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.
Sponsored links
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
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
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
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
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 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
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. Nurain Tan Abdullah says:

    Hi Takeshi San, your Kansai Thru Pass sample itineraries are very helpful. Thank you for sharing them. We have purchased the 3 day pass and will follow your sample itineraries :-
    1) Kyoto Highlights
    2) Nara & South Kyoto
    3) Himeji, Kobe & Tarumi
    We will be travelling from and to Namba each time.
    Will the places I choose above be possible or would you suggest other itineraries? Also we are travelling in December, will the weather be ok for us to follow the above itineraries? We are also planning to get ICOCA when we arrive.
    Thank you for your time.

    Regards
    Joanne

  2. Liv says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    This website is really helpful. Would like to check if it is worth it to get a Kansai Thru Pass or basic fares/day passes in Kyoto/Osaka for my itinerary below:

    1) Day 1 in Osaka. Travel to Kyoto in the evening
    2) Day 2 to Day 4 in Kyoto. Back to Osaka in the evening
    3) Day 5 and Day 6 in Osaka

    I am also looking to go to Kobe either on Day 4 or Day 5 from Osaka.

  3. HY says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    Appreciate if you can advise which pass is the best – Kansai Thru Pass or JR Kansai Area Pass for the tourist attractions below in 11days. I will be staying at Kyoto for first 6 days and Osaka for the rest of the 5 days. Thank you very much on your advise.

    Attractions
    Arashiyama
    Kiyomizu-dera
    Fushimi Inari-taisha
    Kinkaku-ji
    Ginkaku-ji
    Tō-ji
    Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji
    Gion
    Yasaka Shrine
    Higashiyama District
    Osaka castle
    Shinsekai
    Minoo Park
    Shitennoji Temple
    Todaiji Temple
    Nara Park
    Kobe
    Uji

  4. Avic says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Are you able to help me out to decide the suitable pass to use for the first 2 days from when I arrive in Japan in December.
    I’m heading to Koyasan (Mt Koya) from Kansai Airport and will stay at Fumonin for 2 nights. I’m looking for a pass that I should buy when i arrive in Kansai.
    Here’s how my itinerary look like.
    DAy 1: Kansai Airport to Koyasan
    Day 2: Koyasan
    Day 3: From Koyasan to Kyoto Station
    Thanks for your time.

  5. siddharth says:

    hi
    does the kansai through pass covers going to MIHO MUSEUM using metro to keihan-ishiyama station and then by keihan bus to miho museum?
    we have to book seat reservation to go to KIX airport from namba using the same pass?
    kindly guide me.

    • Hi siddharth,

      You can get Ishiyama by Kansai thru pass. But the bus fare from Ishiyama to Museum is not covered. The bus is not Keihan bus but Teisan bus.

      If you take Airport Express train, you don’t need to book a seat. If you want to take Limited Express “Rapi:t”, you have to make a reservation and need to add extra surcharge on top of Kansai thru pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Charis says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    First timer to Japan, although i been reading up still kinda confuse on the pass
    able to help me have a look ?

    Day 1 – KIX to Kyoto (ICOCA + Haruka)
    Day 2 – Kyoto – Ginkakuji – Arashiyama (Kyoto City Sightseeing card 2 Day Pass)
    Day 3 – Kyoto (Fushimi Inari Taisha, downtown Kyoto, Gion)
    Day 4 – Kyoto to Himeji castle (Touch and go ) to Kobe to Osaka(Namba JR) (I should take Kansai Thru Pass ? 2 days or )
    Day 5 – Namba JR to USJ (ICOCA ?)
    Day 6 – Osaka to Nara ( Kansai Thru Pass day 2)
    Day 7 –Osaka
    Day 8 – Osaka to Rinku area (Last night stay for next morning early flight out) – ICOCA

    Thanks for your time and help in advance

  7. Ean says:

    Hi Takeshin San

    Your information is greatly appreciated.

    Your kind suggestion earlier in taking Kanku Chikotoku from Daikokucho to Kansai is highly appreciated. As much as I love to take up this deal to save the costs but I may have to transfer twice to Namba Nankai station then only to Kansai Airport. It is likely that I may give this option a missed due to my luggages.

    Thank you for the info. Upon arrival I shall purchase Kansai One Pass Icoca + 1 way Haruka to Kyoto and enquire about the advance purchase of return ticket.

    In the event that I cannot get the Haruka ticket in advance, May I use my Kansai One pass Icoca to go on JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service?

    Sorry to take up your time, Takeshi san. I am travelling alone and I just want to ensure I can find my way.

    A big bunch of thanks.

    Kind Regards
    Ean

  8. Rachael U. Yap says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    Good day to you!

    My friends and I are going to Japan for 14 days with Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo as our main itinerary. I am having a difficult time choosing which pass (i.e., Kansai Thru Pass, Osaka Amazing Pass, JR Pass or a combination of passes) is better and more efficient for our trip. Our itinerary is like this:

    Day 0 – Arrival at Kansai International Airport. Transfer to hostel.

    Day 1 – Osaka
    a. Osaka Castle and Museum of History
    b. Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
    c. Umeda Sky Building
    Day 2 – Osaka
    a. Minoo Park
    b. Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
    c. Shitennoji
    d. Aizen-do Temple
    e. IKutama-jinja
    f. Nanbayasaka Shrine
    Day 3 – Wakayama
    a. Wakayama Castle
    b. Daimonzaka Chaya and Nachi Waterfalls
    c. Kishu Kuroshio Onsen
    Day 4 – Osaka
    a. Universal Studios Japan
    Day 5 – Himeji and Kobe
    a. Himeji Castle
    b. Kokoen Garden
    c. Mount Shosan Engyoji Temple
    d. Sorakuen Garden
    e. Mt. Rokka
    f. Arima Onsen
    Day 6 – Nara
    a. Nara Park
    b. Todaiji Temple
    c. Isuien Garden
    d. Kofukuji Temple
    e. Narammachi Koshi No Ie
    f. Train to Kyoto
    Day 7 – Kyoto
    a. Fushimi Inari Shrine
    b. Kiyomizudera Temple
    c. Kodai-ji
    d. Yasaka Shrine
    e. Maruyama Park
    Day 8 – Arashiyama and Sagano
    a. Tenryu-ji
    b. Bamboo Forest
    c. Sagano Scenic Railway
    d. Kameyama Park Observatory
    e. Togetsu-kyo Bridge
    f. Hozugawa River Cruise
    Day 9 – Kyoto
    a. Nishiki Market
    b. Kyoto Imperial Palace
    c. Nijo Castle
    d. Kinkaku-ji
    e. Ginkaku-ji
    f. Gion
    * Take night bus to Tokyo
    Day 10 – Tokyo (Asakusa, Ueno and Rikugien Gardens)
    a. Senso-ji
    b. Asakusa Shrine
    c. Nakamise
    d. Ueno Park
    e. Ameyoko
    f. Rikugien Garden
    g. Tokyo Skytree
    Day 11 – Akihabara and Shinjuku
    a. Tsukiji Market
    b. Imperial Palace
    c. Tokyo Daijingu Shrine
    d. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
    e. Omoide Yokocho
    Day 12 – Hakone and Mt. Fuji
    a. Hakone Shrine and Torii Gate
    b. Ancient Cedar Avenue
    c. Hakone Old Checkpoint Museum
    d. Lake Ashinoko
    e. Owakudani
    f. Odawara Castle
    Day 13 – Shibuya
    a. Hachiko Monument
    b. Meiji Jingu
    c. Yoyogi Park
    d. Shibuya Crossing
    e. Mega Donki
    Day 14 – Transfer to Tokyo Narita International Airport

    As you can see, our itinerary has a few day trips. So, I am a bit confused if it is better to combine two different passes for Kansai Region. I am still bit unsure of our itinerary in Wakayama as I understand it Wakayama Castle is quite far from Nachi Waterfalls. Or should we go to Nachi Waterfalls first then Wakayama Castle?

    For Tokyo, I am thinking of getting a Pasmo (IC Card) and get a 2-day Hakone Free Pass. Based on my research, I can still save on the 2-day Hakone Free Pass even if we will use it for a day only. Do you agree?

    Also, is my understanding correct that train tickets to/from the airports are not included in the train tickets/Passes? And that train ticket/pass to/from the airport is purchased separately?

    We look forward to your assistance on this. Thank you very much in advance.

    Regards,

    Rachael

  9. Ean says:

    Hi Takeshi San
    Thank you so much for your advice during my last visit to Kyoto/Takayama/Tokyo.
    I am planning to re visit Kyoto/Nara/Osaka/Kobe and Hemeji this Oct.
    I may follow your Kyoto,Osaka,Nara,Kobe 7 days sample itinerary.

    Would appreciate if you could kindly advise me:

    1) KIX/Kyoto
    Daikokucho/KIX
    which ticket is more convenient? Please advise the fares
    staying around Kyoto staton in Kyoto and
    Daikokucho station in Osaka
    My flight departs KIX at 0955hour.

    2) How to go from Arashiyama to Nishiski market ?

    What is the difference between 1 Day Pass ticket at 900yen
    and Kyoto Sightseeing 1 day card 1200yen ?
    Can I use them on Raku buses?

    3) Using ICOCA card from Kyoto to Nara and to
    Daikokuchu station (my accommodation)
    Where can I store my luggage from Kyoto to Nara?

    Thank you.

    Kind Regards

  10. Grace Diane Melad says:

    I’m still confused on what these passes cover and if it will be economical for me to use it. I am staying near Nippombashi station and will be coming from Kansai Intl. My 5-day itinerary includes the usual sights –
    Day 1 Osaka, Day 2 USJ, Day 3 Nara, Day 4 Arashiyama area, Day 5 Fushimi Inari and Gion area. What pass can you recommend?

Copied title and URL