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.


  1. mokozi
    Amy says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    I really appreciate if you can advice which pass should i opt as per my itinerary below. I will travel from tokyo-kyoto-osaka-hakone-tokyo.

    Day 1- tokyo to kyoto
    At kyoto : togetsukyo bridge, bamboo groves,saga-toriimoto,tenryuji temple, saga scenic

    Day 2-kyoto : fushimi inari,golden/silver pavilion,nishiki market,kiyomizudera temple, gion,shijo,
    kyoto imperial palade,yasaka shrine,shinkyogoyu.

    Day 3 & 4 – osaka

    Day 5 – mt fuji & hakone :lake kawaguchi,chureito pagoda,kuchi2 ropeway,owakudari,hakone tozan railway

    Day 6&7 – tokyo : asakusa,akihabara,roppongi hills etc

    My question :
    1) if i buy jrpass, is it worth?how much can i actually used?
    2)should i buy icoca to used in kyoto & tokyo?
    3)kyoto has 1 day pass for bus? Should i buy this instead?actually i found more types of cards in kyoto but i really dont get where can use to suit my kyoto itinerary.
    4)2 day osaka unlimited pass also cover the same attraction but we can continue the next day if cannot finish in day 1, is that correct?
    5) what is the best route from osaka to mt.fuji and then get back to tokyo. In tokyo, i stay at asakusa.

    I really hope you can help. Thanks a lot in advance.


  2. DT says:

    Dear Takeshi

    I will be in Osaka/Kyoto next mth for 6 days. Can i buy the Kansai Thru Pass 3 days – twice? since i am there 6 days.

    Means after the 1st pass is up in 3 days, i go buy another pass. possible?


  3. JENNY says:

    HI, Takashi,

    Good Morning,

    For new shin-osaka and namba, which area convenience for kansai pass to take a train to the places. because i still have not choose the hotel yet. please advice me.

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

      Hi Jenny,

      If you use JR pass, Shin-Osaka is better. If you use Kansai Thru Pass, Namba is better.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Jenny says:

        hi, Takeshi

        Thank you very much for your advice, i will consider stay at namba area. And very thank you of your train explanation. Now I already a bit clear of the train line.

        Best regards,


  4. Jenny says:

    Hi, Takeshita.

    I planning the trip to japan next year, but still not understand the diffrence of the kansai thru pass and jr west pass. Please advice me my itinery as 1-6 day will stay at Osaka, and will travel to the signest by 1day tour, 7-9day will stay at wakayama.

    Best regads

    Jenny PL

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

      Hi Jenny,

      Please see the followin links:

      As you see the first link, there are several railways among Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto. JR West Kansai Area Pass covers only JR trains, such as Special Rapid Service and other local trains on JR lines. Kansai Thru Pass covers all private railways and subways, such as Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan, Osaka subway, Kyoto subway and many more.
      The second link shows you coverage by each passes.

      But if you will keep staying in Osaka, you may not need to purchase both passes. You have to visit several places a day to get the worth for these passes, as I explained in this post. If you visit one area in Kyoto from Osaka as day trip, single fare may be cheaper.

      So before you make a decision, you have to make sure which place you will visit. Otherwise you cannot compare single fare and pass. Regarding trip to Wakayama, if you go to Wakayama from Osaka as a day trip, these passes may be work. But you will stay in Wakayama. That means you will have only one way trip to Wakayama a day. That is not enough to use these passes. Single fare will be cheaper.


      Takeshi / JP Rail (not Takeshita :))

  5. Wendy Wong
    Wendy says:

    Hi Takeshi

    We will be going to Osaka end oct and my itinerary is as follows:

    Day 1 – arrival KIX at 7.30am (staying at Dotonbori Hotel)
    Day 2 & 3 – visiting around Osaka (thought of buying the 2 days Osaka Unlimited Pass)
    Day 3 – Arima / Kobe
    Day 4 – depart to Kyoto – whole day sightseeing in Kyoto (staying one night at Apa Hotel)
    Day 5 – Arashiyama & Nara, then evening back to Osaka
    Day 6 – morning depart for KIX for home

    Do you think the Kansai Thru Pass will benefit me? or should I just buy individual tickets. Can the Kansai Pass be used on non consecutive days?

    What is the best way to my Hotel ? I understand have to walk about 20 mins from Namba train station. This is different from the Namba station or Jr Namba?

    Thanks for your kind assistance.


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

      Hi Wendy,

      Kansai Thru Pass is a good choice for your trip on Day 3, 4 and 5. You don’t need to use on consecutive days. But you will use the pass to its maximum if you use it for these 3 days.
      For KIX – Numba transfer, there are several deals.

      Dotonbori is closer to Nankai/Subway Numba station than JR Namba. But some part of Dotonbori is closer to subway Nihonbashi station than Namba. Please ask your hotel to make sure the location.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Wendy Wong
        Wendy says:

        Dear Takeshi

        Thanks for your kind reply.

        My hotel is the Namba Dotonbori Hotel
        2-3-25 Dotonbori Chuo-ku Osaka Japan. Which is the best way from KIX?

        Do you think it will be better to move Arima/Kobe to Day 1 so that I can make use of Kansai Pass for the Nankai train from KIX to Namba. Then continue the pass for Day 4 & 5 for Kyoto & Nara. Is it possible?

        For Day 2 & 3, I will use Osaka Unlimited Pass to visit around Osaka as it also includes most of the entrance fees. Can I check for 1 Day & 2 Days Osaka Unlimited Pass, does it cover the same areas or different areas?

        Thx & Rgds

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

          Hi Wendy,

          I think your hotel will be closer to subway Numba station. It’s not much different between Nankai Namba and JR Namba. But there are many routes from the station to hotel, especially underground. On the map, it’s closer to subway Numba station. But sometimes actual route is different. I recommend you to ask your hotel about details.

          If you want, you can make a trip to Arima/Kobe on arrival day. As you think, you can save the cost for KIX-Namba transfer.

          Osaka Unlimited Pass one day is a bit better than two days. One day pass covers subway and private railways. But two days covers only subway lines. As long as you make a trip in Osaka, subway only is fine. Please check the map at the below:


          Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. elin says:

    dear all,

    im actually planning to visit kansai with 3 other friends on 01 – 09 Nov.

    our itinerary is as follows:

    01 nov: wakayama (if possible, shirahama)
    02 nov: wakayama
    03 nov: osaka
    04 nov: osaka
    05 nov: kobe
    06 nov: kinosakionsen
    07 nov: kyoto
    08 nov: kyoto

    possible to advise which passes should i combine to be the most cost effective?

    thank you very much

  7. Meg says:


    I have a question regarding the Koyasan itinery. Is it possible to use the Nankai Ltd Express from Namba to Gokurakubashi to avoid the transfer? If yes, is there any express surcharge when using the Kansai Surutto Pass? Is there any advantages to take the Osaka subway Midousuji line transfer to Kintetsu railway Express train over the Nankai Express?

    Thank you.

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

      Hi Meg,
      Yes. It costs 760 yen. It is much faster than regular train. It is the best choice to get there.
      Even if you take subway and Kintetsu, it doesn’t give you any cost saving. Nankai Limited Express Koya is the still best way.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Meg says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for your reply. I have one more question. When I’m looking through the websites, I cannot find Kintetsu line which goes to Gokurakubashi. In fact, I found Nankai Koya Line 南海高野線 (not the limited express 特急「こうや」). It also costs 850 yen as shown in your itinerary. So is it the Kintetsu or Nankai that I’m supposed to take? Is there surcharge if I take the regular 高野線 that costs 850yen?

        Thank you very much.

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

          Hi Meg,

          Kintetsu doesn’t go to Mt. Koya. Only Nanaki railway Koya line goes there.
          If you take regular train other than Limited Express Koya or Rinkan, Kansai Thru Pass covers all fares.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. Vijay says:

    Hi there,
    i will be visiting Japan in a few days and urgently need advise on the best rail pass to get.

    Our itinerary:

    Day 1 – Arrive in KIX at 11pm. Travel to Osaka St.

    Day 2 – Sightsee in Osaka

    Day 3 – Travel to Kyoto

    Day 4 – Sightsee Kyoto

    Day 5 – Kyoto and Nara (day trip)

    Day 6 – Kyoto and Kobe (day trip)

    Day 7 – Back to Osaka

    Day 8 – Osaka to KIX

    appreciate your feedback on this. Thank you

  9. thelifejourneyof88
    Tina says:


    I will be travel to Japan next year for 9 days. Which is from Friday to Saturday on the following week. I will start in Osaka on 1st day. First I thought of taking Osaka Kaiyu All-Day Pass that covers all subways and train line. But it seems like the selling ticket will be not be available in April. I might have to use train on my own expenses.

    2nd day, I will go to Toyosato then Tokyo. I will be using JR Pass from Day 1 to the last 7 days available for JR Pass. But on the day 5 onwards(Tues-Saturday) I will be staying in Kyoto. & it seems like to go everywhere the JR pass is invalid because in Kyoto we use buses & Subway Line the most. On the last day itself I will be going back from Osaka so i might need to go around for sightseeing in Osaka before heading back.

    I thought of buying the Kansai Thru Pass for 3 days. However the main point that I am worried for the 3-day pass is that it can be used consecutively on Monday-Wednesday-Friday. Does that mean I can’t activate it on Thursday & use it everyday until my last train to Osaka?

    Appreciate your advise sir. Thank you.

  10. FREDDIE says:

    Hi Takeshi

    I am planing to travel to Japan in November for 7 Days. In all your blogs, you mentioned that we are only allow to purchase Kansai Area Pass once only during our trip. But when I check with the local JR agent in my country, they said is possible to purchase a multiple passes during my 7 Days stay. The only problem is that we have to activate the Pass on each day we one to travel.

    Hope to receive your reply as my itinerary will depend on the outcome.



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