How to use the Kansai Thru Pass: prices, itineraries and validity

Osaka Castle

The company JR West currently offers the Kansai Thru Pass, which gives unlimited access to JR trains in the Kansai region for 1, 2, 3, 4 consecutive days. With it, you will be able to get in Japan iconic cities such as Kyoto, the ancient capital, Kobe, the port city, Osaka, Nara and Himeji.

The pass also gives you access to the Kansai International Airport. The Pass is free for children under 6 years and half price for children 6 to 11 years.

kansai-thru-pass-

Travel according to your wishes and model your route by choosing from the multitude of cultural heritage Kansai: visit temples, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki restaurants, walk through the streets of Kyoto or Osaka to go shopping, all in rhythm Kansai dialect, the dialect of the region. Kansai is also known for the warmth of its people and its theme park: Universal Studios Japan.

Who is eligible to get the Kansai Thru Pass?

Japanese residents are not allowed to use the Kansai Thru Pass, as it was launched as a special ticket available only for tourists visiting Japan for the purpose of sightseeing. To purchase a ticket, you will need to meet one of the following requirements:

  1. A foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad on a short stay entry status.
  2. A Japanese national living abroad.
  3. A guide person accompanying those who meet the requirements 1 and 2

Prices

2 day Pass: Adults 4,000yen, Children 2,000yen
3 day Pass: Adults 5,200yen, Children 2,600yen

Note: Children under 6 years old travel free.

Is it worth it?

We recommend getting the Kansai Thru Pass to explore Kansai. You can get the pass at the Kyoto Station Bus Information Center, which is located next to the bus stands outside of the Kyoto station building, (North of Kyoto station).

For example, if you purchase the 3-day pass (which can be used on non-consecutive days), you can use it to get to Himeji castle from Kyoto and back, then to Osaka then to Koyasan, Hieizan or Nara and back to Kyoto.

You can use the train or bus without having to check complicated rate tables before buying the tickets, and you will not need any other ticket to make connections.

And finally, you can benefit from complimentary discounts and promotions at more than 300 tourist facilities along the railway lines.

Kansai Thru Pass VS Japan Rail Pass

Recent travellers to Japan assure that if you use Kansai Thru Pass to visit Kyoto, Himeji and Mount Koya, you must get more value than price. On the other hand, it is a little complicated to calculate to the value for trip to Nara and Kobe.

You may be better off purchasing a 7 days Japan Rail Pass, so you’ll be also hable to visit other locations outside of Kansai, such as Hiroshima/Miyajima, Okayama, Takayama, Kanazawa, or Nikko and Kamakura which are closer to Tokyo.

Source: https://www.jrailpass.com/the-japan-rail-pass

Map of Kansai Area

The pass covers most of Kansai area, including Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Kansai airport, Osaka airport, Kobe airport, Himeji, Mount. Koya and Otsu (beside Biwako lake).

kansai-thru-pass-map

Please refer to the full rail lines map at: http://www.surutto.com/images/ticket/kansai_thru_pass/english/en_map.pdf

You can also use Hyperdia, widely regarded as the best Japan route finder website and app available both for travelers and nationals. With Hyperdia, you can get a guide for the optimal routes and fares from your trips, from starting point to end.

Visiting Vietnam is now easier than ever

Travel to Asia, discover new and unknown territories, cultures, cuisines and traditions. Everything an adventurous traveller can dream of!

Some of the most popular destinations nowadays include the Land of the Rising Sun – Japan (our main subject), the classic and ever-surprising China, the exotic islands of the Philippines and traditional Vietnam, where the main cultural focus of the country is centered on humanity(nhân nghia) and harmony (hòa).

Such cultural values, in combination with crystal clear beaches, white sands, gorgeous mountains and wild nature, giving birth to incredible national cuisine that is considered one of the healthiest in the world, have been the focus of foreign travellers for years.

In recent times, some of the most keen visitors of this magical country are U.S. citizens, always eager to travel the world and discover literally everything there is to discover.

In this article we have prepared some essential traveling tips, that can serve as guideline to all U.S. nationals, planning to visit Vietnam.

Let’s begin:

When preparing for a trip to Vietnam, U.S. citizens are highly recommended to read the following two fundamental facts about Vietnam visa to make sure they will not encounter any problems with their visa when entering Vietnam.

Fact 1: All U.S. citizens are required to have valid Vietnam visa

usa-flag

There is no visa exemption agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam, which means all American citizens are required to obtain a valid visa before each travel to Vietnam. Remember to apply for a visa before you leave. Otherwise, your entry to Vietnam will be refused.

Fact 2: There are two ways for U.S. citizens to get a visa for Vietnam

American citizens can apply for a Vietnam visa quite easily as now there are two ways for them to go about with this matter:
1. Apply for a visa at a Vietnam embassy in the U.S.
2. Apply for Vietnam visa upon arrival

About visa at a Vietnam Embassy in the U.S.

The procedure to get a visa for Vietnam via the embassy may vary from embassy to embassy. However, following is the general procedure:

  1. Submit your visa application documents in person, by mail or through an authorized representative. Such documents may include:
    1. A completed visa application form (must be downloaded from the website of the embassy where you will file your visa application)
    2. Original passport (with six months validity from date of return)
    3. One (1) ID photo (in color)
    4. Flight booking
    5. Proof of payment of the visa fee
  2. Get your passport back with a full visa already stamped on it.

If you decide to proceed with this option, the whole procedure may take between three and five business days, and you must directly contact the embassy for detailed visa fee as it is not announced on any official website of the embassy. However, the advantage of this option is that it provides support to all travelers to Vietnam.

About Vietnam Visa upon arrival

Unlike applying for a visa through the Vietnam Embassy, obtaining one upon arrival supports those traveling to Vietnam by air only. Therefore, do not apply for this kind of visa if you plan to travel to Vietnam by bus or cruise ship.

One significant advantage of this kind of visa is that the application can be made online, so it does not require you to make a physical submission of your application nor to send your original passport. Another advantage is that the online application fees are clearly specified on the web platforms of such service providers.

vietnam-visa-apply

Following is a brief guide on obtaining a visa upon arriving in Vietnam:

  1. Complete the online Vietnam visa application form and make the service fee payment
    2. Get visa approval letter within two business days
    3. Get visa stamped upon arrival at Vietnam airport

When making an online visa application, you will need to pay two kinds of fees:

  1. Service fee: to be paid online to the online travel agent for processing your visa application with the Immigration Department and sending the visa approval letter to your registered email
    2. Stamping fee: to be paid in case at landing visa counter in Vietnam airport to get visa stamped

You can refer to http://www.vietnam-visa.com/vietnam-visa-fees/ regarding more detailed information about visa fees upon arrival provided by Vietnam-visa.com – a reliable service provider for online Vietnam visa applications with a lot of great reviews from their clients.

vietnam-visa-banner

Takayama News & Guide

Hida Takayama

Takayama (officially called Hida Takayama) offers one among Japan’s most unique townscapes and best-loved festivals, and it is often regarded as a high priority for anyone travel in Central Honshū,

Its current layout dates from the late seventeenth century and incorporates a bunch of temples, museums and galleries for a city of its size. Meiji-era inns, hillside shrines a handsome riverside and solid infrastructures seal the deal with their and friendly, hospitable locals. Allow yourself 2 or 3 days to get enjoy it all, as Takayama is easy to explore on foot and is an excellent start or end point for trips into the Hida region and the Northern Alps.

During the eighth century, unable to contribute the necessary tax payments rice, Takayama covered them with carpenters, who were highly experienced since the region is rich in wood. Between 1682 and 1868, Takayama was considered the official source of wood, carpenters and cabinetmakers for the shogunate. Takayama City received the degree in 1936.

Takayama cherry blossom 2016

Once the snow on the mountains (which surround the basin of Takayama) melts away and solid ground appears again, Spring finally comes to Hida Takayama. People celebrate the new season and the sound of drums from festivals in nearby shrines echoes in the spring air. The largest festival, Sanno Matsuri, is held April 14th and 15this and hosted by the Hie Jinja Shrine. It is popularly known as the Takayama Spring Festival with visitors from all over Japan.

This year, opening of cherry blossoms is estimated for next weekend, April 8th, with best viewing from April 12th to April 21st.

What to see in Osaka in 1, 2 or 3 days

Dotonbori (Osaka)

Osaka (大阪 市, ‘Ōsaka-shi’) is the third largest city in Japan with a population of 2.7 million. However, during working hours, the population is only surpassed in the country for Tokyo. It is located on the main island of Honshu (本州, Honshu), at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay. The city is one of the most important ports and industrial centers of Japan and the capital of Osaka Prefecture (大阪 府, Ōsaka-fu). It is part of the Kansai region and is the core of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area has a population of 17,510,000 inhabitants.

Osaka city was originally named Naniwa (難 波), and appears in Japanese historical documents. Emperor Kotoku made the area his capital, and named it Naniwa-no-miya (Palace of Naniwa). The duration of this capital was from 652-655.

Osaka is divided into North (北, kita) and South sections (南, minami). The commercial district of Umeda area (梅田) is located in the north, while the entertainment area around Dotonbori Bridge (道 頓 堀 橋, dōtonboribashi) to Namba, south of the city. Southern also houses Shinsaibashi shopping malls and Tenjinbashi. Financial and legal centers are located between the north and south, mainly in Yodoyabashi and Honmachi.

Check out with us the best Osaka attractions to see and enjoy in 1, 2 or 3 days in 2016 and beyond!

Read more

Latest sightseeing Sendai news

Sendai, ancient feudal city, is the largest population of Tohoku. Its main street lined by tall trees has earned it the nickname “City of Trees”. But above all, Sendai is known for its festival of Tanabata, the most famous in Japan. This star party, according to a Chinese legend, marks the meeting of the star Altair (cowboy) and the star Vega (weaver) on a bridge across the Milky Way in early July.

Its main sightseeing and leisure attractions are:

  • Jozenji-dori Avenue
  • Zuihoden
  • Sendai Castle (Aoba Castle)
  • Nikka Whisky Sendai Factory Miyagikyo Distillery
  • Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi
  • Sunmall Ichibancho
  • Sendai Mediatheque
  • Osaki Hachiman Shrine
  • Akiu Fall
  • Sendai City Museum
  • Yurtec Stadium
  • Aoba-dori Avenue
  • Rinnoji Temple
  • Saihoji Temple
  • Kanezaki Sasakama Hall

Find out more in this video!

Akita View Hotel

akita-view-hotel

With its central location, Akita View Hotel is within easy reach of most tourist attractions and business addresses in Akita.

This 3-star hotel was established in 1982 and offers 186 guestrooms.Room amenities include non smoking rooms, air conditioning, hair dryer.Guests staying at this Akita accommodation can enjoy a wide range of hotel facilities such as elevator, laundry service/dry cleaning, bar/pub.

About the Akita View Hotel

The hotel offers sauna to provide extra pleasure and relaxation for all guests.Modern comfort and convenience are seamlessly combined to ensure the guests’ satisfaction.

Being one of the good quality hotels in Akita, guests staying at this hotel will find its convenient location and tranquil atmosphere pleasurable.

Access information

Address: 010-0001 Akita, Akita, Nakadori 2-6-1, Japón

  • From JR Ou Line Akita Station: 3 mins on foot.
  • From Akita Expressway Akita Chuo IC: (7 km).
  • From Akita Airport: 40 mins (by car/taxi).

Urabandai Royal Hotel

Urabandai Royal Hotel

The Urabandai Royal Hotel is located in Fukushima making it one of the best hotels to stay at while in town. This 3-star hotel was established in 1986 and offers 277 guestrooms.Guests staying at this Fukushima accommodation can enjoy a wide range of hotel facilities such as shops, coffee shop, bar/pub, meeting facilities, restaurant, salon.

In addition, the hotel’s guests can enjoy the leisure and sports facilities provided on the premises: indoor pool, golf course (on site), tennis courts, water sports (non-motorized).With elegant facilities and hospitality, guests at this hotel will surely have an impressive stay.

1 2