So you're looking to get from Kansai International Airport to Osaka Station! But transportation from the airport is more confusing than you bargained for. What do you take? From where? To where? How?
Kansai Airport (KIX) may be on the sea, but it is easily accessible to and from various parts of Kansai via a range of different transportation networks. Here's how you can use these networks to reach your destination in Osaka City and surrounding attractions as quickly, easily, and inexpensively as possible.
- Table of Contents
- Getting to Osaka from Kansai International Airport (KIX)
- 1. Train from Kansai International Airport to Osaka
- 2. From Kansai International Airport to Osaka by bus
- 3. From Kansai International Airport to Osaka by taxi
- 4. Rent a car at Kansai International Airport and drive to Osaka
- 4. Book a Kansai International Airport Transfer to Osaka
- Main Osaka Points of Interest
- Different modes of transportation for different purposes!
Getting to Osaka from Kansai International Airport (KIX)
Originally opened on September 4, 1994, Kansai International Airport is Japan's first off-shore airport, built on an artificial island 5km off Senshu in Osaka Bay.
In Japanese, it is commonly called by its nickname "Kankuu" (short for "Kansai Kuukou," Kansai Airport in Japanese), or by its Airport Code KIX.
This airport is one gateway to Kansai, along with Osaka International Airport and Kobe Airport. It is also currently ranked the second-largest international hub airport in Japan after Narita International Airport, considering international passengers and flights. In 2018, around 23 million visitors used Kansai Airport to travel to Japan.
Kansai International Airport is serviced by the JR and Nankai Railway Lines, and directly connects to the expressway for ease of travel by taxi or rent-a-car. There is also a Limousine Bus service that you can use at major stations throughout Kansai.
1. Train from Kansai International Airport to Osaka
To get from Kansai Airport to Osaka, we recommend a train that is punctual and reasonable in travel time. Both JR and Nankai Electric Railway have Rapid, Express, and Limited Express services. Consider transfers, ride time, and fares for your destination when selecting an option.
・Around 4-6 departures per hour between 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
・Ride Rapid Line bound for Kyobashi, or Limited Express Haruka Line bound for Kyoto or Maibara (Limited Express train requires both regular passenger ticket and Limited Express ticket).
(*Limited Express Haruka Round-Trip Discount Tickets and Ticket Sets for long-distance travelers using both Limited Express Haruka and Shinkansen are available.)
・Around 5-6 departures per hour between 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
・Ride all Express and Limited Express Rapi:t trains bound for Nankai-Namba (Rapi:t requires a reserved-seating ticket, passenger ticket, and a reserved-seating express ticket to ride).
(*Discount sets available for passengers using Limited Express Rapi:t and transferring to a different line in Namba; varies by destination.)
Getting to Kansai-Airport Station
Now we will cover how to get to Kansai-Airport Station from the arrival gate.
Begin at the 1st-floor arrivals area of Terminal 1. Take the escalator or elevator to the 2nd floor, and head to the exit. Across the connecting passage, you will see Kansai-Airport Station.
This is Kansai-Airport Station, where you can catch the JR line and Nankai Electric Railway. It is attached to the connecting passages of Terminal 1 on the second floor.
This is Kansai-Airport Station. The ticket offices for JR and Nankai Electric Railway look similar, so be careful not to mistake the two.
The JR office has an all-blue sign, and the Nankai Electric Railway is orange and blue. Rapid and express tickets can be purchased from both railway companies respectively.
The automatic ticket vending machines for both the JR and Nankai Electric Railway can also support four languages: English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Just toggle the language-switching screen.
If you need a Limited Express Ticket or a Reserved Seat Ticket (separate fare from your regular ticket), it is recommended that you purchase each at the ticket information counter.
English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese-speaking staff are available at the JR ticket office.
At the Nankai Electric Railway ticket information center, a portable interpreter is installed for customer use that supports 74 languages.
The JR and Nankai Lines ticket gates are right next to each other, so be careful not to get them mixed up when boarding.
From Kansai Airport to Osaka/Kyobashi
JR Kansai Rapid Service
・Time Required: Approx. 65 minutes to Osaka; approx. 75 minutes via to Kyobashi (Passenger Ticket: 1,210 yen)
・From Kansai Airport to Tennoji/Shin-Osaka
JR Limited Express Haruka
・Time Required to Tennoji: Approx. 34 minutes (Passenger Ticket: 1,080 yen + Unreserved Seating Limited Express Ticket: 660 yen or Reserved Seat Limited Express Ticket: 1,190 yen (regular season)/990 yen (off-season)
・Time Required to Shin-Osaka: Approx. 51 minutes (Passenger Ticket: 1,390 yen + Unreserved Seating Limited Express Ticket: 990 yen or Reserved Seat Limited Express Ticket: 1,520 yen (regular season)/1,320 yen (off-season)
From Kansai Airport to Namba
Time Required to Namba: Approx. 46 minutes (Passenger Ticket: 930 yen)
・Limited Express Rapi:t
Time Required to Namba: Rapi:t α approx. 35 minutes/Rapi:t β approx. 40 minutes (Passenger Ticket: 930 yen + Reserved Seating Express Ticket: 520 yen)
2. From Kansai International Airport to Osaka by bus
Getting through the airport and traveling to your destination with large suitcases can be challenging. For those times, let the staff take your luggage with and travel more easily via limousine bus. There are many bus departures from Kansai International Airport to major stations.
Keep in mind, travel time will vary depending on road conditions such as traffic, so this option is recommended only if you're not in too much of a rush.
If arriving at Terminal 1, use the 1F exit towards the front of the same floor. If arriving at Terminal 2, go through the front exit and use the pedestrian crossing to the other side. There you will find the bus stop.
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket vending machines located right near the bus stop. Ticket vending machines are available in Japanese and English.
There is also a Limousine Bus ticket counter on the same floor as the Arrival Gate, so once you have decided to use the bus, you can buy your tickets right there. There are always Japanese and English speaking staff available at the ticket counter, and occasionally, Chinese and Korean speaking staff, as well.
Limousine Buses from Kansai Airport
・Depart from Kansai Airport (Terminal 1, Platform 5) to Osaka Ekimae (bound for Hankyu Hotel/Herbis Osaka).
・66 departures between 3:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily. (As of October 2022, running on a reduced schedule, with around 30 departures.)
・3-4 departures per hour between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
・Time Required: Approx. 57 min. (From Terminal 2, Platform 1: approx. 80 min.)
・Fare: Adults 1,600 yen, Children 800 yen
Depart from Kansai Airport (Terminal 1, Platform 11) to Namba (bound for OCAT)
・40 departures between 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. (As of October 2022, running on a reduced schedule with around 4 departures.)
・2 departures per hour between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
・Time Required: Approx. 50 min. (From Terminal 2, Platform 6: approx. 63 min.)
・Fare: Adults 1,100 yen, Children 550 yen
Depart from Kansai Airport (Terminal 1, Platform 3) to Universal Studios Japan
・21 departures between 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. (As of October 2022, running on a reduced schedule with around 6 departures.)
・2 departures per hour between 10:00 a.m. and noon.
・Time Required: Approx. 70 min. (From Terminal 2, Platform 7: approx. 83 min.)
・Fare: Adults 1,600 yen, Children 800 yen
3. From Kansai International Airport to Osaka by taxi
If time and money are of no issue, and you just want to get to Osaka via the easiest route possible, then using a taxi is recommended.
Airport taxis offer a flat fare to each destination. While this method is rather costly compared to other modes of transportation, because prices are per vehicle, you can split the cost between multiple passengers. The route to the taxi stand is as follows.
To get to the taxi stand, exit the Arrival Gate from the Terminal 1 entrance, and cross the Limousine Bus Lane. There you will see the taxi lane, with stands numbered from 1 to 7.
No. 3 is for travelers without reservations; Nos. 1 and 7 are for passengers with reservations. Choose the appropriate taxi depending on your destination, the number of people, and the amount of luggage. The fare may be higher, but if you ride in groups of 3 or 4 people, you can split the fare.
Airport Taxi to Kyoto Station (*Separate fee for Express and for Pick-ups):
・Standard (Capacity: 4): 10,300 yen
・Business (Capacity: 5): 12,300 yen
・Jumbo (Capacity: 9): 18,500 yen
・Standard (Capacity: 4): 9,700 yen
・Business (Capacity: 5): 11,700 yen
・Jumbo (Capacity: 9): 18,000 yen
4. Rent a car at Kansai International Airport and drive to Osaka
To travel around the large Kansai Area with more freedom, it is recommended to use a rental car. The route to the rental car reception area is as follows.
Rental car shops are located on the first floor of the Aeroplaza, a complex connected to Terminal 1 Building and Kansai Airport Station via connecting passage.
The reception counter is a 3-minute walk from the passage on the second floor of the Terminal 1 Building. From Terminal 2 Building, it takes about 7 minutes via free shuttle bus.
This is recommended for those traveling with small children or the elderly, or for those who prefer a more leisurely sightseeing trip.
From Kansai Airport to the Osaka Station area, it takes around 40-50 minutes.
4. Book a Kansai International Airport Transfer to Osaka
Airport transfers are an economical way of getting from the airport to Osaka. These are especially convenient for family trips or for larger traveling parties with plenty of luggage.
Main Osaka Points of Interest
Now that you know how to travel from the Kansai Airport to Osaka City, it's time to focus on sightseeing! Here are some recommended spots to see.
This popular downtown area is said to be the most representative of Osaka, with its flashy neon lights and unique, giant restaurant signs. There are many restaurants where you can enjoy delicious local Osaka cuisine, such as okonomiyaki and takoyaki. A pleasure boat also runs through Dotonbori. The most convenient way to the Dotonbori Area from Kansai Airport is via the Nankai Electric Railway.
From Kansai-Airport Station:
・Ride Nankai Airport Line Limited Express Rapi:t towards Namba (930 yen + 520 yen for Reserved Seat fare, approx. 40 min.) or Express Line (930 yen, approx. 46 min.) to Nankai Namba Station.
・Dotonbori Area is about 10 min. away on foot.
Abeno Harukas, the tallest building in Japan, is a 60-story skyscraper with hotels, museums, department stores, restaurants, and a rooftop observation deck called Harukas 300 that overlooks Osaka City from a height of about 300 meters above the ground. To get to Abeno Harukas from Kansai Airport, ride the JR Limited Express Haruka Line.
From Kansai-Airport Station:
・Ride Kyoto-bound JR Limited Express Haruka (1,080 yen + 660 yen Unreserved Seat fare, approx. 34 min.) to Tennoji Station South Exit
・Abeno Harukas is approx. 1 min. away on foot
Shin-sekai is an area reminiscent of old-school, downtown Japan. It is most famously known for Tsutenkaku Tower, or the "Naniwa Eiffel Tower of Osaka." This nostalgic area of Osaka is home to many kushikatsu shops, izakaya, and shogi and music clubs. To get to the Tsutenkaku area, use the Nankai Express Line.
From Kansai-Airport Station:
・Ride Namba-bound Nankai Airport Express Line (930 yen, approx. 42 min.) to Shin-Imamiya Station West Exit C.
・Tsutenkaku is about 9 min. away on foot.
Osaka Castle was built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi when he unified the country. Many tourists visit this symbolic attraction of Osaka. There is an observatory in the castle tower on the 5th and 8th floors, as well as the Osaka Castle Museum inside. Other seasonal attractions around the castle's inner moat are Osaka Castle Park, Nishinomaru Garden, and Houkoku Shrine. You can get to Osaka Castle via the JR Haruka Limited Express and Osaka Loop Line.
From Kansai-Airport Station:
・Ride Kyoto-bound JR Limited Express Haruka (1,080 yen + 660 yen Unreserved Seat fare, approx. 34 min.) to Tennoji Station
・Board JR Osaka Loop Line bound for Tsuruhashi/Kyobashi to Osaka Castle Park Station (approx. 11 min.)
・Walk about 18 min. to Osaka Castle tower
Osaka Station City
Osaka Station City is one of the largest commercial facilities in western Japan, centered around Osaka Station. There's fashion, food, movies, even a hotel and souvenir shop. There is also an underground shopping area, and many trendy shops and department stores. You can get to Osaka Station City via the JR Line.
From Kansai-Airport Station:
・Ride Kyoto-bound JR Limited Express Haruka (1,080 yen unreserved seat fare + 660 yen, approx. 34 min.) to Tennoji Station
・Then board JR Yamatoji Rapid (approx. 15 min.) to Osaka Station (Osaka Station City)
Universal Studios Japan (USJ)
This popular theme park opened in March 2001, offering the full experience of the world of Hollywood movies. In recent years, it has seen various collaborations with world-renowned anime and games, as well as many seasonal events. This park boasts top entertainment that adults and children alike can enjoy from morning to night. Particularly popular are Super Nintendo World, Minion Park, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To get to USJ, use the Limousine Bus.
From Kanku Expressway Bus Terminal:
・Ride USJ-bound Airport Limousine Bus (1,600 yen, approx. 70 min.) to USJ Bus Terminal
・Walk about 5 min. to arrive at Universal Studios Japan
Expo ’70 Commemorative Park (Expocity)
This vast, green park is the former site of the 1970 World Exposition and is also home to "Taiyo no Tou," the Tower of the Sun, another landmark. Other nearby landmarks are the Osaka Japanese Folk Art Museum, the National Museum of Ethnology, Japanese gardens, and EXPOCITY, a large complex with nearly 305 shops and entertainment facilities. There's even a 123m tall Ferris wheel. To get to Expo'70 Commemorative Park, ride the Limousine Bus (*temporarily suspended as of October 2022) and use the Osaka Monorail.
From Kanku Expressway Bus Terminal 10:
・Ride Airport Limousine Bus bound for Keihan Moriguchi-shi Ekimae (1,900 yen, approx. 63 min.) (*temporarily suspended as of October 2022) to Dainichi Station.
・Walk about 4 min., and ride Osaka Monorail bound for Osaka Airport (380 yen, approx. 17 min.) to Expo'70 Commemorative Park Station, Exit 3.
・Expo'70 Commemorative Park is about a 7-minute walk from there.
Different modes of transportation for different purposes!
The best transportation for you to use during your travels will depend on many factors, such as age, schedule, amount and size of luggage, who you are traveling with, and experience.
The methods introduced today seek to provide as much convenience with as little cost as possible. Whether an experienced traveler or Japan first-timer, we hope you will find this guide for getting from Kansai International Airport to Osaka of great use. Enjoy your stay in Japan!
*This article was re-edited in October 2022 from the information at the time of publication. For the latest information, please check the official website of each store and facility.
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*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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