Free passes refer to discount passes and are great for optimizing your travel in terms of time and cost to get you to as many of your destinations as possible. In this article, we will take a look at the best way to travel in the Kansai area (Western Japan), popular for its many sightseeing spots and national world heritage sites!Here is how you can get the most bang for your buck while attempting to travel to all your favourite spots! Please note that the free pass introduced in this article can only be purchased by visitors who are foreign nationals and entering Japan with status of “temporary visitor”.
We recommend this pass for visitors looking to visit Osaka prefecture, Kyoto prefecture, Kobe city, and other popular areas in Kansai.
The pass can be purchased for various periods from 1 day up to 4 days. This pass includes non-reserved seats on the Kansai-Airport Express “HARUKA” to Kyoto too!
Exchange orders can be purchased from overseas travel agencies.
Kyoto Station→Kiyomizu-dera (Kiyomizu Temple)→Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no Michi)→Ginkakuji→Arashiyama (Lunch)→Togetsu-kyo Bridge
After arriving at Kyoto Station, head straight to Kiyomizu-dera. You can enjoy gazing at the surrounding snowy scenery from the “Stage of Kiyomizu” which is said to provide outstanding panoramic view of Kyoto. Following which, pass through the man-made channels of “The Philosopher's Path”, created during the Meiji era, to Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) Temple. Ginshadan (imagine the “sea of silver sand”) and Kogetsudai (mound of sand shaped like Mountain) are spectacular to behold in the winter when the snow has settled!
After that, continue to Arashiyama. Winter in Kyoto can be quite chilly, so you can warm yourself up with a yudofu (warm tofu) lunch before heading to Togetsu-kyo Bridge. You will not want to miss the beautiful illuminations here while travelling in December! (Duration of illumination event changes depending on the year.)
The world heritage sites of Mie prefecture, Nara prefecture, or Wakayama prefecture can be easily accessed from Osaka city or Nagoya city and, the Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass is a great option. And The area of this pass includes the Ise Grand Shrine and Kumano Kudo.
The recommendation to visit with this pass is Nachi Falls and Kumano Sanzan. Both spots are tourist attractions that represent Wakayama prefecture. In particular, Kumano Sanzan has been visited by the emperors and other powerful figures in Japan since ancient times.In addition, there are unique onsen (hot springs) such as river baths and cave baths. The Katsuura fishing port of Wakayama prefecture is also famous for the highest tuna catch in Japan, so you can enjoy fresh seafood.
The pass is valid for 5 consecutive days. Enjoy unlimited travel for non-reserved seats on JR lines and all other regular lines in the area. Seats can be reserved on the limited express and rapid trains up to 4 times during the validity of the pass. Only non-reserved seating is available on the pass between Kansai Airport and Shin-Osaka Station, so remember to check your travel information beforehand!
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