Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to fully utilize your Kansai Thru Pass 3 Day Pass

Some people commented that it is not worth buying KTP. However, you can save a lot by using the Kansai Thru Pass if you did your research.

It is never wise to use KTP if you plan to travel around Kyoto while staying at Kyoto. You have to travel across the prefecture to make it useful.

I used google map to plan my route as it will tell me how to get to the place using the rail and bus. However, I think physical map is quite useful but you have to know how to read a map well.

The thing about the Kansai Thru Pass is that you can leave as early as possible as the pass worked from 12:01am of the day till 11:59pm of the day. I start my journey quite early every day as I wanted to avoid the crowd at the tourist place.
To make sure that you fully utilize the pass, you have to spend an average of 1670Y per day.
If you follow my itinerary well, you can easily save up to 4560Y (Appx 50 USD).

I paid 5000 Yen for a 3 Days Kansai Thru Pass but I've actually spent at least 9560Yen in total! How awesome is that?

Here’s how I did it.

Day 1: Osaka-Arashiyama-Takao-Osaka (2340Yen)

Osaka- Arashiyama  
Shinsaibashi station – Umeda Stn                                                               230Y
Umeda Stn (Hankyu) – Interchange at Katsura Station – Arashiyama Stn 390Y
Arashiyama- Takao  
Arashiyama Randen Stn – Randentenjingawa Stn                                      200Y
Randentenjingawa Stn – Takao by Bus #8 at Platform A                            400Y

Takao- Karasuma Stn by bus #8                                                                 500Y
Karasuma Stn –Tengachaya Stn                                                                390Y
Tengachaya Stn-Shinsaibashi Stn                                                              230Y
Subway around Osaka
If you travel from Arashiyama to Takao without KTP, you will need to pay extra for the bus fare as Takao is not included in the route of the 500Yen bus pass.

Day 2: Osaka-Koyasan-Osaka-Kyoto-Osaka (3680 Yen)
If you study the Kansai map, Kyoto is at the north of Osaka while Koyasan (Wakayama) is at the South of Osaka. It wasn’t as rush as I’ve expected but if you want to do this, you have to start the journey around 7am. Journey to Mount Koya will take approximately 2 hrs one way.
The best thing about travelling in Koyasan by using the KTP is that the cable car and bus fare is included in KTP. Hence, basically, you just need to pay for your food. If you are lazy, you can travel from one sight to another sight by bus. But, this is not necessary as Koyasan is quite small and it is very nice to walk around.


Osaka-Nanba                                                                                                                    200Y
Nanba (platform 4) - change train at Hashimoto (platform 5) to Gokurakubashi Stn (platform 4)    850Y
Gokurakubashi Stn – Koyasan Stn                                                                                   380Y
Koyasan Stn – sights at Mount Koya by bus                                                         (200Y per trip)
Koyasan-Osaka 1430Y
(return the same way)

Shinsaibashi Stn-Kyobashi Stn                                                                                    230Y
Kyobashi Stn –Shichijo Stn                                                                                          390Y
Shichijo Stn- Hana Hostel by bus                                                                                 200Y

I used the Keihan Main Line instead of JR. What’s the point of paying extra anyway? 
P/S : JR Osaka-Kyoto cost 540Y one way
Mistake: KTP & Kyoto bus pass can only be used on the green color city bus! You can’t use it on Princess Line or whatsoever. I made this mistake and paid 200Y extra
I stayed at Hana Hostel Kyoto. I did ask the hostel staff if I can get to their hostel by using KTP. They recommended JR Line which cost 600Y for a one way ticket. But, I managed to find out that I can actually get to Kyoto via Keihan Main Line and use the local bus to the Kyoto Station.
You can actually take the city bus from Keihan Main Line Station to Kyoto Station using the city bus!

Day 3: Kyoto-Osaka-Kurama-Kibune-Osaka
Shinsaibashi Stn-Kyobashi Stn                 230Y
Kyobashi Stn –Shichijo Stn                       390Y
Shichijo Stn- Hana Hostel by bus              200Y

Shinsaibashi Stn – Yodoyabashi Stn         200Y
Yodoyabashi Stn –Demachiyanagi Stn     460Y
Demachiyanagi Stn- Kurama Stn              410Y
I wanted to try out the hiking trail from Kurama-> Kibune but the local advise me not to as I was alone. You can either walk from Kurama Station to Kurama Jinja (Steep Slope and stairs) or take the cable car. I choose to walk as I will miss lots of place if I were to use the cable car. I walked up and took the cable car back to Kurama.
From Kurama, I took the train to Kibune Station   200Y
From Kibune, I took the bus to Kibune Jinja         160Y
Well, you can walk if you are not using KTP. It is around 1-2km from the bus station.

Kibune Jinja – Kibune guchi Eki               160Y
Kibuneguchi Eki – Demachiyanagi Stn     410Y
Demachiyanagi Stn –Yodoyabashi Stn     460Y
Yodoyabashi – Shinsaibashi Stn               200Y

Where to buy the pass?

You can get it at Kansai airport or Tourist Information Center. For more information, please click here.