Whom may it concern about travel in Japan.
JR pass is one of the best way to go around.
When the JR pass is expired, you have some choices to save money for the travel.
Seisyun 18 Kippu (JR) is 5days pass for 11,500 yen, which can be used just for local train.
It is 2,300 yen for a day trip. You can use it for a month from 10th December to 10th January.
Himeji Castle about 1 hour 2,900yen for round trip.(D 600yen)
Hikome Castle(Japan National Heritage) 76 min 3780yen for round.(D 1,480yen)
Uno(Naoshima) 3.5 hour 3,570 yen for one way.(D 1,270yen)
Here is another good ticket information about the passes in Osaka and Kansai areas.
Escape from here!