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

kintetsu railway limited expressRail pass for visitors
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Kintetsu Railway has the biggest limited express train network in all private railway companies.

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.

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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 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.

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)
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.

TypesPurchase outside JapanPurchase in Japan
Kintetsu Rail Pass
5-day
3,700 yen3,900 yen
Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus
5-day
4,900 yen5,100 yen

Child price is half amount of the adult price. It applies to child who is 6 to 11 years old. Adult price is applied to 12 years old and up.

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.

e.g.
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. The separate ticket for taking limited express train is required.

Sightseeing Limited Express Shimakaze is not covered by this pass. This is one of most difficult trains to book in Japan now. (C) Oka21000

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 do not want to pay any extra, you can take rapid express, express, semi express and local trains. These are commute trains. The interior is totally different from the limited express train.

The exterior of Kintetsu Railway commute trains
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 the 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.

Compare cost and trip time between the 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 the Shinkansen. But it is same station and very easy to transfer from the 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 the Shinkansen is much faster, this pass is one of my most recommended deals.

Comments

  1. friendzoned123
    Andrei VIllasenor says:

    Good day Takeshi,

    I am really finding the kintetsu rail pass confusing. My family and I are taking an 11 day trip to Japan. We would be staying in Osaka for 5 days, 3 days in Kyoto, and 3 days in Nagoya. Is using the Kintetsu Rail Pass a good option for our trip? What is the cheapest option to get to Nagoya from Kyoto? Thank you!!

  2. hi! just want to ask if getting a kintetsu pass to be use primarily for nagoya to osaka trip worth the pass? will be staying in nagoya for 3 days and osaka for another 3 days. Planning to get the 5 days pass. How much would be the additional if i plan to ride the limited express train? Thanks.

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

      Hi Kerwin,

      If you intend to use the pass for one way trip from Nagoya to Osaka, you cannot get the worth of it. The regular fare is cheaper. But if you will visit Nara and/or Kyoto, you will get the worth of it. Please find the chapter of “Compare the pass and single fare” in the post above. You can find the limited express seat fee in this chapter too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. cissylei
    Cissy says:

    Hi there,

    I will be arriving in Osaka and planning to go to Kyoto for a few days and taking a one day trip to Nagoya from Kyoto. I’m just wondering if it is a good idea to get the Kintestu rail pass. I might do a side trip to Nara.

    Osaka-Kyoto
    Kyoto-Nagoya
    Nagoya-Kyoto
    Kyoto-Osaka

    Please advise!

  4. Mehmet says:

    どうもありがとうございます。 Takeshi!

    We have just booked our ticket. Will arrive at Nagoya in the very early morning of 5th April and depart from Nagoya on the 18th. We will probably do Osaka and Kyoto from Nagoya and continue to Tokio, visiting some other places on the way. (maybe Takayama, Nagano. Mt. Fuji?) Need advice here please,. where would you recommend us to go which is not tooo far away from osaka/kyoto or tokyo? we would like to see some places off the beaten track, mostly beatuies of nature.

    about the Kintetsu Rail Pass, even though it only covers one trip to Kyoto from Nagoya, isn’t it cheaper than the bullet / fast train tickets?

  5. Hello,
    Many thanks for this great article. we are considering to fly into Nagoya airport because it’s much cheaper to do so but to get to Kyoto from Nagoya with fast train is too expensive for us. We plan to spend 6 days in total in Kyoto and Osaka and I think 5 day pass would be great for us? We still don’t know where we will be visiting from osaka and kyoto but i think the price of the pass is great deal. so im stil not sure which trains we can get and most importantly, how often they run! and if we have to book seats all the time (which means extra cost)

    we will be staying 12 days in japan and 7 day pass wont be working well for us and 14 day one will be just too expensive.

    Looking forward to your thoughts. Thanks a million.

  6. Ruthie says:

    Hi Takeshi, hope you are well.

    Just wanted to get your opinion on the best and cheapest one way travel from nagoya to Kyoto. Will be in Nagoya for 2 nights and then moving on to Kyoto, I am confused with trains or cheapest way to travel, not sure if the kintetsu pass is worth it.

    Hoping to hear from you.

    Thanks
    Ruthie

  7. Hi Takeshi
    We will arriving in Tokyo on 21 October 19 and leaving to Nagoya on morning of 27/10/19.
    We will do a 2 day tour to Mt Fuji and Hakone on 23-24/10
    We will visit Big Sight Motor show on 25/10
    Leave to Nagoya on morning of 27/10 ( we have other tours planned after this to Takayama)
    We then leave Nagoya (station) on 4/11/19 to Osaka
    We would like to spend 4-7/11 in Osaka but do a day trip to Kyoto also.
    What is the best way to travel? Can we use a pass that does not require use on consecutive days but allows us to use pass when we wish?
    Would really appreciate your advice.
    Pashanie

  8. Benito says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    Sorry I got a little confused on the new offer about airport access.

    My family of 6 ( 2 adults + children ages 17, 15, 11, 8) will be arriving Nagoya on Dec 25 evening and go around the area (Osaka/Kyoto/Nara/Kobe) in the next 2 or 3 days before using a 7-day JR Pass to go to Hokkaido (Noboribetsu, Sapporo, Otaru, Hakodate, etc) and return to Tokyo to fly home.

    My questions are:

    1) What will be the best pass to use to go to Nagoya hotel from airport night-time Dec 25, then 2 or 3 days of train travel to Osaka/Kyoto/Nara/Kobe?

    2) Given the holiday dates, will it be hard to get reservations for trains using this pass? Or are there no reserved seats for this pass since it does not come with limited express vouchers anymore?

    Thank you in advance for your time, and do not hesitate to give me any other suggestions that would help.

    PS. My wife and I did a 10-day Tokyo-Hokkaido-Kansai trip back in Jan 2018 using your site and your replies to my questions and I got crazy value out of my 7-day JR Pass, almost JPY90,000 worth for each person!

    Regards,
    Benito

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

      Hi Benito san,

      1. There is no deals available for Chubu airport to Nagoya. You have to pay a regular fare for this trip.
      For the trip to Kobe, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe, it depends on how you travel. Are you going to travel to these places from Nagoya as day trip? If so, you may use 14-day JR pass instead of using 7-day JR pass later. Because the Shinkansen is the best way to get Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. The following link shows you the travel between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/how-to-transfer-between-nagoya-and-osaka-kyoto-by-train.html
      When you go to Kobe, you can get Shin-Kobe station from Nagoya by the Shinkansen too.

      If you stay in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and/or Kobe, you may use Kintetsu rail pass. But at this point. I cannot see how you travel these places clearly. I cannot say which one the best one is even if you stay in these places.

      2. It depends on the day when you travel. Please see the link below to find more information:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/2019-busiest-period-to-travel-by-train-tips-to-book-your-seat-in-even-during-the-busy-period.html

      If you give me more details about your trip plan, I can give you some more suggestions.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Benito says:

        Hi Takeshi san,

        Thank you for the quick reply.

        I am definitely considering getting a 14 day JR pass even though our trip is just 12 days. I just need to have a rough estimate on whether its more worth it than a 7-day JR pass + other passes (in Kansai/Tokyo area) + regular trains.

        With the above in mind, I would like to ask which of the below, if any, are covered by JR pass:

        1) Nagoya Airport to Nagoya City
        2) Travel inside Nagoya
        3) Travel inside Osaka
        4) Travel inside Nara
        5) Travel inside Kyoto
        6) Travel inside Kobe
        7) Travel inside Tokyo
        8) Tokyo to Narita Airport

        Regards,
        Benito

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

          Hi Benito san,

          I would like to make sure where you stay. Are you going to stay in each cities or stay some cities only? And also I would like to make sure how many days you will spend at each places. I cannot say which option the best is for you at this point. Please tell me more details about your trip. If you can show me your trip plan day by day, that helps me to tell you more info.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          • Benito says:

            Hello Takeshi san,

            This is a rough plan for our trip.

            12/25, Wed
            Arrive Nagoya Airport 7pm

            12/26, Thu
            12/27, Fri
            Nagoya/Kyoto/Osaka/Nara
            * 2 cities each day
            * I know would not be able to see a lot, but my trip just not enough days
            * Please suggest where better to stay the night for each night. I am open to staying at different cities each night. Note that next day will be leaving for Tokyo

            [START OF 7-DAY JR PASS]
            12/28, Sat
            Osaka/Kyoto/Nagoya -> Kanazawa -> Shirakawago -> Tokyo

            12/29, Sun
            Tokyo -> Noboribetsu

            12/30, Mon
            Noboribetsu -> Sapporo
            * When I spoke to you last year about Lake Toya, you mentioned winter time it would not be too interesting. Do you still think its better to skip it?

            12/31, Tue
            Sapporo -> Otaru -> Sapporo
            * We were able to catch the winter festival of Lake Shikotsu last year. Would you know of anything like that on our dates this year?

            1/01, Wed
            Sapporo -> Asahikawa/Biei/Furano -> Sapporo
            * Winter time would it be interesting to see Ashikawa or Biei or Furano? I saw Furano is very nice with lavander fields but obviously not in winter

            1/02, Thu
            Sapporo -> Hakodate

            1/03, Fri
            Hakodate -> Tokyo
            [END OF 7-DAY JR PASS]

            1/04, Sat
            1/05, Sun
            Tokyo
            * Probably 1 day Disney Sea and another day Sanrio Puroland.
            * Also considering a day trip or overnight trip to Fuji and/or Hakone

            1/06, Mon
            Depart Narita Airport 9am

            FYI, our family group will be my wife and I, with 4 children ages 17, 15, 11 and 8.

            Please advise what pass(es) would be good to use for the days not part of 7-day JR pass. If you have a better suggestion either use a 14-day JR pass or use the 7-day JR pass on other days of the trip, do not hesitate to inform me.

            Thank you!

            Regards,
            Benito

  9. Shf says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    Do you recommend buying Kintetsu 2 day pass if I am going from Osaka – Nara on day 1 and Osaka – Kyoto on day 2? We will not be staying overnight in Nara and Kyoto, only day trips.
    For exploring Osaka , we will buy the Osaka Amazing pass.
    Arigato Gozaimasu

  10. Greg says:

    Greetings Takeshi,

    I’ll be back in Japan for a quick weekend this fall for the F1 race. Typically, I opt for the JR pass when visiting Japan, but, this is a particularly short visit and I will not be leaving the Osaka/Nagoya/Suzuka area. Many F1 websites recommend the Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus for race visitors, but I have a bit of an unusual itiniary, and I wanted to get your opinion based on my schedule.

    I land in Osaka International on Friday, and head directly to Nagoya where I will be staying until Sunday afternoon.
    I’ll remain in Nagoya and travel back and fourth to Suzuka Circuit on Saturday and Sunday.
    Sunday following the race, I will hurry back to Osaka to catch my flight out of KIX airport (around midnight).

    In summary, going from Osaka International to Nagoya Station, and then Nagoya Station to KIX, with time being limited… is Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus a valid option for covering my rail travel, or might this be a task for the JR Pass given the limited time?

    Regards,
    Greg

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