

    Day 7: Last full day of sightseeing in Osaka, buying souvenirs, etc.

    Day 8: Travel to KIX for flight home.

    I apologize for the lack of detail in the itinerary; I’m planning this trip months in advance because I’m the only one in my family who’s been to Japan before, so they’re leaving our itinerary and budget up to me. In any case, with these details, would it be better for us to get the JR Pass or the Kansai Thru Pass?

    Thank you so much for your input, it would help a lot.

  4. Hi, thanks for informative blog.
    I’m not sure if my query was successfully sent. Anyway, I would like to hear your suggestion on what pass should I buy for our itinerary.
    Day 1 KIX to Kyobashi
    Day 2 Kyoto central, western and Gion
    Day 3 Kyoto south and Nara park
    Day 4 Kobe and Himeji castle
    Day 5 USJ
    Day 6 Mt. Koya and Osaka shopping
    Day 7 Kyobashi to KIX

    Would appreciate your help. Thanks!

  5. Tom says:

    HI Takeshi,

    day 1 (20th of March). arrive at kix (15 hours of travelling) in the morning buy passes and exchange vouchers at airport, pickup wifi.
    to Chuo ward (hotel). visit Osaka castle (or on day 2?). (icoca Haruka?).
    day 2: visit Shittenoji, Sumiyoshi Taisha and dotonbori and namba areas. (maybe more if choosing Osaka Amazing pass and the pass would pay off).
    days 3: to Mount Koya. overnight stay
    day 4: to Kyoto (staying close to Sanjo station)
    day 5: Kyoto sightseeing (to Ginkankuji –> walk to Kodaiji and catch some temples along the way -Honen-in, Nanzen, Heian) and have lunch on this route. In the early evening go to Fushimi Inari (if my itinerary/ time schedule allows it)
    day 6: see Nijo castle in the morning.. catch train to Hikone (on 14 day rail pass starting on day 5 already just because cannot use it on my last day in Japan).

    day 1 use icoca Haruka?
    day 3 Koyasan Heritage ticket? (3400 with limited express to koyasan and normal express back)
    day 4 Is it a good time to pass through Yoshino? (maybe little early for Hanami?). Use Kansai 3 day Thru pass (1,3,4) if I pass by Yoshino on my way back to Kyoto? (Hashimoto to Yoshino) if not a good time for Yoshino I will do some extra sightseeing in Kyoto (bus pass).

    Thanks
    Tom

  6. Soa Ngo says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    I am planing a 7 days trip to Kansai area and will be staying in Osaka Namba for the whole trip. My itinerary is currently as follow:
    Day 1: Arrive at Kansai airport in late night (Hankyu express train to Namba)
    Day 2: Iga Ueno and Nara (JR Kansai one day pass)
    Day 3: Fushimi Inari, Kyomizu Dera and surrounding spots (Kansai thru 3day pass)
    Day 4: Arashiyama, Kinkakuji and surrounding spots (Kansai thru 3day pass)
    Day 5: Himeji and Arima onsen (Kansai thru 3day pass)
    Day 6: Osaka Kaiyukan and shopping areas (Osaka Kaiyu Pass)
    Day7: Fly back in early morning (Hankyu Express train to Airport)
    I still wonder if this can be considered an efficient/cost saving plan, and is it possible to visit Himeji and Arima onsen in one day. Would really appreciate if you can advise. Thank you!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Soa san,

      You have chosen the right deals. You can visit Himeji and Arima in one day but it will be a bit tight.
      You will take Nankai railway from KIX to Namba. It’s not Hankyu.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Seong says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    Appreciate if you could advise which pass is suitable and save cost and time.

    DAY 1京都Kyoto
     抵達關西機場后直奔京都,入住京都Airbnb 3天2夜
    Arashiyama嵯峨野竹林(Arashiyama district (a scenic natural area with magnificent bamboo grove))
     Togetsukyo Bridge渡月桥
     Kinkaku-ji金閣寺 (Kinkakuji Temple (the famous Golden Pavillion))
     三忠豆腐

    DAY 2京都Kyoto
     着物岡本租借和服(可上官网预约时间)
    > Ginkaku-Ji銀閣寺(also known as the Silver Pavillion)
     Philosopher’s path (a famous sakura viewing spot along a small river)
     Kiyomizu-dera清水寺
    (Kiyomizu Temple (one of the best known wooden temples in Kyoto with a spectacular panoramic view over the city))
     Fushimi-Inari Taisha伏见稻荷大社
     四條河源町商店街 (Nishiki market (one of the busiest Kyoto fresh food markets))

    DAY 3京都Kyoto
     Gion祇院,花見小路
     祇園小森(京都必吃的抹茶甜品!)
     Shirakawa River In Gion (Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku,)
     Maruyama Park
     通天閣新世界串炸物(京都店)

    DAY 4 京都>大阪 > Wakayama
    Check out京都后返回大阪,入住大阪Airbnb 8天7夜,然後出發去和歌山
     Airbnb (Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome Station)
     Tama Station貴志貓車站
     Kuroshio Market黑潮市場
     バイキングレストラン ゴンドワナ(GONDWANA)食べ放題 (螃蟹放題吃到飽)

    DAY 5
     Universal Studio Japan

    DAY 6大阪Osaka
    (**為使用Osaka Amazing Pass入场免费)
     Osaka Castle大阪城**
     HepFive觀覽車**
     激安殿堂梅田店
     Umeda Sky Building**
     Harukoma Sushi
     天然温泉浪速之汤**(裸汤!)

    DAY 7 ️大阪Osaka
    (**為使用Osaka Amazing Pass入场免费)

     大阪今非昔比舘**
     四天王寺**
     Tsutenkaku Tower通天閣**
     SHINSEKAI新世界
     Gaint Ferries Wheel**
     Tombori River Cruise**

    DAY 8奈良Nara
     Suntory Yamazaki Distillery(可上官网预约时间)
     Nara Park(无需入场费,到处都是怪懒奈良鹿)
     東大寺
     志津釜饭(奈良必吃!)

    DAY 9 Osaka > Himeji > 神戶Kobe > Osaka
     北野異人館街
     復古Starbucks
     KOBE Tower神戶塔(OPEN FOR PUBLIC 9.00am – 10.30pm)
     KOBE-SANDA PREMIUM OUTLETS (OPEN 10am – 8pm)
     神戶牛 SteakLand(必吃神户牛!)

    DAY 10 OSAKA Free and easy
     Kuromon Ichiba Market黑门市场 OSAKA
     烤肉力丸

    DAY 11 Osaka to Kansai Airport

  8. Dear Sir,
    if i stay Midousuji Line area, my plan is travel Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara, kansai thru pass or JR kansai which is suitable for me.

    regards

    Denise

  9. Ryan Lim says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    Good day!

    I am having a hard time choosing between JR West Pass and Kansai Thru Pass.

    Our itinerary for a party of 2 as follows:

    Day 1 & 2 – Arrive at Osaka
    Will probably stay at Umeda or Namba area the whole stay
    Will visit USJ, Dotonbori and Osaka Castle

    Day 3 – Osaka to Kyoto
    Visit at Fushimi Inari Shrine, Sagano Bamboo Forest, Gion-ji, Tsujiri & Hide-Tako restaurant
    Optional at Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji
    *Return to Osaka

    Day 4 – Osaka to Nara
    Just a visit at Nara Deer Park and walk around
    *Return to Osaka

    I hope you can assist us on which pass would suit us better.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ryan

  10. mswangshihui
    Shihui Wang says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I am staying at Osaka and am planning a day trip to Wakayama and a day trip to Kobe. Would it be worth it to get the Kansai Thru Pass? I am a little confused as it seems that my journey consists of taking JR line (which is not covered under the Kansai Thru Pass). Would really appreciate if you could advise.

    Thank you! 😀

    Shihui

Exit mobile version
Copied title and URL