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Enjoy Travelling from Osaka to Nagoya (Aichi) with the KINTETSU RAIL PASS

1. Amazing Sightseeing Locations You Can Visit Travelling by Train from Osaka

“Osaka” and “Kyoto” are some of Japan’s most popular tourist stops.

Osaka and Kyoto are Sightseeing Staples
Osaka and Kyoto are Sightseeing Staples

There are several great places to visit around Osaka and Kyoto, such as “Nara” with its historic shrines and friendly deer, “Mie (Ise-Shima),” known for the popular power-spot Ise Jingu, and “Nagoya (Aichi),” Japan’s third-largest city behind Tokyo and Osaka.

Nara, Mie, and Nagoya can be Easily Accessed by Train from Osaka
Nara, Mie, and Nagoya can be Easily Accessed by Train from Osaka

Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie (Ise-Shima), and Nagoya (Aichi) are all connected by the Kintetsu Railway (often shortened to “Kintetsu”).

Kintetsu Railway Trains Connect Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, and Nagoya
Kintetsu Railway Trains Connect Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, and Nagoya

Did you know that you can purchase an unlimited 5-day Kintetsu Railway pass for lines connecting Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, and Nagoya for just 3,600 yen (prices may vary based on pass type and purchase method)?

That pass is the “KINTETSU RAIL PASS.” It’s a great boon to tourists travelling in the area, especially if you’re planning on travelling around Osaka without a set itinerary.

※Details on the KINTETSU RAIL PASS are available at the end of this article.

The KINTETSU RAIL PASS is a Great Help When Travelling Around Osaka
The KINTETSU RAIL PASS is a Great Help When Travelling Around Osaka

This time around, a tourist named Miss Kateryna used the KINTETSU RAIL PASS to enjoy her trip!

2. Depart from Osaka and for Nagoya (Aichi) for Sightseeing Using the KINTETSU RAIL PASS

2-1. Day 1 of the Trip was Sightseeing in Downtown Osaka

2-1-1. “Kuromon Ichiba,” Also Known as Osaka’s Kitchen

Hi! I’m Kateryna!
I arrived in Osaka after landing at Kansai International Airport, and first thing I headed over to “Kuromon Ichiba” in downtown Osaka!

Kuromon Ichiba is also known as Osaka’s kitchen
Kuromon Ichiba is also known as Osaka’s kitchen

Kuromon Ichiba is a very Osaka-esque sightseeing location. As you’d expect of an ichiba (market), everything is priced cheaply, but the products sold are of such high quality that even the chefs of long-standing restaurants come by every day to procure ingredients.

Cheap but high-quality items are sold here at Kuromon Ichiba
Cheap but high-quality items are sold here at Kuromon Ichiba
There were a lot of ingredients I’d never seen before, so just walking around was a lot of fun
There were a lot of ingredients I’d never seen before, so just walking around was a lot of fun

Actually, there was something I wanted to try during my trip to Japan!

I wanted to try and compare local gourmet dishes from Osaka and Nagoya! My main goals were comparing the udon in Osaka, made with Osaka’s unique dashi (broth made by simmering kombu kelp and bonito flakes. It is used to add extra flavor and aroma to dishes, and it is a staple in Japanese cooking) to Nagoya’s famous “kishimen,” as well as the “kushikatsu” loved by Osakans with the “miso katsu” in Nagoya! I wanted to try different variations on these similar but unique local dishes!

I started off today by going to an udon restaurant. Udon is a dish you can find anywhere in Japan, but the eastern side of Japan, Tokyo included, tends to serve udon with dashi made with bonito flakes, resulting in a stronger flavor and aroma. The western side of Japan, where Osaka is located, uses kombu kelp in its dashi, resulting in a more delicate aroma and flavor. The broth also has a unique color, and Osakan udon tends to be lighter and look more refined than udon in Tokyo.

Osakan udon has a delicate aroma and flavor
Osakan udon has a delicate aroma and flavor
The refined flavor of Osaka’s udon is very satisfying
The refined flavor of Osaka’s udon is very satisfying

I went shopping for a while after having my udon, and after a while I got hungry again, so I stopped by a “kushikatsu” restaurant. Kushikatsu is a skewer-based dish, where ingredients like meat and vegetables are skewered, battered, and fried, then eaten with sauce. There are a lot of different kushikatsu restaurants in Osaka, and I even found areas where there were several shops selling it all lined up together. By the way, apparently there’s a rule in Osaka that you can only dip your kushikatsu in the communal sauce once!

Kushikatsu is made by skewering meat and vegetables, battering, and frying
Kushikatsu is made by skewering meat and vegetables, battering, and frying
You dip the whole kushikatsu into the sauce one time only
You dip the whole kushikatsu into the sauce one time only
Kushikatsu tastes different than tempura and is really good!
Kushikatsu tastes different than tempura and is really good!

For this first day, I stayed at a hotel in Namba. I was really looking forward to the Nagoya dishes from the following day!

2-2. Day 2 I Travelled from Osaka to Nagoya (Aichi)

2-2-1. Taking a Train from Osaka-Namba Station to Nagoya

The second day of my trip started at Osaka-Namba Station!

The Kintetsu Railway passes through Osaka-Namba Station
The Kintetsu Railway passes through Osaka-Namba Station

If you purchased your KINTETSU RAIL PASS in advance online or via a travel agency in your home country, you can exchange it for the full ticket at the express ticketing area of stations that service the Kintetsu Railway. (Please see the end of this article for details on how to purchase a pass.)
Don’t forget your passport, since you need to show it when purchasing the KINTETSU RAIL PASS!

Purchasing the KINTETSU RAIL PASS at the express ticketing area
Purchasing the KINTETSU RAIL PASS at the express ticketing area

Travelling from Osaka-Namba Station to Kintetsu-Nagoya Station using the limited express “Urban Liner” takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes.(To board a Limited Express train, be sure to purchase a Limited Express ticket in addition to a basic fare ticket.) It takes a bit longer than going from Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station, but it’s super convenient not having to change lines! The extra limited express fee will still be charged when using the KINTETSU RAIL PASS, but the price still ends up being extremely reasonable!
For someone like me who likes to visit a lot of different areas without planning out a full itinerary, this pass works out much better than using the Shinkansen!

Limited Express “Urban Liner”
Limited Express “Urban Liner”
I arrived at Kintetsu-Nagoya Station using my KINTETSU RAIL PASS
I arrived at Kintetsu-Nagoya Station using my KINTETSU RAIL PASS

2-2-2. Nagoya Castle

Nagoya is the third-largest city in Japan, behind Tokyo and Osaka. It’s located between Tokyo and Osaka. “Nagoya Castle” is an absolute must-see tourist attraction in the area! That was my first stop!

I arrived at Nagoya’s iconic “Nagoya Castle”
I arrived at Nagoya’s iconic “Nagoya Castle”

One of the iconic parts of Nagoya Castle are the “golden dolphins” that adorn the roof. It’s one of Japan’s three most famous castles, alongside Ehime Castle and Kumamoto Castle, and it was really beautiful!

The beautiful Nagoya Castle, one of Japan’s three most famous castles
The beautiful Nagoya Castle, one of Japan’s three most famous castles
A photo with someone dressed in old-style Japanese clothes!
A photo with someone dressed in old-style Japanese clothes!

By the way, the two iconic golden dolphins on the roof of Nagoya Castle are actually different sizes. The one on the north side is male and is about 2.57 meters long, while the one on the south side is female and is about 2.51 meters. However, the males have 194 scales, while the females have 236, so the female dolphins are supposed to be more beautiful! It’s really interesting finding all of these fine details about Japanese castles.

Two golden dolphins shining atop the roof of Nagoya Castle
Two golden dolphins shining atop the roof of Nagoya Castle
The dolphins differ in size and number of scales
The dolphins differ in size and number of scales

Nagoya Castle really stands out as a castle in the middle of a big city!

Nagoya Castle is lit up beautifully among Nagoya’s buildings in the evening
Nagoya Castle is lit up beautifully among Nagoya’s buildings in the evening

Additionally, “Kinshachi Yokocho,” a reproduction of an old-fashioned town, opened up in March of 2018 near Nagoya Castle! It’s packed with Nagoya’s famous gourmet restaurants and cafes with a great atmosphere.

“Kinshachi Yokocho” opened in March of 2018
“Kinshachi Yokocho” opened in March of 2018
OPEN

Nagoya Castle

Address
1-1 Hommaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture[MAP]
Hours
9:00am-4:30pm (Admission to Hommaru Palace open until 4:00pm)
Closed
December 29th-31st, January 1st (4 days total)
Admission
Adults 500 yen, free for junior high school students and younger

2-2-3. Nagoya TV Tower

My next stop was “Nagoya TV Tower,” about a 20-minute walk from Nagoya Castle. Built in 1954, the tower is another one of Nagoya’s iconic landmarks, much like the castle. About 100 meters up the 180-meter-tall tower there is an observation deck, so you can look out across the cityscape.

Taking a picture of Nagoya TV Tower, one of Nagoya’s iconic structures
Taking a picture of Nagoya TV Tower, one of Nagoya’s iconic structures
I took a picture of myself with the Nagoya TV Tower to put on Instagram!
I took a picture of myself with the Nagoya TV Tower to put on Instagram!
A great photo spot near Nagoya TV Tower, “Spaceship-Aqua”
A great photo spot near Nagoya TV Tower, “Spaceship-Aqua”
Nagoya’s beautiful landscape, including the TV Tower and Spaceship-Aqua
Nagoya’s beautiful landscape, including the TV Tower and Spaceship-Aqua
OPEN

Nagoya TV Tower

Address
3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture[MAP]
Hours
January~March: 10:00am-9:00pm / April~December: 10:00am-10:00pm
Closed
Never
Admission
Daytime: Adults 700 yen, high school and college students 600 yen, elementary and junior high school students 300 yen.
Nighttime: High school students and older 1,000 yen, elementary and junior high school students 500 yen.

2-2-4. Walking Around Eating Nagoya’s Local Gourmet Dishes

Nagoya is home to five iconic local gourmet dishes! Since they’re all super delicious, I’ll be introducing all five!

▼ Hitsumabushi

Hitsumabushi is a dish made up of fragrantly grilled unagi (eel), eaten with condiments (such as green onion and wasabi) and dashi. There are two things that make it different from unadon. First, the unagi is chopped into smaller pieces before being served over rice. Second, it’s typically eaten in stages; after eating some as-is, you then top it with condiments to enjoy a different flavor, and finally finish it off as ochazuke (a rice dish with tea poured over) for yet another flavor profile. It’s interesting to enjoy a single dish that changes its taste several times!

Hitsumabushi, fragrant chopped unagi served over rice
Hitsumabushi, fragrant chopped unagi served over rice
▼ Tebasaki

While you can find tebasaki (chicken wings) at yakitori restaurants outside of Nagoya, Nagoya’s tebasaki are unique in that they are “seasoned, fried first in low-temperature oil and then a second time high temperature oil, and finished off with tare sauce and spices unique to each restaurant.” The Nagoya way of eating them is picking them up with your fingers and eating them wildly!

Tebasaki are seasoned differently at each restaurant using tare sauce and spices
Tebasaki are seasoned differently at each restaurant using tare sauce and spices
▼ Miso Nikomi Udon

Miso nikomi udon is a dish where thick udon noodles are gently simmered in a miso-based broth. Typically, the noodles are cooked al dente. People who are used to eating it use the lid of the pot instead of a plate. This is a local dish that is especially popular in the winter!

Miso nikomi udon, udon noodles simmered in miso-based broth
Miso nikomi udon, udon noodles simmered in miso-based broth
▼ Kishimen

Japanese noodles tend to have round cross-sections, but kishimen have a flat cross-section. This dish is said to have originated around 400 years ago, and it’s the dish with the most history in Nagoya’s five iconic local dishes. The broth has a strong aroma of bonito dashi, which goes well with the uniquely textured noodles.

Kishimen is characterized by its flat noodles
Kishimen is characterized by its flat noodles
▼ Miso Katsu

Miso katsu is a dish made with fried pork cutlet (tonkatsu) that is served with a miso-based sauce. The miso sauce is usually sweet, but each restaurant has its own unique take on the sauce. It’s a generously portioned dish, and out of all of Nagoya’s iconic local dishes it’s the most filling!

Miso katsu with an appetizing salty-sweet miso sauce
Miso katsu with an appetizing salty-sweet miso sauce

Alright, it’s time for me to enjoy these Nagoya dishes! First up is “kishimen”!

I was surprised that the texture of the noodles was so different than usual just because they were flat! The refined flavor of Osaka’s udon is amazing, but the kishimen here in Nagoya is delicious too! I probably have to call that matchup a draw!

The noodles’ texture was so different just because they were flat!
The noodles’ texture was so different just because they were flat!
Kishimen in Nagoya, udon in Osaka – both are delicious!
Kishimen in Nagoya, udon in Osaka – both are delicious!

Next I ordered the “miso katsu”!
I’ve had tonkatsu many times, but the dish was transformed by the simple addition of the miso sauce! The rich, sweet sauce really got my appetite going.
Compared to the “kushikatsu” from Osaka, hmm… Another draw!

Generously portioned miso katsu
Generously portioned miso katsu
Miso katsu in Nagoya, kushikatsu in Osaka. Comparing them, it had to be a draw!
Miso katsu in Nagoya, kushikatsu in Osaka. Comparing them, it had to be a draw!

I managed to complete my goal of comparing Osaka and Nagoya’s local dishes! After this, I went back to Osaka, my home base for this trip. From there, I’ll be going to either Nara or Kyoto, whichever I feel like! I like leaving my options open!

By the way, when I added up what my fare would have been without the KINTETSU RAIL PASS, going from Osaka (Osaka-Namba Station) to Nagoya (Kintetsu-Nagoya Station) came out to 4,720 yen (excluding limited express tickets).

The KINTETSU RAIL PASS is 3,600 yen, so it was a great deal! I only used it for one day here, but I could still be using it for another four days; the more you use it, the more value you get out of it! Additionally, it was very convenient that I didn’t have to buy a ticket every time I wanted to get on the train.

Actually, I also had tebasaki while I was in Nagoya!
Actually, I also had tebasaki while I was in Nagoya!

3. What is the KINTETSU RAIL PASS?

3-1. KINTETSU RAIL PASS

The KINTETSU RAIL PASS is a convenient pass that allows you to freely ride Kintetsu Railway lines between Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Nagoya (Aichi), and Mie (Ise-Shima) for 5 days. When purchased online or via a local travel agency, the pass costs 3,600 yen for adults and 1,800 yen for children. If purchased in Japan, the pass costs 3,800 yen for adults and 1,900 yen for children. As an example, the round-trip fare from Osaka-Namba Station to Toba Station in Mie Prefecture and back by train is around 4,000 yen (excluding limited express ticket fees), so this pass is a great value when travelling to various spots within the target area. Additionally, there is the added convenience of not needing to purchase a ticket every time you wish to take the train. A valid passport must be presented at time of purchase.

Price:

  • Adults 3,600 yen, children 1,800 yen (if purchased online or via a local travel agency)
  • Adults 3,800 yen, children 1,900 yen (if purchased in Japan)

Usage:

Connects the 5 areas of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Nagoya (Aichi), and Mie (Ise-Shima).
Unlimited rides on Kintetsu Railway trains for 5 days.

Available for Purchase By:

Temporary visitors to Japan for sightseeing purposes

Purchase Locations:

<Osaka>

Osaka-Namba Station, Osaka-Uehommachi Station, Osaka-Abenobashi Station, Kansai Tourist Information Center Kansai International Airport, Kansai Tourist Information Center Daimaru Shinsaibashi, BIC CAMERA Namba Store, BIC CAMERA Q’s MALL Store, and others

<Kyoto>

Kyoto Station, Kansai Tourist Information Center Kyoto, BIC CAMERA JR Kyoto Station Store, and others

<Nara>

Kintetsu-Nara Station

<Mie>

Tsu Station

<Nagoya>

Kintetsu-Nagoya Station, MEITETSU TRAVEL PLAZA at Chubu Centrair International Airport, Nagoya Tourist Information Center, BIC CAMERA Nagoya Station West Store, BIC CAMERA Nagoya JR GATE TOWER Store, and others

※As the KINTETSU RAIL PASS can be purchased at Chubu Centrair International Airport (Aichi) in addition to Kansai International Airport (Osaka), it is possible to plan to travel from Aichi to Mie as well.

Please see the official link below for further details on purchase locations.

URL(English)

3 additional types of KINTETSU RAIL PASS that are available are listed below.

3-2. KINTETSU RAIL PASS plus

The “KINTETSU RAIL PASS plus” offers all the features of the above KINTETSU RAIL PASS, as well as free use of the Mie Ise-Shima bus lines and Nara bus lines. This pass costs 4,800 yen for adults and 2,400 yen for children (if purchased online or at a local travel agency).

Please see the official link below for further details on the KINTETSU RAIL PASS plus.

URL(English)

3-3. KINTETSU RAIL PASS 1day

The “KINTETSU RAIL PASS 1day” is a lite version of the above KINTETSU RAIL PASS that works in the 3 target areas of Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara for 1 day. As such, its price is lower at 1,500 yen for adults and 750 yen for children.

Please see the official link below for further details on the KINTETSU RAIL PASS 1day.

URL(English)

3-4. KINTETSU RAIL PASS 2day

The “KINTETSU RAIL PASS 2day” is a lite version of the above KINTETSU RAIL PASS that works in the 3 target areas of Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara for 2 days. As such, its price is lower at 2,500 yen for adults and 1,250 yen for children.

Please see the official link below for further details on the KINTETSU RAIL PASS 2day.

URL(English)

Be sure to choose the right KINTETSU RAIL PASS for your trip out of the 4 available options.