Kansai WIDE Area Pass user guide. The best deal for the traveler who want to travel Kansai and surrounding areas, such as Okayama, Kurashiki, Kinosaki and Kumano.

Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara
Kurashiki Bikan Area is only 15 minutes away from Kurashiki station on foot. ©JTA/ ©JNTO
Sponsored links
Kinosaki Onsen is one of most popular hot springs in Japan. ©Toyooka City/©JNTO
Kinosaki Onsen is one of most popular hot springs in Japan. ©Toyooka City/©JNTO

Since Kansai WIDE Area Pass was released in April, 2012, this deal has been very popular for the tourist who wants to travel outside Kansai, like Kinosaki Onsen, Kii peninsula and Okayama/Kurashiki. This pass covers much bigger area than other Kansai area passes, like JR West Kansai Area Pass, Kansai Thru Pass. I am very happy that tourist tries to visit not only Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe but also outside Kansai.

In this post, I would like to show you the details of this pass and make sure the difference from other passes.

Sponsored links

Coverage area

Kansai WIDE Area Pass covers not only Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Kansai airport, Nara and Himeji but also many places outside Kansai area. I would like to introduce some popular spots. Please see the map below:

Kansai Wide Area Pass coverage map (click to view large)
This 287 series is newer fleet for Limited Express Kounotori. (C) Jonathan Ayre
Limited Express Kounotori and Kinosaki are operated by the newest 287 seires. (C) Jonathan Ayre
  • Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) – One of popular hot springs resort in northern Hyogo prefecture. It can be accessed by limited express Kounotori from Osaka and limited express Kinosaki from Kyoto.
  • Amanohashidate (天橋立) – It is connected directly with Kyoto by limited express Hashidate. You need to pay some extra because this train goes through Non JR line. But even Japan Rail Pass do not cover it either. Please see the details about extra at limited express Hashidate.
  • Shirahama (白浜) – This popular hot springs area is located in Kii peninsula. It can be accessed by limited express Kuroshio from Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji.
  • Shingu (新宮) – This town is located at the south end of Kii peninsula. It is the gate town of UNESCO World Hertage Site, “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”. This can be accessed by limited express Kuroshio from Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji too.
  • Okayama (岡山) – This city is located in Chugoku region and have one of three best landscape garden, Kourakuen Garden. It can be accessed by Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka in one hour.
  • Kurashiki (倉敷) – It is 15 minutes away from Okayama by local train. The preserved “Canal Area” is quite popular. There is Shin-Kurashiki station on Sanyo Shinkanse. But this station is not located in Kurashiki area. And Sanyo Shinkansenn between Okayama and Shin-Kurashiki is not covered by Kansai WIDE Area Pass either. Get on local train from Okayama when you get there.
  • Takamatsu (高松) – It is a gate city in Shikoku. It has Takamatsu castle and very popular Udon noodle.
  • Tottori – It is very well known as the city which has the biggest sand dune in Japan.

I recommend you to stay in these places. But you can visit all above spots as day trip. If you are looking for something different in your trip other than Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, Nara and Himeji, this pass gives you access and a huge saving.

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Kurashiki
Hotels in Okayama
Hotels in Shirahama

Valid period

You can purchase and use this pass in all year round.

Valid trains and bus routes

Please take a look at the map at Kansai WIDE Area Pass official page one more time. You can take all local, rapid trains and Non Reserved seat on the following express trains.

  • Sanyo Shinkansen (Shin Osaka-Okayama only)
  • Limited Express Haruka (Kansai airport-Shin Osaka/Kyoto)
  • Limited Express Kuroshio (Kyoto/Shin Osaka-Shirahama/Shingu)
  • Limited Express Kounotori (Shin Osaka/Osaka-Kinosaki Onsen)
  • Limited Express Kinosaki (Kyoto-Kinosaki Onsen)
  • Limited Express Hamakaze (Osaka-Tottori)
    This express trains goes to Tottori. And this is only train to get Tottori from Osaka directly. Tottori was not in coverage area but it was included as of mid April, 2017.
  • Limited Express Thunderbird (Osaka-Tsuruga)
    This express trains goes to Kanazawa and Toyama. But these areas are outside of the area where is covered.
  • Limited Express Hashidate (Kyoto-Fukuchiyama)
    This express trains goes to Amanohashidate. You can get Amanohashidate directly from Kyoto by this train. Amanohashidate is located on Kyoto Tango Railway which was not covered by this pass. But as of mid April, 2017,
    the coverage area was expanded. Kyoto Tango Railway is not covered by this pass fully.
  • Limited Express Super Hakuto (Kyoto-Tottori)
    This express trains connects Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Tottori and Kurayoshi. This train is the most convenient and the fastest way to get Tottori from Osaka and Kyoto. JR Pass does not cover this train fully. This train ride is one of the big advantage of Kansai Wide Area Pass.
  • Limited Express Super Inaba (Okayama-Tottori)
    This train connects Okayama and Tottori. It takes same way to get Tottori as Super Hakuto between Kamigori and Tottori. This train is not covered by JR pass fully either. This train ride is one of the big advantage of Kansai Wide Area Pass too.
  • Limited Express Wide View Hida (Osaka-Maibara)
    This express trains goes to Takayama. But this is obviously outside of the area where is covered. And this train is not mentioned on the official page. But technically you can take this train between Osaka and Maibara with no charge. However there is only one round trip a day. It is not much useful.

As of mid April 2017, this pass started to cover JR bus in Kyoto and Fukui. In Kyoto, you can get Ryoan-ji temple, Kitano-Tenmangu shrine, Takao area via Nijo. This pass also covers Obamba to/from Omi-Imazu bus service and Sonobe to/from Fukuchiyama bus service.

As I mentioned above, Kyoto Tango Railway is now covered. You also can take Wakayama Dentetsu Railway between Wakayama and Kishi by this pass.


There will be two different prices, purchase outside Japan and inside Japan. If you purchase it outside Japan, price is slightly cheaper. Please see the details at the below:

 Purchasing from the travel agent overseas
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from JR West online
(Before arrival)
Purchasing from JR West station
(After arrival)
Adult9,200 yen10,000 yen10,200 yen
6-11 years
4,600 yen5,000 yen5,100 yen

The validity of a rail pass starts from 12 O’clock at night, midnight to midnight.

Compare with regular fare

This is very attractive price. It is very easy to pay off. The following sample fares includes base fare and non reserved seat limited express surcharge:

  • One way trip from Kansai Airport to Shin Osaka by Limited Express Haruka — 2,330 yen
  • One way trip from Kansai Airport to Kyoto by Limited Express Haruka — 2,850 yen
  • Round trip between Shin Osaka and Himeji by Shinkansen — 6,440 yen
  • Round trip between Shin Osaka and Okayama by Shinkansen — 11,000 yen
  • Round trip between Osaka and Kinosaki Onsen by Limited Express Kounotori — 10,160 yen
  • Round trip between Kyoto and Kinosaki Onsen by Limited Express Kinosaki — 8,640 yen
  • Round trip between Shin Osaka and Shirahama by Limited Express Kuroshio — 10,160 yen
  • Round trip between Shin Osaka and Shingu by Limited Express Kuroshio — 13,380 yen

As you see above, if you take Haruka from Kansai airport to Shin-Osaka and have round trip by Shinkansen to Himeji from Shin-Osaka, it is pay off. It is very very attractive price.

Compare Kansai WIDE Area Pass and other passes

I have already written about JR West Rail Pass – Kansai Area Pass and Kansai Thru Pass (Surutto Kansai Pass). Please refer my post, How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area.

Compare Kansai WIDE Area Pass and Kansai Area Pass

You can choose 1 to 4 days from Kansai Area Pass. Please refer the post, How to use JR West Kansai Area Pass. Compare pass and single fare. The prices are 2,060 yen, 4,110 yen, 5,140 yen and 6,170 yen. Kansai Area Pass covers only Kansai area and does not allow you to take any express trains other than Airport Express Train Haruka. I recommend you to use 1 days pass for transfer from Kansai airport to Shin-Osaka/Kyoto. As you saw the regular fare above, 1 day pass rate 2,330 yen is cheaper than one way trip to Shin-Osaka from Kansai airport. But there is ICOCA and Haruka that includes Haruka one way ticket and 1500 yen ICOCA e-money. This is better deal than Kansai Area Pass one day.

If you compare both passes, the price is less than 2,000 yen difference. Kansai WIDE Area Pass covers many more places and more trains. In my opinion, Kansai Wide Area Pass has much greater value than Kansai Area Pass.

Even if you stay and travel in Kansai area only, Kansai Thru Pass may be better choice because it covers subway and bus services in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

Compare Kansai WIDE Area Pass and Kansai Thru Pass

As I mentioned on my post, How to choose discount railway ticket and pass in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) area, Kansai Thru Pass is the best rail pass for sightseeing in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. This deal includes Kyoto municipal transportation (subway and bus) and Osaka municipal transportation (subway and bus). This is a huge asset to explore in Kyoto and Osaka. Especially you cannot go to any popular spots without subway and bus services in Kyoto. All JR rail passes, Kansai WIDE Area Pass, Kansai Area Pass, even Japan Rail Pass, do not cover any subway and city bus services. Kansai Thru Pass covers all major private rail lines too. In Kansai area, there are many private rail lines. When you go to Kyoto and Nara from Osaka, private lines, Hankyu (Umeda-Kawaramachi), Keihan (Yodoyabashi/Kyobashi-Shijo/Sanjo), Kintetsu (Namba/Tsuruhashi-Nara, Kyoto-Nara) are more convenient.


So if you are sure that you stay and travel in Kansai area only, I don’t recommend you to use Kansai WIDE Area Pass. But if you are interested in the area other than Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, Nara and Himeji to visit, this pass may be suitable for you. Kansai Thru Pass is a good rail pass. But this pass does not cover the area other than Kansai area, such as Kinosaki, Okayama and Shirahama.

If you stay in Kansai area for 3 days or less, you do not have enough time to explore outside Kansai. You should stay and enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara. But if you stay for 4 days or more, you may have an extra time to enjoy both Kansai are and outside of Kansai.

If you stay in Osaka for 5 nights,
Day 1 Kansai airport – Shin Osaka (Kansai WIDE Area Pass)
Day 2 Day trip to Shirahama (Kansai WIDE Area Pass)
Day 3 Day trip to Kurashiki (Kansai WIDE Area Pass)
Day 4 Day trip to Kyoto (Kansai Thru Pass)
Day 5 Day trip to Nara (Kansai Thru Pass)
Day 6 Osaka – Kansai airport (Kansai Thru Pass)

In above sample plan, I use Kansai WIDE Area Pass for 3 days only. Of course you can use this pass for day 1 to 5 and add the regular fare or other deal to get Kansai airport. But even though you use Kansai WIDE Area Pass for 3 days, you get your money worth.

I hope this pass encourages you to explore outside Kansai area. I love Kinosaki and Kurashiki. If you have an extra time, I strongly recommend you to visit these places.


  1. Lina says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Thanks so much for your website with bunch of tips and advises – they are really helpful for us to build our itinerary.

    Anyway, we are going back to Japan again in May but this time will only stay in Kyoto (3 nights) and Osaka (7 nights). Where we not using any travel pass, we’d just use IC card. Here is our itinerary, keen to know what your opinion whether it is feasible and also the transport passes:
    Day 1: Arriving at Itami Airport (8.50am), check in to accommodation near Gion Shijo. Walk around Kyoto Station, Shijo dori, Nishiki Market, Fushimi Inari at night, Gion
    Day 2: Nanzenji Temple, Philosophers Path, Kiyomizu dera, Rengeo-in temple Sanjusangendo [Kyoto bus pass]
    Day 3: Kurama, Kibune, Uji (if possible) [Kansai Thru Pass D1]
    Day 4: Check out, move to Osaka near Namba. Visit Osaka Aquarium
    Day 5: Mt Koya [Kansai Thru Pass D2]
    Day 6: USJ
    Day 7: Okayama and Kurashiki [JR Kansai Wide Area Pass D1]
    Day 8: Lake Biwa [JR Kansai Wide Area Pass D2]
    Day 9: Kinosakionsen [JR Kansai Wide Area Pass D3]
    Day 10: Visiting places in Osaka (or any advise?) and shopping [JR Kansai Wide Area Pass D4]
    Day 11: Visiting places in Osaka (or any advise?) and more shopping, head to Kansai around 3.30pm [JR Kansai Wide Area Pass D5]

    Many thanks for your help!

  2. jay! says:

    Hi Takeshi –

    Thank you for the wonderful articles and posts about the Japanese rail travel. You are so knowledgeable and helpful!

    I am traveling to Kansai for 7 days and 6 nights and was looking at a combination of the Kansai Wide Pass and the Kansai One Pass + Haruka based on your articles. Please let me know if you think this plan has the most value, or if I should make changes:

    Day 1: KIX to Kyoto (One Pass + Haruka)
    Day 2: Kyoto (One Pass)
    Day 3: Kyoto (One Pass) [Possible day trip to Hiroshima, if so, Wide Pass]
    Day 4: Kyoto to Osaka (Wide Pass)
    Day 5: Day trip to Himeji/Kobe (Wide Pass)
    Day 6: Osaka (One Pass)
    Day 7: Osaka to KIX (Wide Pass)

    I was reading your articles about he Kansai area passes (Wide Pass, the JR Kansai Area Pass, the Kansai Thru Pass, the ICOCA and the One Pass) and think this may be the best approach for my trip, based on your writings. I wanted a good mix of busy adventure days and relaxing days to hang out, so I was unsure if things like a 1 or 2 day Kyoto/Osaka pass would be worth it.

    Thank you for all your guidance and resources, this is the most comprehensive site regarding Japanese rail travel on the entire internet!

  3. Loi says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    The info you provided above are really helpful for all of us, I appreciate your assistance.

    I would like to know, what pass should we get (2 travellers) based from our itinerary. Please be advised that we still have valid ICOCA card since we’ve been to Japan last year 🙂

    Day 1: Kansai airport to Osaka
    Day 2: Osaka to Kyoto (visit Kiyomizu Dera and Fushimi Inari), then back to Osaka
    Day 3: Osaka to Kannabe Highlands Ski Resort/ Up Kannabe and Kinosaki, then back to Osaka
    Day 4: Osaka to Kansai Airport

    Kindly, help me as well which station should we start first for Day 3? I am confused with Umeda Station, Osaka Station or Shin-Osaka station going to Ebara Station.

    Thank you and Happy Holidays!

  4. vanessa says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,
    As always, thank you for all the information on rail travel on your website. I am planning a trip to Kansai this November, and based on all the various links you have, I came up with the following itinerary. Would you please review it and let me know if this is the most optimal use of passes? Thank you!

    Day 1 Kyoto: Arr Kansai Intl Airport ~ 9am. Take train to Kyoto Stn, visit Arashiyama & Kinkakuji.

    5-day Kansai Wide Pass 9000yen covers: Kansai airport-Kyoto, JR Kyoto-JR Saga Arashiyama
    + 1 day Kyoto City Bus pass 500yen (Local bus for Arashiyama-Kinkakuji-Gion-Kyoto Stn)

    Day 2 Kyoto: Visit Tofukuji, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Nishiki Market, Ginkakuji and Higashiyama area

    Kansai Wide Pass covers: JR Kyoto-JR Tofukuji, JR Tofukuji-JR Inari, JR Inari-JR Kyoto
    + 1 day Kyoto City Bus pass 500yen (covers: JR Kyoto-Nishiki Market, Nishiki Market-Ginkakuji, Gion-Kyoto Stn)

    Day 3 Osaka: From Kyoto, take train to Osaka Namba to Daikokucho (hotel).
    Day trip to Okayama and Kurashiki, then return to Osaka.

    Kansai Wide Pass covers: Shinkansen (Kyoto-Shin Osaka, Shin Osaka-JR Okayama return) and JR local trains (Okayama-Kurashiki return)
    Not covered: Shin Osaka-Daikokucho return fares, local trams and buses in Okayama and Kurashiki

    Day 4 Osaka: Day trip to visit Himeji (& Kokoen) and Kobe (& Arima onsen). Return to Osaka.

    Kansai Wide Pass covers: Shinkansen (Shin Osaka-Himeji), Rapid/Ltd Exp (Himeji-Sannomiya & Sannomiya-Shin Osaka)
    Not covered: Shin Osaka-Daikokucho return fares, return bus fares for Sannomiya-Arima Onsen

    Day 5 Osaka: Osaka sightseeing mainly in Namba/Shinsaibashi area
    Kansai Wide Pass: not much use

    Day 6: Return home via Kansai International Airport.
    Kanku Chikatoku Ticket 1000yen

    • Hi Vanessa san,

      Your trip plan is very organized and looks very good!

      I would like to mention only one thing. Kansai Wide Area Pass does not cover Shinkansen between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka. You have to take other JR trains, such as Haruka, Special Rapid. So you have to change trains at Shin-Osaka.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Emily says:

    Hi, we will be arriving at Kansai International airport and next 4 nights stay will be in Kyoto. We have initially planned to take airport limousine bus from Kansai airport to Kyoto station. However, for some reason we need to pick-up our purchased of Sagano train tickets from the location at Kuromon Market. May I know how would you recommend the best travel passed if our plan as follows :-
    1) From Kansai airport to our hotel in Kyoto, leave our luggage behind
    2) Then travel from Kyoto back to Osaka in Kuromon market to pick-up our train ticket
    3) After which we travel back to hotel in Kyoto for check-in room

    Or what is your best recommendation to minimize lugging our luggage around if we travel from Kansai airport to pick-up our hotel at Kuromon market first before heading to Kyoto.

    Greatly appreciate your advice and recommendations, thank you.

  6. Michelle Low says:

    Hi Takeshi-san!
    These are the main places we will visit during ours stay in Namba area. (Q 3-4 is by Kansai Wide Area Pass)
    1. Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park
    Main question is the bus time table very confusing, is it an hourly or where can i get the time table of the bus for the month of September 2018?
    2. Kyoto – can buy Kyoto-Osaka Sightseeing Pass 1 Day ?
    Fushimi Inari Shrine
    Nishiki Market
    Kiyomizu-dera Temple
    3. Amanohashidate
    From Fukuchiyama to take LTD.EXP Tango Relay 1, buy only have 7 min to transfer from Kyoto, can make it?
    Can only take Tango Relay to Amanohashidate which is cover by the pass?
    4. Takeda Castle Ruins
    From Teramae take JR Bantan Line for Wadayama , but only have 3 min transfer from Himeji, can make it?

    Because the rest of 3 days pass will use it to cover Himeji, Kurashiki, Okayama , Wakayama, Shirahama and Kiikatsuura.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Michelle san,

      1. Timetable is available in Japanese only. You can catch the bus at JR Maiko station or Sannomiya station. And you will get off a bus at Yumebutaimae. Please see the link below. It’s in Japanese but you can use Google translate or find 三宮バスターミナル (Sannomiya Bus Terminal = Sannomiya station), 高速舞子 (Kousoku Maiko = Maiko station)、淡路夢舞台前 (Yumebutaimae) in the link below:

      2. Yes.

      3. It is possible but you have to be hurry. Because you have to exit JR Fukuchiyama station and reenter Kyoto Tango Railway Fukuchiyama station. Both stations are same location but both have own ticket gates. So you have to exit and enter. There are lots of signage and do not worry to lose the way.

      4. It is possible but you have to be hurry. Please see the link below to find more info about Himeji station:


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Michelle Low says:

        Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for your prompt reply. I still have some question as follow :-
        1. Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park
        After study the time table , it means that
        a) 1 st bus depart from Sannomiya Bus Terminal is 7:00 am and arrive at Awaji Yumeba front is 7:48 am , this is for weekday route?
        b) For return if i choose from Awaji Yumeba front 17:36 pm and will reach at Sannomiya Bus Terminal is 18:22 pm?
        c) For some time table listed as JR West, it means that KWAP holder can not take this bus?
        d) The bus costs ¥930 to Yumebutai per trip, is there any Round trip tickets cost 1,620 yen ?
        e) All the both ways of buses need advance booking at ticket counter bus terminal building (the 1st floor of Mint Building) ?

        2. For KWAP holder beside can take Kyoto Tango Railway, also can take Tango Aomatsu Railway and Tango Akamatsu Railway any extra cost to pay?

        3. Is there a pass call “AMANOHASHIDATE VIEW LAND” & “KASAMATSU PARK” for both entrance ticket at 1200 yen?

        4. From Teramae Station the JR Bantan Line for TERAMAE and JR Bantan Line for WADAYAMA will Arrive and Depart in the same platform?

        5. Is there any time table that i can find in the Meiko Bus Shirahama Onsen Pass?

        Thank you very much.

  7. kms says:

    Thanks for the previous information about this passes and supported train service, but I’m still confused about bus service in Kyoto, I will be traveling in Kyoto using the Bus service 203,204 and 205, may be other, will the Kansai Wide Area Pass cover these bus service, I’m getting mixed up on the bus service in Kyoto.

    These are the main places I will visit in Kyoto.

    Philosopher’s Path
    Nishiki Market
    Fushimi Inari Taisha

    Many of these places are reachable on the train and is covered using the Kansai Wide Area Pass, it’s going from Ginkakuji to Kinkakuji which I need to travel around using the bus service.

  8. JS says:

    Hi Takeshi-san

    Can I use the Kansai WIDE Area Pass to travel from Shin-Osaka to Kansai International Airport? Thank you!

  9. chen says:

    Hello Takeshi san!

    In regards to the kansai wide area pass, i would like to ask if there is a need to make a reservation for seats on the train or can i just hop onto the train? For example, if i am heading to kinosaki onsen town from osaka. can i just get onto the train after i searched the timings, or must i head down to the counter to make a booking and get a ticket or something?

    thank you so so much!


  10. JJ says:

    Hi Takeshi-san!

    Really love your articles and how you put so much details into your replies for your readers!

    One quick question (because it is still a little confusing); besides the stations on the picture of the map, are the normal JR lines covered as well?
    Example, I’m staying in Osaka, Fuse station. If I were to take the JR line from Fuse station to Shin-osaka station, will the KANSAI WIDE area pass cover this cost as well? Or do I need to pay extra?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi JJ san,

      In the map of this post above, all stations which are shown are covered. This is the coverage area map of this pass.
      Fuse station is located on Kintetsu line which is not JR. You need to pay for Fuse to/from Tsuruhashi. Tsuruhashi is the nearest JR station. In the map, Tsuruhashi is not shown. It is located between Kyobashi and Tennoji.


      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • JJ says:

        Hi Takeshi-san,

        thank you for your prompt reply!

        There is another station near the area i’m staying; Shin-Fukae station (i think this is on the JR Line).

        So if i were to use the kansai wide area pass, does this mean that my trip from Shin-fukae station to Osaka station will be covered as well?

        Thank you!

Copied title and URL