Your Guide to the Kansai All-Access Travel Passes

ByJustin Hanus
Jul 19, 2021

Your Guide to the Kansai All-Access Travel Passes

You’ll be able to see more of Kansai while spending less if you purchase one of the all-access travel passes. These are a great alternative to a JR Pass as they tend to be more cost-effective than buying something that covers the entire country. Plus, you can choose a pass that suits your travel plans, including the type of transportation you want to use.

Kansai Area Pass

The Kansai Area Pass is like the JR Pass but just for Kansai. It allows you to use all the JR lines, including the West Japan JR Bus. You’ll also have free access to Ekirin-kun rental bicycles, and you can receive a 10-percent discount on car rentals at JR stations. The pass is available for one, two, three, or four days.

Kansai Thru Pass

To use private train, bus, and subway lines in Kansai (not JR lines), choose the Kansai Thru Pass. You’ll be able to travel on all the private lines at no extra cost — except for the Limited Express Rapi:t train to and from Kansai International Airport. The pass also provides you with more than 350 additional discounts for tourist spots. You can choose if you want the pass for two or three days, and there’s no need to use the days consecutively.

Kansai–Hiroshima Area Pass

The Kansai–Hiroshima Area Pass allows you to travel within Kansai and beyond into Hiroshima. This pass may be ideal if you want to spend five days traveling throughout the area. Like the Kansai Area Pass, this option is just for JR lines — including regular and express trains, a couple of bus lines, and the JR West Japan Miyajima Ferry. Again, you’ll have a discount on car rentals and free bicycle rental.

Osaka Amazing Pass

You may want to spend one or two days just in Osaka. In this case, the Osaka Amazing Pass could be the right option for you. This pass will allow you to take almost all the subways and buses in the city, plus a few trains. It also comes with free admission to Osaka Castle and Tsutenkaku, along with almost 50 other top tourist sites.

Kyoto One-Day Pass

Spend one or two days touring Kyoto with a One-Day Pass (despite its name, there is a two-day option). Although it covers most of the bus and subway lines in the city, you’ll most likely want to stick to the subway when possible as traffic jams are common in Kyoto. You’ll also have discounts for around 60 tourist spots.

Kyoto–Osaka Sightseeing Pass

Finally, if you want to travel around Kyoto and Osaka for a day or two, the Kyoto–Osaka Sightseeing Pass could be ideal. As it’s just for Keihan trains, this pass is cheaper than the others. However, this is enough to reach most of the highlights of Kyoto.

Research carefully what you want to do beforehand to pick a pass that works best for you. Osaka and Kyoto are the most famous destinations, but there is plenty to see and do in cities like Kobe, Nara, and Himeji — to name just a few.

Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Justin Hanus editor

Leave a Reply