Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Japan rail pass for Kyoto/Osaka and day trips?

Japan rail pass for Kyoto/Osaka and day trips?

Feb 22nd, 2010, 11:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 44
Japan rail pass for Kyoto/Osaka and day trips?

My family and I are preparing for our upcoming trip to Japan, and I have questions about whether it makes sense for us to purchase a rail pass for our itinerary. We will not be doing any really lengthy travel, but plan to do lots of day trips from our base in Kyoto (3 nights) and Osaka (6 nights). There will be some train travel back and forth between those two cities; an overnight to Mt. Koya with a stop at Himeji; and day trips to Nara, Arashiyama, Hiroshima and Miyajima, and possibly some other areas close to Osaka (suggestions are very welcome!) . Can we do all of these trips on the same type of pass, or would we have to purchase multiple passes? Does a pass cover public transportation within Kyoto and Osaka? We would like to use the fastest train to Hiroshima since that is a long day trip.

Any info will be greatly appreciated!
nmilller1950 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 61
Hi there!

General train travel in Japan is very expensive. In other words, just buying "as you need it" tickets adds up fast. What I found while in Japan, is that I was able to take my passport to the ticket office (customer service) in the subway station and they gave me an all day pass for about $21 U.S. This allowed me to travel all day distances as far as between Kyoto and Himeji. It was very much worth it. It would have cost me hundreds of dollars otherwise. Even though you have a family to buy tickets for, this is probably still your best bet. You can ask them at the station if there is a multi-day or week pass through this method, which could be an even better value. Please keep in mind that this is NOT the same thing as buying a pass at the ticket machine. You will need to go to the office with your passports.

There is some information on that area, as well as photos on my blog at www.Lutherbailey.blogspot.com Have fun on your trip!

Lukerb is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,480
You might find useful information about train passes at the following web-site:


Also check the japan-guide web pages for each of your destinations; you'll find information about which train companies serve them. Before you buy a pass, you'll want to know which of your journeys it covers!
kja is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 10:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,163
A regular all-Japan JR Pass is not necessary for the travel that you describe. You can use regional passes listed on the link that kja gave.

The travel that you describe is in the Kansai (for Osaka, Kyoto, etc) and Chugoku (for Hiroshima, Miyajima) regions of Japan.

In particular, look at the JR West Sanyo Area Pass listed under Chugoku. Click on the "click here for details" link. You would use this for Himeji, Hiroshima, Miyajima, maybe Kansai Airport? and maybe other destinations shown on the map.

A lot of travel in the Kansai region can be done on non-JR trains. Take a look at the Koyasan pass.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,163
You wrote: "an overnight to Mt. Koya with a stop at Himeji". I don't think you want to do it that way, they are in different directions.

Himeji is enroute between Kyoto/Osaka and Hiroshima and with the Sanyo Area Pass you can get there on the shinkansen.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 44
Thank you all! I'll check out these websites. We are on a budget (accompanying my husband on a business trip) and this looks like it will save us quite a bit. If any of you have additional or alternative suggestions for day trips out of Osaka, please suggest away.
nmilller1950 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 75
there is a jr west kansai pass that is good for travel on the jr lines in the kansai area (himeji, kobe, osaka, kyoto, and nara). i paid 5,000 yen for a three-day pass.

also, there is a kansai thru pass (not issued by jr) that lets you travel on the city buses/subways, and private railways in kyoto, osaka, nara, kobe and wakayama. the price for a three-day pass was also 5,000 yen. however, when i looked into travel b/n kansai airport to kyoto, i discovered that it takes almost three hours and several transfers to get from kansai airport to kyoto. whereas, on the jr west kansai pass, the trip from the airport to kyoto was 1.15 mins with no transfers.
jyoung is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:34 PM.