In this post, I would like to share the information about JR West Kansai Area Pass with you. And I will compare the price of the pass and the regular fare. You can find that you can get the worth by your trip or not.
Please refer the map in JR West Kansai Area Pass official site as well to get the detailed map.
The pass covers most of points of interest, such as Osaka (Umeda), Namba, Universal Studio Japan, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Kansai airport, Himeji.
Expansion of the coverage area in Kyoto
And also Kansai Area Pass includes the following exchange vouchers:
- Keihan Railways Kyoto Sightseeing Pass 1-day
- Kyoto City Subway 1-day pass
These passes expand the coverage in Kyoto so much:
Kansai Area Pass did not cover Keihan and subway in Kyoto. These lines cover eastern part of Kyoto, such as Gion, Kiyomizudera.
You may exchange the vouchers in the designated stations. Please find the detailed information in the official press release:
You can use these passes separately.
You have Kansai Area Pass 2-day
Day 1 trip to Kyoto and exchange Kyoto city subway pass only
Day 2 trio to Kyoto and exchange Keihan Railway Kyoto sightseeing pass
But in my opinion, you should use these two passes in same day. If you use only JR line and Kyoto city subway line, the coverage are limited.
The places where you cannot go by Kansai Area Pass
Major spots that are not covered by this pass is Mt. Koya. But if you want to go to Mt. Koya, Nankai Railway is the best way. Nankai Railway is not covered by JR West Kansai Area Pass anyway. Nankai Railway’s Koyasan World Heritage Ticket or Kansai Thru Pass is a right choice for trip to Mt. Koya.
Who is eligible
Visitors who land as “Temporary Visitor” status can purchase this pass.
Types and prices
the travel agent
JR West online
JR West station
|1-day||2,300 yen||2,350 yen||2,400 yen|
|2-day||4,600 yen||4,750 yen||4,800 yen|
|3-day||5,600 yen||5,750 yen||5,800 yen|
|4-day||6,600 yen||6,750 yen||6,800 yen|
*Child rate is half of the adult prices above.
*5 year old or younger child is free. Maximum 2 children per one adult.
The pass must be used in consecutive days. The validity of a rail pass starts from 12 O’clock at night (midnight to midnight).
If you start to use 3 days pass on May 1, the pass is expired at 23:59 on May 3. The time when you start using does not matter.
If you want to purchase this at the lower price, you can purchase it at authorized travel agents. You can find the dealers list and exchange location at the link below:
You also can purchase this pass online through JR West official site. But the price is not much cheaper than the price which is sold at the station.
Valid trains and bus lines
This pass covers all JR local trains and non reserved seat of Limited Express Haruka. You CANNOT ride any other express trains, such as the Tokaido Shinkansen the Sanyo Shinkansen, the limited express Thunderbird. But as long as you travel in Kansai area, Rapid Services Network is enough to cover your trip. It is actually crowded because these trains are the commuters one. But these are fast and frequent. The following list shows you trains that you can ride by JR West Kansai Area Pass.
- The limited express Haruka (Kansai airport-Tennoji-Shin Osaka-Kyoto, non reserved seat only)
- Special Rapid Service (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe-Himeji)
- Kansai Airport Rapid Service (Kansai airport-Tennoji-Osaka)
- Yamatoji Rapid Service (Osaka-Tennoji-Nara)
- Miyakoji Rapid Service (Kyoto-Nara)
Of course, you can ride any local trains that are not shown on above list.
On the other hand, JR West Kansai Area Pass does not cover any private railway lines, subway lines and the bus lines. Most of major private railway companies and subway lines are shown on the following list:
- Osaka Metro (Subway)
- Kyoto Municipal Transportation (Subway and city bus)
- Nankai Railway (Namba-Kansai airport, Namba-Mt.Koya)
- Kintetsu Railway (Namba-Nara, Kyoto-Nara)
- Hankyu Railway (Sannomiya-Umeda-Kawaramachi)
- Keihan Railway (Yodoyabashi-Kyobashi-Shijo-Sanjo)
- Hanshin Railway (Namba-Sannomiya, Umeda-Sannomiya-Himeji)
- Sanyo Railway (Umeda-Sannomiya-Akashi-Himeji)
These above railways and bus lines are NOT covered. When you are in Osaka or Kyoto, subway trains and city bus services are very convenient. So you may have to pay a single fare or purchase other pass. This is the biggest disadvantage of JR West Kansai Area Pass. You can find the coverage of this pass in these posts:
Compare cost between pass and single fare. Best way to use.
First of all, please see the fare table for major sections below:
*If there are two fares, basic fare is shown at the top and limited express surcharge at the bottom. For example, if you travel from Kansai airport to Shin-Osaka, basic fare is 1330 yen and surcharge is 1150 yen.
As you saw the fare table above, most of trips from Kansai airport is very efficient because of limited express Haruka. If you travel to Osaka, Kansai airport rapid may be better than Haruka because Haruka do not stop at Osaka. But if you think about getting on Haruka, Kansai Area Pass is considerable. Even one day pass is cheaper than basic fare + surcharge. If you go to Namba, you can access there by JR trains. But Nankai Railway gives you much better access to Namba. Especially if you think about transfer to subway at Namba, Nankai Railway Namba station is much easier to transfer to most of subway lines. Please see the details at the post, How to access from Kansai airport to downtown Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.
Next, I recommend you to use this pass for the trip to Himeji. Special Rapid Service connects Osaka with Himeji in 62 minutes. This train is the fastest and most frequent service. If you think about Kansai Thru Pass, this pass do not cover JR trains. If you go to Himeji by Kansai Thru Pass, the pass cover all part of your trip to Himeji. But you will spend more than 90 minutes. Kansai Thru Pass is very efficient for the trip to Kyoto or Mt. Koya. But if you go to Himeji, I recommend you to use JR West Kansai Area Pass.
If you go to Kyoto, Nara or Kobe from Osaka, it may not be very efficient. The fare range is between 500 and 1,000 yen. The difference between 1 day pass and 2 days pass is 2,000 yen. If you will purchase 3 days or 4 days, the price difference is 1,000 yen. If you have two trips, from Kansai airport by Haruka and trip to Himeji, you will already make more than 4,000 yen worth. You can use the pass to Kyoto, Kobe or Nara. But if you use 2 days pass for trip from Kansai airport and trip to Kyoto, Nara or Kobe, you may not be able to make more than 4,000 yen worth.
JR West also sell ICOCA and Haruka. This discount ticket include trip from Kansai airport by Haruka and 1,500 yen value e-money in ICOCA prepaid card. If JR West Kansai Area Pass is too expensive for your trip, ICOCA and Haruka may be suitable for your trip. ICOCA can be used for not only JR trains but also Kyoto subway, Osaka subway and other major private railway companies. ICOCA is more flexible than JR West Kansai Area Pass. Please see the details about ICOCA at the post, ICOCA and Haruka ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai..
At last, if you want to explore some more places, I strongly recommend you JR West Kansai WIDE Area Pass. This pass is available in 4 days pass only. But the area where is covered is much bigger. And limited express train and Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Okayama are covered by this pass. And the price is only 1,000 yen higher than Kansai Area Pass 4 days. I am very happy if you are interested in other places outside of Kansai area.