Guide to take trains in Osaka. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail
Dotonbori is "Must-See" place in Osaka.  	©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Dotonbori is “Must-See” place in Osaka. ©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

I wrote about train system in Kyoto before. But I have received many inquiries about Osaka too. I think it is very complicated for travellers from overseas. There are three types of railway, JR, Osaka Municipal Subway and Private company’s railways. Once you understand train system, you can find the best location to stay, the best deal for trains ride and the fastest way to visit that you want to see.

As probably you know, there are many types of deals, such as ICOCA, Kansai Thru Pass, JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Osaka Subway Eco Card and Osaka Unlimited Pass. Each pass has different conditions. You must understand the coverage of your pass.

In this post, I tell you about using these deals and explain all train systems in Osaka.

Which train services that are covered by ICOCA, Kansai Thru Pass, subway deals and other JR deals

Many deals are available in Kansai area. But each pass have different coverage. I tell you about major passes and deals.

For the travellers who use ICOCA, Kansai one pass, Suica, Pasmo or other IC cards

You can take all trains on the map above except Shinkansen. When you travel in Kansai area, don’t try to take Shinkansen for such a short transfer, like going to Kyoto or Kobe. Please see the post, How to transfer among Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Compare Japan Railway and private lines.

ICOCA does not cover Osaka city bus service too. But I don’t think you have many chances to take city bus in Osaka. You can go anywhere by train services. Train is much faster than bus.

For the travellers who use Kansai Thru Pass and Rainbow Card

Please see the map below:

Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail

Kansai Thru Pass is unlimited ride pass and Rainbow Card is pre-paid card for most of NON JR trains in Osaka.

The only place where you can’t go by these deals is USJ. But if you don’t care about riding city bus, you can catch the bus at Nishikujo station. Nishikujo can be accessed by Hanshin Railway that is covered by Kansai Thru Pass. Even if you pay for JR train, the fare is 160 yen foe one way. It is not a big deal. I will explain about access to Universal Studion Japan later.

JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Kansai WIDE Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, Kansai Hokuriku Aea Pass, Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass, Hokuriku Arch Pass

Please see the map below:

Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail

When you go to Kaiyukan and Tenpozan waterfront area, you can’t use these JR train’s pass because there is no JR line there. If you take subway train, the fare from Bentencho to Osakako is 230 yen for one way.

Next, in case that you go to Namba, it’s not very convenient. JR has a station in Namba, JR Namba station. But this station is not located in the center of Namba. Nankai Railway’s Namba station, Subway Midousuji line Namba station and Osaka-Namba station (Hanshin and Kintetsu) are very closed each other. But JR Namba station is 1km away from Nankai Railway’s Namba station. If you walk, it takes at least 15 minutes. And also when you go to Namba from Umeda area, You have to take Osaka Kanjo line from Osaka to Imamiya and need to transfer to the train to JR Namba. It’s a big detour and much longer trip than Osaka subway Midousuji line. I cannot find any reason to avoid paying only 230 yen fare to take subway from Umeda to Namba.

Osaka subway Enjoy Eco Card and Osaka Unlimited Pass

Please see the map below:

Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge (C) JP Rail

Enjoy Eco Card covers Osaka subway and city bus. Osaka Unlimited Pass includes unlimited ride of subway and bus, and free admission for major attractions in Osaka. There are one day and two day available. But coverage is a bit different. One day covers subway, bus and major private railways, like Hanshin, Nankai, Keihan and Kintetsu. It is very similar to Kansai Thru Pass. But two day pass covers subway and bus only. When you choose this deal, please make sure your itinerary and which train you need to get on.

As long as you can take subway, most of places can be reached by subway.

How to access to major spots in Osaka by train

Most of places in Osaka can be accessed by train. I would like to share the information of access to major spots with you.

Namba, Dotonbori, Houzenji and Shinsaibashi area

There are so many restaurants in Dotonbori area. ©JNTO
There are so many restaurants in Dotonbori area. ©JNTO

You can reach Namba by many ways.

  • Namba station (Nankai Railways) to/from Kansai Airport (KIX), Mt. Koya (Koyasan) and Wakayama
  • Namba station (Osaka Subway Midousuji line, Yotsubashi line and Sennichimae line) to/from Umeda, Nishi-Umeda, Tennoji
  • Osaka-Namba station (Hanshin Railways) to/from Sannomiya, Kobe and Himeji
  • Osaka-Namba station (Kintetsu Railways) to/from Nara, Ise and Nagoya
  • JR Namba station (JR) to/from Tennoji, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Kansai Airport (KIX

As I mentioned above, JR Namba station is not located in the core of Namba. JR Namba is closed to Subway Yotsubashi line Namba station and Sennichimae line’s Sakuragawa station is actually closer than Namba station.


View Namba in a larger map

Nankai Railways is the best way to get Namba from Kansai Airport. And also train runs to Mt. Koya.

Hanshin Railways and Kintetsu Railways trains go through each other. And their station is “Osaka-Namba” station. When you search on Hyperdia, you can find Osaka-Namba. It’s not Namba for these train companies but Osaka-Namba. If you stay in Namba and want to go to Nara or Kobe, you can use these train companies. You can go there directly from Namba.

If you go to Nara, you can catch Kintetsu Railway’s train at Osaka-Namba station. Please see the post, How to access to Nara by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use JR Pass, Kintetsu Railway is more convenient. to learn more about access to Nara.

Shinsaibashi is one station away from Namba by subway. But Namba and Shinsaibashi are connected by shopping arcade. Dotonbori is located between Namba and Shinsaibashi. And also Shinsaibashi is connected with Yotsubashi and Nihonbashi by underground. So most of places in Namba can be accessed by walk.

Umeda

Umeda Sky Building is one of popular spots in Umeda area. ©JNTO
Umeda Sky Building is one of popular spots in Umeda area. ©JNTO

Umeda and Namba are two biggest downtown core in Osaka. There are many department stores and shopping complex in Umeda area. In Umeda area, only JR station is called “Osaka”. JR Osaka station and other railway’s Umeda station are located in same area.

There are many stations in Umeda.

  • Osaka station (JR Kobe line, Kyoto line, Osaka Kanjo line) to/from Kansai Airport (KIX), Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, USJ, Tennoji
  • Umeda station (Osaka Subway Midousuji line) to/from Namba, Shin-Osaka, Tennoji
  • Umeda station (Hanshin Railways) to/from Sannomiya, Kobe and Himeji
  • Umeda station (Hankyu Railways) to/from Kawaramachi, Arashiyama, Shijo, Sannomiya, Takarazuka
  • Higashi-Umeda station (Osaka Subway Tanimachi line) to/from Uehonmachi/Tanimachi Kyuchome, Tennoji
  • Nishi-Umeda station (Osaka Subway Yotsubashi line) to/from Namba
  • Kitashinchi station (JR Tozai line) to/from Namba

Please see the post, Osaka station guide. How to change JR trains, subway trains and other private railways – See more at: https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/osaka-station-guide-how-to-change-jr-trains-subway-trains-and-other-private-railways.html to get more detail about Osaka and Umeda station area.

Tenpozan, Kaiyukan

Kaiyukan is located in this Tenpozan waterfront area. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Kaiyukan is located in this Tenpozan waterfront area. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

Osaka Subway Chuo line’s Osakako station is the nearest station. You can catch Chuo line’s train at Honmachi, Bentencho and many other places. If you stay in Umeda or Namba, simple take Midousuji line or Yotsubashi line train and transfer to Chuo line’s train at Honmachi. If you are JR Pass user, you can get Bentencho by Osaka Kanjo line from Osaka or Tennoji. You have to pay extra on top of your pass for taking subway from Bentencho.

USJ is located just across the river. But there is no direct train or bus. Please see next chapter to get USJ from Tenpozan.

Universal Studion Japan (USJ)

Universal Studios Japan 2010.12.18_001Universal Studios Japan 2010.12.18_001 / TAKA@P.P.R.S

JR Yumesaki line’s Universal City station is the nearest station. There is no subway or private railway’s service available. If you are not JR train user, you can catch the pass to USJ at Nishikujo station.

If you want to access to Tenpozan/Kaiyukan from USJ, shuttle cruise service is the fastest and only direct way to connect both places.

Shuttle Cruise Capt. Line

Otherwise you have to take Universal City station – Nishikujo station – Bentencho station – Osakako station route. It is a big detour.

Osakajo (Osaka castle)

Osaka castle is one of popular spot to see cherry blossom in Osaka. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
Osaka castle is one of popular spot to see cherry blossom in Osaka. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

There are several stations around Osaka castle. You can access there from Tenmabashi station (Keihan Railway), Tanimachi-Yonchome station (Subway Tanimachi line), Osakajo-Koen station (JR), Osaka Business Park station (Subway Nagahori-Tsurumi Ryokuchi line), and Morinomiya station (JR). The nearest stations to access to the castle are Tenmabashi and Tanimachi-Yonchome. Other stations are okay, but these stations are closed to Osaka Castle Park.

Shinsekai, Tennoji zoo

You can feel real tradition of Osaka in Shinsekai.   	©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO
You can feel real tradition of Osaka in Shinsekai. ©Osaka Government Tourism Bureau/©JNTO

Shinsekai is old town of Osaka. There is very traditional shopping arcade. Tsutenkaku tower is located in Shinsekai area. This area can be accessed from JR and Nankai Railway’s Shin-Imamiya station.

Tennoji Zoo is located between Tennoji station and Dobutsuenmae station. (Dobutsuenma means “in front of zoo”.)

Minoo falls

Minoo is located outside downtown Osaka. Most of city deals, such as Osaka subway pass does not cover Minoo falls. Only Kansai Thru Pass covers this falls.

You need to take Hankyu Railway Takarazuka line train from Umeda to Ishibashi. And then take another Hankyu Railway Minoo line train to Minoo. You can change trains at Ishibashi very easily. Trip time is around 35 minutes from Umeda to Minoo

In peak season, like fall foliage season, direct train service runs between Umeda and Minoo.

Instant Ramen Museum

This museum is located outside downtown Osaka either. Most of city deals, such as Osaka subway pass does not cover this attraction. Only Kansai Thru Pass covers the trip to Instant Ramen Museum.

You need to take Hankyu Railway Takarazuka line train from Umeda to Ikeda. Trip time is around 20 minutes from Umeda to Ikeda.

585 thoughts on “Guide to take trains in Osaka. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I am going to Osaka this February and I still can’t decide what pass to use. This is our planned itinerary, hopefully you can help

    First day:
    9:20 am arrive at KIX
    Rinku town
    Homestay (Namba)
    Hard Rock Cafe
    Lukes Lobster

    Second day:
    Nara deer park
    Osaka Jo
    Kuromon Market
    Shinsaibashi/Dotonburi

    Third day:
    kyoto

    Fourth day:
    USJ

    Fifth day:
    Kobe

    Sixth day:
    Biwako Valley
    Umeda sky building
    Osaka water clock

    should i buy the one day pass or kansai wide pass?

  2. Dear Takeshi,

    My family and I are looking forward for the hanami season. We’ll be there from April 2-12. I am a bit confused with what tickets or pass is the best to buy. Especially during hanami season if it’s best to just take trains and subways because of the crowd. We have used JR Pass before (Haneda-Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka-KIX) and JR Kansai Hiroshima Pass (KIX-Hiroshima-Miyajima-Kyoto-Osaka). This time we stay at Namba and intend to explore the following:
    Day 1- KIX – Namba (explore Dotonburi, Kuromon Market)
    Day 2 – Osaka Castle, Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Japan Mint,
    Shinsaibashi
    Day 3 – Day trip to Nara Park and maybe Kobe
    Day 4 – Himeji Castle
    Day 5 – Mount Yoshino
    Day 6 – Kyoto (Gion – Maruyama Park)
    Day 7 – Kyoto Railway Museum, Kinkakuji – Philosopher’s Walk
    Day 8 – Arashiyama – Romantic train – Bamboo Groves
    Day 9 – Explore Osaka (free and easy)
    Day 10 – Explore Kyoto (free and easy)
    Day 11 – Namba to KIX
    Please advise us of combination of discounted passes plus ICOCA Card. Which is the most economical way? Also, is it advisable that we explore all Osaka and nearby places like Nara and Kobe and Himeji first and then Kyoto and Arashiyama?
    Option 2: Just in case we use one of our free and easy day to Hiroshima and Miyajima. Will the JR Kansai Hiroshima pass pay off? Thanks so much in advance Takeshi!

    1. Hi Mary Ann,

      Please see the link below. You will find all info which you need.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/how-to-build-the-itinerary-and-choose-the-deals-for-osaka-stay-5-to-7-days.html

      You may add ICOCA for your convenience. But Kansai one pass is better choice. It’s same type of card as ICOCA but you can get a discount at many attractions.
      http://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

      If you go to Hiroshima, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass will be paid off. In this case, try to put Hiroshima, Nara, Himeji, Arashiyama, Kyoto train museum in 5 days period.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Morning Takeshi!

    I’m Travelling to Japan From 15 – 22 Feb 2017. Actually I travelling with my family (mother, father, sister, me, my husband and my 2 years old child). This is our first time go to this country. Actually, I feel confused about transportation. We bought JR Pass, its right or no?

    Here our itin :
    Day 1 Osaka (kix – temmabashi) – osaka castle – amerikamura – dontobori
    Day 2 Universal studio
    Day 3 Osaka – kyoto ( plan to distrik gion)
    Day 4 Kyoto – tokyo (In the morning fushimi anari, night to tokyo)
    Day 5 Kasai – Echigo Yuzawa
    Day 6 Kasai – Disney Land
    Day 7 Tokyo City Tour (shibuya, harajukum ,shinjuku, tokyo tower)
    Day 8 Kasai – Haneda Airport (my family)
    Kasai – narita (my parents)

    and if we go to city (exp in osaka, to osaka castle etc, tokyo city tour) are we need to buy local train pass? or just buy one by one by ticket?

    My friend told me that we can by SUICA card, top up, and we can used this card to train that not covered by JR pass? is that true? please help me. Thank you.

    1. Hi Salsa,

      JR pass is the right choice. You may use it for the last 7 days. For day 1, Yokoso Osaka ticket is recommended.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/yokoso.html

      JR local trains are covered by JR pass. Many places can be reached by JR pass in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. But you need to take subway to get some places. Please see the links below:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Suica is okay. You also can purchase ICOCA. If you buy this type of card in Osaka, it’s ICOCA. If you purchase it in Tokyo, it’s Suica. You can use ICOCA in Tokyo. So if you need this type of card in Osaka or Kyoto, purchase ICOCA.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Mr. Takeshi!
    My parents (80 and 74 years old) and myself are going to Osaka in Feb 23-Mar 2to celebrate both of their birthdays.
    Its our first time to visit Japan. We will be staying Hotel New Hankyu and the whole trip and planning to see Kyoto and Nara as daytrips only.
    This is our plan:
    Day 1: Osaka- see nearby places Dotonbori, Namba, Shinsaibashi
    Day 2: Momofuku Ramen Museum
    Osaka Castle
    Day 3: Umeda Observatory, Osaka Aquarium

    Day 4: Universal Studios Japan
    Day 5: To Kyoto
    Day 6: To Nara
    Day 7: To KIX
    Do i need purchase JR pass?I am confused with what pass I need to buy. Our itinerary is not that packed as need to just travel easy and relax with my 2 parents , they cannot walk that fast.
    Thanks Mr. Takeshi

    1. Hi Liza,

      JR pass is not required. It’s too expensive.

      I think limousine bus is the best way for airport to/from hotel. Because limousine bus takes you to your hotel directly. It’s much easier than trains for your parents especially.
      http://www.kate.co.jp/en/timetable/detail/UM

      For sightseeing in Osaka, you may use one of the deals in the link 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

      And Kansai thru pass is the best choice for trip to Nara and Kyoto.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you for helping me understand about the pass , now I know how to proceed in buying the train passess.
        We will go for the limousine bus from Kix to the hotel and back.
        Much gratitude Mr. Takeshi!!

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    Just want to know if I stay hotel near Namba station, which train I better choose from Kansai Airport ? then better round trip or single fare ? I stay in Japan from 15 till 21 March.
    I would like to stay at Kyoto too about 2 days around 17-19 March and see Nara, Kobe too but maybe one day trip enough or should stay at there ? if stay maybe Osaka-Kobe/Nara-Kyoto and back again to Osaka hotel near airport. Please also advise which station is most recommended in Kyoto ( for better transportation ? so I will look for hotel near that station ( in Osaka, I choose Namba station ). Thanks before.

    1. Hi Julinda,

      Nankai railway is the best way to get Namba. Single ticket is 920 yen and this is the cheapest choice. If you want to take express train “Rapi:t”, there are some deals.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html#Kanku_Tokuwari_Rapit_Ticket_Kanku-Webtoku_Ticket

      Kyoto station is most convenient to get any places in Kyoto.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      But you may stay at other places in Kyoto, such as Gion. It’s your choice.

      Many travelers visit Kobe, Nara and even Kyoto from Osaka as day trip. You can stay in each cities and you can feel different atmosphere. But if you stay in Osaka only and make day trips, you don’t need to move with luggage and it makes your trip be easier.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/how-to-build-the-itinerary-and-choose-the-deals-for-osaka-stay-5-to-7-days.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi, Takeshi-san.

    Konnichiwa!

    Just want to seek your help in choosing the most convenient yet budget-friendly transportation for my itinerary below:

    Point of origin:
    Shin-Imamiya Area

    Day 1
    > Eastern Kyoto

    Go back to Shin-Imamiya

    Day 2
    >Western Kyoto

    Go back to Shin-Imamiya

    Day 3
    >Southern Kyoto
    >Nara Area

    Go back to Shin-Imamiya

    Day 4
    >Kobe Area

    Go back to Shin-Imamiya

    Day 5
    >Osaka Area

    Go back to Shin-Imamiya

    Thank you very much.

    Marvs

    1. Hi Marvs san,

      Single fare for Nankai railway for KIX to Shin-Imamiya is 920 yen. This is the cheapest.

      Kansai thru pass is the best for day 1 to 4.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      You can pick other deal for sightseeing in Osaka at the link 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

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    We are family of 4 and will be arriving in Kansai airport to stay in Osaka for 6 nights (30th march to 6th april). we are staying near Tanimachi Yonchome Station. WE plan to visit near by sites including Osaka castle but, also, plan to visit Universal studio, Acquarium, Himeji Castle, Nara and yashino. Nara and yashino depends on cherry blossom weather.

    To get from the airport to Yonchome station and also, to visit near by places what pass would you recommend? for other places, is it better to get one day pass? are there any family passes (2 adults and 2 children)

    Many thanks
    Ratna

    1. Hi Ratna,

      Please see the link below. You can find which pass/ticket you need for your trip.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7days/how-to-build-the-itinerary-and-choose-the-deals-for-osaka-stay-5-to-7-days.html

      You may use Kansai thru pass to get Yoshino as well. But a part of the trip to Yoshino is not covered by Kansai thru pass. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/kansai-thru-pass-sample-itineraries.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi, many thanks for the information.
        couple of more queries on my itinerary, hope you can help me.

        We are staying in Gero Station (near Takayama) and want to go for the festivals planned for 14th and 15th April. I understand that it will be very busy and wanted to check if I need to book train tickets in advance to travel from Gero to Takayama or can I buy on the same day. I don’t want to miss out on the festival so want to plan for the trip.

        Any information will be appreciated.
        Many thanks
        Ratna

        1. Hi Ratna,

          Advanced reservation is highly recommended. It will be busy.
          Even if you cannot make it, you still can take trains. There are non reserved seat cars. It’s first come and first serve basis. If all seats are full, you still can take train as standing passengers. We see standing passengers very often in peak season. Please see the link below about the difference between reserved and non reserved seats.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/reserved-seat-vs-non-reserved-seat-how-to-get-a-seat-on-non-reserved-car.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. HI Takeshi,

            I understand that it is only JR train that goes from Gero to Takayama for the takayama festival on 14th and 15th April. Can you please send me the link where I can buy the tickets and book reserved seats. Also, can I buy any pass for two days for the takayama festival that covers the train ticket and also, pass for the festival ?

            Thanks
            Ratna

      2. Hi Takeshi,

        sorry for bombarding you with so many queries. I was reading about the Prepaid IC cards and just wondering :

        – if it would be advisable to buy the IC card Icoca to travel in Osaka/Nara/Yashino/Hiroshima/Kyoto/Tokyo
        – Use the prepaid card for in other places like restaurants etc?
        – Is the Kansai One Pass trial finishing up on 31st March 2017? I understand that this pass offers discounts for foreign tourists

        I’m just thinking instead of buying tickets at every station (which can be bit of hassle when travelling with children), would it be better to buy Icoca prepaid cards for all 4 of us (or just 3 prepaid cards as my youngest is only 5 years old) so it’ll be bit more easier. Also, it’ll save me from carrying lot of cash everyday.

        any suggestions on the prepaid cards please?

        Thanks
        Ratna

        1. Hi Ratna,

          You may use IC card but it can be used in the cities only. You cannot use it for long train trip, like Osaka-Hiroshima, Osaka-Takayama.
          And also you can find many deals in Kansai area. IC card gives you same value as cash payment. Please see the links below to find the deals and compare with IC card.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html
          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/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

          If you don’t use any deals, you can have IC card 3 of your. 5 years old is free of charge.

          So make sure your trip plan again and use the deals or not.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Still not sure on what travel pass to purchase for my trip. can you please recommend which pass is the best as my itinerary at this stage is almost final. I can move around things depending on what pass I get:

            – Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass (covers 5 days)
            – Kansai Thru pass
            – Osaka Amazing PAss
            – ICOCA card

            I was thinking of buying:
            – Osaka Amazing pass (one day ) for day 1 itinerary.
            – Kansai Hiroshima Pass for the remaining itinerary as Hiroshima/Miyajima return trip, I see the total cost (base plus surcharge is nearly Y20000 and if I get the Kansai Hiroshima pass it easily covers off.

            1. Friday 31st March – Explore OSAKA (cherry blossom) including castle, Osaka Science Musuem and UMEDA building for sunset
            2. Saturday 1st April: Day in Osaka – Aquarium & more cherry blossom; Tennoji Park/Zoo?? Ichiba Market; Evening – Dotonbori??
            3. Sunday 2nd April: Day Trip to Horishima & Miyajima
            4. Monday 3rd April: Day trip to Mount Yashino (cherry blossom)
            5. Tuesday 4th April: Day Trip to Himeji Castle (& Kobe?)
            6. Wednesday 5th April: Day trip to Nara including Nara Park, Todaji Temple, Kooriyama Castle (& Iga Ueno??)
            7. Leave for Kyoto.

            Please suggest what is best for Osaka.

            Thanks
            Ratna

          2. Hi Ratna,

            Osaka amazing pass and Knasai Hiroshima pass are your choice. But as you understand, Yoshino cannot be accessed by JR trains. You need to pay single fare.

            Kansai thru pass is minimum 2 days. In your itinerary, there is only one chance to use it which is trip to Yoshino. So it’s not your choice.
            You may have ICOCA instead of using single ticket. But Kansai one pass is better because it offers discount at many attractions.
            http://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi,
    Me and my wife will be staying nearby Sakuragawa station for 4 nights. Please guide us which is the most feasible and budget way:
    -From KIX to Sakuragawa station
    -From Sakuragawa to Kyoto
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Albert,

      You may use Nankai railway and subway Sennichimae line. You can use Nankai railway + subway combo ticket.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/chikatoku.html

      There is no deals available to get Kyoto from Sakuragawa. Only single fare is available. There are several ways to get Kyoto. It depends which place in Kyoto you want to go. Please see the links below to see the details:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html
      http://www.kotsu.city.osaka.lg.jp/library/english/img/guide_english2.pdf

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hi Takeshi,
    Could I get your help please?
    Day 1 I’m flying into KIX and will stay at Tennoji Station.
    Day 2 we intend to go Arashimaya from Tennoji. (Which JR can we take using the Kansai pass?)
    Day 3 Tennoji to Kobe.

    Would it be better to take the 3 Day Kansai Pass?

    Thanks a lot!

      1. Thanks Takeshi!
        For Tennoji to Kobe, which trains would I take if I have the 3 days Kansai pass?

        Thank you very much.

      2. Hi Takeshi, sorry to bother you again. With the Kansai Area Pass, would the pass cover the fare for Sagano local train from Kyoto to Saga- Arashiyama?

        Thank you. EeLyn

  10. Hi takeshi,,

    I still cannot decide which pass i should take with the tight budget, can you help me. This is my itenary for next week.
    We will stay 1 night in kyoto and 4night in Tennoji osaka
    1) KIX to Kyoto (Arashyima, Inari,
    2) Kyoto to shiga (biwako) then back to Tennoji osaka
    3) Tennoji to Nara – Dotonbori, shinsibashi
    4) Tennoji to Kobe
    5) Tennoji to Namba, Umeda
    5) Tennoji to KIX

    I really hope that you can help me.

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