Explore the art, nature and history of Kyoto and Osaka using train pass of great value [PR]

Railway Route Map
The numbers mentioned above are also included on the map and indicate individual stations.

Keihan Railway’s 2-day KYOTO-OSAKA SIGHTSEEING PASS (1,000 yen) enables unlimited travel from Nakanoshima Station in Osaka (KH54) to Demachiyanagi Station in Kyoto (KH42) on the Keihan Honsen Line and Keihan Uji Line, from Chushojima Station (KH28) to Uji Station (KH77) where the World Heritage listed Byodo-in Temple is located.

Spend the first day travelling from Osaka to Uji, a place renowned for its World Heritage Site and its production of green tea

Nakanoshima

Start the first day at Nakanoshima in central Osaka. Located between two rivers, it is a cultural center that is home to an international conference hall, library, and museum. The variation in architecture of the many modern buildings in the area, compared to the historic Osaka City Central Public Hall, makes for quite a contrast between the old and the new.

The National Museum of Art, Osaka

The National Museum of Art, Osaka

Visitors are often surprised that this building is a museum due to its eye-catching exterior that was made to represent a bamboo forest. Focusing on modern works from the mid Twentieth century onwards that were created by both Japanese and foreign artists , interestingly, all of the displays in the museum are in the floors underground, making it a very unique building. There is a superb permanent display of 640 pottery boards by the artist Joan Miro featured on the mezzanine floor from the first basement to second basement level.

Getting there: The museum is a five minute walk from Nakanoshima Station(KH54).

Operating hours are Tuesday-Thursday and Sundays 10 am-5 pm, Friday-Saturday 10 am-8pm. (Opening times sometimes vary per exhibition). Last entry 30 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays.

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Eastern Ceramics. It houses a world class display of national treasures from Japan, as well as works from Korea and China, some dating as far back as the 13th century. Each piece slowly rotates within the display case, enabling visitors to view them from many angles. Getting there: The Museum of Oriental Ceramics is accessible directly from Naniwa Station (KH51) Operating Hours: 9:30 am-5 pm Last entry 4:30 pm. Closed Mondays.

Getting there: The Museum of Oriental Ceramics is accessible directly form Naniwa Station (KH51)

Operating Hours: 9:30am-5pm Last entry 4:30pm. Closed Mondays

Limited Express [PREMIUM CAR] is an exclusive, luxurious carriage on the Limited Express train that provides an even more enjoyable trip

PREMIUM CAR

The PREMIUM CAR is one of the six carriages of the Limited Express train. It offers superior service, including a dedicated attendant, larger seats and free Wi-Fi. There is an extra charge for a seat in the PREMIMUM CAR that is not included in the KYOTO-OSAKA SIGHTSEEING PASS. However, it is only 400-500 yen extra, which is an excellent value, as you can enjoy the beautiful passing view while relaxing in your reclining seat or updating your social media feed via the free Wi-Fi. A reservation is required for a seat in the PREMIUM CAR but same day seating is available if there is a vacancy. Seats can be reserved from up to two weeks before departure. If purchasing in Japan, only cash payments are accepted.

Byodoin Temple

Byodoin Museum Hoshokan
(C)Byodoin

After taking in the sights of the charming galleries in Osaka, take a short 10-minute walk from The Museum of Oriental Ceramics to Yodoyabashi Station and head for Uji Station via Chushojima Station on the Keihan Main Line. The Byodo-In Museum Hoshokan which is located within the Unesco World Heritage listed Byoudo-In Temple houses many ancient national treasures, such as the centuries old temple’s traditional Japanese style bell, the 11th century statue of a Phoenix displayed on the roof of the building, or the 26 statues of Buddha. The exhibits are carefully displayed so that visitors can fully experience their ancient beauty.

Getting there: 10-minute walk from Uji Station(KH77).

Operating hours: 9am-5pm. Last entry 4:45 pm. Open everyday of the year.

Taihoan Tea House

Taihoan Tea House

Uji has a very long of green tea production. As such, taking a break at one of the many local traditional tea houses after visiting Byodo-In Temple is highly recommended. There is a traditional tea house right next door to Byodo-In Temple called Taihoan which offers a delightful, refreshing tea set that includes Matcha green tea accompanied with a traditional Japanese sweet, known as Wagashi. Four times a month they offer the set using Sencha which is a variety of green tea particularly loved by Japanese people.

Getting there: 10-minute walk from Uji Station(KH77)

Opening times: Everyday between January Tenth and December Twentieth.

After a break for traditional refreshments, take the train back to Kyoto via Chuoshima, to enjoy a delicious dinner before calling it a night.

Experience the beauty of the season and the traditions and culture of Kyoto on your second day

Rurikoin Temple, Yase (Kyoto)

Rurikoin Temple, Yase (Kyoto)
Rurikoin Temple, Yase (Kyoto)

After checking out of the Hotel on the second day, take the train from the nearest Keihan Railways Station to Demachiyanagi Station using the KYOTO-OSAKA SIGHTSEEING PASS. From there hop on the Main Eizan Line (Eizan Railways) to Yase Hieizan Guchi Station. It is a short five-minute walk from the station to Rurikoin Temple, which houses a charming traditional Japanese garden that was established in the early 20th century by an acclaimed landscape architect. From the second floor of the temple, visitors can experience an incredible view of the changing autumn leaves, or of the lush spring greenery.

The garden is open to the public during spring (mid-April to mid-June) and autumn (October 1st to December 10th), so if you are making a trip to Kyoto during these times, a visit to this charming Temple would surely be worth the effort.

* Please note: An extra fare is required when using the Eizan Line as it is not covered by the KYOTO-OSAKA SIGHTSEEING PASS.

Getting there: 5-minute walk from Yase Hieizan Guchi Station.

Operating hours: Everyday 10 am-4:30 pm during the seasons mentioned above. (Tickets are available from 9:30am)

The Tunnel of Maple Leaves

Between Ichihara Station and Ninose Station, the Eizan Line runs through the ‘Maple Tree Tunnel’, a dense forest of maple trees which offers fantastic views of the passing nature. The ride through the maple section takes 20-30 minutes between Yaseihieizan Guchi Station via Takaragaike Station. The train operates at a lower speed during spring, and during the changing leaves season in October so that visitors have more time to appreciate the view.

Getting there: If travelling from Demachiyanagi Station(E1), take the Eizan Line to Ichihara Station(E14) which is about 22 minutes, or Ninose Station(E15) which is about 25 minutes.

Once arrived back to Demachiyanagi Station there are many museums waiting to be explored, which would make for a busy but memorable day trip.

Kyoto National Museum

Kyoto National Museum
Kyoto National Museum

Kyoto National Museum, which is one of the most renowned Museums in Japan, is a 10-minute walk from Keihan Shichijo Station(KH37). The Museum displays predominantly ancient pieces and artifacts originating from the local Kyoto area during the period between the 8th and 19th centuries. The one 120-year-old museum is having a special exhibition of pieces designated as National Treasures from October 3rd until November 26th. These special annual exhibitions are especially popular times to visit.

Getting there: 10-minute walk from Shichijo Station (KH37).

Operating hours: 9:30 am-5 pm Tuesday-Thursday: 9:30 am-8 pm Friday and Saturday. ( until 6pm during times of special displays) Last entry 30 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays.

Kawai Kanjiro’s House

Kawai Kanjiro's House

Any visitors interested in traditional pottery would certainly benefit by making the 10-minute walk to the Memorial House from The Kyoto National Museum. This was home to famed potter Kawai Kanjiro (1890-1966), who was a close associate of the noted English potter Bernard Leach. It hosts a display of Kawai’s actual live-in studio, providing a fascinating glimpse into what daily life was like in Kyoto during this period.

Getting there: 10-minute walk from Kiyomizu Gojo Station(KH38)

Operating Hours: 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday, Last entry 4:30pm. Closed Mondays.

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
(C)Photo by Norimasa Kawata

Kyoto produced a great number of skilled artists between the mid-19th century and early 20th century. The Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art is home to a comprehensive collection of exhibits including paintings, ceramics and photographs by acclaimed local artists from this period.

Getting there: 20-minute walk from Sanjo Station(KH40).

Operating hours: Tuesday-Thursday 9:30am-5pm, Friday-Saturday 9:30am-8pm, last entry 30 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was the Imperial Family’s official residence and also center of government from 1392-1868. There are many important historical buildings within its grounds. These include Shishinden Hall, where enthronement ceremonies of many Emperors during this period were conducted, and Seiryoden Hall, which was used by Emperors to conduct official business. These historic buildings provide a fascinating insight into the architecture of this period. There are free tours of the Palace, available in both English and Chinese, every day at 10 am and 2 pm (No reservation required).

Operating hours: April-August 9am-5pm, September-March 9am-4:30pm. Last entry 40 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays and from December 28-January 4.

The Sightseeing Pass offers great value with unlimited train travel around Kyoto and Osaka

The Sightseeing Pass

The Keihan Railways offers not only the two-day KYOTO-OSAKA SIGHTSEEING PASS (1,000 yen), but also the one-day Kyoto Sightseeing Pass (500yen). It can be used for unlimited train travel on all Keihan Lines. For example, travel between Yawatashi Station (KH26) and Demachiyanagi Station, or between Chushojima Station and Uji Station. For an additional 1,200 yen, there is an option to include unlimited access on the Osaka Municipal Subway. These options provide travelers with the freedom to travel at their own leisure to wherever they please.

The unlimited pass will allow you to discover special places or experiences while taking in the nature, arts and history of the area. By using it, you are sure to make even more unforgettable memories on trip to Osaka and Kyoto.