Base Camp Osaka

Traveling in a group during autumn peak season = Limited hotel options + Massive crowds at attractions

So we decided to set up our base in Osaka.  From there, we will travel to Kyoto, Himeji and Kobe.  4 cities in 7 days.  This calls for (a) extensive research, (b) tough prioritisation and (c) careful planning to get maximum results.

Isn’t the above map mind-boggling?  It’s an integration of subway, JR (Japan Railway) and private railway lines.  There are so many ways to get from point A to B, so many different passes that offer good value and discounts.  It took me a month to work out my transport plan.  I have to consider factors like: cost, travel time, proximity of station to attraction, best days to travel, etc.

What I came out with is to use:

  • Hankyu 2-Day Tourist Pass for visiting (a) Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum and Minoo Park [Hankyu Umeda – Ikeda, Ikeda – Minoo, Minoo – Hankyu Umeda], (b) Arashiyama and Nishiki Market [Hankyu Umeda – Arashiyama Hankyu, Arashiyama Hankyu – Karasuma, Kawaramachi – Hankyu Umeda]. Total savings of 550 yen per adult.
  • Kansai Area 1-Day Pass for visiting Himeji and Kobe [Osaka – Himeji, Himeji – Sannomiya, Kobe – Osaka]. Total savings of 670 yen per adult.
  • Hanshin 1-Day Tourist Pass for another visit to Kobe [Osaka Namba – Kobe Sannomiya Hanshin, Kobe Sannomiya Hanshin – Hanshin Umeda]. Total savings of 240 yen per adult.
  • Suica or ICOCA for all other train travels.  These are pre-paid cards so there are no savings from using them.  It’s just more convenient than buying individual tickets.

Now all I need is to get the passes and cards, and depend on HyperDia to get me to places on time.


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