The Kansai Thru Pass is a super cheap way to explore the Kansai region. It allows unlimited travel on non-JR trains, buses and subway trains within the free area stretching from Himeji in the west to Nara, Kyoto in the east and south to Koyasan. It also comes with discounts to 350 tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels along the wide network.
What does it cost?
2 day: Adults 4000 yen (about $32), Children 2,000 yen (about $16)
3 day: Adults 5,200 yen (about $42), Children 2,600 yen (about $21)
When can I use it?
Is it worth it?
This pass is cheaper than the JR Kansai Area and JR Kansai WIDE Area passes, but has a smaller number of places to visit with the big exception of Koyasan. As the pass cannot be used with Shinkansen trains, it can be slower with the Kansai Thru Pass to get from major city to major city.
For those that want to just visit the main tourist hotspots in wider Kansai, the JR Kansai WIDE Area pass may be better. This pass is best for people who want to experience places close to Kyoto or Osaka. If you don’t mind a bit of extra journey time, the Kansai Thru Pass is the best and cheapest pass for exploring Kansai. This pass also covers most city buses and subways, unlike the JR passes.
What are the rules?
- For use only in Kansai, in the designated area.
- Can be used on Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka subways.
- Can be used on non-consecutive days.
- For those on a tourist visa only.
- You cannot use on JR (national rail) trains.
- Only available on some bus routes and not on reserved buses. Best to check your route at the Tourist Information centers to avoid extra charges.
Where can I buy it?
At Tourist Information centers in Kansai cities such as Himeji, Nara Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka. These are in the main train stations, as well as in Kansai Airport. The pass can also be purchased abroad at travel agencies such as JTB and HIS.
How do I use it?
Insert the ticket into the ticket gates as per normal.