Kansai Thru Pass (Suruttu Kansai magnetic card) is a exzellent Pass if you travel between Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Kobe, Himeji...
2 or 3 day's (don't have to Be consecutive), 3800 and 5000 Yen, private trainlines, subway's, buses and cablecars (not Japan Rail).
Get it at the airport (next to Information Center) and at information and transport centers in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.
Kyoto is a easy day trip from Osaka, or even half a day. The whole Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara area is just a big urban blob that blends together.
Check www.hyperdia.com/en/ for travel times and details.
There are a few ways to travel between Osaka and Kansai Airport.
I recommend the Rapit Limited Express. At Y1590 (AUD$21) for a "Super Seat", I would say it was a bargain, though judging from the fact we were the only 2 people in our whole cabin, perhaps others find it pricey. Plenty of room, nice and comfy and drops you right at the door to the airport.
We caught the Rapit from Namba Station, which took about 30 minutes. You can also buy a regular seat for Y1390. This route seemed to be the least amount of fuss to take and buy the end of the trip, we wouldn't have wanted to travel any other way.
You can purchase your tickets at Namba Station.
Getting to Universal Studio is easy. Just hop on to the train at Nishikuiyo Station and it leads you right to Universal Studio.
The train doesn't have announcement in English but that's not a problem.
Just follow the crowd who would alight at the correct station.
Osaka is a big city and so it have few major train stations. We used Shin Osaka and Osaka station to get from/to the city. Check carefully where exactly your train stop and where you actually need to go when planning your trip.
The Rinku Premium outlets is very close by to Kansai International airport. To these outlets from Tennoji is about 50mins by train. The nearest train station is Rinku-Town, on the station just before the end which is Kansai Airport Station. However if you have JR RAIL pass then read answer number 4) as the "Haruka" train stops by Tennoji too.
2) From Osaka station to Tennoji is about 25 mins on JR local trains. There is no need to change trains in between.
3) You can use your JR pass in the lines of the network stated on your JR pass.. it covers a large network and you can exit or enter from any stations along the lines covered..
4) If you are from Kyoto going to Rinku Premium Outlets WITH JR RAIL PASS:
- Hop on the "Haruka" express train from Kyoto (sit only in the unreserved cabins)
- Go to Kansai international airport station
- Dont need to exit the train station.. hop on the train in the same platform on the other side. This train is usually a "local" train. The next station out of the airport will be Rinku Town station and that's where you get off..
- Walk abt under 10mins to the outlets..
If you are staying at Hotel Taiyo in Osaka, it is very convenient to travel by train from Kansai International Airport. It is 55 minutes travel time for 1030 Yen by Express JR line. Get off at a subway train station called Shin-Imamiya. I posted a picture taken just outside the entrance of the station. From the signboard on the photo, it is only 3 minutes on foot to the Hotel Taiyo.
There are four major subway stations in Osaka, these are:
JR Osaka Station
Shin Osaka Station
A huge Osaka Station is situated in the centre of the city of Osaka's Umeda district in Kita-ku.
I have noticed that this subway station is so busy anytime of the day. I guess this is because it is in the business area of Osaka.
There are a couple of other railway companies and subway lines run their own stations in the vicinity of JR Osaka Station named Umeda Station.
There are also shops within the station that you can spend time strolling around during your waiting time.
Getting around osaka is a breeze coz they have a really efficient transport system of subways and trains. But, avoid the the peak hours when taking local trains, unless you really want to squeeze like sardines in a tin. Luckily for us, we had the choice of taking a rapid train instead of a local train. So it was not as crowded and we were spared the crush.
Best way to get to Osaka from Tokyo or any other major cities of Japan (except those islands like Okinawa or Hokkaido) is via the Shin-Kan-Sen (or the bullet train).
Just remember :- anything on the tracks above ground is the JR and anything on the tracks underground is the subway.
Subways are a little more complicated to navigate as they can be operated by different companies and so sometimes you can't see the station you want to get to on a certain
ticketing platform because you are at the wrong station to buy the ticket. It's difficult to explain here but after moving around and getting stressed out, you'll figure out something.
the JR is more straightforward as it goes to major stops.
If you plan to be conveniently located and want to hop on the Shinkansen to various
cities like Kobe or Kyoto for day trips, staying near Shin Osaka JR station is very
convenient as the Shinkansen at Osaka only embarks from Shin Osaka JR station.
Note that the ShinKansen though operated by the JR Railway Company doesn't
embark from any JR station. ShinKansen runs on its own tracks as it goes super-fast.
If you are a foreigner and plan to travel on ShinKanSen, remember to purchase your
JR Rail Pass from your home country. It's a pass that allows you unlimited travel
on ShinKansen and JR trains in all parts of Japan. But it doesn't allow you travel on Noizumi Shinkansen which is the fastest of all the Shinkansen.
But it doesn't matter as it's only faster by half an hour. Any Shinkansen is fast enough to get you to where you want to go. For example, it's only 3 hrs from Tokyo
station to Shin Osaka!
I just love the Shinkansen. Since I bought the JR RailPass and get unlimited travel on shinkansen and any JR lines, I use it to get to Kyoto in 20 minutes on the Shinkansen from Shin Osaka! If I've gone on the normal JR train, it'll take me about 40 minutes!
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