questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr west kansai pass

JR West Kansai pass

I read: If you purchase the JR West Kansai one day pass for 2,000 yen, you can get to Kyoto in a non-reserved seat with the ticket. The normal fare is 2,980 yen each way in a non-reserved seat from KIX to Kyoto. You can purchase as many vouchers as you like before you come to Japan. Its sales locations are all the same as the Japan Railpass sales agencies. After entering Japan, you can purchase the pass only once.

This seems to say that I can only purchase a JR west kainsai pass once if I buy it in Japan. Is that correct? I hope I don't need a second one. I thought I might be able to use this ticket to get to Kyoto initially, and then after a few days stay, activate my JR Pass to travel further afield. It seems quite complicated..

Sallygardner
Sallygardner

Hi there,

The JR West Kansai pass is indeed limited to one pass per person per visit to Japan if you buy it in Japan. You also have to bring your passport and flight ticket when you purchase it, which makes for a very inconvenient process. Instead I would recommend buying the Icoca + Haruka package on arrival. This also includes a ticket for the Haruka Express (for a reserved seat!) and also gives you a very handy ICOCA card which you can use to pay for your travel when you don't have your JR Pass yet.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you Daniel! :-)

Sallygardner
Sallygardner

I can get this on arrival? I don't have to book it in advance?

Sallygardner
Sallygardner

Hi Again,

You can buy this on arrival @ Kansai Airport. You only need to show your passport but I guess that you will have that with you in any event :)

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,
sorry I keep changing my mind, but we are now thinking of activating the JR Pass immediately and going straight to nagasaki after an overnight at a Kansai hotel, and then continuing after two or three days to Himeji and on to Kyoto. Would the Icoca + Haruka package still be useful to us, and should we still buy it as we arrive (and not activate it till later) or when our JRP expires (can we get it from any station?)
Many thanks for your patience and helpfulness.

Sallygardner
Sallygardner

Hi Sally,

I keep changing my mind all time time as well when travelling around :)

By activating your JR Pass immediately it would not make sense to buy the ICOCA + Haruka Package, unless perhaps you buy it travel to Shin-Osaka with it and activate your JR Pass the next morning, this we you would get a day of JRPass usage later on, which may he helpful depending on your plan. The Icoca + Haruka is only available at Kansai Airport, so keep this in mind if you consider purchasing it.

Enjoy!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you so much Daniel for all your advice. We are planning to stay overnight at Kansai hotel after arrival by air in the evening, then the following morning (Friday), activate JR Pass at Kansai (is this possible?) and travel straight to Nagasaki. I guess this would take us via Osaka and we would need to change trains there. I was hoping that we could be flexible about timing, and just reserve a seat as we arrive at the station whenever we travel, but a friend has told me that I need to reserve a seat in advance or I might not get on. Are trains really this crowded, that everything has to be booked in advance? We have no idea about timings, so booking in advance is difficult.
Once again, many thanks
Sally

Sallygardner
Sallygardner

Hi Sally!

Yes that is certainly possible, you can activate your JR Pass at Kansai Airport. When you travel to Nagasaki, take the Haruka Express from Kansai Airport to Shin-Osaka. There you can board the Bullet train to Kyushu (Hakata) from there the last part is traveled by limited express train to Nagasaki.

You can make seat reservations up to 5 minutes before departure, so you can very flexible going about this. Local trains are known to be very crowded, however Shinkansen en limited express trains rarely sell out so you don't have to worry too much about this (unless it's a public holiday).

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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