You’ll likely travel through Kansai Airport if you’re heading over to Japan’s western side. Situated on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, the Kansai Airport serves as one of the biggest and best transport hubs in western Japan.
Discover Kansai Airport
Kansai Airport, designated as Kansai International Airport or Kanku in Japanese, is the third busiest in Japan, after Narita International Airport in Chiba and Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. It’s the biggest airport in the western Japan region and serves not only Osaka, but Kyoto and Kobe as well.
- Spot name: Kansai Airport
- Street address: Senshu-kuko kita, Izumisano, Osaka 549-0001
- Access: Directly accessible via the Nankai Kansai Airport Station
Inside Osaka Kansai Airport
With around 900 flights per week, Osaka Kansai Airport is a major Asian hub for travelers all around the world. Due to the location of Kansai Airport in the middle of the Osaka Bay, the airport is able to run for 24 hours, giving passengers the freedom come and go at all hours. This freedom extends to various facilities set up in both terminals, such as convenience stores, restaurants and an array of fast food joints.
Travel on the Kansai Airport Limousine Bus
The Kansai Airport Limousine Bus is one of the most convenient ways to get to the bustling hub. Not only are you able to grab the bus from Osaka Station, but you can use it to connect to Itami Airport, get from the traditional town of Kyoto, fly home after a day at Universal Studios Japan and a myriad of other locations in the Kansai Region.
Typically, if you’re taking the bus from Osaka Station or a surrounding hotel, schedule for an hour and a half trip. The trip will set you back about 2,000 yen, depending on your stop. The timetable runs 24 hours, and is first come first serve, so make sure you leave enough time to get a seat and not miss your plane!
If you’re coming from Kyoto, you’ll need to budget around two and half hours of your time for the trip to Osaka Airport. The buses stop around midnight every day and start back up again at 6:00 am. Ticket prices for the Kyoto bus are around 2,600 yen, depending on where you’re getting off, for a one-way ticket.
Lay Back in A Kansai Airport Hotel
If you’re having a longer layover in Osaka, staying at a Kansai Airport Hotel can be the most comfortable way to spend your time while you wait for your next flight.
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport is directly connected to Terminal 1 via a pedestrian bridge. The convenient one-minute walk away is topped off by a 24-hour front desk with great service. With restaurants, showers, coin-operated computer lounge and a massage service for a fee, housed in the same building you can’t get any more comfortable and convenient than Hotel Nikko.
- Spot name: Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
- Street address: 1 Senshu-kuko kita, Izumisano, Osaka 549-0001
- Access: A 1-minute walk from Terminal 1 via the pedestrian bridge
Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport
With gorgeous views of Osaka Bay, Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport is a nice place to stay close to the island. Located next to Rinku-Town Station and inside the famous Rinku Town, Star Gate Hotel offers up a beauty salon, a fitness club and six different restaurants on the top floor of a 50-story building. The hotel offers a free shuttle bus service to and from Kansai Airport.
- Spot name: Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport
- Street address: 1 Rinku Orai Kita, Izumisano, Osaka 598-8511
- Access: A 1-minute walk from Rinku-Town Station
Kansai Airport Washington Hotel
Also located near Rinku-Town Station, Kansai Airport Washington Hotel offers a quick 6-minute walk to the beach on the beautiful Osaka Bay. Inside the hotel is a 24-hour convenience store and a buffet with three different types of international cuisine served to your liking. Washington Hotel also offers a free shuttle service to and from Kansai airport for guests.
- Spot name: Kansai Airport Washington Hotel
- Street address: 1-7 Rinku Orai Kita, Izumisano, Osaka 598-8522
- Access: A 3-minute walk from Rinku-Town Station
Travel from Kansai Airport to Kyoto and Kyoto to Kansai Airport
Traveling from Kansai Airport to Kyoto or from Kyoto to Kansai Airport is super simple with all the various options available to you. We spoke about the limousine bus above, which is the very reasonable price to get to Japan’s old capital for around 2,600 yen. Though usually in Japan, the bus is the cheapest option, but JR West’s Haruka train can get you a better deal if you’re traveling on through the region and beyond.
For travelers to Japan, JR West offers an "ICOCA & HARUKA" set at Kansai Airport, Shin-Osaka Station and Kyoto Station. This set gets you a pre-loaded ICOCA IC card to use in the Kansai region on any JR lines and other private railways and a discounted Haruka Limited Express ticket to or from Kansai Airport.
For a one-way special set to Kyoto, you’ll be looking at paying 3,600 yen with 1,500 yen pre-loaded onto the ICOCA card and 500 yen refundable if you return your card to the JR West office in Kansai Airport. You’re only able to purchase the return ticket version at Kansai Airport, but in doing so you’ll be able to get a specially designed ICOCA card. The return ticket version will set you back 5,200 yen and is valid for 14 days from activation.
If you already have an ICOCA card, you’re able to purchase the discounted Haruka tickets by itself. The single trip ticket costs 1,600 yen and the return ticket is 3,200 yen. Do note that you must have a foreign passport and be in Japan on a “Temporary Visitor Visa” to take advantage of this deal.