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  • Explore Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe with Ease Using the Hankyu Tourist Pass!

    Christian Suzon
    Christian Suzon
    Last updated 8 Feb 2023
    two photos side by side with a woman by the port and on the right is a train

    Photo Credits: (L) BUSARA & (R) tuayai on Adobe Stock

    Enjoy unlimited train rides and exclusive discounts in the free travel zones at Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe!

    The third-largest city in Japan, Osaka welcomes all travelers with open arms — from its neon billboards and famous attractions to its vibrant people and exciting culinary scene, it’ll be almost impossible to run out of things to do in Osaka. Once you’ve hit up all the tourist spots such as Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Castle, the HARUKAS 300 Observatory, and more, you can freely explore the nooks and crannies of the city for new experiences. And, believe me, even the smallest things here can unexpectedly become your next big adventure.
    Visitors to Osaka, however, will rarely pass up the chance to explore other destinations in the area while they’re already there. After all, so many new experiences await you outside of Osaka’s borders. The two most popular cities nearby, Kyoto and Kobe, are famous for their fascinating history, well-preserved cultural practices, delicious cuisine, and relaxing natural escapes, making both of these cities worth a visit!
    But the costs of traveling from one city to another can quickly add up, which can really affect itineraries. Luckily for us, there are a handful of travel passes in Japan that offer a variety of discounts — one of these is the Hankyu Tourist Pass, a handy train card exclusively available for tourists. To help you plan your itinerary, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the Hankyu Tourist Pass below, and we’ve even come up with some suggestions for your itinerary to boot!

    What is the Hankyu Tourist Pass?

    hankyu tourist pass map amid a castle backdrop
    Offering unlimited train travel in the free travel zones at Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, the Hankyu Tourist Pass is a must-purchase for visitors whose itineraries have them traveling all over the place! Forget having to line up to purchase a train ticket before every train journey — with the Hankyu Tourist Pass, you’ll only need one ticket to travel on the following train lines:
    • Hankyu Railway Kobe Line
    • Hankyu Railway Takarazuka Line
    • Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line
    hankyu tourist pass routes
    Note: The Hankyu Tourist Pass is not valid for the Kobe Rapid Transit Railway.
    The Hankyu Tourist Pass is available in 1 or 2-day options, depending on your travel needs.

    Why should I get the Hankyu Tourist Pass?

    woman by the dock looking at the lit tower
    Photo Credit: Jo Panuwat D on Adobe Stock
    One of the more popular routes using the Hankyu Railways is the Kobe-Osaka route, which typically costs JPY800 for a round-trip journey. Well, a 1-day Hankyu Tourist Pass costs even less than that, and you’ll get more bang for your buck since you’ll get unlimited travel — meaning you can make as many stops and detours as you want!
    If unlimited train travel in the free travel zones + getting to skip the lines to purchase tickets aren’t enough to convince you, then the awesome perks definitely will! By presenting the relevant coupons with your Hankyu Tourist Pass to the store staff, you can get various discounts, gifts, and other benefits. For the official list of purchase benefits and included establishments for your Hankyu Tourist Pass, visit the official website.
    Klook Tip: Check the opening hours of the stores you intend to use your discount on! You wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the cool deals.

    How do I use the Hankyu Tourist Pass?

    red train in train tracks
    Photo Credit: tuayai on Adobe Stock
    Not sure how to use the Hankyu Tourist Pass? Don’t fret — we’ll walk you through the process!
    1. Log in to your Klook account either on the web or through the app. 2. Purchase your Hankyu Tourist Pass. 3. Check your email and/or Klook account to see if you’ve received the booking confirmation and the voucher.
    4. After arriving in Japan, you may redeem your Hankyu Tourist Pass by presenting your voucher and your passport at any of these redemption points:
    • Hankyu Tourist Information Center (Kyoto-Kawaramachi)
    • Hankyu Osaka Umeda Tourist Center
    5. Once you’re ready to travel using your Hankyu Tourist Pass, insert it at the ticket gate before boarding the train, and you’re all set!
    Klook Tip: The validity of the Hankyu Tourist Pass is based on calendar days — it will be valid from 0:00-23:59 on the day of activation, regardless of the exact time of activation.
    IMPORTANT REMINDER: The Hankyu Tourist Pass is not the same as Klook’s Japan Rail Passes. To know more about our JR Passes, read Klook's JR Pass guide.
    Now that you know everything there is to know about the ​​Hankyu Tourist Pass, it’s time to start planning and booking your upcoming trip to Japan! Check out our travel ideas below for Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka:

    Things to do with your Hankyu Tourist Pass

    lady by the docks
    Photo Credit: BUSARA on Adobe Stock

    1. Take in nighttime views of Kobe from Rokko Mountain

    night time views in kobe
    Photo Credit: Osaze on Adobe Stock
    Explore Kobe and Rokko Mountain on this guided half-day tour! Start off with a visit to Kitano Ijinkan, an old foreign settlement quarter with 20 Western-style buildings. You can freely walk around the area and take pictures, but you’ll need to purchase a ticket at the Visitor Center before you can enter any of the buildings. You’ll then make your way to Kobe Municipal Rokkosan Pasture, where you can get to meet various animals such as sheep, cows, donkeys, ponies, and goats.
    Next up on the itinerary is Mount Rokko Genghis Khan Palace, a barbecue restaurant that specializes in seafood, and, of course, Kobe Beef! Feast on a delicious dinner at the restaurant before you proceed to the last stop of the tour, Rokko Garden Terrace, where you’ll take in spectacular views of the city.

    2. Hop aboard a ropeway to visit Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, Japan’s largest herb garden

    autumn leaves in Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens
    Filled with thousands of herbs and flowering plants, Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. When you hop off the ropeway, marvel at the garden’s colors and fragrances that fill up 12 different themed areas, each featuring different types of plants. As the gardens are filled with seasonal plants, you can expect to see gorgeous flowers at any time of the year — though they won’t be the same as the flowers from other seasons. 
    There are numerous recreational areas and even a restaurant in the gardens, so you’ll have plenty of activities to try out during the day. If you’re with your partner, stop by the Vow of Bell, where lovers can typically be seen making a wish. There are also two museums in the gardens — the Fragrance Museum and the Spice Museum, where visitors can observe how products are made and learn about their history.
    Bring home some cool handcrafted souvenirs from the two souvenir shops at the garden, located at the top of the mountain and at the foot of the mountain.
    Klook Tip: The Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens offers some unforgettable nighttime views of Kobe City, so try to stay until evening to really make it worth your while. Remember to bring a jacket or a sweater though, especially during colder seasons!

    3. Experience an authentic Japanese hot spring at Ginga Hot Spring

    japanese hot spring at night
    Soak all your worries away in the waters of Ginga Hot Spring at Minotani Green Sports Hotel, a natural hot spring in Kobe. With a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius and a PH level of 8.5, you can expect your skin to be revitalized after your visit! Lockers are included in your admission ticket, but you’ll have to pay extra if you don’t want to bring your own towels to the hot spring. If you get hungry during your visit, you can also stop by the restaurant and try out some local dishes.
    Klook Tip: Make sure you check the admission rules of the hot spring before you visit — you will not be allowed to enter Ginga Hot Spring if you have any tattoos, are pregnant, or if you have specific illnesses.

    Best things to do in Kyoto with your Hankyu Tourist Pass

    1. Dress up and take pictures around Kyoto in a kimono

    two women wearing kimonos in the fall
    One of the most popular ways tourists can experience Japanese culture is through a Kimono Rental, where you can choose from over 500 different kimono designs! Kimono rentals also include an obi belt, socks, sandals, a bag, and a haori, so you’ll have everything you need for your experience. If you want to go for an even more authentic look, you can also rent some of the other items there such as parasols, hakamas, long underpants for men, and a hair-designing service for women.
    After you finish putting on your outfit, it’s time to take pictures! Enjoy the historical atmosphere as you walk around Gion, pass by the Fushimi Inari shrine, and countless other temples. Try to find the best backgrounds for your photos, which vary depending on your outfit and the current season's colors.
    Klook Tip: Yukatas are available during the warmer months, from mid-May to mid-September. Kimonos and yukatas for children are also available at the shop, so you won’t need to worry about the younger ones!

    2. See Kyoto’s landmarks from the top of the Kyoto Tower

    city view of kyoto
    Located 100 meters off the ground is Kyoto Tower’s famed observation deck, one of the best sightseeing spots in the entire city! Here you can see the city’s most famous landmarks, such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Toji Temple, Chion-in Temple, from a bird’s-eye-view. You can even see as far as Osaka on a clear day — definitely a sight to behold! Other attractions at Kyoto Tower include souvenir shops, a restaurant, the sky lounge, and even a public bathhouse, so you’ll have lots to do during your visit.
    Klook Tip: Visit during sunset for the best views, around 19:00 during summer and 17:00 in winter

    3. Taste Japanese sake and visit a local brewery

    man admiring japanese sake
    Get your fill of Japan’s national drink, sake, at this tasting experience at one of the largest sake breweries in Fushimi! During this experience, you’ll learn all about this tasty rice-based alcoholic drink from your local guide, before you sample different types of sake. Try to find the subtle differences between each drink — the flavors can range from dry to sweet to fruity, so it’ll definitely be an experience to remember. To enhance your experience, your drinks will also be paired with various Japanese snacks, each paired with a specific sake that will complement its flavor.

    Fun things to do in Osaka with your Hankyu Tourist Pass

    1. Meet Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and the rest of the gang at Universal Studios Japan

    aerial view of universal studios japan
    No trip to Osaka would be complete without a stop at the famed Universal Studios Japan, which has long been a popular attraction among locals and tourists alike. Featuring old favorites such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can explore the world of magic, Jurassic Park - The Ride, a thrilling dinosaur chase, and more, you’re sure to have a blast here at Universal Studios Japan!
    But aside from the usual attractions, a couple of awesome new areas have also been added to the park in the last couple of years — check out Super Nintendo World for a chance to race with Mario and friends, and then proceed to Minion Park to play with the minions from “Despicable Me.” Check out our guide on Super Nintendo World and Minion Park to discover the must-try attractions for each section:
    Prices to Universal Studios Japan vary depending on your visit date, so check the calendar on Klook or on the Universal Studios Japan official website for the ticket you’ll need for your visit. But don’t fret if you get confused about which ticket to get — we’ve got the guide just for you:
    Klook Tip: Skip the queue at some of the theme park's most popular rides and attractions by upgrading your Universal Studios Japan ticket with an Express Pass 4 or an Express Pass 7! Note that the USJ Express Pass is not an entry ticket, and you will need to purchase a separate USJ ticket to enter the park and use the Express Pass.

    2. Travel back in time as you explore Osaka Castle

    osaka castle during golden hour
    Photo Credit: Bruno Coelho on Adobe Stock
    Osaka Castle stands out from the greenery and the moat surrounding it, which makes for an impressive sight as you approach the castle. However, as fantastic as it may look from the outside, there’s much more to be amazed by when you actually step inside the castle: featuring a museum that showcases the castle’s rich history, you’ll get to inspect various artifacts such as armor, artwork, and more as you make your way up. Once you reach the topmost floor, enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of Osaka from one of the best vantage points in the entire city.
    Klook Tip: In the spring, you’ll get to witness a sea of pink during cherry blossom season, while you can expect a myriad of fall colors when you visit during autumn.

    3. Experience unparalleled views of Osaka atop the HARUKAS 300 Observatory

    people in an observatory in japan with wide views
    Make memories you’ll never forget with a trip to the HARUKAS 300 Observatory, where you’ll get to take in sweet sights of the city from a viewing platform 300 meters above the ground. With glass windows at all sides, you’ll definitely love the uninterrupted view of the whole Kansai region!
    But there’s more to the HARUKAS 300 than just the views — there are plenty of other cool experiences you can try out during your visit. Check out the Heliport Tour on the roof of the tallest skyscraper in Japan, where you can enjoy an even better view of the city than the one you just got from inside the observatory! You can also go shopping at the various luxury stores at the Abeno Harukas building, with on-the-spot tax refunds to boot.
    Important Reminder: Rikko Mountain, Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, Ginga Hot Spring, Kyoto Tower, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Castle, and HARUKAS 300 Observatory are for travel inspo only and are not included in the pass. All the other attractions listed above are accessible with the pass.

    FAQs about the Hankyu Tourist Pass

    1. Who can buy the Hankyu Tourist Pass? As long as you’re not a Japanese passport holder, you are eligible to buy the Hankyu Tourist Pass.
    2. Should I book the 1 Day or 2 Day Hankyu Tourist Pass? Book the 1 Day pass if you think you can cover everything in one day. If you want more flexibility in your travel dates, you can opt for the 2 Day Pass instead.
    3. Do I have to use my Hankyu Tourist 2 Day Pass on consecutive days? No. The 2-day validity period of your Hankyu Tourist Pass can be used on non-consecutive days.
    4. How do I activate my Hankyu Tourist Pass? Once you’ve booked your pass, simply redeem your Hankyu Tourist Pass at the Hankyu Osaka Umeda Tourist Center or Hankyu Tourist Information Center (Kyoto-Kawaramachi) by presenting your voucher along with your passport. 
    Your Hankyu Tourist Pass will not be automatically-activated upon redemption. To activate it, just insert it at the ticket gate before boarding the train.
    5. Can I reschedule my travel dates?
    Yes, you can! The Hankyu Tourist Pass is open-dated and will only be activated the first time you use it at a ticket gate. 
    Klook Tip: Be mindful of your voucher’s validity period — you can check it on the confirmation email you received.
    6. Is the Hankyu Tourist Pass available as an e-ticket? No. After booking, you’ll need to claim a physical ticket at the Hankyu Osaka Umeda Tourist Center or Hankyu Tourist Information Center (Kyoto-Kawaramachi).

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