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Do I need JR Pass for visiting Osaka, with trips to Kobe, Kyoto, Nara?

If I don't need JR Pass, what is the best way to visit these cities? IC card or Day Pass? My second question is how to get to Wakayama from Osaka?


  • Dear Neater

    For these areas you would be best off getting a JR Kansai Pass this would cover these areas and Wakayama. You can find more information on this pass here: https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/pass-regional/kansai/jr-kansai-area-pass

    Best regards

    Japan Experience
  • You don't give your full itinerary, but if you are arriving in Japan at KIX and only staying in the Kansai area, a JR Pass would not pay off for you at all. Also, while a 1 day Kansai Area Pass would pay off if you are going to Wakayama City or Himeji, if your real destination is Koyasan, then you should instead look into getting a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket.
    A Haruka+Icoca package might serve you better as well for getting around Kansai, or look into getting a Kintetsu Rail Pass.
    Also for seeing Osaka, an Osaka Amazing Pass can help you out a lot.
    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia
  • I will stay 8 nights near the Namba station and have 7 full days in Osaka. I plan to take 1 day trip to Kyoto, 1 day trip to Kobe, 1 day trip to Nara and another day to Wakayama, leaving may be 2 or 3 days touring the Osaka city. I heard some people say to buy JR pass but other say not necessary. That's why I would like to find out what's the best option for me. If I am buying the Kansai Area Pass, can I use it to go to the four places I mentioned above? Or is it better to use JR pass for the same purpose? Never been to Japan and confused about all these passes. Thanks for any further comments on my questions. Appreciated.
  • Getting a JR Pass in your case makes no sense since you are not doing any real long distance travel. As for the Kansai Area Pass, it is only usable up to Wakayama City, and not any further south of that. You still haven't said where in Wakayama you plan to go. If in fact you plan to go to Koyasan, the Koyasan World Heritage Ticket can save you some money. Otherwise, AFAICT, the Haruka+Icoca package is about the only thing that will help you much.
    IMHO, you might also add 1-2 days more to Kyoto and not Osaka, since there is so much there. For Osaka, the city comes alive at night like at Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
  • Hello Tenjin, Thanks for your advice. I would like to confirm that with a Haruka+Icoca package I can use it to go to Namba to Kyoto, Kobe and Nara and the local trains and buses within the three cities. I can also use it in the Osaka subways like the Midosuji line, right? I would possibly spend one more day in Kyoto as suggested. Thanks again.
  • Hello Tenjin, I am getting confused after visiting the Haruka+Icoca website. It seems that it is only for trips from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto, Kobe and Nara, and not for trips from Namba to Kyoto, Kobe and Nara. Can you confirm that Haruka + Icoca can be used for going from Namba to Kyoto, Kobe and Nara please. Thanks
  • edited May 2016
    I am so sorry. I wrongly posted my query to this thread.
  • I am planning on the following and my research tells me even though we will only be travelling on JR for 10 days, the most economical way to go is buying a 14 day pass.
    day 1 - yokohama to odawara JR pass
    day 2 - hakone area, not able to use the JR pass use hakone pass
    day 3 - hakone to okayama using hakone pass and JR pass
    day 4 - day trip to hiroshima/miyanjima JR pass
    day 5 - day trip to hiroshima JR pass
    day 6 - okayama city siteseeing
    day 7 - day trip to tokushima JR pass
    day 8 - okayama to kyoto/nara JR pass
    day 9 - kyoto siteseeing using 500yen bus ticket
    day 10 - kyoto siteseeing using 500yen bus ticket
    day 11 - kyoto to utsunomiya JR pass
    day 12 - day trip to Tokyo JR pass
    day 13 - day trip to Nikko JR pass
    day 14 - Utsunomiya to Narita airport JR pass

    We have decided to limit the number of hotels, that we would do day trips and therefore base ourselves in Okayama 5 nights, Kyoto 3 nights and Utsunomiya 3 nights. Less than an hour on the shinkansen from Okayama to Hiroshima so not worrying about that.
    Is anyone out there able to confirm that the 14 day JR pass is the right way to go?
    thank you

  • Yes, a 14 day pass for your plans would pay off.
    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia

    In the future, it'd be better to start a new thread with your question, and not piggyback on someone else's.
  • Thanks very much. I wasn't sure whether I should add to someone elses or not but didnt know how to begin a new thread. Not too good on technology as I'm an old granny but hopefully will learn. Only just found this site.
  • I plan to travel to Wakayama from Namba station on a 1-day trip. What is the most economical transportation to go there?
  • Hi Neater,

    Not sure where you're going in Wakayama, but if you're going to Wakayama City, you can get there directly on the Nankai main line from Namba Station. It takes around an hour on the limited express, and costs 920 yen. Unfortunately it's a private line, so it's not covered by the JR Pass.

    Kind Regards,

    Japan Experience
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