Hi! 4 of us will be on our way to Japan for the first time arriving at Kansai Airport on Sept 28 and heading directly to Kyoto first. We will stay in Kyoto from Sept 28-Oct 1 and then onto Tokyo from Oct 1-7. Last stop will be Osaka from Oct 7-11. We are planning to venture out to Kobe and Nara from Osaka. What would be the best way to travel around? I've read lots of information on JR Pass and such but not sure if that is cost effective for our trip. Also, which pass do we purchase for inner-city traveling? Pasmo? Suico?
Please leave your suggestions! Thanks for the help!
It is very hard to make any of the Kansai passes pay off without a lot of travel in a day. If you visit Himeji for a day, you could use a 1 day Kansai Area Pass. Or if going all over, you might look at a Kintetsu Pass.
Otherwise, you might get a Icoca & Haruka discount ticket.
The Haruka train is quick to get to/from KIX, and you can top up the card whenever you need to.
Thank you for your suggestion.
You really need to give more info on your whole plans. Is your whole trip 7 nights in Osaka?
Because you really cannot do Tokyo as a day trip - it would take you 3 hours one way by bullet train on the rail pass. If you go to Tokyo, you should at a minimum stay overnight, and ideally, at least a few nights.
Kyoto and Nara are the jewels of the country, and you could easily spend all your time seeing them and still not be close to seeing all they offer.
If you are not planning any hotel stays outside of Osaka, then I suggest you skip Tokyo and just do some day trips closer to Osaka - Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima/Miyajima, Okayama, Iwakuni, Koyasan, Kanazawa, Kotohira, Takamatsu, etc.
If you want more info on what to see, try looking through
You can see previews of some of the best places to see in Japan on:
Osaka is a very centric location for Kansai. Therefore, the order you do things shouldn't be an issue.
But still, Tokyo is too awkward to include for a 7-day stay in Osaka.
You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train using the pass.
You have a great plane, dude. Two month ago I went to my first trip to Japan. As I am from England I did not need visa. I bought only air tickets to Tokyo on https://www.iflyfirstclass.com/city/to-tokyo-hnd My first impressions on japan were very well. I visited many destinations in Tokyo for example famous Tokyo tower. I am pleased with my trip. Good luck!
Contact your local Japanese consulate or embassy. As far as fares go, the best time to typically buy tickets is 3-4 months before the departure date, unless it's a peak travel season (start/end of the year, "Golden Week" etc).
Autumn fares are much better than during the summer, and it is a good time to visit - especially after the hurricane season.