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Kansai-Osaka-Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Kyoto-Kansai = (11 days) with kids + trains?

over 3 years ago
3 responses

What would be the best train passes to purchase?
We are traveling with 2 young kids, 1 year and 4 years. They don't need tickets, but I think we need seats?

Day 1: 7:00 arrive in Kansai (Osaka) airport. 'Kids Plaza' (near Ogimachi and temma station) via a park on way to hotel. In the afternoon Osaka Castle + Museum of History (Tanimachi Subway Line or Sakajken Station)

Day 2: Universal Studios (Unirversal Station)

Day 3: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (Osakako Station) and The Umeda Sky Building (Osaka and Umeda Stations)

Day 4: Travel to Tokyo (Hotel near SUIDOBASHI station)

Day 5: Disney Sea (Maihama)

Day 6: Disneyland (Maihama)

Day 7: STUDIO GHIBLI MUSEUM -if we can get tickets in- Ghibli Museum (Mitaka station)

Day 8: Travel to Kyoto (Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae station)

Day 9: Walk / Train around Kyoto

Day 10: Day trip to Nara (Nara Station)

Day 11: Travel back to Osaka (Kansai Airport) from Kyoto

My costing = about 44,000 yen per adult including private companies (using

7 day JR pass = 29,000 or 39,000 yen (normal/green) prices rounded
14 day JR pass = 46,000 or 63,000 yen (normal/green) prices rounded

4 day Kansai wide area pass = 7200 yen

Help, what is the best (economical vs easiest) pass to buy?

12232 posts
over 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

I see that you've done some detailed research already and you may already have found the answer yourself. Before we head to the JR Pass, let's briefly touch the subject of traveling with kids. Children below the age of 6 travel for free but you may be asked to place the child on your lap if the train is busy and no other seats are available. We have all the details in our blog post. You could consider buying tickets or a child JR Pass if you wish to be sure of seating at any time.

Now let's move on to the JR Pass. You could consider a 7 day JR Pass for travel from Osaka - Tokyo - Kyoto and the day trip to Nara. Traveling on the Shinkansen between Kansai (area where Kyoto, Osaka an Nara are located) and Tokyo is the most expensive part and it is here where the JR Pass would be used best. In terms of saving - you would be able to make small savings with the JR Pass. Travel from Kansai - Tokyo on the Shinkansen will cost about the same as a 7 day JR Pass, adding in the local travel such as to Disneyland and Nara you would be able to make savings. With in above itinerary in mind, I would recommend the JR Pass mainly for convenient as you will have just one ticket for all train travel.

You may also find the Osaka Amazing Pass useful for your first two days in Osaka. It gives you free admission to the Umeda Sky Building and Okasa Castle, in addition to unlimited travel on the cities subway system.

Hope his helps!

3 posts
over 3 years ago

Great thanks Daniel (you do a great service with this forum)

To use the 2 day Osaka Amazing Pass (3000 yen, 1 day = 2300) I may just have to switch day 2 and 3 so i can get to both the Umeda Sky Building (save 700 yen cost of entry) and Castle (save 600 yen cost of entry) using the pass.


I don't think the 'Nankai Railway' line is available for the 2 Day Pass, so this won't cover the trip from the Airport (Please tell me if I'm wrong)

From Kansai airport to Osaka is between 1100 - 1800 yen
All local fares are about 180-360 yen (no seat) double for return

Since we arrive very early on Day 1, the Osaka Amazing 1 Day Pass, at least, would save us a lot since it includes the airport transfer.

All passes (for us) seem to break about even, but we would save not having to worry about buying tickets each time.

Even getting the Kansai 2 day Thru Pass (4000 yen) covering our Day 10, Kyoto - Nara day trip (1420 yen return per person) and 11, Kyoto - Kansai Airport (4130 yen pp) would save some (1550 yen ~$18 each in our case)

If we did that we would only need the JR Pass for:

Osaka - Tokyo = 19100 (green seat, -5000 for only reserved seat)
Tokyo - Disney = about 1000 yen return
Tokyo - Kyoto = 18380 (green seat, -5000 for reserved seat)
total = ~35000 yen

JR 7 day = 39000 (green seat, -1000 ordinary)

So we might be better off dropping the JR Pass in favour for the Osaka Amazing Pass (1 or 2 days) and the Kansai 2 Day Thru Pass.

(My calculations might be off) Your thoughts?

12232 posts
over 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi Again,

Sorry for the late replay, it's been very busy at the forum lately.

Anyway, let's dig right in. The Osaka pass does not include travel from the Airport -> Osaka so you will have to use other transport here. For instance this 1,000yen ticket could be helpful. Please verify if you are flying to Kansai OR Osaka (itami) Airport.

As for the JR Pass, somehow I don't get your calculations. But a one way ticket Tokyo - Osaka is ¥ 14,450 or double for a return ticket in ordinary class. This is about the same price as a 7 JR Pass 29,110. So any additional travel basically is free.

Also if you wish to travel Green Class, please use a Green JR Pass because purchasing an upgrade is very expensive. If you wish to travel Green than the price is ¥ 18,920 or double for a return. The 7 day Green Pass is 38,880 YEN, so here you would be just below the price of the pass.

Does that help?

3 posts
over 3 years ago

Yes that confirms what I was thinking
(We could go either way with the JR Pass, or all the passes, some saving on tickets, others saving less than 2000 yen, $24 each).

A Prepaid IC Transport card would also be a must.

We are flying to Kansai Airport.

Sorry, my calculations may also include some private lines (to get to exactly where the hotel/s are and some of my prices were rounded up (+/- 500 yen isn't that much).


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