questions & answers: itinerary check

osaka-kyoto-kobe-osaka (possibly nara as well)

Osaka-kyoto-kobe-osaka (possibly nara as well)

Hi,

I will be travelling to Osaka - Kyoto - Kobe - Osaka and possibly to Nara as well from 1 Feb 2012 till 6 Feb 2012. Is there any other passes that could benefit us instead of the 7 or 14 JR Pass as we will only be there for 6 days. Does the JR pass covers busses and other public transportation in Japan as well?

Also, I saw from the Japan Rail Pass website that there is the Kansai Area Pass that could be purchased for a max of 4 days and that will cover the Kansai region, and unlimited access to the osaka loop line underground line. (is this the metro? Does it covers busses as well?) Along with it, according to the map below, it is stated that it covers the lines to kobe and kyoto and nara as well. Does it also covers the metros in Kobe, Kyoto and Nara or only Osaka? Will this pass be sufficient? Please advise.
http://www.jr-odekake.net/en/jwrp/kansai.html

Thank you very much.

April Lim.

aprillim
aprillim

HI there,

Here are some answers to your questions:

I will be travelling to Osaka - Kyoto - Kobe - Osaka and possibly to Nara as well from 1 Feb 2012 till 6 Feb 2012. Is there any other passes that could benefit us instead of the 7 or 14 JR Pass as we will only be there for 6 days. Does the JR pass covers busses and other public transportation in Japan as well?

For your reference, the full Japan Rail Pass does cover buses and the Miyajima ferry too.

First, lets looks at a breakdown of your travel on JR trains:

  1. Kansai airport > Osaka: ¥2600, (51mins, 57km)
  2. Osaka > Kyoto: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  3. Kyoto > Kobe: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  4. Kobe > Osaka: ¥540, (29mins, 42km)
  5. Osaka > Kansai airport: ¥3340, (57mins, 64km)

TOTAL: ¥7560 for 5 legs

It's clear that you won't be able to use a 7 day JR Pass (¥28,300) to it's full potential.

Also, I saw from the Japan Rail Pass website that there is the Kansai Area Pass that could be purchased for a max of 4 days and that will cover the Kansai region, and unlimited access to the osaka loop line underground line. (is this the metro? Does it covers busses as well?) Along with it, according to the map below, it is stated that it covers the lines to kobe and kyoto and nara as well. Does it also covers the metros in Kobe, Kyoto and Nara or only Osaka? Will this pass be sufficient?

The JR West Kansai pass is only valid for JR rail lines, so does not cover transport on the metro or buses in the cities. In addition, looking at the costs, you'll be thinking of buying a 4 day and a 2 day West pass, which will total ¥10,000. As the price of separate tickets is ¥7560, I don't recommend you use the JR west rail pass for your trip.

If you think you'll need the security of a unlimited travel pass, as an alternative have you heard of the Surutto Kansai Thru Pass? It is a non-JR rail pass that offers very extensive unlimited travel on a wide range of all rail and bus services in the Kansai area, including the metro service inside Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe and the nankai rail service from Kansai Airport (for a small additional charge). Here's a map showing the coverage.

The key feature of the Surutto Kansai Thru Pass pass is that you are not allowed to use JR trains, however there are lots of non-JR trains that link the cities in your itinerary. The tickets are approximately the same cost as the JR West Kansai pass, but offer a great deal of flexibility in my opinion, especially if you don't intend to use the bullet trains.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Hi,

Thank you for the information. Also i'd like to ask if there's any student or if a international youth travel card discount for the rail passes ?

Thank you!

aprillim
aprillim

Hi April,

As the Rail Passes are discounted fares already, I'm afraid there are no student discounts offered with the standard JR Pass, and as far as I am aware this is true of other rail passes in Japan.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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