questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

japan rail pass for osaka, kyoto, nara & tokyo

Japan Rail Pass for Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo

Hi there,

Am planning a 9 day trip:-

Day 1 arrive in Tokyo and will take shinkansen driect from Tokyo to Osaka.
Day 2 to Day 5 will be in Osaka but do day trips to Kyoto and Nara
Day 6 travel back to Tokyo on shinkansen in afternoon
Day 7 to 9 in Tokyo and departing Tokyo in late afternoon.

I have planned to purchase the 7 days Japan Rail Pass - mainly to use in the first 7 days of arrival in Japan and supplement the above with a SUICA card with about 5,000 to 8,000 yen value.

Can the SUICA be used for Osaka and Kyoto Subway and Private Railways (not JR) like the Keihan Line, Hankyu Kyoto Line and Toei lines? Or do I need to buy a Kansai Thru Pass?

Appreciate your advice, thank you.


Hi there,

Sounds like a great plan!

While the SUICA can be used on JR transport in Osaka and Kyoto you won't be able to use if on the municipal subway and buses. As you have the JR Pass for this period, I don't think you'll get value for money from the Thru Pass (generally you make savings with this pass if you also use it for travel between cities and Kansai Airport). Because of this I recommend you either purchase individual tickets as needed, or purchase an ICOCA or PiTaPa card while you are in these towns (the same as SUICA, but will work on the non-JR lines in Kyoto and Osaka). You may also want to look at these municipal day passes for Kyoto and Osaka.

By the way, if you're planning on doing that much travel in Tokyo, you may want to look into the unlimited metro passes from Tokyo Metro.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Hello Mari,

Thank you for your prompt reply. You have been very helpful!


Routeburn :-)


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