Seven Rail Passes You Can Use in Osaka Japan

Seven Rail Passes You Can Use in Osaka Japan

Are you planning to visit Osaka soon? If this your first time visiting Osaka? If you never been to Osaka (or have been), you should understand all the seven rail passes available to use in the city.

ICOCA, JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass, Osaka Visitors’ Ticket

Osaka is the second largest city in Japan. It is well connected with trains and subway and it is also the gateway to other popular tourist cities such as Himeji, Hiroshima, Okayama, Kyoto and Nara.

Let’s talk about Osaka city first before we blog about the Kansai region. There are seven rail passes you can use in Osaka and they are:

  1. ICOCA
  2. Kansai ONE Pass
  3. Kansai Thru Pass
  4. Osaka Visitors’ Ticket
  5. Osaka Amazing Pass
  6. JR WEST Kansai Area Pass
  7. JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass

We visited Osaka three times and we used all the passes except JR WEST Kansai Area Pass and JR Whole Japan Rail Pass. We will explain the passes one by one and give our honest opinion at the end of the article. We wrote this based on our experience and not compiled from other sources. Remember to install Google Map and read Why Google Map is Important while traveling in Japan.



  1. ICOCA

ICOCA is a prepaid card and the most convenient way to travel around Osaka. It can be used in other cities in Japan too so you can keep it for future usage.

ICOCA is the only pass that can use in all the trains, subways including JR trains. It is the most convenient pass among the all seven passes. ICOCA card is priced at 2,000 Yen each with 500 Yen refundable (1,500 Yen useable). You can top up to maximum of 20,000 Yen only.

 

ICOCA Pass Price:

ICOCA Pass = 2,000 Yen (1,500 Yen Usable, 500 Yen Refundable)

However, ICOCA do not offer any discounts unlike other passes. We used ICOCA during one of our visits to Osaka and Kansai area with our family as it is convenient but expensive.

 

  1. Kansai ONE Pass

There is a special tourists ICOCA pass called Kansai ONE Pass that is exclusively available to tourists only. Most of the travellers purchase this pass to travel around Kansai area for tourist benefits.

You can purchase ICOCA and Kansai ONE Pass at the KIX Kansai International Airport. You need to show your passport to purchase Kansai ONE Pass. You can purchase the ICOCA card over the ticket machine.

Both Kansai ONE Pass is also priced at 2,000 Yen each with 500 Yen refundable (1,500 Yen useable). You can top up to maximum of 20,000 Yen only.

Kansai ONE Pass Price:

Kansai ONE Pass = 2,000 Yen (1,500 Yen Usable, 500 Yen Refundable)

More info on Kansai ONE Pass at https://kansaionepass.com

  1. Kansai Thru Pass

Kansai Thru Pass is one of the popular passes for Kansai region. The pass is available for two days (4000 Yen) and three days (5200 Yen). It can be used on non-consecutive days.

Kansai Thru Pass can be used for non-JR trains, trains, subways and even busses in Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Himeji, Nara and Mount Koya.

For the usage in Osaka only, Kansai Thru Pass might not be an ideal option as it is more expensive than Osaka Visitor Pass and Osaka Amazing Pass. You can consider this if you intend to travel to cities outside of Osaka such as Kyoto, Kobe, Himeji, Nara and Mount Koya. However, you will be sitting on the normal trains so it will be slower than the JR trains but cheaper than JR passes.

Kansai Thru Pass Prices:

Kansai Thru Pass 2 Days = 4000 Yen

Kansai Thru Pass 3 Days = 5200 Yen

We blogged about Kansai Thru Pass when we visited Osaka in 2012 and we used it to travel to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe.

You can purchase it online via Klook.com at https://www.klook.com/activity/1329-kansai-thru-pass-osaka/?aid=602 or at Kansai International Airport Terminal (Kansai Tourist Information Center) and also other locations at http://www.surutto.com/tickets/kansai_thru_english02.html

 

  1. Osaka Visitors’ Ticket

The Osaka Visitors’ Ticket is a daily pass for foreign tourists only. It can be used for non-JR trains, trains and subways only. This is one of the ideal pass to get if you are planning to visit Osaka only. You can also get benefits such as discounts at 30 tourists spots in Osaka.

You can get Osaka Visitors’ Ticket at Kansai International Airport Terminal (Kansai Tourist Information Center) or Kansai Tourist Information Center (Daimaru Shinsaibashi). More info on Osaka Visitor’s Ticket at http://www.kotsu.city.osaka.lg.jp/foreign/english/osaka1daypass_e.html

We purchased the Osaka Visitors’ Ticket + Harukas 300 observatory for 1700 Yen (Usual Price 2050 Yen) at https://www.klook.com/activity/2424-harukas-300-observatory-ticket-osaka/?aid=602

The Harukas 300 Observatory is a must visit in Osaka and we can say it is best observatory deck in the city.

  1. Osaka Amazing Pass

You can get FREE entrance to 38 different attractions and places of interests in Osaka. Most of the rides are around 500 – 1000 Yen per entrance so if you visit 3 – 4 attractions per day, you saved a lot as it is inclusive of the daily train and subway pass similar to Osaka Visitors’ Ticket.

Osaka Amazing Pass Prices:

Osaka Amazing Pass 1 Day Pass = 2500 Yen

Osaka Amazing Pass 2 Day Pass = 3300 Yen

We recommend you to purchase this if you plan to visit the tourist attractions and take the 2 Day Pass as it is more worthwhile. If you visit 10 attractions in 2 days, you probably spend more than 5000 Yen for entrance fees and 1000 Yen for 2 days of Osaka Visitors’ Ticket. You can save half of it by purchasing the Osaka Amazing Pass 2 Day Pass. Check out the free participating 38 attractions at https://www.osp.osaka-info.jp/en/facility/free

You can get it online (cheaper) at https://www.klook.com/activity/1323-amazing-pass-osaka/?aid=602 or you can get it over the counter at Kansai International Airport Terminal (Kansai Tourist Information Center) or the following locations at https://www.osp.osaka-info.jp/en/about/buy.html

  1. JR WEST Kansai Area Pass

There are three JR passes you can use in Osaka and they are JR WEST Kansai Area Pass, JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass and JR Whole Japan Rail Pass. You can use this pass to visit other areas of Kansai region such as Kyoto, Himeji, Hikone, Nara, Wakayama, Iga Ueno or Koka.

In summary, you can take local and rapid JR trains only in Osaka so you won’t be able to take subways and other non-JR trains. Haruka Airport Train is included for this pass.

JR WEST Kansai Area Pass Prices:

JR WEST Kansai Area Pass 1 Day Pass: 2,200 Yen

JR WEST Kansai Area Pass 2 Day Pass: 4,300 Yen

JR WEST Kansai Area Pass 3 Day Pass: 5,300 Yen

JR WEST Kansai Area Pass 4 Day Pass: 6,300 Yen

If you are traveling within Osaka city, this might not ideal for you. However, if you are traveling within Kansai region, this is one of the passes you might want to purchase.

You can purchase it online via Klook (JR WEST Kansai Area Pass 1 Day Pass, 2 Day Pass, 3 Day Pass, 4 Day Pass) or purchase it over the counter at Kansai International Airport Train Station. You need to show your passport to purchase this pass.

  1. JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass

The JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass is similar to JR WEST Kansai Area Pass and it covers more cities in Kansai region. The JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass can travel up to cities like Okayama, Shingu, Tottori, Tsurunga, Soja, Takamatsu and more.

In Osaka city, you can can take local and rapid JR trains only in Osaka so you won’t be able to take subways and other non-JR trains. Haruka Airport Train is included for this pass.

JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass Price:

JR WEST Kansai WIDE Pass 5 Day Pass: 9,000 Yen

If you are traveling in Osaka, this is not advisable except you want to visit cities like Okayama. You can purchase it online at https://www.klook.com/activity/3277-5-day-kansai-wide-area-jr-pass/?aid=602 or at Kansai International Airport.

Other Passes:

There are also other passes you can use in Osaka such as the JR Whole Japan Rail Pass and 7 Day JR Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass. You can use the local and rapid JR trains only in Osaka like the other JR Passes.

Summary

We highly recommend three passes to use within Osaka city and they are Kansai ONE Pass, Osaka Visitors’ Ticket and Osaka Amazing Pass.

Kansai ONE Pass is the most convenient pass but there is no discount on train rides but they still offer certain benefits on tourist attraction. If you can’t get Kansai ONE Pass, the alternative is ICOCA card.

Osaka Visitors’ Ticket is value for money and it is the BEST if you want to travel around Osaka city only using subway and trains (non-JR trains). This is also the cheapest PASS you can get in Osaka. You can get the Osaka Visitors’ Ticket + Harukas 300 observatory for 1700 Yen (Usual Price 2050 Yen) at https://www.klook.com/activity/2424-harukas-300-observatory-ticket-osaka/?aid=602

Osaka Amazing Pass works well if you plan to visit places of interests and tourist attractions in the city. If you can walk from morning until night, we recommend you to get Osaka Amazing Pass 2 Day Pass. It offers FREE entrance up to 38 tourist attractions in Osaka and you can save up a lot of money using this pass.

The other passes such as Kansai Thru Pass and JR Passes is more suitable when you travel out of Osaka City to cities like Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Okayama and more.

We hope you like our guide and please bookmarked this and share. Thank you for reading our story and enjoy Osaka!



 

 

 

 

Share