Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.
Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.

Kintetsu Railway will change the condition of Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide in October 2016. These deals will not include limited express voucher any more. Please be careful when you purchase and use these deals.

I have received many inquiries about Nagoya-Osaka or Kyoto trip. There are lots of travellers who arrive in Chubu (Nagoya) airport and depart from Kansai (Osaka) airport or reverse or arrive in/depart from Chubu. Even if you have round trip between Nagoya and Osaka, JR Pass is too expensive choice. And there is no options to cover both Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto by JR. One way ticket from Nagoya to Osaka or Kyoto by Shinkansen is very common choice. However JR is not only railway that connect Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto. Kintetsu Railway that is the biggest private railway company operates many trains among these three cities, Nara, Ise and Yoshino. Kintetsu Railway has very useful deal for the travellers who want to travel in this area.

In this post, I would like to show you Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide.

What is Kintetsu Railway?

In Japan, there are many railway services. This is the biggest reason why you are very confused. Kintetsu Railway is NON JR and the biggest private railway company in Japan. Of course this railway service is not covered by any JR deals, such as JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass. Please see the map below to find Kintetsu Railway network.

Kintetsu Railway lines are shown in bold navy blue line. Other railways are shown in this map for your convenience. (C) JP Rail
Kintetsu Railway lines are shown in bold navy blue line. Other railways are shown in this map for your convenience. (C) JP Rail

Kintetsu Rail Pass covers all part of this network. As you see the map above, you can use this railway to get Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka (Namba, Uehonmachi, Tsuruhashi), Nara, Yoshino and Ise. And this pass includes three vouchers to take Kintetsu Railway Limited Express. Kintetsu Railway Limited Express has very nice accommodation and have same level service as JR’s limited express train. I tell you about detail of this limited express train and coverage below.

You may know about Kansai Thru Pass. This pass covers Kintetsu Railway and other major private railways in Kansai area. But this pass does not include Nagoya and Ise. And it does not include Kintetsu Railway Limited Express train voucher. As long as you travel both Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto, Kansai Thru Pass is not your first choice. Please find the detailed about Kansai Thru Pass at the link below:

How to use Kansai Thru Pass. Compare pass and single fare.

How good is Kintetsu Railway Limited Express?

Ise-Shima Liner 23000 series is used for limited express to Ise area.
Ise-Shima Liner 23000 series is used for limited express to Ise area.

Some of major private railway companies operate limited express as commute train without extra charge, such as Hankyu, Keihan and Hanshin. But Kintetsu operates limited express as special train. It has reserved seat only. You have to pay limited express surcharge on top of base fare and this limited express train has same level of interior as JR’s limited express train.

There are many kinds of fleets for limited express trains. But all fleets have 2+2 seat configuration and seat pitch is 1000 to 1050 mm. It is spacious and comfortable.

Regular seat car interior of 21000 series, Urban Liner. Most of Kintetsu Railway Limited Express has like this interior. (C) By 2013.1.28 (Own work)
Regular seat car interior of 21000 series, Urban Liner. Most of Kintetsu Railway Limited Express has like this interior. (C) By 2013.1.28 (Own work)
The regular seat of 22600 series. This fleet is used for most of limited express trains.
The regular seat of 22600 series. This fleet is used for most of limited express trains.

Especially if you travel between Nagoya and Osaka, trip time is more than 2 hours. The seat and interior are very important factor.

You can take limited express train up to three times by Kintetsu Rail Pass if you use it until the end of September, 2016. After 1st of October, 2016, you have to purchase a separate ticket to take limited express train.

Who is eligible

Visitors who land as “Temporary Visitor” status can purchase this pass. And Japanese who live in foreign country as permanent resident or who are married to a foreigner residing outside of Japan can purchase this deal as well.

Types and prices

A few types of pass, Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass wide are available.

Price until 30th September, 2016

TypesAdultChild (6-11yrs)
Kintetsu Rail Pass
5 Days
3,800 yen1,900 yen
Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide
5 Days
5,860 yenNot available

Price after 1st October, 2016

TypesAdultChild (6-11yrs)
Purchase
in Japan
Purchase
outside Japan
Purchase
in Japan
Purchase
outside Japan
Kintetsu Rail
Pass 5 Days
3,800 yen3,600 yen1,900 yen1,800 yen
Kintetsu Rail
Pass plus
5 Days
5,000 yen4,800 yen2,500 yen2,400 yen

5 year old or younger child is free. But when you take Limited Express train, all seats are reserved. You have to share your seat with your child. If you want to have a seat for your child, please purchase child pass for even 5 years old or younger child.

The pass must be used in consecutive days. The validity of a rail pass starts from 12 O’clock at night.

ex) If you start to use 5 days pass on May 1, the pass is expired at 23:59 on May 5.

Sales location

If you want to purchase an exchange order before you leave, you can find the authorized travel agent list at the link below:

Kintetsu Rail Pass official site

They may ship the exchange order to you by mail. Please contact the nearest vendor. Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide can be purchased at both Chubu airport and Kansai airport. But Kintetsu Rail Pass can be purchased at Kansai airport only. You can find the sales location in the airport at the link above as well.

Coverage area and valid transportation

Both Kintetsu Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide covers all part of Kintetsu Railway network and include three limited express vouchers.

Kintetsu Rail Pass does not include limited express voucher after 1st of October, 2016. Separate ticket for taking limited express train is required.

And Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide includes three more things:

Sightseeing Limited Express Shimakaze is not covered by this pass. This is one of most difficult trains to book in Japan now. (C) Oka21000
Sightseeing Limited Express Shimakaze is not covered by this pass. This is one of most difficult trains to book in Japan now. (C) Oka21000
  • Round-trip access from airport to Kintetsu Railway and back to airport
  • 5 days of unlimited rides on Mie Kotsu buses and Toba’Kamome'(Sea gull)Bus in the Ise-Shima area
  • Discount coupons to sightseeing facilities

Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide will be no longer available after 1st of October, 2016. Kintetsu Rail Pass plus will be introduced. It will be very similar deal with Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide. But Kintetsu Rail Pass plus will not include limited express voucher and round trip access between airport and Nagoya/Namba.

Some of Kintetsu Railway Limited Express trains have upper class seat. But this pass covers ordinary reserved seat only. And Kintetsu Railway operates Sightseeing Limited Express “Shimakaze”. This train is not covered by this pass either.

If you use all limited express voucher, you can take rapid express, express, semi express and local trains. It is a commute train. The interior is totally different from limited express.

The exterior of Kintetsu Railway commute trains
The exterior of Kintetsu Railway commute trains
Interior is nothing special. (C) ちょろ
Interior is nothing special. (C) ちょろ

When you take a train among Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, you can use these trains because of short distance transfer.

Compare the pass and single fare

I would like to show you the fare table. Upper fare is base fare and lower is limited express surcharge.

stationOsaka
(Namba)
KyotoNaraNagoyaIse
(Toba)
Osaka
(Namba)
940
900
560
510
2360
1900
2040
1610
Kyoto940
900
620
510
2590
1900
2280
1610
Nara560
510
620
510
2250
1610
1940
1610
Nagoya2360
1900
2590
1900
2250
1610
1710
1320
Ise
(Toba)
2040
1610
2280
1610
1940
1610
1710
1320
stationOsaka
(Osaka-Abenobashi)
KyotoNaraNagoya
Yoshino970
510
1230
900
850
900
2390
2120

If you travel from Nagoya to Osaka or Kyoto by limited express by 30th of September, it is higher than Kintetsu Rail Pass at 3800 yen. It is really good deal for the traveller who wants to travel from Nagoya to Kyoto or Osaka. If you go to Ise from Kyoto, Osaka or Nara, it is better deal than single fare too. But if you visit Ise, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide may be better deal for you. Please see next chapter.

If you travel after 1st of October, limited express voucher will not be included. You must have at least one round trip between Kansai area (Osaka, Nara and Kyoto) and Nagoya or Ise.

What is the benefit to use Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide?

As I mentioned above, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide will be no longer available after 1st of October, 2016.

As I mentioned above, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide has three more things than Kintetsu Rail Pass. The difference of the price is 2,060 yen (5,860 – 3,800). Is it worth purchasing Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide? I would like to break down.

Airport access ticket

You can use Nankai Railway between Kansai (Osaka) airport and Namba or Meitetsu Railway between Chubu (Nagoya) airport and Meitetsu-Nagoya. You can use this ticket for round trip for Kansai, round trip for Chubu or one way each for Kansai and Chubu. The base fares are the following:

Nankai Railway from Kansai airport to Namba — 920 yen
Meitetsu Railway from Chubu airport to Meitetsu-Nagoya — 870 yen

Even if you use for highest fares, Nankai Railway round trip, total fares are 1840 yen. If you intend to use this pass just for airport access, it is not a good idea. You can go for Kintetsu Rail Pass and add single fare for airport access.

By the way, this airport access ticket can be used for outside of 5 days valid. You DO NOT need to use this airport access ticket in 5 days valid periods. At this point, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide will be on sale until October 31, 2016. Airport access ticket portion can be used until October 31, 2016.

Mie Kotsu buses and Toba Kamome bus unlimited ride

If you go to Ise, this portion is very useful. You can get most of places in Ise-Shima area. If you purchase one day unlimited ride bus ticket separately, the price is 1000 yen for one day. If you use airport access ticket and this bus portion, Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide is obviously your choice.

Discount coupon

There are lots of attractions that you can use discount coupon. There is no information how much you can get the discount. I guess it is 5 to 10% off. You can find which facility you can use at the link below. If you see “Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide” at right side of the facility name, you can use your discount coupon.

In my opinion, the discount coupon is not a big part of Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide. It is a sort of bonus.

Compare cost and trip time between Shinkansen fare and Kintetsu Rail Pass

Shinkansen is most common way to get Kyoto and Osaka from Nagoya. It is much faster than Kintetsu Railway Limited Express trains. But Shinkansen is much more expensive too. Before you decide to go for Kintetsu Rail Pass, you should compare these trains by cost and time.

Nagoya – Namba

TrainsTrip timeFare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
2 hrs 30 mins3800 yen
+ Limited express surcharge
Shinkansen (Nozomi)
and Subway
1 hr 20 mins6840 yen

Shinkansen and subway combination is much faster but the cost is almost double. And Kintetsu Railway is direct access without any transfer. This is the strongest point.

Nagoya – Osaka (Umeda)

TrainsTrip timeFare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
and JR local train
2 hrs 45 mins3800 yen
+ Limited express surcharge
+ 180 yen (JR)
Shinkansen (Nozomi)
and JR local train
1 hr 10 mins6560 yen

You have to transfer at Shin-Osaka to get Osaka by Shinkansen. But it is same station and very easy to transfer from Shinkansen to JR local train. If you take Kintetsu Railway, you can transfer at Tsuruhashi to JR Osaka Kanjo line. It is much easier than transfer at Namba to subway. Tsuruhashi station is much smaller than Namba. JR and Kintetsu stations are connected directly.

Nagoya – Shin-Osaka

TrainsTrip timeFare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
and Subway
3 hrs3800 yen
+ Limited express surcharge
+ 280 yen (subway)
Shinkansen (Nozomi)50 mins6560 yen

Shin-Osaka is Shinkansen’s terminal station. Shinkansen is much more accessible than Kintetsu Railway. If you take Kintetsu Railway, you have to transfer at Namba to get subway. And subway fare is extra.

Nagoya – Kyoto

TrainsTrip timeFare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
Need to transfer at Yamato-Yagi
2 hrs 35 mins3800 yen
+ Limited express surcharge
Shinkansen (Nozomi)36 mins5800 yen

Both Kintetsu Railway and Shinkansen are direct access to Kyoto. Shinkansen is 2 hours faster than Kintetsu Railway Limited Express.

Nagoya – Nara

TrainsTrip timeFare
Kintetsu Railway
Limited Express
and Kintetsu local train
Need to transfer at Yamato-Yagi
2 hrs 15 mins3800 yen
+ Limited express surcharge
Shinkansen (Nozomi)
JR local train
1 hr 30 mins6560 yen

Shinkansen and JR trains are still faster than Kintetsu Railway. But the difference is smallest in all above cases.

Assessment

If you are really sensitive with cost, Kintetsu Rail Pass is a good choice for even Nagoya to Osaka or reverse one way trip. If you travel from Nagoya to Osaka and visit Nara and Kyoto, this pass gives you a huge savings.

Even though Shinkansen is much faster, this pass is one of my most recommended deals.

564 thoughts on “Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.”

  1. Hi Takeshi – san,

    I have purchase Kintetsu Rail 2 day pass, and is planing for my day trip in Nara/Nara park. However I am unsure of the Nara Kotsu Bus area which the pass covers.

    the guide I refer to is as below
    https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/guidebook/pdf/nara.pdf

    Is it the only route covered is the one in pink, i.e. route 160? however, the map doesn’t show in detail which station I could get off. Appreciate if you could share a more detail bus map that this pass covers?

    Thank you

    1. Hi CN san,

      All bus lines which are shown in the map are covered. The major bus stop names are shown in the map too.
      e.g. Todaiji Daibutsuden / Kasugaaaishamae

      You may follow the announcement in the bus. It’s usually announced in English, Korean, and Chinese too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    My name is Goh. My family of 8 pax will be arriving Kansai airport at 9.35 PM on Sat 6 April 2019. By the time we come out from Kansai airport, it will be 23.00 PM. We will stay in Nishinari-ku area, Osaka for 5 nights. We will visit around Osaka and nearby area, like Kobe and Nara. Then we will move to Nakagyo-ku area, Kyoto for 2 nights and visit around Kyoto city. We will move to Nagoya to stay for 1 night. Then we will fly off from Chubu Centrair Airport on Sun 14 April 2019. Total would be 8 nights and 7 full days. We are planning to visit around Osaka, go to Nara for day trip, go to Kobe for day trip, visit around Kyoto city, go to Arashiyama and then go to Nagoya city before depart from Chubu airport. Can you recommend if we can buy the Kintetsu rail day passes? What if we do not want to pay additional surcharge for limited express tickets, it is possible to buy just the Kintetsu day passes to travel? Thank you

    Mr Goh

    1. Hi Goh,

      It is possible from Kyoto to Nagoya by Kintetsu rail pass only. But it takes about 4 hours and you have to change trains at least twice. There is no direct trains. Actually even if you pay extra, you still have to change trains at least once. If you are okay with it, you can use Kintetsu Rail Pass for trip to Nara, Osaka to Kyoto and Kyoto to Nagoya. This is most affordable choice. You can add other deal for trip to Kobe and for city sightseeing in Osaka and Kyoto. Kintetsu rail pass does not cover these. Please see the links below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/osaka-kyoto-kobe-and-nara/guide-to-take-trains-in-kobe-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      If you don’t want spend 4 hours to get Nagoya from Kyoto, most recommended choice is Platt Kodama.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/platt-kodama-one-way-deal-among-tokyo-nagoya-kyoto-and-shin-osaka-by-shinkansen.html

      This is direct way to get Nagoya from Kyoto and it takes one hour. But Platt Kodama covers only Kyoto to Nagoya. You have to add Kansai thru pass for trip to Kobe, Nara and Osaka to Kyoto. And you still have to buy a pass for sightseeing in Kyoto and Osaka:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      This is more pricey but this is most convenient way.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I see, in that case this makes the Kintetsu Rail Pass quite a good deal. In that case I will use it to mainly access Nagoya from Namba station, along with trips to Yoshino and Nara to further get some value out of it. Thank you for your help!

    Chris

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    I am a bit confused over how the limited express ticket surcharge works. If I want to do the Osaka-Nagoya route through limited express, even with the 5-Day Pass, I will still have to purchase a limited express ticket. This will cost the same as buying a limited express ticket without the 5-Day Pass am I correct?

    Initially I planned on getting the 5-Day pass just for the Osaka-Nagoya route, but it seems like this is not viable any more and it would be better to just buy the round trip ticket by itself.

    Chris

    1. Hi Chris,

      When you take a limited express train, you have to purchase a base fare ticket and a limited express surcharge ticket. The base fare ticket is 2,360 yen for one way. Kintetsu Rail Pass covers this base fare portion. So even if you use the pass for only Osaka-Nagoya round trip, Kintetsu rail pass is still cheaper than a regular fare.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hello!

    My family is planning a trip to Japan next month and we are planning to go from Kyoto > Nagoya > Osaka. We are planning to use the Kintetsu Rail Pass and ride the Limited Express trains for this because the Shinkansen is too much for our budget. We will stay in Kyoto for 3 days and travel to Nagoya on the 3rd day, and stay in Nagoya for 3 days and travel to Osaka on the last day also. We were thinking of starting to use the Rail Pass on the last day in Kyoto to travel to Nagoya.

    Would two 1 day Kintetsu Rail Passes be able to cover the trips from Kyoto to Nagoya and from Nagoya to Osaka? Or would it be better to purchase a 5 day Pass to cover the travel? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Yanna,

      One day Kintetsu rail pass does not cover Nagoya. You should have 5-day Kintetsu rail pass. When you go to Nagoya from Kyoto, there is no direct trains. Even if you add limited express fee on the pass, you still have to change trains at least once. The trip time is much longer than Shinkansen. Please refer the link below to find some more info:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/how-to-transfer-between-nagoya-and-osaka-kyoto-by-train.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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