Osaka Unlimited Pass

Your free ticket to everything in touristy Osaka

23 June, 2011 by

It seems some of our readers will be headed down to Osaka in the coming months so I thought I’d save the trouble of repeating this: If you’re spending time in Osaka for the purpose of sightseeing, I cannot stress how valuable getting the Osaka Unlimited Pass is.

The Osaka Unlimited Pass is a special tourist pass exclusive to travelers visiting Osaka. There are lots of similar passes for places all over Japan that offer crazy bargains for foreigners. These are offer sponsored by the state governments to help improve local businesses by attracting more tourists. The Osaka version is especially worthwhile though.

Osaka’s a small city, so you’d probably be covering lots of sights in a day, with lots of transiting. For 2000 yen or 2700 yen, the ticket gives you unlimited rides on the local train system for 1 or 2 consecutive days. The 2 day pass is of much better value but the 1 day pass also includes access to other non-JR private railway lines in Osaka.

The thin blue lines show JR and other private railways. Everything else is state owned.

Even if you’re holding a JR Pass of some kind, the Osaka Unlimited Pass might still be necessary. JR Lines only service the outer circumference of Osaka, making relying on just JR lines a painful experience. Even for places that are covered by JR Lines, a 10 minute trip may consume up to three times of your precious holiday time.

Most of the transport lines in Osaka are owned by the local state government and those visiting Osaka for the first time may be shocked at the usual train fares. Prices for a single stop start at 200 yen (or approximately SGD$3), almost twice what you’d pay in Tokyo.

If that wasn’t nearly enough, the pass also grants holders free entry to the majority of tourist attractions throughout Osaka. More places than you could possibly cover in the duration of the pass.

The pass gives one free admission for each of the following:
1. Floating Garden Observatory (Umeda Sky Building)
2. HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
3. Natural hot spring Naniwa no Yu
4. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
5. Osaka Science Museum
6. Osaka Castle Museum
7. Osaka Castle Nishonomaru Garden
8. Osaka Castle Park Tram “Road Train”
9. Osaka Museum of History
10. Osaka International Peace Center
11. Entrepreneurial Museum of Challenge and Innovation
12. Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum
13. Tombori River Cruise
14. Osaka Human Rights Museum
15. Tsutenkaku Tower
16. Shitennoji Temple
17. Osaka Municipal Musuem of Art
18. Tennoji Zoo
19. Tempozan Ferris Wheel
20. Santa Maria
21. Osaka Maritime Museum
22. Cosmo Tower Observatory
23. Nagai Botanical Garden
24. Osaka Museum of Natural History
25. Sakuya Konohana Kan

The pass also includes rebates at a number of commercial outlets and discounted entry fees for the few remaining sights that aren’t completely covered.

26. Osaka Aqua-Liner (Free during Winter, 10% off ticket prices during Spring-Autumn)
27. Museum of Oriental Ceramics (Free during regular exhibits, discounted prices to special exhibits)
28. National Museum of Art (Discounted prices for special exhibits)
29. Umeda Joypolis (300 yen discount to “Passport”, 30% bonus tokens)
30. Kyobashi Kagetsu (250 yen off admission)
31. Panasonic Center Osaka (Admission is always free, bonus gift with pass)
32. Yamamoto Noh Theater (Free tenugui)
33. The National Bunraku Theater (10% off)
34. Spa World Onsen From Around The World (900 yen off)
35. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (100 yen off)
36. Captain Line (10% off)
37. Kamigata Hot Spring Ikkyu (Free rental of bath sets)
38. Modern Transportation Museum (20% off)
39. Natural Open-air Hot Spring Spa Suminoe (Bath and rental fixed at 600 yen)
40. Universal Studios Japan (200 yen off two day pass)

Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.

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Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.
  • ulfa

    Hi.. I will be in Osaka on 15 November, Do you mind informing me correct closing time of the osaka Aqualiner from osakajo? Some info web mention 15.00, 16.00, and 17.00. Which one is correct? Because my flight is arriving bit late in Kansai, while I am so eagerly want to experience this aqualiner. Thank before. šŸ™‚

  • Loo tan

    Hi we are going osaka this thursday.what tx should you reco. Thur night arrival. Is limo bus better if we stay at hotel elsereine( i think near hilton)? Is that cheaper? Or shud we take train?
    2.plan to go fri to kyoto. What is best and cheapest way? Travelling with kids.

    • Hi Loo. That would depend on which airport you are arriving at. If you’re landing at Itami bus would be the way to go. Otherwise you’d want to take a train from the Kansai airport. Kyoto and Osaka are close enough that you can take a regular train over.

  • Hi! Great article! I’m going to get the the pass. But must I have to use the pass on the day that I purchase it? Can I buy today and only use it tomorrow? Thanks!

    • Yes you can do that. The first time you use the pass on the subway the day, the gate machines will automatically print out the date on the pass.

      This date is used in combination with the coupons given to you to enter the different attractions, while the pass itself will expire at the end of the day in which you feed it into the machine. For the two day pass, these will be 2 consecutive days.

      In the unlikely scenario where you happen to visit an attraction before using the subway, the staff at the attraction will write down the date on your pass.

    • I see! Thanks for your clarification, really helpful =)

  • Doug

    Do you know anything about the 3 days pass in Osaka? For the 2 days pass, can I use it to go from Kansai airport to Osaka via the nankai railway?

    • Supermerlion

      There are only 1 and 2 days Osaka passes. The 3 day pass is a general Kansai pass and is thus a lot more expensive, 5,000 yen if I’m not wrong. Unlike the Osaka pass, it doesn’t actually cover the cost of attractions in Osaka but is good for most non-JR, non-express trains in the Kansai area, yes including the Nankai Railway.

  • hanum

    hi..may i know where to buy this unlimited we need to buy it prior arrival in Japan?

    • Supermerlion

      Nope. Fortunately you have to get them in Osaka itself at the subway tourist information centers at one of these four popular stations: Shin-Osaka, Umeda, Namba or Tennoji.

  • Yvonne

    Hi, can u advise me is the osaka unlimited 1day pass cover the the nankai line railway from kansai airport to osaka city area? if it cover nakai railway from airport should i buy for the child age 4+ or is free ? Is child age 12+ consider child should i buy unlimited pass or child day pass?

    • Supermerlion

      No it does not cover the trip from Kansai Airport. It only covers the Osaka City area and not Greater Osaka. You will still need to find another way to get from the airport to Osaka.

  • Tsukumi Shan

    hi..i’m sorry can i know..this pass included admission fee to all 40 places?or its only for bus fee to all 40 places?

    • Supermerlion

      The first 25 places are free. While the other 15 are discounted. The pass also gives you free use of the local subway for the valid days.

  • dunk

    Can you recommend any cheap ryokan too?

    • Supermerlion

      Unfortunately I’m not very familiar with ryokan around Osaka. Western styled hotels are usually cheaper and more preferential for me. Believe MJ and Wilson stayed at one in Kyoto though, you can probably find it in one of our older posts. Agoda have a few ryokan in their database if I’m not wrong either.

  • Xindi

    Hey! I happened to stumble on your blog while planning for my Japan trip and it’s been great help! Thank you!

    I just wanna ask if it i should get the Osaka pass if I’ve already activated my JR Pass during my time in Osaka?

    • Supermerlion

      It depends on where you are staying in Osaka, the problem with JR lines is that there is only one loop around the outer Osaka. If your traveling anywhere to the popular areas, it will be very difficult or sometimes impossible to get there by JR.

    • Xindi

      Oh, i’ll be staying at Fukushima, the J-Hoppers Hostel if you know. It’s my first time visiting Japan, any suggestions where i can visit in Osaka? I’ll be there for 6 days.
      Places in Tokyo are fine too. Thanks so much

  • Ftlim

    1 more question, osaka unlimited pass only 1 flat price yen2,000? any children pass?

    • Supermerlion

      Unfortunately the Osaka Unlimited pass is a flat 2,000 yen. For children, you might want to purchase a regular 1-day train pass from the subway ticketing machines itself. It only costs 300 yen.

      You will still need to pay for entry for the attractions this way, but they get discounts at most places. As long as you’re hitting a reasonable number of places, it might work out cheaper.

    • Ftlim

      i did more research on osaka subway/bus child fare and isnt true that for infant & preschooler (0-5yrs) all their ride are free? cos my youngest son is 4+ yrs… so shall i buy him the osaka unlimited pass/ 1-day train pass OR no need at all?

    • Supermerlion

      Ah yes. If your son is below 5 years old or below he can travel for free.

  • Ftlim

    Thank you for ur reply, I will b in Osaka 1-2jul, will it b very hot there? Will it b not suitable to bring my kids to enough hot spring?

    • Supermerlion

      It should mostly be fully blown summer by July so you expect day time temperatures of up to 30 degrees (Celsius). The weather is a bit late overall this year though, if so it might also be kind of rainy.

      There shouldn’t be any problem actually bringing children to most hot springs. The majority offer admission for children. However, some may be too hot for it to be comfortable for younger kids.

  • Ftlim

    Hi, if I buy Osaka unlimited pass 2-days, the free admission coupon also valid for 2 days? Or must use on first day only?

    • Supermerlion

      It’s valid for both days.

  • Serene

    Hi there! I’m heading to Osaka in May and will have around 2 days free! What are some of the attractions worth visiting?

    • Supermerlion

      Osaka is a city of its own and there are a ton of things to experience there. For some ideas, you can check out some of our previous posts related to Osaka.

  • Dunk

    Have u ever go to Mt.Koya?
    Apreciate your advice ^^

    • Supermerlion

      Unfortunately not.

  • Dayna Lee

    hi. Just wondering… Is there difference between the 1 day pass transport system usage and the 2 day pass? Somehow the map looks different. Does it come with instructions/maps?

    • Supermerlion

      Yes it comes with instructions and maps, as well as a book of coupons to claim your free attractions. The 1 day pass is slightly different in that it gives you free transport on a few private railways too, whereas the 2 day pass is only for the government owned subway (which covers most places).

    • Dayna Lee

      Thanks! I’ll be getting the 2 day one I think. Thanks for alerting us that there’s such a thing…

  • dunk

    So with the pass, i can go anywhere i want(within the coverage).
    It will cover single trip or return trip from my start destination?
    What if i visit the same subway station twice?
    How to use when there is interchange station?

    thanks in advance

    • Supermerlion

      Yes. You can go anywhere you want within the coverage. This is for as many times as you want on the number of days. You can take the same trains unlimited times. In the case where you have to change to another different company line, you will need to get another ticket for that portion of travel.

  • JamesC

    so say i buy a two day pass for monday and tuesday. can i buy another 2 day pass for wednesday and thursday?

    • Sho

      Yup. You could do that.

  • peter

    We bought the two day yesterday (for use today and tomorrow) and we had to show passport so don;t think it's available to Japanese nationals. Bought the Osaka Kaiyu ticket yesterday and used it to go to the aquarium and unlimited use of buses, trains and subways (I think) although we only used subways.

  • Po-San

    Brouchure says 1-day pass is open to all. The 2-day pass is for tourist. When I bought it at the visitors' Info centre at JR Osaka Station on 23 Jun 2011, the staff asked for passport and reminded me that I can't buy for another person unless I have their original passports. Have enjoyed using the pass. The onsen coupon allows free admission and it was GREAT!

  • Benny

    This pass is actually not restricted to tourists only. the one day version is available in japanese for domestic travellers as well.. but if they understand english they can actually get the 2 days pass since u dun need any documents to buy it

    • Sho

      Hmm. Yeah the one day pass is available to local travelers too. I was actually asked to present a passport for proof of foreign citizenship when purchasing the 2 days pass though.

  • Hugh

    Nice one Sho! Going to Osaka in October. This will be really handy to get for my 2 day trip there šŸ™‚