community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-outline destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-links destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-thumbsUp destinations-tours destinations-town destinations-wishlist-heart-outline destinations-wishlist-heart-solid interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat-2 planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-x user-avatar
Willer Express - Inexpensive Highway Bus Reservations in English

The Kansai Thru Pass is a rail pass that provides unlimited use of trains, subways and buses in the Kansai Region (around Osaka and Kyoto), with the prominent exception of JR trains. It can only be used by foreign visitors to Japan.

Kansai Thru Pass
2 Days
4,000 yen
3 Days
5,200 yen
Reduced rates (50% off) apply for children aged 6-11.

Below is a map of major railway lines (some minor ones are omitted), which can be used with the Kansai Thru Pass:

Validity

  1. Unlimited use of non-JR trains in the Kansai Region, including
    • Subways of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe
    • Hankyu Railway (Kobe - Osaka - Kyoto)
    • Hanshin Railway (Kobe - Osaka)
    • Keihan Railway (Osaka - Kyoto)
    • Kintetsu Railway (Osaka - Kyoto - Nara)
    • Nankai Railway (Osaka - Kansai Airport - Koyasan)
    • Sanyo Railway (Kobe - Himeji)
    • Keifuku Railway (Kyoto)
    • Nose Railway (North of Osaka)
    • Kobe Railway (North of Kobe)
    • Osaka Monorail (Northern Osaka, Itami Airport)
    • Kobe Kosoku Railway (Kobe)
    • Port and Rokko Liner (Kobe)
    • Various cablecars (Hieizan, Koyasan)
    • A few more minor railway lines
  2. The Kansai Thru Pass is not valid on trains operated by JR (Japan Railways).
  3. A supplement fee has to be paid on limited express trains of Nankai Railway and Kintetsu Railway. Supplement fees are not required on limited express trains of the other railway companies.
  4. Unlimited use of many buses in the Kansai Region, including, among others, the city buses of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, and the Nankai, Hankyu, Kintetsu, Wakayama and Keihan buses.
  5. Discounted admission to selected tourist attractions in the Kansai Region.
  6. The pass can be used on any two or three calendar days within the period of validity. The period of validity is as follows:
    • Until October 31 if purchased between April and September
    • Until April 30 if purchased between October and March.
  7. The Kansai Thru Pass can only be used by:
    • Foreign tourists (with temporary visitor status)
    • Japanese nationals with permanent residence outside of Japan
    • Residents of Japan who are traveling together with Kansai Thru Pass holders as guides

Points of Sale

The Kansai Thru Pass can be purchased inside the Kansai Region and through selected travel agencies inside and outside of Japan. Points of sale inside the Kansai Region include Kansai Airport, Itami Airport and information and transport bureau centers in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, as well as selected hotels in the Kansai Region.

Assessment

The Kansai Thru Pass is one of the better rail passes available in Japan. One of its advantages is that it does not only cover the train and bus lines between cities, but also most city buses and subways inside the cities.

The tables below show approximate regular fares for one-way tickets between selected sites and the cost for one day tickets for Osaka and Kyoto. Use them to compare the cost of regular tickets with the cost of a Kansai Thru Pass:

 
Kyoto
Kobe
Nara
Himeji
Koyasan
Osaka
400 yen
300 yen
550 yen
1,300 yen
1,250 yen
Kyoto  
600 yen
600 yen
1,600 yen
1,900 yen
Kobe    
1,000 yen
950 yen
1,700 yen
Nara      
1,950 yen
1,800 yen
Himeji        
2,650 yen

Osaka One Day Pass
800 yen
Kyoto Sightseeing Card (1 day)
1,200 yen

2-Day Kansai Thru Pass
4,000 yen
3-Day Kansai Thru Pass
5,200 yen

Alternative Tickets

The Surutto Kansai 2-Day Ticket and 3-Day Ticket are very similar to the Kansai Thru Pass except that they are also available to residents of Japan. The other main differences are that a) unlike the Kansai Thru Pass, they have to be used on consecutive days and b) they cannot be purchased inside the Kansai Region but only through travel agents outside of the Kansai Region.

Another alternative ticket is the JR Kansai Area Pass which is also available to foreign tourists only. Its advantage over the Kansai Thru Pass is that JR trains to Himeji are considerably faster than non-JR trains. Otherwise, the Kansai Thru Pass should be considered the better value, because it covers a denser network in the region's most visited cities than the JR Kansai Area Pass.

At last, there also exist a range of tickets for local travel inside Osaka and Kyoto.

Read our page about passes for the Kansai Region for more information.

Page last updated: December 12, 2016