The Kansai WIDE Pass allows unlimited travel on all JR (national rail) trains for 5 days, within the free area stretching from Okayama in the west to beyond Nara in the east. This includes the use of Shinkansen (bullet) trains and limited express trains to major cities such as Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. The pass has a much wider area than the Kansai Area Pass.
What does it cost?
5 days: Adults 8,500 yen (about $70), Children 4,250 yen (about $35)
When can I use it?
Is it worth it?
By comparison, a one-way Shinkansen ticket from Himeji to Kyoto costs 3,950 yen, so if you want to visit many places in Kansai this pass will save you a lot of money every day. There are cheap buses, but the trains are much more frequent, and with unlimited use you can save lots by travelling around on the Shinkansen for free.
What are the rules?
- For use only in Kansai.
- The Shinkansen can only be used between Okayama and Shin-Osaka in Osaka.
- For those on a tourist visa only.
- You cannot use on non-JR (national rail) trains,
- Can be used on the Haruka express train from Kansai airport,
- The pass cannot be used on the Tokaido Shinkansen trains or highway buses.
Where can I buy it?
It’s a little cheaper to buy before you come. You can buy the passes at travel agents (Japan related ones such as JTB or HIS are the best). You can also purchase online.
Activating a JR Pass differs according to who you buy it from, so check with the company you purchased from. You are usually given a slip which you then take to a major JR train station, then exchange for a pass (you will need to show your passport). You can exchange at major stations such as Osaka or Kyoto stations, as well as major airports.
How do I use it?
This pass is used for non-reserved seats, so just show it to the station staff at the ticket gates and they will let you in. They will sometimes stamp the pass.
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