How to use JR Pass in downtown Osaka. Find how much you can use Japan Rail Pass in Osaka.

323series on Osaka Kanjo lineNetwork of JR trains
Dotonbori is one of most popular spots.

If you use JR Pass and visit Osaka, you should know how much you can use JR Pass in Osaka. I forcus on using JR Pass in downtown Osaka. If you use the following passes, you have same coverage.

I will show you JR train network in downtown Osaka in this post.

JR lines in downtown Osaka

Please see the map below:

Click to view large

The above map shows you all JR lines in downtown Osaka. I will explain you the line of JR one by one.

In this post, I explain you only JR trains. If you want to know whole part of train system in downtown Osaka, please see the link below:

I also explain this topic in YouTube movie too. Please watch it instead of reading the post:

Osaka Kanjo line (Osaka loop line)

323series on Osaka Kanjo line
Osaka Kanjo line train

This line encircles downtown Osaka. You will use this line often when you stay in Osaka. This line is started from Osaka station which is the biggest station in Osaka. It is located in Umeda area and JR Osaka station and other railway’s Umeda stations are same location.

This line go through Kyobashi, Tsuruhashi, Tennoji, Shin-Imamiya, Bentencho, Nishikujo and come back to Osaka again. All these stations are transfer points to other lines and railways.

  • Osaka (Umeda)
    1. Hankyu Railway (to Arashiyama, Gion, Kobe-Sannomiya, Takarazuka, Ikeda, Minoo),
    2. Hanshin Railway (to Kobe-Sannomiya)
    3. Osaka Metro (to almost everywhere in Osaka)
  • Kyobashi – Keihan Railway (to Gion, Kyoto)
  • Tsuruhashi – Kintetsu Railway (to Osaka-Namba, TennojiNara, Nagoya)
  • Tennoji
    1. JR Kansai Airport line (to Kansai airport)
    2. JR Yamatoji line (to Nara)
    3. JR Hanwa line (to Wakayama)
    4. Kintetsu Railway (to Yoshino)
    5. Osaka Metro (to Namba, Tanimachi)
  • Shin-Imamiya – Nankai Railway (to Namba, Kansai airport)
  • Bentencho – Osaka Metro Chuo line (to Osaka Kaiyukan aquarium)
  • Nishikujo
    1. Hanshin Railway (to Osaka-Namba, to Kobe-Sannomiya)
    2. JR Yumesaki line (to Universal city)

Tennoji is the biggest JR terminal station in south side of Osaka. All trains that go to Wakayama, Kansai airport and Nara stop at this station. But many train run on Osaka Kanjo line and then go through the line to Nara, Kansai airport and Wakayama.

Yamatoji line

This line connects JR Namba and Nara. Many rapid train go through Osaka Kanjo line and it connects Kyobashi, Osaka, Nishikujo, Bentencho, Tennoji and Nara. This rapoid train is called Yamatoji Rapid. Please see the link below to find more information about Yamatoji Rapid:

Many local train of Yamatoji line train depart from JR-Namba station. JR-Namba is only JR station in Namba. But this is a bit away from the center of Namba. Please see the link below to find the information about Namba stations:

You can access Namba by JR line. And also you can access from another huge downtown core, Umeda by JR only. But You need to take Osaka Kanjo line to Imamiya and transfer the train to JR Namba. It is not shortest way. Osaka subway Midosuji line (大阪地下鉄御堂筋線) is much faster and more convenient. I tell you about Osaka subway later.

Kansai airport line and Hanwa line

Many trains go through from Osaka Kanjo line to Kansai Airport and Wakayama. These trains are called Kansai Airport Rapid and Kishuji Rapid.

You can get Kansai airport and Wakayama from Osaka without a transfer.

The limited express Haruka connects Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Kansai airport. The limited express Kuroshio connects Shin-Osaka and Wakayama, Shirahama, Shingu. You may take these trains between Shin-Osaka and Tennoji if you like.

Yumesaki line

This line starts from Nishikujo station on Osaka Kanjo line and goes to Sakurajima. Universal City station is located on this line and it is the gateway to Universal Studio Japan.

JR Tozai line

This line connects Amagasaki and Kyobashi. Kitashinchi station is 10 minutes away from Osaka station on foot.

Kobe/Kyoto line

If you go to Kobe or Kyoto, you take this line from Osaka station. Special Rapid run on this line and stop at major stations only. It is very fast train service. Please find more information about Special Rapid in the link below:

And also when you take the Shinkansen, you have to go to Shin-Osaka station by Kyoto line. It is 4 minutes away from Osaka by any trains.

The places where you can go by JR Pass

You may get these following places by JR Pass and other JR train passes without any extra charge:

  • Umeda, Umeda Sky Building (at JR Osaka station)
  • Osaka Castle (at Osakajokoen station)
  • Abeno Harukas (at Tennoji station)
  • Tennoji Zoo (at Tennoji station)
  • Shitenno-ji temple (at Tennoji station)
  • Shinsekai, Tsutenkaku (at Shin-Imamiya station)
  • Namba, Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori (at JR-Namba station)
  • USJ (at Universal City station)

The places where you can NOT go by JR Pass

You have to pay a regular fare to take subway or non JR trains to visit the following places:

Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium and Tenpozan Market Place

Click to view large.

You have to take Osaka Metro Chuo line to get Osakako station. You may take subway from Namba or Umeda.

Cup Noodle Museum and Minoo Falls

Click to view large

These are located outside downtown Osaka. You must take Hankyu Railway.

Osaka Metro

As you have been reading this post, JR Pass covers many places. But you still may need to take subway. Please see the link below to find all train system in Osaka.

I hope you have got an idea to build your trip by this post.


  1. careact says:

    Hi! I’m going to Osaka from 20/08/12 – 26/08/12 with my family and planning to stay at Weekly Mansion Osaka at Otemae the whole period…and I’m so confiused whether to buy a regular ticket or a specific rail pass throughout my vacation here…please advise me…

    Below are my itinerary during that period:

    20/8 Arrived at KIX and heads to Weekly Mansion Osaka at Otemae
    21/8 USJ
    22/8 Stroll around the Minami area (DEN-DEN town,Kuromon Ichiba, Shinsaibashi-suji, Sennichimae Doguyasuji, Dotombori)
    23/8 Nagoya (Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, Osu Shopping Street, Scmaglev and Railway Park, Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology)
    24/8 Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Yodobashi Camera, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka Science Museum, Miyuki-dori
    25/8 Kobe & Kyoto
    26/8 Departure

    btw, I heard that there’s a discounted set for ICOCA+HARUKA…is that a better choice?

    Million thanks in advance! 🙂

    • JPRail says:

      Hi careact,

      ICOCA and Haruka is a good choice. But if you take Haruka, you need to transfer to Osaka Kanjo line at Tennoji to Kyobashi. And then transfer to Keihan railway at Kyobashi to Tenmabashi.

      You can use ICOCA for private railway and subway too. There is no JR station at Tenmabashi.

      Regarding ticket and pass, single ticket is your choice. Because you will have a short distance transfer everyday. If you purchase the pass, like Osaka one day pass, you cannot get your money worth.

      When you go to Nagoya, there is no discount ticket to use JR line. But Kintetsu line offer a good deal. See the link below:
      It is slower than Shinkansen. But the fare is much cheaper.

      You plan to visit Kyoto and Kobe one day. It is too much. Especially there are many spots to see in Kyoto. I recommend you to spend at least one day for Kyoto.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

    • Tak says:

      Hi careact,

      The schedule may be tight on 23rd. I think you can do but i suggest you plan well beforehand.

      Opening hours of Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is different depending on the season. The information is Japanese only. 9:30am until 8pm on 23/8.
      Railway park 10:00am-5:30pm
      Toyota 9:30am-5:00pm
      Most shops in Osu area open till 7pm or so.

      I recommend you go to Aquarium last because they open till 8pm.

      Nagoya city subway and bus offers 1 day ticket.Please see this. you can buy it at the station ticket vending machine.
      According to the aquarium webpage, if you have one of these 1 day ticket, the ticket is 10% off.

      I hope this is useful information for you.

  2. Steven Khor says:

    Hello! How are you? My wife and I both senior citizen from Malaysia will be in Osaka from 6/10/12 to 12/10/12. We will be staying in namba area for the whole duration. We plan to visit Kyoto and Kobe. Pls advise the most practical transportation from the airport to namba and the two places I mentioned earlier. Thank you so much and god bless you!

  3. Gin says:

    Hi, I am travelling to Japan 4 – 12 August 2012. My tentative itinearary is as follows:

    4 Aug (AM) – arrive Narita T2 and collect 7-day rail pass. Narita Express-Tokyo. Tokyo-Shin Osaka (taking Tokaido JR line ‘Noizumi’ train).

    4 Aug (PM) – arrive Shin Osaka. Take JR line Shin-Osaka-Osaka station.

    4 – 6 Aug: I plan to go around Osaka to Rikun Town Station, Namba station, Ikeda station, Dotonbori, Shinsaiibashi, ‘Oroshiuri market, Tsuruhashi market.

    6 – 12 Aug: Plan to around Tokyo and Tokyo Disneyland

    Do you suggest I buy the 7 or 14 day JR raill pass since I will be in Japan total 9 days. I read from your website that it would be better to buy 7-day JR rail pass for travel between Tokyo-Osaka and around Tokyo plus buy 2-day pass for going around Osaka?

    What is your suggestion?

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Gin,
      7 days pass is fine for your itinerary. You can use the pass for Aug 6 to Aug 10.
      When you stay in Osaka, you may buy 2 days pass. But you can use JR pass for visiting some spots in Osaka. When you go to Numba or surrounding area, subway is better than JR line. You need to buy a subway ticket or subway pass. It depends on how much you ride subway. If you do just round trip between Umeda (JR Osaka) and Namba, you don’t need to buy the pass. Single ticket will be cheaper. When you go to Tsuruhashi and Rinku town, you can use JR line. So you don’t need to buy any other ticket. So try to separate the spots, by JR or other lines (subway). You can save your budget more.
      Wnen you stay in Tokyo, JR lines are not bad. You still have two more days to use JR pass in Tokyo. Try to use JR lines in these two days. After you finish JR pass, you can use subway pass or single ticket. Please refer the link below:


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Esther says:

    Hi, Please advise if my train sequence is right?

    KIX to Kyoto: I should take the JR Haruka Airport Express direct to Kyoto train Station? Are they other options?

    Kyoto to Osaka : I should take the JR train from Kyoto Station to Osaka Station, then change to the Midosuji Subway line to Namba Station to get to Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka hotel?

    Thanks so much?

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Esther,

      If you want to move fast, Haruka is the best choice. This is only direct train service from KIX to Kyoto. And also using JR West Kansai area pass 1 day gives you save lots of money. It costs 2000 yen. But only regular fare is almost 2000 yen. If you pay regular fare, you need to pay surcharge on top of this. Purchase Kansai 1 day pass.

      From Kyoto to Namba, you are right. That is the best way.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. julia says:

    1.How do I use JR pass to travel from Kyoto station to kinkakuji temple and Ryoanji temple
    2. Do I need to buy a subway or bus pass if I just need to go to Kiyomizu Temple,Nishiki market and Gion for 1 day or JR can get me close to it?
    3. How do I use my JR rail pass to travel to Osaka for 1 day from Kyoto to Osaka for only Osaka Castle ,Dotonbori and America Mura
    4. Get to Hiroshima at 9am by JR rail , do I have enough time to get back on 5:05pm train, if I want to visit Miyajima Island/Itsukushima Jinja Shrine/Peace Memorial Park/Atomic Bomb Dome. Should I go to Itsukushima first or Peace park first?


  6. Pri says:


    We are travelling in Japan over two weeks in August. Can you please advice best passes to use for travel by train and within cities :

    18/19 Osaka

    20/21 Koyoto (day trip to Nara)

    22 Hiroshiam (day visit) en route to Kumamoto

    23-26 Kumamoto including day trip to Mt Aso

    27 Nagoya

    28/29 Takayama
    30/31 – Tokyo

    We are thinking of JR 15 day pass but understand there are other discound passes etc.

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Pri,
      Purchase Japan Rail Pass 14 days. This is the best and cheapest choice. You cannot find any other better deal.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. wong hin san says:

    Hi. I will be visiting Japan soon and my tentative itinery is as follows:-
    22/04 – 23/04 Sapporo
    24/04 Otaru
    25/04 Noboribetsu
    26/04 – 27/04 Hakodate
    28/04 Chitose
    29/04 Ashikawa
    30/04 Sapporo
    31/04 -03/05 Osaka
    04/05 – 05/05 Kyoto
    06/05 Nagoya
    07/05 Kobe
    08/05 Hiroshima
    09/05 Himeji
    10/05 Osaka
    Can you kindly advise what sort of JR pass should I buy? A 21-day all-Japan pass, or a combination of Hokkaido Pass with another or what?
    Your advice will be highly appreciated. TQ.

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Wong hin san,
      JR pass 21 days is the best choice. Hokkaido pass 7 days is more expensive than the difference between 14 day JR pass and 21 days JR pass.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. sean says:

    should i get 7 days or 14 days pass , i will be in osaka from 5/19 – 5/29

    5/20 i will go visit yamazaki distillery and maybe some sight seeing

    5/21 i will go to tokyo and spend the night

    5/22 i will travel from tokyo to jogasaki then return to tokyo and around 8pm return to osaka

    5/23 nagoya

    5/24 nara and kyoto

    5/25 kobe

    5/26 kyoto

    5/27 hiroshima

    5/28 osaka

    5/29 return flight at 5:00pm

    i know u can use jr pass on haruka ltd express right? my hotel is chisun in shin-osaka so it will drop me off just 10 min walk from the shin-osaka station so if i use the pass will it activate right away? its about 3000 yen each way , thank you so much

  9. Chen says:

    Hi, I will be travel to Japan from 27 March 2012 till 8 March 2012 (13 Days). I will be landed at Haneda Airport and travel few places within 13 days. There are few questions I would like to ask:

    (1) I will be travel within Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe for 6 days (1 – 6 April 2012). Should I use Kansai Pass or JR Pass?

    (2) Can JR Pass access major tourist spots in Osaka (2 days), Kyoto (2 days), Nara (1 day) and Kobe (1 day). Because of limited time, I just visit few spots in 1 place.

  10. Thanks for this blog, I am planning a trip to Osaka and this will be extremely helpful.

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