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7 Amazing Train Passes for Japan's Kansai Area: Save Huge While Exploring Kyoto, Osaka & More!

7 Amazing Train Passes for Japan's Kansai Area: Save Huge While Exploring Kyoto, Osaka & More!

Date published: 4 February 2020
Last updated: 15 February 2021

To make the most of your trip to Japan, tourist and sightseeing passes are a must. They provide you with unlimited free rides on public transport, and even free entry to some attractions! Offering you the same experience for a more affordable price, it’s the ticket to a smoother holiday.

Here, we’ll be introducing our top seven sightseeing passes for the Kansai area, which includes the cities of Osaka and Kyoto. With time and cost savings from these passes, you’ll definitely have a more enjoyable and carefree holiday!

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Osaka Amazing Pass: For exploring every nook and cranny of Osaka
  2. 2 Uji/Fushimi 1-Day Ticket: For those heading to Kyoto and Fushimi Inari Shrine
  3. 3. 3 Arukumachi Kyoto Rail Ticket: Ride along the major intracity subway lines of Kyoto
  4. 4. Kyoto by the Sea Amanohashidate & Ine 1-Day Pass: Explore the northern part of Kyoto
  5. 5. Mawaryanse: See Ise, Toba, and Shima of Mie prefecture
  6. 6. Koyasan World Heritage Ticket: Visit Wakayama prefecture’s Koyasan
  7. 7. Sakai Hospitality Ticket: Tour southern Osaka, and see the World Heritage Site, the Mozu Tombs
  8. Let's go sightseeing with a sightseeing pass - and save!

1. Osaka Amazing Pass: For exploring every nook and cranny of Osaka

1. Osaka Amazing Pass: For exploring every nook and cranny of Osaka

A public transport pass that comes with a barcode allowing free entry to some attractions, this pass comes with a guidebook of coupons and an accompanying phone application, making for a very cost-effective sightseeing pass indeed.

The main perk of this pass is that it allows for free entry to numerous tourist attractions, and the TOKU×2 coupon that comes with it gives other discounts and privileges as well. From a river cruise and entertainment shows, to art and history museums, you can enjoy all of these for free with the pass.

The pass also allows for free entry into the Kuchu Teien Observatory of Umeda Sky Building

The pass comes as either a one-day or two-day pass, and comes with an expanded route version as well. The one-day pass costs 2,700 yen, and the two-day pass costs 3,600 yen.

For an example itinerary, take a train from Shin-Osaka Station to Umeda Station, where you can soak in the sights of Osaka from the Kuchu Teien Observatory of Umeda Sky Building.

From there, move on to Namba station to enjoy Takoyaki along Dotonbori, famous for its food and eateries, before making a reservation for Tonbori River Cruise for that night.

Take a train down to Tanimachi-yon-chome station to visit Osaka Castle, where you can take a boat ride along the castle moat to Osaka Business Park, and from there, you can head down to the popular shopping district of Shinsaibashi.

Then, stroll back down to Namba, where you can hop onto the river cruise which you booked earlier in the afternoon.

The entire route uses only the Osaka Metro, and costs 5,240 yen. However, with the one-day Osaka Amazing Pass, you can enjoy the whole experience with just 2,720 yen!

■Sale period
All year round
■Validity period
One day or two days
■Sales offices
Shin-Osaka Tourist Information Center on the third-floor concourse of JR Shin-Osaka station, Osaka Tourist Information Center in front of the central exit of JR Osaka station, etc.
For more information, refer to: https://www.osp.osaka-info.jp/en/about/buy.html
■Foreign languages available
English, Chinese, and Korean
■Contact
Osaka Call Center
http://ofw-oer.com/call/ (toll-free), 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
06-6131-4550 (not toll-free), 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

2 Uji/Fushimi 1-Day Ticket: For those heading to Kyoto and Fushimi Inari Shrine

2 Uji/Fushimi 1-Day Ticket: For those heading to Kyoto and Fushimi Inari Shrine

When you’re looking to make a pilgrimage around the various shrines and temples of Kyoto while enjoying the various matcha sweets and desserts that Kyoto has to offer, the Uji/Fushimi 1-Day Ticket (800 yen for adults, 400 yen for children) provided by Keihan Railway is the best choice.

The ticket allows for free rides between Iwashimizu-Hachimangu station and Fushimi Inari station, Chūshoji station and Uji station, as well as rides on the Iwashimizu-Hachimangu-Sando cable car. Besides these stations, you can also hop-on from any station between Iwashimizu-Hachimangu station and Osaka’s Yodoyabashi station, Nakanoshima station, Kisaichi station, though you can’t alight at any other stations. The ticket can also be used for free round trips between Fushimi Inari station and Demachi Yanagi station.

On top of transport, the ticket also comes with a coupon mark, which, if you show to shops and facilities along the Keihan Line, allows you to get special discounts and special menu items, on top of other perks and services, making for a more enjoyable sightseeing journey.

From Fushimi Inari Shrine at Fushimi Inari station, you can head to Ōbakushū-Manpukuji temple at Ōbakushū station, then pay your respects at the temples at the Iwashimizu-Hachimangu area around Cable-Hachimangū-Sanjō station. Finally, head down to Uji station to enjoy some matcha desserts in the cafés near the station to end off your day.

The above itinerary requires at least 1,290 yen per adult, but with the Uji/Fushimi 1-Day Ticket, you can enjoy all of it for just 800 yen (400 yen for children).

■Sale period
Until 31 March 2020 (Tuesday)
■Validity period
One day
■Sales offices
All stations along the Keihan line, except for stations on the Otsu line and Iwashimizu-Hachimangu-Sando cable car station
■Foreign languages available
None in particular
■Contact
Keihan Electric Railway Customer Service Center 06-6945-4560 (Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., weekends and holidays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

3. 3 Arukumachi Kyoto Rail Ticket: Ride along the major intracity subway lines of Kyoto

3. 3 Arukumachi Kyoto Rail Ticket: Ride along the major intracity subway lines of Kyoto

For a more cost-effective and efficient way of sightseeing Kyoto during the winter months, you should get the Arukumachi Kyoto Rail Ticket (1,300 yen), which provides access to the Kyoto Municipal Management Subway, JR West station, Keihan Electric Railway, Keifuku Electric Railway, and Hankyu Railway.

The ticket provides access to numerous train lines, from the Kyoto Municipal Management Subway to the Randen lines (from the Keifuku Electric Railway), and parts of the JR West, Keihan Electric Railway, and Hankyu Railway. You can travel through the heart of Kyoto, around Shijō, Kawaramachi, and Karasuma, all the way to Arashiyama and Uji, just on this ticket alone!

Besides transport, if you show this ticket at cultural and sightseeing spots around Kyoto, you can get special discounts and perks too. With access to the cultural and sightseeing spots of Kyoto through convenient transportation options, this pass is an excellent way to make the most of your trip to Kyoto.

Areas covered by the pass
Kyoto Municipal Management Subway: All lines
JR West: Kyoto Station to Yamashina Station, Katsuragawa Station, Kameoka Station, and Uji Station
Keihan Electric Railway: Demachi Yanagi to Yodo Station, Chūshoji station to Uji Station, Misasagi Station to Biwako Hama-Otsu Station
Randen (Keifuku Electric Railway): All lines
Hankyu Railway: Kyoto Kawaramachi Station to Rakusaiguchi Station, Katsura station to Arashiyama Station

■Sale period
Until 31 March 2020 (Tuesday)
■Validity period
One day
■Sales offices
Kyoto City Transport Bureau: City buses, subway information centers, and commuter pass sales offices
Keihan Electric Railway: Sanjō staion Info-station, Biwako Hama-Otsu station
Randen (Keifuku Electric Railway): Shijō Ōmiya station, Katabiro-no-Tsuji station, Kitano-Hakubaichō station, Randen Arashiyama station Information Counter
Hankyu Railway: Kyoto Kawaramachi station Information Counter, Katsura station Information Counter
JR West: Kyoto station (can be bought from Midori-no-kenbaiki machines)
Kyoto Tourist Information Center (Kyonavi)
Kyoto City Kawaramachi Sanjō station Sightseeing Information Corner
Kyou KOKO Welcome Center
■Services for foreign tourists
Kyou KOKO Welcome Center
■Contact
Kyoto City Planning Group Arukumachi Kyoto Promotion Office 075-222-3483
Kyoto City Transport Bureau Marketing and Promotion Office 075-863-5022

4. Kyoto by the Sea Amanohashidate & Ine 1-Day Pass: Explore the northern part of Kyoto

4. Kyoto by the Sea Amanohashidate & Ine 1-Day Pass: Explore the northern part of Kyoto

The northern part of Kyoto holds a different charm from the traditionally Japanese city center, with scenic and natural landscapes. To see the best that northern Kyoto has to offer, the “Kyoto by the Sea Amanohashidate & Ine 1-Day Pass” is the way to go.

The pass is available in 1-day and 2-day versions. For the 1-day pass, it costs 3,550 yen for adults and 1,780 yen for children, while the 2-day pass costs 4,550 yen for adults, and 2,280 yen for children.

With the pass, you can ride the limited express train on unreserved seating from Fukuchiyama station to Amanohashidate station, then take the Amanohashidate Sightseeing Boat on a return trip from Amanohashidate Sanbashi to Ichi-no-miya Sanbashi.

Take another round-trip on the Amanohashidate Kasamatsu-kōen cable car and lift, and board the sightseeing cruise along Ise Bay, finishing off with a return to Fukuchiyama station via Amanohashidate station.

The whole trip should cost 4,980 yen in total, but with the pass, you can make great savings on transport costs! Why not enjoy the seas of Kyoto using the Kyoto by the Sea Amanohashidate & Ine 1-Day Pass?

■Sale period
All year round
■Validity period
One day or two days
■Sales offices
Tangō-Kairiku Transportation: Miyazu Information Center, Miyazu Sanbashi
Sightseeing boat sales offices: Amanohashidate Sanbashi
Kyoto Tangō Railways: Manned stations (15 available)
Online sales: https://trains.willer.co.jp/planned_ticket/
■Foreign languages available
English, Chinese, Korean
■Contact
WILLER Ltd. Reservation and Enquiries: 0570-200-770 (10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
*Reserved seats, and use of the Tsūkin Liner and Tangō Akamatsu trains are not covered by the pass, and require the purchase of additional tickets.

5. Mawaryanse: See Ise, Toba, and Shima of Mie prefecture

5. Mawaryanse: See Ise, Toba, and Shima of Mie prefecture

For journeys a little further out of the Osaka and Kyoto area, the “Mawaryanse” sightseeing passport offered by Kintetsu Railway offers the most bang for your buck to see Ise, Toba, and Shima.

With boarding options for Limited Express trains from Osaka-Namba Station and other Kintetsu stations, the Kintetsu Railway trains, buses, and boats of the Ise and Shima area are yours to ride at your pleasure, with 24 sightseeing locations available for your enjoyment. The ticket also gives you a 30% discount with Orix Rent-a-car, along with discounts and perks at over 90 shops and locations.

The ticket can be used for four days, and costs 9,900 yen for adults, and 5,400 yen for children. You can take a train down from Osaka-Namba station to Ise city, where you can visit Ise Jingū shrine and peruse the surrounding areas.

Heal your soul and spirit at the power spot at Mikimoto Pearl Island, before enjoying a show at Toba Aquarium.

Together with baggage delivery to Osaka-Namba Station, the entire trip should cost 12,740 yen, but with the Mawaryanse, you can save 2,840 yen.

■Sale period
Until 26 December 2020
Passes can be bought up to one month before use
■Validity period
Four days, valid between 8 February 2020 and 29 December 2020
*Start date must be specified during purchase.
■Sales offices
Osaka-Namba station, Osaka- Uehonmachi station, Tsuruhashi station and other Kintetsu Railway stations, Hanshin Kobe Sannomiya station, Kinki Nippon Tourist branches
■Services for foreign tourists
None in Particular
■Contact
Kintetsu Railway Telephone Center 050-3536-3957 (8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

6. Koyasan World Heritage Ticket: Visit Wakayama prefecture’s Koyasan

6. Koyasan World Heritage Ticket: Visit Wakayama prefecture’s Koyasan

Mount Kōya, a mountain in Wakayama prefecture, is one of the holy sites of Buddhism in Japan, having been set up by Kūkai, also known as Kōbō-Daishi, one of the founders of Japanese Buddhism. Along the main mountain range, you can see the red Konpondaitō pagoda of Kongōbu-ji temple, amongst many other beautiful sights.

For a more convenient sightseeing journey on Mount Kōya, the Koyasan World Heritage Ticket offered by Nankai Railway is a must. The pass comes with discounted round trip tickets to Mount Kōya, unlimited rides along bus lines with Mount Kōya for two days, and coupons offering a 20 percent discount on entry to Kongōbu-ji temple, as well as 10 percent discount coupons for souvenir shops.

As the pass comes with a return trip ticket on the limited express train to Mount Kōya, the price of the pass varies with the station you depart from. For example, departing from Namba station, a one-way ticket already costs 2,900 yen for an adult and 1,460 yen for a child. Getting the round-trip ticket that comes with the pass costs just 3,450 yen for an adult and 1,740 yen for a child, making it 820 yen cheaper than a regular round trip from Nanba station.

■Sale period
Until 31 March 2020 (Tuesday)
■Validity period
Two days
■Sales offices
Major stations along the Nankai Railway (Kansai Airport Station, Nankai Nanba Station 2nd floor Service Center and 3rd floor Limited Express Sales Center)
JTB, Kinki Nippon Tourist, major tour company branch offices
■Services for foreign tourists
Kansai Airport Station, Nankai Nanba Station
■Contact
Nankai Telephone Center 06-6643-1005 (8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., excluding year-end holidays)

7. Sakai Hospitality Ticket: Tour southern Osaka, and see the World Heritage Site, the Mozu Tombs

7. Sakai Hospitality Ticket: Tour southern Osaka, and see the World Heritage Site, the Mozu Tombs
Pictured above is the Hankai Expanded Pass

Sakai city, the main district in the southern area of Osaka, is home to the Mozu Tombs, a world heritage site. With cheap and delicious gourmet foods available and a relaxed downtown feel, it’s a neighborhood where you can enjoy Osaka as the locals do.

The “Sakai Hospitality Ticket” is a one-day pass that allows you unlimited rides on the Hankai Tram that runs in Osaka and Sakai, as well as the Nankai buses that run in the area. The Hankai Tram is in the only tram running in Osaka too, and its charm point is in its retro feel and laidback pace.

The ticket costs 700 yen for adults and 350 yen for children. As the Hankai tram costs 210 yen per ride, you just need to take the tram four times to get your money’s worth. The city bus costs upwards for 220 yen per ride for adults, and coupled with the tram access, this is one pass that can make your trip that little more affordable and enjoyable.

Besides these, showing the ticket on the day of use at shops and hotels can get you discounts for souvenirs and accommodations. For more information, you can see the Sakai Welcome Pocketbook, which comes with each purchase.

■Sale period
All year round
■Validity period
One day
■Sales offices
Hankai Tramway ticket sales offices at Abikomichi, in front of Hamadera Station, in front of Tennoji Station and in front of Shin-Imamiya Station, and tourist centers at Sakai-higashi, Sakai, and Daisen-kōen
■Services for foreign tourists
None in particular
■Contact
Hankai Tramway Co., Ltd Sales Office 06-6671-3080 (Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:50 p.m.)

Let's go sightseeing with a sightseeing pass - and save!

With these discounted sightseeing passes, you have unlimited access to the JR lines and private railways, along with various discounts and perks at various facilities. The prices are affordable for the journeys that you can embark on with them, so do check them out. Be sure to make use of these seven passes we introduced to max out the enjoyment of your next trip!

Text by: Westplan

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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