Osaka Amazing Pass: The Traveler’s Guide to Getting the Best Out of Osaka
The bustling metropolis of Osaka has loads of popular sightseeing spots and a well-developed transportation network. It also has a plethora of discount coupons, daily transit passes, and other discount offers that can be time-consuming to figure out. That’s where the Osaka Amazing Pass comes in. Issued by the Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau, it is just the ticket for anyone seeking a shortcut to enjoying Osaka without blowing the budget. In addition to Osaka Metro (Osaka Municipal Subway) and city buses (Osaka City Bus), pass holders can use it on privately run railway lines, and get free entry to around 40 Osaka sights—including top attractions such as Osaka Castle and Tsūtenkaku tower.
Visitors can purchase the pass at Osaka Metro stationmasters’ offices and commuter pass sales counters, the tourist information center at Osaka-Nanba station, and at hotels and private railway station counters.
Free Subway and Buses All Day Long Plus a Day of Free Private Rail
The Osaka Amazing Pass is a combined sightseeing and transit card with a barcode allowing unlimited travel on the Osaka Metro subway and Osaka City buses, and is available as a one- or two-day pass, costing ¥2,700 and ¥3,600, respectively.
The one-day pass offers unlimited travel on Osaka’s privately-operated rail network of Hankyū, Hanshin, Keihan, Kintetsu, and Nankai lines—allowing holders to access almost all major attractions at no extra cost. The great value two-day pass is recommended for those who may only need to travel on the city’s subway and bus network.
Transit lines covered by one-day and two-day Amazing Passes
- All Osaka Metro and New Tram lines
- All Osaka City Bus lines except those to IKEA Tsuruhama and Universal Studios Japan
Private rail lines and sections only covered by the one-day Amazing Pass
- Hankyū: From Umeda to Kanzakigawa, Mikuni and Aikawa; from Shimoshinjō to Tenjinbashisuji-Rokuchōme
- Hanshin: From Umeda to Amagasaki
- Kintetsu: From Osaka-Nanba to Imazato; from Osaka-Abenobashi to Yata
- Nankai rail: From Nanba to Sakai; from Nanba to Nakamozu; from Shiomibashi to Kishinosato Tamade
- Keihan: From Yodoyabashi to Senbayashi; from Nakanoshima to Tenmabashi
Visit Osaka’s Main Tourist Attractions Free and Easy
A useful feature of the Amazing Pass is that it includes free access to many of the most popular Osaka sightseeing attractions and services. We model below how pass holders can save on a comprehensive tour of the city’s famous Osaka Castle.
To begin, those who would like a taste of the life of a ruler can look down over their domain from the castle’s main tower observation deck. A great place to take shots of the main tower from the outside is from the section of Osaka Castle Park that is subject to an admission fee—Nishinomaru Garden. Three castle turrets or yagura—all nationally-recognized cultural properties—are open to the public, but only until November 24, 2019, and this is a great chance to see inside these otherwise inaccessible seventeenth century structures. Then sit back on a 20-minute trip around the inner moat in an Osaka Castle gozabune pleasure boat to see some of the highest stone walls in Japan loom large up above. The boats also afford magnificent ‘bottom-up’ views of the main tower. There is more floating pleasure to be had in the City of Water on a one-hour Aqua-Liner aqua bus cruise of the Ōkawa river from Osakajō (Osaka Castle) Pier.
|Usual fee||Osaka Amazing Pass|
|Osaka Castle Main Tower||¥600||One-Day Pass: ¥2,700
|Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden||¥200|
|Osaka Castle Turrets (Yagura) (Important Cultural Properties) Special Opening||¥700|
|Osaka Castle Pleasure Boat (Gozabune)||¥1,500|
|Osaka Castle Aqua-Liner aqua bus||¥1,700|
As can be seen from this table, pass holders will already save ¥2,000, not to mention the savings from riding the subway and buses for free. And as the pass also functions as a ticket to enter each attraction, there is generally no need to line up for tickets (although this may not apply at all facilities).
Main attractions with free entry
- Osaka Castle Main Tower
- Tsūtenkaku tower (weekdays only)
- Aqua-Liner, Osaka aqua bus (sectional and round trips)
- Osaka Tennōji Zoo
- Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden (KūchūTeien) observatory (entry by 6:00 pm)
- HEP FIVE ferris wheel (Umeda)
- Tenpōzan ferris wheel
- Santa Maria Cruise Ship day cruise
- Tonbori River Cruise
Making the Most of Special Offers and Coupons
The Amazing Pass offers a variety of other savings. Five discount “Toku x2” coupons are included in the guidebook, and pass holders can receive discounts and freebies from around 30 tourist sites and 70 eateries and other outlets. The discount on offer at each may be small, but if used wisely, savings might pay for a drink along the way.
Main sites with special offers (only available to the pass holder unless otherwise specified)
- Osaka Aquarium “Kaiyūkan”: ¥100 discount
- Harukas 300 Observatory: group discount applies
- Abeno Harukas Art Museum: group discount applies
- Tsūtenkaku tower observation platform, Tenbō Paradise: ¥200 off entry
- Don Quijote Dōtonbori “Ebisu Tower” ferris wheel: ¥100 off regular ticket; ¥600 off VR gondola
- Kids Plaza Osaka: 10% off entry for pass holder and 4 others per pass
- Solaniwa Onsen baths, Osaka Bay Tower: 10% off entry
- Osaka Botejyū okonomiyaki restaurant, main store: 10% off food and beverages
- Hard Rock Cafe, Osaka: gift (items not usually for sale)
There is also an Expo Memorial Park edition of the Amazing Pass with transport and offers for visitors to its namesake. And it is worth checking out the Osaka Amazing Pass app, which has route search functions for transport covered, and offers information that is not in the guidebook.
Osaka Amazing Pass
- Official website Note: Please check transport and attractions covered, fares, fees, and service details on the official pass website.
- Multilingual information:
- Website: English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean, and Thai
(Originally written in Japanese. Reporting and text by Fujii Kazuyuki; photos by Kuroiwa Masakazu and Fujii Kazuyuki, 96Box. Banner photo: The Osaka Amazing Pass and Tsūtenkaku tower.)