Visit Areas including Ise and the World Heritage Site Kumano Kodo with the New “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass”!

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Written by Editorial department

As Japan gets many overseas visitors, there are several rail passes available specifically for foreign tourists. These passes can save you up to 50% compared to regular train tickets, so there is no downside if you use them wisely.
In this article, we will introduce you the “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass” sold by JR Central and JR West.

How to Purchase the “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass”

The “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass” is a convenient ticket for those who wish to travel to famous sights of the Kii Peninsula including Ise, Toba, Kumano Kodo, and Shirahama from Kansai International airport or Nagoya area.

It grants you unlimited use for rides on applicable JR express trains and bus lines for five consecutive days. Without the pass, a visitor traveling both ways from Kansai International Airport to Matsusaka, Ise, Toba, Kumano Kodo, Shirahama, and Wakayama spend around 23,000 yen on express trains and bus tickets (price varies depending on order of stops and means of transportation). That said, the “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass” costs only 11,000 yen, a savings of over 50% (5,500 yen for children 6 to 11 years of age)!

How to Purchase the “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass”

Please note that you can only purchase this great value pass before arriving Japan! See below for detailed notes on how to purchase and obtain a pass.

  • To be eligible to purchase the pass, you must be in possession of a non-Japanese passport and come to Japan as a “temporary visitor.”
  • First, you must purchase an Exchange Order (MCO: Miscellaneous Charges Order) at a designated overseas travel agency. Then, after arriving in Japan, you can exchange it for the pass at exchange offices in designated JR Central and JR West stations, as well as at select JR Tokai Tours locations listed below. (You must present your passport at the time of the exchange.)

*Designated Overseas Travel Agencies: Overseas branches of the below listed companies or travel agencies.
JTB Corporation, Nippon Travel Agency, KINTETSU INTERNATIONAL, Tobu Top Tours, Japan Airlines, JALPAK (listed in no particular order)

Exchange Office Locations

  • JR Central: Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka
  • JR West: Osaka, Shin-Osaka, Kansai Airport
  • JR Tokai Tours: Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama

reservations can be made at the above locations, as well as at ticket windows in JR Central and JR West stations.

About Major Areas You Can Visit with the “Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass”

1) Ise

Ise (also known as Ise-Shima) is famous for “Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine)”. For both Japanese and foreign visitors, this place is known as a renowned power spot full of mystical energy. The grand Uji-bashi Bridge at the entrance to the shrine is a must-see object. You can’t also pass up the chance to visit the nearby Okage Yokocho area, where local gourmet specialties like Ise udon noodles are available.

2) Toba

Mikimoto Pearl Island, located in Toba Bay, is the site of the world’s first success in culturing pearls. Highlights of the area include the Pearl Museum, Mikimoto Kokichi Memorial Hall (Mikimoto Kokichi was the first person in the world to succeed in producing cultured pearls), Pearl Plaza, and pearl collection shows put on by female divers called “ama.” Additionally, the area is a home to a variety of tourist attractions, such as beautiful “Meoto Iwa” (“Married Couple Rocks”), the popular “Toba Aquarium,” and “Futami Sea Paradise.”

1-7-1 Toba, Toba City, Mie Prefecture

3) Kumano Kodo

Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kumano Kodo is a series of pilgrimage paths that lead to the Kumano Sanzan (a collective name for the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha). For over 1000 years, people of all classes –from nobles to commoners– have walked these paths in prayer.

“Nachisan Seiganto-ji temple”, one of the temples in the Kumano Sanzan shrine complex, is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. With the 133-meter-high Nachi Falls as a backdrop, Seiganto-ji’s three-storied pagoda is a must-visit site if you get a chance.

8 Nachisan, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

4) Shirahama

As its name suggests, Shirahama (“White Beach”) is a beach resort town with white sand. A stark contrast to Osaka’s bustling city center, Shirahama is a place you can relax and let time pass you by. Shirahama has easy access to various attractions, including the famous Shirahama Onsen and “Adventure World,” a theme park where guests can meet animals like dolphins and giant pandas.

Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

Furthermore, in the areas listed above, there are a variety of savory local specialties including Matsusaka beef, Ise shrimp, Toba abalone, Kii-Katsuura tuna, and Wakayama mandarin oranges. The area is also a home to many famous hot springs. So, all things considered, why not stay in a ryokan (Japanese-style inn), enjoy some local cuisine, and let hot springs rejuvenate your body and mind?

Enjoy Japan to its fullest with this great value pass!