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Osaka in October 2007/8/9 11:30
Osaka City
Hi
What is the best Rail pass ? Osaka is my base ,day trip to Horoshima ,Kyoto, Nara and possible Kobe .These day trips will be over a 12 day span , also what order do you rank these day trips I have selected to visit as msut see during my short stay .
Regards
Dave
by Dave  

Osaka in October 2007/8/9 15:42
I would rate Kyoto # 1, Himeji # 2 ,Nara # 3, Hiroshima # 4, and then Kobe. At the same time it is like asking "which one of my children or best friends is the nicest or most beautiful"..
don't forget the Fushimi-Inari shrine.. walking up the mountain under all these torii is thrilling, especially on a grey and misty October morning!. .
Railway Passes?
Uji and John (the # 1 one) know way more about passes than me...no doubt they will answer you better than I can.
personally I am partial to JR. even if their prices are higher than the private railways. I would go for the Icoca card, if only for its cool factor. .You most likely will also have to buy a special ticket for Hiroshima or load enough yens on your Icoca, if you can use it for a trip away from the Kansai.??? . ...
P.S. I used to always stay in Osaka but now prefer to stay in Kobe, near Sannomiya.
by Plantagenesta rate this post as useful

Icoca card 2007/8/9 16:09
I haven't tried the newest version of the Icoca card yet (my last trip was in spring 2006) but here is what I found:

"The ICOCA card is a contactless smart card that can be used on JR West, JR East (Tokyo) and most private rail and bus companies in Kansai and Chugoku (Okayama, Hiroshima). Cards are available at ticket vending machines in train stations for 2000, including a refundable 500 deposit. More money can be added at the same machines".
looks interesting doesn't it? most train trips within the Kansai are cheap. The trips to Himeji and Hiroshima are the most expensive ones.
by the way you can get the deposit refunded just before leaving Japan or keep the card as it is good for 10 years. makes a nice souvenir too!
by Plantagenesta rate this post as useful

Osaka in October 2007/8/10 03:45
Thanks Plantagenesta for the info , The JP rail site has a Kansai Area Pass for their trains , you can buy 1-4 day passes which I think is a good deal to buy which includes Hemeji. I think for Hiroshima I will treat my Family to a Nozomi Bullet train ride , it cost about 10150 yen , one way .So much to see .
Cheers
Dave
by Dave rate this post as useful

. 2007/8/10 04:32
No, don't get the Kansai version, get the Sanyo Version.

JR West SANYO AREA PASS:
It costs 20,000 yen for 4 days and includes Nozomi Shinkansen from ShinOsaka to Hiroshima, considering the price of a roundtrip is about the same, you can use the pass for any extra trips you want to conduct within that 4 day period, ie to Himeji.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_04.html

After you run out the pass, everything else such as Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto-Nara is fine with regular tickets, maybe Surutto Kansai prepaid cards, which are usable on buses as well, as the area is well covered by Non JR railways.
by John rate this post as useful

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