Osaka is one of the most popular places in Japan to be visited by foreign tourists next to Tokyo and Kyoto. There are many things to see and to do – and there is an amazing way to save money while your sightseeing tour in Osaka: let’s us the OSAKA AMAZING PASS!
What is the Osaka Amazing Pass?
The Osaka Amazing Pass is a convenient card for tourists which they can use while their time in Osaka. You can get it at several locations; especially train station offices and tourist information centers are selling it. An overview about sale locations is listed on the official website. The current 2017 version is sold from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 and valid until April 30, 2018. After this a new version with other conditions will be released again.
The pass is available in two versions. First one is the one day pass, which as the name says, is valid for one day and costs 2,500 yen. The two days pass is valid for two consecutive days and costs 3,300 yen. Notice that the Osaka Amazing pass is for adults. There is no cheaper version for children.
Together with the pass which comes in a handy card-size you receive a guidebook with all information you need about using the pass. Also sightseeing spots and maps are included. So you are perfectly prepared and can start your tour in Osaka!
Three special points about the Osaka Amazing Pass
After buying the Osaka Amazing Pass you need to know what benefits you get from it. Here are the three special points about the pass.
With this card you can use the most important train and bus lines in Osaka area, including the municipal subway and the New Tram. With the one day pass you also can use the five private lines Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan, Kintetsu and Nankai lines, however, the two days pass is not applicable on these lines. A detailed map about which lines you can use exactly is inside the guidebook or also uploaded on the official website. The pass has the perfect size for putting it into the automatic ticket gates, so you can easily walk through it. Not need to show it to the station staff as you have to do it with the JR Pass.
You can visit several facilities and spots interesting for tourist without an extra charge. Simply present your Osaka Amazing Pass at the entry or ticket counter and you can walk in smoothly. However, admission is only possible once per facility.
Together with the pass you will also get a coupon booklet called Toku×2. Showing these you will receive special offers and various benefits not only at tourist spots, also at some restautants and shops. These include discounts or free gifts. The coupons are valid until the end of the usage period, at the moment until April 30, 2018.
Take care that the pass is not valid for 24 hours (one day) or 48 hours (two days) from your first use. The days are counting as calendar days, which means it is valid from the first train to the last train (for the transportation issue) or while the opening hours of the facilities, on the day(s) you are using the pass.
Free facilities with the Osaka Amazing Pass
There are over 35 attractions you can enter for free after purchasing the Osaka Amazing Pass. A list in full length is inside the guidebook or online.
One of the main attractions for sure is Osaka Castle. The pass allows you to enter the castle museum, the Nishinomaru Garden and the castle turret. Visiting all three facilities would already cost you 1,700 yen in total, but with the Osaka Amazing Pass these costs are already covered.
For an amazing view over the Osaka area, you should visit the Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory. At the 173 meter high skyscraper you have a 360° open rooftop and impressive ‘flying’ escalators. But also don’t miss the Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka’s Shinsekai. The 103 meter tower is a reconstruction from 1956 and not only can enjoy a nice view above the inner city from the observatory at a height of 91 meters, but also see several Billiken statues, a famous charm doll from Osaka.
The pass also includes entry to many different museums. You can visit the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, the Science Museum, the Ukiyoe Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Osaka Museum of History and others. You also can visit the Osaka Tennoji Zoo!
With the pass you even can enjoy some special ship cruises ranging from a cruise with the ship Santa Maria around the Osaka port, a Tombori River Cruise, a ride on the Gozabune boat around Osaka castle and even more. This is a good possibility to relax your feet from walking and still seeing the city from another perspective.
A lot to do, isn’t it? But that’s not all.
Facilities with special offers and discounts
Even so you can’t enter the following facilities for free, it might be a good opportunity to take a look there, too. At some of these places you just need to show the pass, other require the Toku×2 coupons.
For example special discounts are offered at the Abeno Harukas Observatory, Kaiyukan Aquarium, Osaka Wonder Loop tours, the Umekita Garden and so on. Even the amusement centers of Round 1 are giving small discounts. At some facilities you will get special gifts after paying the normal entry fee, just like the Yamamoto Noh Theater which offers a unique towel.
Also restaurants and shops are taking part at the Osaka Amazing Pass. You can get free drinks, discount on food and more. There is a long list on the official website, which you should check out!
Is the pass worth the money?
Definitely! If you are planing a whole day of sightseeing in Osaka and want to visit many places at once, it is definitely worth the money. Just one calculating example: on one day you visit the Osaka castle with its turret and garden (1,700 yen), stroll around the Tennoji Zoo(500 yen), go up the Umeda Sky Building (1,000 yen), ride on the HEP FIVE ferry wheel (500 yen) and then let the night fall down while having fun at the Santa Maria Twilight Cruise (2,100 yen). This would normally cost you 5,800 plus the transportation between the spots. With the Osaka Amazing Pass you get all this for only 2,500 yen! That’s a deal, isn’t it.
Even so there are many places you can visit with the pass, you just need to visit a view to make the Osaka Amazing pass profitable for you. So why not trying it out by yourself on you next trip to this lively city?
Ooh!! Thank you so much for the great explanation and practical experience for Osaka Amazing Pass. I have some questions so hope you are patient with my questions. I plan to visit Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe from 25/9 to 1/10. Is this period enough for all cities?. I intend to stay in Osaka during this time, so which place is the best place to stay. Is there any pass for traveling between Osaka and other cities?. Thanks in advance and so sorry for many questions.
If the time is enough depents on how intensively you want to experience each place. But seven days sounds good, since you could do main attracations of Nara and Kobe each on one day and have the other days left for Kyoto (maybe 3 days) and Osaka (maybe 2 days).
For transportation there are several passes. Maybe you can look up the JR Kansai Pass and the JR Kansai Wide Pass. There is even a pass called Kansai Thru Pass. Probably one of these is good for you.
Ive reserved an Icoca +haruka. Since the Icoca is just an IC card and not a discount card, would you think that the osaka amazing pass would also be a good companion for it sice it would save the train fare for the time of the pass?
If you do some of the sightseeing things, too, which you can do with the Osaka Amazing Pass, so it get's worth it's money, for sure, you can use it for traveling. However, if it is mainly about the train fare, there are other passes, too, which mainy cover this.
There is no such pass in Tokyo or Kyoto. Osaka is more compact and, honestly, there is less to do there than in Tokyo or Kyoto as such the pass is easily implemented in Osaka. However it would be a logistical nightmare to try and create a similar pass in Kyoto or Tokyo.
There are, however, seasonal deals and event happening quite often in Tokyo so keep your ears open.
I Think there are train deals in Tokyo, but I do not know of sightseeing, I know only that if you get the tourist guide at Airport or Tokyo station you get some discounts on sightseeing like Ueno zoo etc. Just watch the dates value in the guide, last time I've been I got it from the hotel and it was overdue.