Get Discounts and Freebies for 11 Attractions in Kansai with This Special Pass!

  • KYOTO
  • OSAKA
  • TRAVEL
  • Each year, train and bus companies in Japan offer various types of special sightseeing passes with discounts and benefits, with many of them catering for overseas tourists. One of the most rewarding passes has to be the Special Sightseeing Pass offered by the Keihan Railway, which can be used on their train lines and buses. There are also 11 famous tourist attractions which offer benefits such as free items or discounts when you use the pass. This article explains how and where you can utilize the Special Sightseeing Pass effectively and make the most of your trip.

    1. Shimogamo-jinja Shrine

    This 15-century-old shrine is one of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is also one of the two kamo-jinja shrines; the other is the Kamigamo-jinja, which was built 100 years after Shimogamo-jinja itself. Many festivals are held here yearly.

    Shimogamo-jina is a ten-minute walk from Demachiyanagi Station and with the special pass, you can get a discount on admission fees to Oidono Hall inside the shrine. These discounts are a 50 yen discount for adults, a 25 yen discount for elementary school students, and 400 yen per person if you travel there as a group of 20 or more.

    Shimogamo-jinja Shrine website
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    2. Heian-jingu Shrine

    Considered to be one of the best shrines in Japan, Heian-jingu is a partial reproduction of the Heian Palace in Kyoto. It was built at a 5/8 scale of the original, and it is home to one of the largest torii gates in Japan.

    Heian-jingu is a 15-minute walk from Keihan Jingu-Marutamachi Station, and with the special pass, you get a 50 yen discount on admission fees to the Shin’en Garden, which is part of the shrine.

    Heian-jingu Shrine website *Automatic translation available
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    3. Shoren-in Temple

    This Buddhist temple is famous for its calm and peaceful environment. Also known as the Awata Palace, it has a garden that amplifies the beauty of the four-season foliages.

    Shoren-in is a 15-minute walk from Keihan Sanjo Station. If you’re traveling as a group, you can get a 50 yen discount per person with the special pass.

    Shoren-in Temple website
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    4. Chion-in Temple

    This temple was built in the early Edo era by master artisans after part of the original temple burned down in 1633. Some interesting features of the temple include the nightingale floor, an umbrella stashed in the rafters outside the main temple, and the roof beams carved with the crest of the Tokugawa family. The temple is also surrounded by some beautiful gardens.

    Chion-in Temple is a 15-minute walk from Keihan Gion-shijo Station. With the special pass, groups get discounts for the Yuzen’en Garden and Hojo Garden at 30 yen and 40 yen, respectively. A 50-yen discount is applied if you visit both gardens.

    Chion-in Temple website
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    5. Sanjusangen-do Temple

    The name of the temple literally means 33 ken (120-meter) hall, which describes the architecture of the temple’s long main hall. Some of the main features of the temple include the thousand-armed Kannon statue, which was created by the famous sculptor, Tankei, during the Kamakura period, 1000 life-size statues of the Thousand-Armed Kannon, and more.

    Sanjusangen-do Temple is just a five-minute walk from Keihan Shichi-jo Station and groups receive a 50 yen discount on the admission fee.

    Sanjusangen-do Temple website *Japanese only
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    6. Kyoto Tower

    Author’s photo

    This tallest structure in Kyoto was completed in time to correspond with the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Standing at 430 feet, this structure has an observation deck and stands on top of a commercial building.

    Kyoto Tower is right opposite Kyoto Station. With the special pass, you get a 70 yen discount on admission fees for the observation deck and a 50-yen discount on the “YUU” public bathhouse. You also get a 10% discount in the restaurants KUU and Tower Terrace at the Kyoto Tower Hotel (not applied to some items).

    Kyoto Tower website
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    7. Fujinomori-jinja Shrine

    The Fujinomori Festival is held here every May. At the festival, you can see the Kakeuma Shinji Shinto ritual, which shows the skills of “trick riding” and “fujikudari” (pretending to have been hit by an enemy’s arrow) while riding on a galloping horse. During the summer, the grounds of the shrine are filled with hydrangea flowers.

    Fujinomori-jinja Shrine is a 10-minute walk from Keihan Sumizome Station. With the special pass, you’ll receive one complimentary picture postcard when you enter the Treasure House.

    Fujinomori-jinja Shrine website *Japanese only
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    8. Byodoin Temple

    Author’s photo

    The most famous feature of this temple is the Phoenix Hall, which you can see on the current 10-yen Japanese coin and its phoenix statue on the back of the current 10,000 yen note. In 1994, UNESCO listed this building as a World Heritage Site as part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

    Byodoin Temple is a 10-minute walk from Keihan Uji Station, and with the special pass, you can get two complimentary picture postcards.

    Byodoin Temple website
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    9. Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine

    京都・石清水八幡宮では「石清水灯燎華」が5月4日(祝・水)に開催されます。 今年2月に国宝に指定された朱塗りの社殿などがライトアップされるほか、神主による説明を受けながら本殿を拝観することもできます。 石清水八幡宮へは京阪電車・八幡市駅から男山ケーブル「男山山上駅」下車が便利です。 ※写真は過去のものです。 #kyoto #京都 #japan #石清水八幡宮 #yawatashi #八幡市 #travelgram #travel #instagood #instagram #landscape #神社 #shrine #sightseeing #観光 #ライトアップ #lightup On Wednesday, May 4th (a holiday), the Iwashimizu Toryoka event will take place at Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine in Kyoto. The vermilion buildings of the shrine, which were designated National Treasures last February, will be all lit up. Also, visitors will be able to visit the Honden (the main building of the shrine) and listen to explanations given by the priest (in Japanese). To get to the shrine, get off at Yawatashi Station on the Keihan Railway and change to the Otokoyama Cable, and get off at Otokoyoama-sanjo Station. The picture is from last year.

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    Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine is 1one of the three main Hachiman-gu Shrines dedicated to the spirit guardian of imperial legitimacy. There are treasures at Iwashimizu including a kris, which is a jeweled Indonesian dagger.

    This shrine is a 10-minute walk from Keihan Uji Station and with the special pass, you can get four free picture postcards.

    10. Hirakata Park

    With 45 attractions on 160,000 square meters of land, this amusement park is packed with rides and attractions for all ages. Among the attractions are roller coasters, swimming pools, skating rinks, and many others. It is also the oldest amusement park in Osaka.

    Hirakata Park is near Keihan Hirakata Koen Station and with the special pass, you get a huge 20% on admission fees to the park.

    Hirakata Park website
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    11. Osaka Castle

    This castle contains 13 structures that have been designated as important cultural assets by the Japanese government. Today, it also serves as a museum. Osaka Castle is a 20-minute walk from Keihan Temmabashi Station. With the pass, you get a 60-yen discount on admission fees.

    Osaka Castle website
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    Besides these 11 famous tourist attractions, there are also coupons included in the Special Sightseeing Pass that can be used in 20 selected shops and restaurants in Kansai! You can grab these fantastic passes until 31st March 2018, so why not get yourself one for next time you visit Kansai and get some great discounts and freebies?

    Keihan Special Pass website