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Home - Travel - Transportation - Rail Passes
JR West Rail Pass - Kansai Area

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The JR West Rail Pass - Kansai Area is a rail pass for exclusive use by foreign visitors to Japan, providing unlimited travel on local JR trains and the Haruka limited express train in the Kansai region around Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe for one to four days.

Important Note: From March 2015, the cost structure of the pass will change (as shown in the tables below) and the coverage area will be enlarged (see map below).

Purchase the JR Kansai Area Pass

JR West Rail Pass Kansai Area (until February 28, 2015)
1 day
2,060 yen
2 consecutive days
4,110 yen
3 consecutive days
5,140 yen
4 consecutive days
6,170 yen
Reduced rates (50% off) apply to children aged 6-11.

JR West Rail Pass Kansai Area (from March 1, 2015)
 
If purchased outside Japan or via the internet
If purchased inside Japan
1 day
2,200 yen
2,300 yen
2 consecutive days
4,300 yen
4,500 yen
3 consecutive days
5,300 yen
5,500 yen
4 consecutive days
6,300 yen
6,500 yen
Reduced rates (50% off) apply to children aged 6-11; a green car version is not available.

Below is a map of JR train lines, which can be used with the JR West Rail Pass Kansai Area:

Validity

1) Unlimited use of local JR trains in the designated area in the Kansai region, including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Kansai Airport and Himeji.
2) Unlimited use of the Haruka limited express train between Kansai Airport and Kyoto in the non-reserved seat section. Apart from that, you cannot use any shinkansen or limited express trains.
3) The multiple day passes are valid on consecutive days.
4) Only foreign visitors to Japan (with temporary visitor status) can use the JR West Rail Pass. It cannot be used by residents of Japan.

Points of Sale

The JR West Rail Pass can be purchased via the internet, through travel agencies outside of Japan or at major JR railway stations and travel agencies in the Kansai region.

When purchasing the pass online or outside of Japan, you will receive an exchange order which has to be exchanged into an actual rail pass after your arrival in Japan and within three months of the purchase.

When purchasing the pass inside Japan, you are limited to the purchase of one pass per person, and have to show your passport and your return air ticket at the time of purchase. When making an online reservation, the actual purchase takes place at the railway station in Japan, a limit of one pass per person applies and your reservation print out, passport and return air ticket have to be presented.

Purchase the JR Kansai Area Pass

Assessment

The JR West Kansai Area Pass is not very useful because it is difficult to cover a distance worth 2060 yen by local trains within the designated area in a single day. One of the few itineraries, which justify the purchase of the Kansai Area Pass, is a day trip from Kyoto or Osaka to Himeji.

The pass can also be a good deal for accessing Kansai Airport by the Haruka limited express train for travelers who do not qualify for the Icoca & Haruka package. Generally, Icoca & Haruka is the better deal than the Kansai Area Pass, however, Icoca & Haruka requires the return trip to the airport to be done within two weeks, and there exists no one-way version for travel in direction of the airport. For travelers affected by these restrictions, the Kansai Area Pass can be a good value as it is cheaper than regular tickets for the Haruka.

Alternative Tickets

The Kansai Thru Pass costs about the same as the JR West Kansai Area Pass, but covers a wider and denser network, including the subways and city buses of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, but excluding JR trains.

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

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

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English Links
JR West Rail Passes (JR West)
Official website.

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