ICOCA and Haruka, Kansai One Pass and Haruka, and Haruka discount ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai.

hello kitty harukaOsaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara
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Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station
The Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station

You may travel in Kansai area only and not travel throughout Japan. You may have one way trip from Osaka to Tokyo. For these travelers, Kansai One Pass/ICOCA and Haruka gives you a good deal for the transfer from Kansai airport to Osaka or Kyoto, and the local sightseeing in Kansai region.

This deal gives you access to Osaka or Kyoto by the limited express Haruka and some preloaded e-money in ICOCA or Kansai One Pass.

I will tell you what this deal is and how to use it in this post.

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What is Haruka?

Limited Express Haruka operation route map

Haruka is the limited express train which offers you a direct transfer from Kansai International Airport (KIX) to Tennoji, Shin-Osaka and Kyoto. This train does not stop at Osaka station (Umeda). But it is only one station away from Shin-Osaka. This is only direct train service to Kyoto from KIX. If you go to Kyoto, I highly recommend to take this train because this is the fastest, most convenient and most reliable choice. Please see the post, Limited Express Haruka to get more details.

How to use ICOCA and Kansai One Pass

These are e-money IC card. This deals included 1500 yen e-money in ICOCA or 2,500 yen e-money if you choose Kansai One Pass.

You can use this e-money not only JR trains but also Osaka subway, Kyoto subway, most of private train companies (Hankyu, Keihan, Kintetsu and many more) and even city bus in major cities, like Kyoto. You can use it to shop in the kiosk in the station, the nationwide convenience store (Lawson, Family Mart, Seven Eleven) and even some of major electronics retail store.

If you go to other major cities, like Tokyo, Nagoya, Sapporo, Hakata, Hiroshima after staying in Kansai area, you still can use ICOCA. So you can take most of trains in the other areas by ICOCA, such as subway in Tokyo, JR train in Sapporo and many more.

What is the difference between ICOCA and Kansai One Pass

Kansai One Pass is basically same type card as ICOCA. But Kansai One Pass is available for an overseas tourist only. And the preload amount is 1,000 yen more than ICOCA.

You can take any trains and most of bus services in Kansai area by this card. The way of using Kansai One Pass is exactly same as ICOCA. The biggest feature of this card is offering a discount at many attractions in Kansai area. ICOCA does not offer any discount at the attraction. If you intend to purchase ICOCA, you should purchase Kansai One Pass instead.

You might think that 2,500 yen e-money is too much for your trip. But as I mentioned, you can use this e-money to buy something eat and/or drink in the major convenience store. It is not hard to spend 2,500 yen. You can include Kansai One Pass in ICOCA and Haruka package instead of ICOCA.

Please see the link below to find the detailed information of Kansai One Pass:

Kansai One Pass official site

Price

Actually you can get only Haruka discount ticket which is Haruka riding ticket portion of ICOCA and Haruka if you have already got ICOCA card or Kansai One Pass.

ICOCA and Haruka price table

DestinationHaruka service sectionOne wayRound trip
Osaka, Shin-OsakaKIX – Shin-Osaka3,3204,640
Tennoji, JR-NambaKIX – Tennoji3,1204,240
Kyoto, Saga-ArashiyamaKIX – Kyoto3,6305,260
NaraKIX – Tennoji3,4304,860
Kobe, SannomiyaKIX – Shin-Osaka3,5305,060

Kansai One Pass and Haruka price table

DestinationHaruka service sectionOne wayRound trip
Osaka, Shin-OsakaKIX – Shin-Osaka4,3205,640
Tennoji, JR-NambaKIX – Tennoji4,1205,240
Kyoto, Saga-ArashiyamaKIX – Kyoto4,6306,260
NaraKIX – Tennoji4,4305,860
Kobe, SannomiyaKIX – Shin-Osaka4,5306,060

Haruka ticket only price table

DestinationHaruka service sectionOne wayRound trip
Osaka, Shin-OsakaKIX – Shin-Osaka1,3202,640
Tennoji, JR-NambaKIX – Tennoji1,1202,240
Kyoto, Saga-ArashiyamaKIX – Kyoto1,6303,260
NaraKIX – Tennoji1,4302,860
Kobe, SannomiyaKIX – Shin-Osaka1,5303,060
  • One way type ticket is only available both direction, such as KIX to Osaka and Osaka to KIX. But only the deal from KIX is available online. You cannot purchase the ticket to KIX online. You have to purchase it at the station after arrival.
  • One way type ticket must be used on the day of purchase. Round trip ticket is valid for 14 days.
  • ICOCA and Kansai One Pass can be used whenever you want. ICOCA and Kansai One Pass will be expires in case that you will not use these cards in 10 years at all. If you intend to come back to Japan in next 10 years, you still will be able to use same ICOCA or Kansai One Pass in next trip
  • Haruka riding portion of this deal can allow you to use non reserved seat of Haruka or the other local and rapid train. You cannot take a reserved seat or the Green seat of Haruka and other limited express trains, such as the Shinkansen.

If your child is 5 years or younger, it is free of charge.

If you want to get only Haruka ticket without purchasing ICOCA or Kansai One Pass, you can buy a ticket at Klook:

Klook.com

I will explain a price comparison later.

How about child deal

ICOCA and Haruka is not available for child. But if you travel between Kansai airport and Shin-Osaka or Kyoto, Kansai Area Pass child rate is cheaper than a single fare.

If you want to compare the exact fare and the price of this pass, the single fare table can be found below. The child rate is applied to 6 years to 11 years old. 5 years old or younger child is free if you share your seat with your child. But when you take a train and there are lots of empty seat, you can give a seat to your child.

ICOCA can be purchased itself beside Kansai area pass. You cannot share your ICOCA Card with your child. Child ICOCA is available. But Please see the next chapter.

How to use ICOCA and Kansai One Pass

Most of you use ICOCA or Kansai One Pass to take a train. The biggest advantage of this card is that you do not have to purchase a ticket when you enter the station and take a train. All you have to do is touch your ICOCA or Kansai One Pass at a ticket gate when you enter/exit station. It is automatically calculated and subtract a fare from your ICOCA or Kansai One Pass. You can save your time when you take a train.

Even if you do not have enough fund in your ICOCA, you can still enter the station and take the trains. (But you must have minimum fares plus 500 yen deposit in this card.) You can add more fund before you enter/exit the station. You can add more fund in your ICOCA or Kansai One Pass at other major cities where other IC cards are available, such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Hakata.

Actually 2,000 yen e-money in ICOCA (2,500 yen in Kansai One Pass) that is included in this deal also includes 500 yen deposit. Therefore your fund in your ICOCA is 1,500 yen and 2,500 yen in Kansai One Pass. If you empty this card and do not use it any more, you can get this 500 yen deposit refund at the station. But if you want to keep ICOCA card itself for your souvenir, you cannot get refund. Especially ICOCA card for this deal is designed for the overseas tourist. It looks different from common ICOCA card. There are two versions available, Wind or Thunder God on the screen (National treasure) or No.1 world famous Japanese character ‘Hello Kitty!’.

If you go to other than Kansai area and want to get refund, complete to use this ICOCA when you stay in Kansai area and get refund. You cannot get any refund in the other cities, like Tokyo.

Child ICOCA is sold at 2,000 yen that is 1,500 yen e-money and 500 yen deposit. It has same value as adult ICOCA card. But if your child use Child ICOCA, child fare is deducted to take a train. Child fare is half amount of adult fare. So it takes longer to spend 1,500 yen e-money than using adult ICOCA.

Please see the following link to get some more information about other IC cards:

How to use this deal

This deal includes 1,500 yen ICOCA e-money or 2,500 yen e-money in the card if you choose Kansai One Pass, and one way/round trip to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara or Kobe. You cannot use this deal to Himeji, Wakayama and other than Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe.

If you go to Sannomiya, Kobe and other stations between Kobe and Shin-Osaka, you have to take Haruka to Shin-Osaka and transfer local, rapid or Special Rapid Service at Shin-Osaka. Of course this ticket covers all part of this trip. However the airport limousine bus runs between Kansai airport and Kobe directly. If you go to Kobe, the airport limousine bus is better way. You can find limousine bus information at the link below:

Kansai airport limousine bus between Kansai airport and Kobe

If you go to Nara, Haruka takes you Tennoji. And then you have to change to Yamatoji Rapid Service to get Nara. There is no direct train services to Nara either. This is same as access to Kobe. The airport limousine bus takes you to Nara directly. You can find limousine bus information at the link below:

Kansai airport limousine bus between Kansai airport and Nara

Price comparison to basic fare

Upper rate is basic fare and lower rate is non reserved seat limited express surcharge.

 Adult (12 yrs and up)Child (6-11 yrs)
KIX – Tennoji1060 yen
650 yen
530 yen
330 yen
KIX – JR Namba1060 yen
650 yen
530 yen
330 yen
KIX – Shin-Osaka1360 yen
970 yen
680 yen
480 yen
KIX – Osaka (Umeda)1190 yen
970 yen
590 yen
480 yen
KIX – Kyoto1880 yen
970 yen
940 yen
480 yen
KIX – Sannomiya1710 yen
970 yen
860 yen
480 yen

This deal is cheaper for all destinations than the regular fares.

Compare to other deals, Nankai Railway deals, JR West Kansai Area Pass and Kansai Thru Pass

If you travel to Shin-Imamiya or Namba, you can take Nankai Railway. The basic fare is only 930 yen if you take the airport express train. Nankai Namba station is located at central of Namba and it is much better location than JR Namba. Even if you want ICOCA, you can purchase only ICOCA or Kansai One Pass. You can buy one of these cards and start using to take the train from KIX right away.

If you go to somewhere in Osaka, like Shinsaibashi, Nihonbashi, Uehonmachi, by subway, Nankai Namba is much easier location to transfer to subway Namba station. If you have very tight budget, Osaka Subway to Kansai int’l Airport ticket is sold at 1,020 yen. This includes Nankai Railway one way basic fare between Kansai airport and Namba and one way trip to/from any Osaka Metro stations. As I mentioned, basic fare from KIX to Namba by Nankai Railway is 930 yen. Osaka Metro fare is starting at 180 yen. If you have the shortest trip, like from Namba to Shinsaibashi, the total fare (Nankai plus Subway) is 1,110 yen. You can use this deal, Osaka Subway to Kansai int’l Airport ticket for the trip to Umeda where is same location as JR Osaka station. Osaka Metro Midosuji line can take you from Namba to Umeda. This is cheaper than JR basic fare 1,210 yen. If you want to get more information about Osaka Subway to Kansai int’l Airport ticket, please see Nankai Railways website.

If you go to Nara by the train after you arrive in KIX, you may consider to use Nara Access Ticket or Kansai Thru Pass. Kintetsu Railway is better to access to Nara because Kintetsu Nara station is better location than JR Nara station. So I recommend you to use Nara Access Ticket or Kansai Thru Pass to get Nara. Please see the post, How to access to Nara.

If you go to Himeji, JR West Kansai Area Pass is the best and the fastest. Kansai Thru Pass can be used to get Himeji. But it is too many transfers and spend many hours. JR trains, Haruka and Special Rapid Service, are much faster.

I explained all deals for airport access at the link below. Please refer this post too.

How to choose the deals for access to/from Kansai Airport

Comments

  1. Cheryl Foo says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’m would visit Japan this month and not quite sure what ticket to purchase for this trip. Hope you could advice the best option.

    Day 1 – KIX -> Kyoto (Icoca & Haruka 1 Way)
    Day 2 – Kyoto -> Arayshiyama->Kinkaku Ji -> Nijo Castle -> Nishiki Market -> Shijo Dori -> Gion
    Day 3 – Kyoto -> Fushimi Inari -> Nara Park -> Osaka (Hotel @ Namba)
    Day 4 – Osaka(Namba) -> Himeji -> Kobe
    Day 5 – Osaka(Namba – > Wakayama Castle -> Momijidani Teien
    Day 6 – Osaka(Namba-> Universal Studio -> Aquarium (if posibble)
    Day 7 – Osaka(Namba -> KIX

    THanks,

    Regard

    Cheryl Foo

  2. Boon says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I have planned for my 5-day trip: using ICOCA and Haruka Tickets

    Day 1: KIX to Kyoto- Arashiyama

    Day 2: around Kyoto with Kyoto Day Pass or 2-day sightseeing card

    Day 3: around Kyoto & Fushimi Inari shrine then to Osaka

    Day 4 & 5: around Osaka then to KIX w/ OSaka Kaiyukan ticket

    I am traveling with my 2 children,

    1.what kind of ticket do you recommend for them; single ticket or ICOCA and Haruka ticket?

    2.can we use ICOCA tickets for buses in Arashiyama area?

    3. It looks quite simple with just ICOCA tickets and day pass, am I missing anything?

    Sorry with all these nitty-gritty kinds of questions and thank you so much for your kind assistance.

    Regards,

    Boon

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Boon,

      1. As you plan, ICOCA and Harua and Kyoto 2-day sightseeing car are good choice.

      2. ICOCA can be used for subway but cannot be used for city bus. City bus will introduce the system to accept ICOCA in sometimes 2014. You can use ICOCA to get Arashiyama by JR Sagano line. (Kyoto – Saga-Arashiyama)

      3. It’s a good idea.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. misyel says:

    Hi, I will be travelling to Japan with my mom on Nov. 9 until Nov. 15. I was wondering if you could help me out which tickets/passes are the best options for my itinerary?

    Here’s my 7-day itinerary:
    Day 1 – Arrival at KIX. KIX -> Kyoto
    Day 2 – Whole day in Kyoto. (Kiyomizu Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Nijo Castle, Arashiyama, Gion district etc.
    Day 3 – Kyoto -> Osaka (Shinsaibashi)
    Day 4 – Shinsaibashi -> Nara
    Day 5 – Shinsaibashi -> USJ -> Umeda, Namba, Dotonbori
    Nov. 6 – Shinsaibashi -> Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium
    Day 7 – Shinsaibashi -> KIX

    I am sooo confused as there are so many tickets/passes to choose from. Hope you can help me out. Looking forward to your response.

    Thank you,

    Michelle

  4. Mel Putra says:

    Hi!

    I’ll b in Kyoto for 6 nts. ETA 7am. Intending to go drop my luggage at our lodging in Kyoto den on to Osaka for a day trip. Thot of using d Kansai Area Pass to facilitate this..

    On my departure day our fight’s ETD is very early so I thot of buying d ICOCA + Haruka (so I’ll get the use of the ICOCA during my 6 days). But now I read dat this ONE WAY ICOCA + Haruka Combi can only be used for travel in.. Do you have any suggestion for us? I’ve already purchased d Service Order for Kansai Area Pass…

    Mel

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Mel,

      Can you use Kansai Area Pass for departure day? If yo can, that is the best way to get KIX from Kyoto. That pass cover Haruka. Even one day pass is much cheaper than single fare.

      If you can’t, unfortunately single ticket is only your choice. Kansai Area Pass can be purchased only once per visit in the regulation.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. PC says:

    Dear Takeshi-san

    Sumimasen for troubling you. We will be going to Osaka & Kyoto in mid-October 2013 with the following itinerary and would very much appreciate to have your comments on our itinerary & passes:

    Day 1 : KIX to Osaka (Shinsaibashi) – Use round trip ICOCA & Haruka Pass
    Visit Kuromon Ichiba, DenDen Town, Sennichimae Doguyasuji, Hozenji Yokocho & dinner
    near hotel in Shinsaibashi (Use Osaka Visitor Pass?)
    Day 2 : Shitennoji temple, Osaka Castle, Osaka Castle Museum, Osaka Suijyo Bus Aqualiner,
    Osaka Museum of Housing & Living, Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai, Tenmagu Shrine
    (Use Osaka Unlimited 2-Day Pass)
    Day 3 : The Floating Garden Observatory, Osaka Station City & explore Umeda Area
    (Use 2nd day of Osaka Unlimited Pass)
    Day 4 : Osaka Aquarium, Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Tempozan Market Place, Cosmo Tower
    Dotombory, Americamura & Namba Area (Osaka Kaiyu Pass)
    Day 5 : Osaka – Kyoto – Nijo Castle, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Sannenzaka & Ninenzaka & Gion
    (Can I use ICOCA or what pass should I get?)
    Day 6 : Arashiyama, Sagano Scenic Train, Nishiki Market, Teramachi Dori & nearby Areas
    (Should I get the Kyoto bus pass or can I use the ICOCA?)
    Day 7 : Kyoto to KIX (Use round trip ICOCA & Haruka pass)

    Would this sort of itinerary be too rushed? Thank you very much for your kind assistance and best regards.

    • JPRail says:

      Hi PC san,

      Your itinerary is very organized. I don’t have many things to tell you. I have a few suggestions for your itinerary.

      1. On day 2 and 3, Osaka Visitor Pass is okay. You can access to all places on your list by subway. I can’t find any reason pay more to purchase Osaka Unlimited Pass.

      2. You can use ICOCA for Day 5. I think you will make it empty on Day 5. But you don’t need to purchase Kyoto city pass on day 6. It does not cover Arashiyama. Single ticket or put some more fund into your ICOCA.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • PC says:

        Dear Takeshi-san

        Thank you so much for your speedy reply and suggestions. . Just double checked – I am from Malaysia so am not able to buy the Osaka Visitor Pass. Looks like I will have to get the Osaka Unlimited Pass for Day 2 & 3.

        For Day 1, would it be good for me to just get the weekend Eco Card for moving around Osaka – using the subways?

        Apologies for having so many questions, but am rather anxious as this is the first time we shall be travelling to Japan on own arrangement and we really want to make sure we get things right – especially with the many subways and trains.

        Actually on Day 7, we were thinking of visiting the Kiyomizu-yaki no Sato Matsuri, the Kiyomizuyaki Pottery Festival before heading for KIX but am not too sure of the distance and time required.

        Arigato gozaimasu once again and looking forward to visitng Japan again!

        Cheers
        PC

        • JPRail says:

          Hi PC san,

          You’re right. Osaka Visitor’s ticket is not available for you. Eco card and unlimited pass will be your choice.

          Kiyomizuyaki no sato is about 3km away from Yamashina station. Yamashita is one station away from JR Kyoto. We usually take bus (#29) from Yamashina station. I have never taken this bus and even never been there. So that’s all I can tell you. If you start from JR Kyoto station, it will take less than 45 minutes to get there. So if you have a time, you can get there.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Maiqa says:

    Hi,

    I’m traveling from Tokyo (3days), overnight one day in Kyoto and then moving to Osaka(3 days).
    I’m thinking of buying the suica + nex card as I’ll be using the narita express from narita airport to Tokyo station. For the rest of the days, I’ll be using suica card to move around in Tokyo.
    From Tokyo to Kyoto, I’ll be taking the shinkasen train.

    My question is from Kyoto to Osaka, can i use the suica card to board the special rapid service or do i have to purchase the icoca + haruka card?
    I believe the suica card can also be used around kyoto and osaka subways right?

    On the other hand, will it be cheaper if i get the 3 day kansai pass for my trip from (kyoto osaka to kix)?

  7. Tina says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I will stay two full days in Kyoto. Then the next day will depart from Kyoto to Nara. & Nara to our hotel in Osaka. FYI, I will also purchase 7 days JR Pass to use from the first day until the 7th day. I noticed from day 7th JR Pass will not be used too much & it’s the last day to use it. Now, I am very confused on what pass to purchase for my remaining days in Kansai. Especially once I am in Kyoto. I’ve checked through google map & the route they suggested are more on buses than trains. Here’s my tentative. I really appreciate your advise for the last 3 days transportation. Thank you.

    Day 1 – KIX -> Miyajima Island -> Kobe -> Shin Osaka

    Day 2- Osaka -> Toyosato -> Tokyo

    Day 3 & Day 4 Full Tokyo

    Day 5 Tokyo -> Shin Yokohama -> Kyoto Station

    Day 6 Kyoto station -> Fushimi Inari -> Iwatayama Monkey Park -> Arashiyama Bamboo -> Toei Uzumasa -> Gion

    Day 7 Kyoto station -> Kiyozumidera ->Nijo-jo -> Kitano Tenmangu -> Kinkakuji -> Kawaramachi

    Day 8 -. Kyoto station -> Kowata Station -> Nara Park -> Minamikata station (Osaka) -> Nanba (at Night)

    Day 9 Minamikata Station -> Osaka Kaiyukan -> Osaka Mosque -> Osaka Castle -> Rinku Premium Outlet -> KIX Kansai Airport

  8. Joolian Lee says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    As I will be getting a Kansai Wide Area Pass for Kyoto-Okayama-Osaka, I understand the pass is not valid to go to Bitchu Takahashi. My question is, can I use the ICOCA & Haruka card for the train to Bitchu Takahashi and also use it for the buses in town? I found some information that seems to say that I can, but I am not 100% sure.
    Thank you.

  9. Jeslyne says:

    Hi, i will be travelling in kansai region for 9D/8N. Would like to seek your advise on the following:

    13 Sep – KIX to Kyoto – by airport limousine bus to village kyoto
    14 Sep to 16 Sep – Around Kyoto by kansai thru pass
    17 Sep – Kyoto to Osaka by subway Tozai Line and Keihan Railway (Does Kansai thru pass covers these 2 mode of transport?)
    18-20 Sep – Osaka via kansai thru pass
    21 Sep Osaka-Rinku Town-KIX by kansai thru pass via Naikai Line
    Or should i get Kansai wide area pass instead?

    Hope to hear from you soon. 🙂

    Thank you!

    Regards
    Jeslyne

  10. shy kl says:

    I am going to Kansai for 10 days, bit confuse with the train options available. Hope you could advice the smartest spending on travelling cost
    18 Oct – KIX to Kyoto (what is the most best option to go there?)
    19 to 21 Oct – Kyoto (what is the best Kyoto local transportation to travel around)
    22 Oct – Kyoto to Nara (JR West Railway 3 day pass?)
    23 Oct – Nara to Osaka ((JR West Railway 3 day pass?)
    24 Oct – Osaka-Himeji-Kobe-Osaka (JR West Railway 3 day pass?)
    25 to 26 Oct – Osaka (what is the best Osaka transportation to travel around?)
    27 Oct Osaka-KIX (what is the most best option to go there?)

    Arigatou gozaimasu

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