323series on Osaka Kanjo line

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

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.

346 thoughts on “How to use JR Pass in downtown Osaka. Find how much you can use Japan Rail Pass in Osaka.”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I am travelling to Japan next month. I have been doing a lot of research about JR pass and train fares. I am not sure if the way my trip has been planned will suit a JR pass. Can you kindly help check if it’s worth for me buying a JR pass? If I do get a JR pass, when is the best day to activate it?

    Thank you very much for your help!

    20/4/19 – Osaka 6 nights
    Some sight seeing places: Osaka Castle, Osaka Castle Park, Shitennjoi Temple, Osaka Aquarium, Nara, Todai-J Temple and possibly Universal Studios.

    26/4/19 – Kyoto 5 nights
    Sight seeing places: Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Tenryu-ji Temple, Monkey Park

    1/5/19 – Takayama 2 nights

    3/5/19 – Tokyo 4 nights
    Some sight seeing places: Shibuya, Tokyo DisneySea

    1. Hi Lily,

      It’s hard to say that you can get the worth of 7-day pass or not. The total fare for Kyoto to Takayama and Takayama to Tokyo is around 25,000 yen. If you leave from Narita airport, you will take Narita Express and it costs more than 3,000 yen. It helps to get the worth of JR Pass. But train rides in Tokyo does not help much. It costs a few hundred yen per ride. So it may be okay but you cannot get a big saving.

      For staying in Osaka and Kyoto, JR pass is not required. You may use a local deal. 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/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you Takeshi.

        Are there other ways I could make use of the 7 day pass if I purchase such as the sight seeing places I’ve got listed?

        If I choose to activate it in time to use for Kyoto
        sight seeing and still be covered for the trip to Takayama and then from Takayama go Tokyo? Do you think I will make use of it this way?

        Kind regards,
        Lily

        1. Hi Lily,

          If you start to use JR pass in Kyoto, you cannot use it for Tokyo to Narita if you go to Narita. It’s actually worse. You cannot have many chances to use JR pass in Kyoto. You may use just for visiting Arashiyama and Fushimi. It costs only a few hundred yen. If you want to make the worth of it more, you have to add the big trip, like day trip to Hiroshima.
          https://jprail.com/destinations/world-heritage-destinations/day-trip-to-hiroshima-and-miyajima-from-osakakyoto.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thanks again.

            If I choose to not go to Narita, will it still work?

            If I don’t get the JR pass, how long will a train ride to Takayama be? As well as leaving Takayama to Tokyo (without going to Narita)? Can I still travel on JR line without a pass?

            Do you have recommendations?

            Kind regards,
            Lily

            1. Hi Lily,

              If you don’t go to Narita by JR Pass, you may not be able to get the worth of JR Pass. You should use a regular fare ticket:
              https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/for-non-jr-pass-travellers-guide-to-use-jr-single-ticket-basic-rules-validity-and-stopover.html

              Actually you will take same trains even if you use a regular fare ticket. If you use JR pass, you don’t need to buy a ticket one by one. If you don’t, you have to purchase a ticket one by one.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi,

    I am travelling to Japan with my family soon and would like to know whether it will be worthwhile to get a JR pass or not (considering we need to get the Hakone pass too). The itinerary is as follows:
    Day 1: Day trip from Tokyo to Aomori to see the cherry blossoms
    Day 2: Tokyo to Mt Fuji then overnight stay at Hakone
    Day 3: Hakone to Osaka. We plan to stay here for 3-4 days and plan to do a day trip to Kobe and Hiroshima.
    Day 7: Osaka to Kyoto. We plan to stay here for 3-4 days and plan to do a day trip to Nara.
    Day 11: Kyoto to Tokyo. We plan to stay here for a few days before heading back home.

    Thank you so much in advance!
    Kind regards
    Queenie

  3. Hi,
    I hope you can help me out here. I am travelling with 2 children in April. We will arrive Narita and overnight in Hakone, then to Osaka for 5 nights. During this 5 nights stay, we are hopping to Hiroshima or Kobe/Nara and Kyoto for day trips but spending 2 days in Osaka for sightseeing and USJ before heading back to Tokyo for 4 nights. We are thinking of getting the JR Pass, to have it activated on arrival so that it will end on the day we get into Tokyo. Is it worthwhile to get the JR Pass as I read more of information here, I got confused. If JR pass is a yes, which passes would be good to supplement when I am touring within Osaka and also in Tokyo?

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    I would like to get some transportation advice from you. My friends and I will be travelling to Japan in June 2019. Below is the detail of our itinerary:

    Day 1: Kansai Airport to Osaka (Nishinari Ward)
    Day 2: Osaka to Kobe, to Himeji (if time permitted)
    Day 3: Osaka to Kyoto (Arashiyama Bamboo grove, Tenryuji Temple,Kinkaku-ji, Nijo Castle)
    Day 4: Osaka to Kyoto (Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Kenninji Temple, Gion, Yasaka Shrine)
    Day 5:Osaka to Nara (Todaiji Temple, Nara Park, konfukuji)
    Day 6: USJ
    Day 7: Osaka Sight Seeing ( Osaka Castle, HEP Wheel, Umeda Sky buidling, dotonbori River)
    Day 8: Osaka to Kansai Airport

    We will stay at Osaka for the whole trip. I am thinking of getting Kansai thru pass for day 2,3,4 but what pass should we be using for getting around at Kyoto and Kobe.
    I would also like to know whether ICOCA card be using for using train/bus in Nara, Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka?
    For Day 7, we will be getting Osaka Amazing pass.

    Your help and support is much appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Gene

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be going Japan in May but I really have no idea whether I should get a JR pass or not. Or if I did, how can I fully utilize it.

    16 May – 23 May: Arrive in Narita Airport T2 > Osaka and Kyoto
    (Osaka Airbnb is located in Ebisu nishi, Naniwa-ku)
    24May – 26 May: From Osaka > Tokyo
    (Tokyo Airbnb is located in Okubo, Shinjyuku)
    27 May 10am Flight: Narita Airport

    We will be spending the first part of the week exploring Osaka and Kyoto (2-3 days), but will only be staying in Osaka. Means we will be travelling back and forth to Kyoto.
    The later part of the week, we will be going to Tokyo Disneyland and exploring part of Tokyo. Should I be getting the JR pass or just get the tickets individually?
    Kindly advise and thanks for your time 🙂

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I think JR pass does not work. Because 7-day JR pass is almost same cost as Tokyo-Osaka round trip fare. You will spend more than 8 days in Osaka. Even if you use JR pass for Narita to Tokyo, taking JR train between Osaka and Kyoto, in Osaka, it’s not enough to get the worth of 14-day JR Pass. So your choice is using a regular ticket for Tokyo-Osaka round trip and use a local deal, such as subway pass in Osaka and Tokyo. Or add one big day trip when you are in Osaka. For example, you can visit Hiroshima/Miyajima, Kanazawa/Shirakawago as day trip. If you add one of these, you can get the worth of 14-day pass. Please find more info in the link below about a big day trip:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/world-heritage-destinations/day-trip-to-hiroshima-and-miyajima-from-osakakyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/sample-itinerary-of-day-trip-to-kanazawa-and-shirakawago-from-osaka-or-kyoto.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi Takeshi,
    With JR Pass, kindly assist us to plan out the latter part of the route
    Narita Terminal 2 -> Tokyo Station: On Narita Express
    Tokyo Station -> Shin Osaka : On Hikari Shinkansen
    Shin Osaka -> Osaka ???? (Not sure about the train and the schedules)
    Osaka -> Kyobashi Osaka : Local train on Osaka Loop line (not sure about the times)
    From there to reach Monterey La Seour Hotel Osaka on foot.

    Please advise.

    1. Hi Chandi,

      There are lots of commute trains running, such as Special Rapid train, rapid train and local train from Shin-Osaka to Osaka. Train comes every 5 minutes or even less. Just hop on the train to get Osaka in 5 minutes.

      On Osaka Loop line, it’s same. Train comes every 3 to 5 minutes. Just hop on the train to get Kyobashi.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I would like to know if there are JR buses running around metro Osaka. I was able to book a hotel near the Ōsaka-Uehommachi Station but found out that only kintetsu rail lines are available in this station. I’m looking for ways to use my JR pass by using a JR bus in going to Osaka station.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Regards,
    Bing

    1. Hi Bing,

      JR bus does not run in downtown Osaka. You have to pay a regular fare to take subway or Kintetsu railway. Tsuruhashi is the nearest JR station.
      Osaka Metro Subway Tanimachi 9-chome is same location as Osaka-Uehonmachi.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Sir / Ma’am,
    Me and my wife will visit Osaka this coming March 21 to March 30…we are planning also to visit Kyoto, Kobe and Nara…Kindly advise what JR Pass are we going to buy…
    Regards,
    Roldan

  9. Hi,
    First time in Japan or Osaka from April 1-8. I would love to visit Kyoto and maybe Tokyo tome permitted. Would it be a good idea to get 7-day jr pass vs buying individually. Also, would you recommend taking the rail system from KANSAI airport to downtown Osaka?

      1. Thanks for your reply. What do you think of Wi-Fi access in Osaka and Kyoto? If I utilize Softbank free Wi-Fi, would that suffice? Or should I rent a Mobil hotspot?

  10. Hi Takeshi,

    I Have a round trip flight from Narita Airport for 10 Days. I’m planning to purchase the 7 Day JR Pass, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. My itinerary is:
    3/21: arrived at Narita, activate the JR pass and take it to Osaka
    3/22-3/23: explore Osaka
    3/24-3/25: explore Kyoto
    3/25: Shinsaken to Tokyo
    3/35-3/29: explore Tokyo
    3/30: flight home
    I know I will need to buy additional metro pass for Tokyo, since the 7-Day JR pass will expired when I’m there, but I’m still unsure of which pass to get. Please recommend one to me.

    Thank you so much for your time.
    Cindy

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Tokyo Subway Ticket is most convenient deal and it has the biggest coverage in downtown Tokyo. Please see the links below to find more info:
      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
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/compare-many-discount-tickets-and-passes-for-sightseeing-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-right-tickets.html

      There is no deals available to cover from Tokyo to Narita unfortunately.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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