Tour Osaka on a Budget! Free Sightseeing Spots on the Osaka Amazing Pass
For those of you who want to explore Osaka on a shoestring, the Osaka Amazing Pass is highly recommended. Aside from unlimited rides on city buses and other modes of transportation in the area, this pass also offers free admission to various facilities in Osaka. Below are the features of the pass and the representative sightseeing spots that you can access with it!
What is the Osaka Amazing Pass?
The Osaka Amazing Pass is a pass that gives unlimited rides on all Osaka Municipal Subway lines, New Tram, and city buses, as well as free admission to about 35 facilities. It even comes with a guidebook (in English, Korean and traditional or simplified Chinese) that is filled with special deal coupons for 25 places. It can be purchased at the commuter pass counters inside the subway stations, tourist information centers, hotels and other places. There are three types of Osaka Amazing Pass.
1-Day Pass - Osaka Area Edition (2,500 JPY): 1-day unlimited rides on the above train and bus lines, as well as several private railway lines
2-Day Pass (3,300 JPY): A pass that can be used for two consecutive days
1-Day Pass - Expanded Edition/Kansai Airport Edition (prices start at 2,900 JPY): 1-day pass that can be used on the same train and bus lines as the Osaka Area Edition, as well as from the areas designated by Hankyu Railway, Hanshin Railway, and Nankai Electric Railway
FY2018 Edition on Sale: April 1, 2018 (Sun.) - March 31, 2019 (Sun.)
Validity period for the FY2018 Edition: April 1, 2018 (Sun.) - April 30, 2019 (Tues.)
*Only one free admission permitted for each facility for the duration of the pass (within the two days covered in the 2-day pass)
Recommended Sightseeing Spots to Explore with the Osaka Amazing Pass
The Osaka Castle is a famous spot that is said to be the symbol of Osaka, popular for its splendid castle tower and Japan's biggest stonewall made with gigantic stones. You can use the pass to enter the main tower of the castle which is packed with attractions, such as displays of cultural properties and the golden tearoom. The pass will also give you free access to Nishinomaru Garden that looks different each season, and the inside (for a limited time) of the Yagura (castle turret) that has been designated as a national important cultural property.
Tennoji Zoo houses 1,000 animals of about 200 species within its approximately 11-hectare facility. The main highlight of this zoo is its "habitat environment exhibits" that reproduce the natural habitats of the animals as much as possible. With the exhibit, you will be able to see how lions, koalas, polar bears and other animals live in spaces that closely resemble their habitats in the wild. Various events are also held at this zoo, including the Night ZOO (limited period) where you can see the animals at night.
Established in 593, Shitennoji is the first state-sponsored temple (temple that is built and managed by the government) in Japan. It is considered to be one of the oldest architectural styles in the country, adopting a cathedral arrangement of temples wherein the important buildings are laid out in a straight line from south to north along a passage. With the Osaka Amazing Pass, you can explore many highlights of the temple for free, including the Center Cathedral (lecture hall, main temple hall, five-story pagoda, middle gate and the western gate) and the Honbo Garden, which was built based on Buddhist mythology.
Tsutenkaku is a 103m tall observation tower standing at the center of Shinsekai (New World) area of Osaka. From the Observation Paradise, the observation platform on the top floor of the tower, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Osaka landscape. In the basement, you will find the Tsutenkaku Wakuwaku Land that houses outlets of major food manufacturers in Japan, where you can buy items that are only available there. This tower is also famous for statues of Billiken, the deity that is supposed to give luck if you rub the soles of his feet.
Umeda Sky Building Kuchu-Teien Observatory
Umeda Sky Building is a building that was chosen by the U.K.'s THE TIMES as one of the Top 20 Buildings Around the World. Its rooftop, 173m above ground, is an observation platform that treats visitors to a 360-degree view of the city below. If you plan to visit this spot, it would be best to come at night as you will be able to see the beautiful Osaka nightscape unfold before your eyes. The streets enveloped with colorful neon lights can be very romantic.
Aside from the places listed above, there are many other famous spots that you can explore using the Osaka Amazing Pass. So, for those planning their itinerary for Osaka, use this article as a reference.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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