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.
- Kansai Area Pass
- Kansai Wide Area Pass
- Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass
- Sanyo Sanin Area Pass
- Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass
- Hokuriku Arch Pass
- Takayama Hokuriku Area Touirst Pass
- Northern Kyushu Sanyo Sanin Area Pass
I will show you JR train network in downtown Osaka in this post.
JR lines in downtown Osaka
Please see the map below:
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)
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)
- Hankyu Railway (to Arashiyama, Gion, Kobe-Sannomiya, Takarazuka, Ikeda, Minoo),
- Hanshin Railway (to Kobe-Sannomiya)
- Osaka Metro (to almost everywhere in Osaka)
- Kyobashi – Keihan Railway (to Gion, Kyoto)
- Tsuruhashi – Kintetsu Railway (to Osaka-Namba, TennojiNara, Nagoya)
- JR Kansai Airport line (to Kansai airport)
- JR Yamatoji line (to Nara)
- JR Hanwa line (to Wakayama)
- Kintetsu Railway (to Yoshino)
- Osaka Metro (to Namba, Tanimachi)
- Shin-Imamiya – Nankai Railway (to Namba, Kansai airport)
- Bentencho – Osaka Metro Chuo line (to Osaka Kaiyukan aquarium)
- Hanshin Railway (to Osaka-Namba, to Kobe-Sannomiya)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- JR lines in downtown Osaka
- Osaka Kanjo line (Osaka loop line)
- Yamatoji line
- Kansai airport line and Hanwa line
- Yumesaki line
- JR Tozai line
- Kobe/Kyoto line
- The places where you can go by JR Pass
- The places where you can NOT go by JR Pass
- Osaka Metro
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
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
These are located outside downtown Osaka. You must take Hankyu Railway.
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.
Hello, I have planned my 7 day trip like below. I think we can get around Tokyo with JR as my hotel is 5 mins away from JR station and Yamanote line. But I am not sure about Osaka and Kyoto central city transport.
Day 1: Arrive HND and use JR Pass to get around Tokyo.
Day 2-4: In Tokyo use JR Pass on Yamanote line.
Day 4: Tokyo to Osaka with JR Pass & Travel around Osaka downtown -> I think that JR Pass is not useful in Osaka downtown. Would you advise that I buy Osaka Amazing Pass to get some free access to attraction or the One Day Eco pass is good enough because I still get discounts to attractions? I worry that the free attractions with Amazing Pass cannot be reached all in one day which will be a waste of 2000yen vs buying One Day Eco and I pay discounted rate for attractions that I have time to visit.
Day 5: USJ with JR Pass
Day 6: Osaka to Kyoto day trip with JR. Would I need to buy one way tickets when I arrive in Kyoto to get around and see attractions? Or can walk around from the JR station I arrive in Kyoto?
Day 7: Travel within Osaka with Osaka One Day Enjoy Eco card & at night leave Osaka to Tokyo with JR.
Day 8: Tokyo Haneda – morning flight (1 way ticket as JR Pass expired).
Sorry if my questions are quite long but I am looking for most efficient/easy way to get around Osaka and Kyoto. Your articles have been bery helpful for my planning and I would like to confirm my questions above. Thank you so much in advance!
Actually you can get many places in downtown Osaka by JR pass. Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR pass and subway pass.
So before you decide to add subway pass or amazing pass, please make sure where you will visit in Osaka.
For the trip to Kyoto, you can get Kyoto by JR pass and also you can visit Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, Nijo and Uji by JR pass.
If you visit many more other places in Kyoto, I recommend you to add city bus pass at 600 yen for one day. You can get the worth of it by only 3 rides. City bus covers most part of downtown Kyoto.
Takeshi / JPRail.com
I will have a trip to from Taipei to Fukuoka and from Fukuoka to Taipei for 9 nights, I am thinking to buy JP pass to go to Osaka or Kyoto and then go to Tokyo for maybe 1 night. I think I will buy the 7 day JP pass. Do you think compare to the bus at night, it will worth. thank you so much
You can get the worth of 7-day JR pass easily. But if you take overnight bus, it may be cheaper because you can save the cost of accommodation.
In my opinion, JR pass is better choice because you will be tired if you take the overnight bus. You can take the Shinkansen by JR pass. It’s fast and very comfortable.
Takeshi / JPRail.com