Direct access to Shin Osaka, Kyoto from Kansai airport, Kansai Airport Limited Express “Haruka”

Limited Express Haruka connects Kansai airport and Kyoto via Tennoji and Shin-Osaka.
Limited Express Haruka connects Kansai airport and Kyoto via Tennoji and Shin-Osaka.

Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka may be your first train in Japan. It is operated between Kansai (Osaka) airport and Greater Osaka area, Kyoto, Kusatsu and Maibara. But please be careful that Haruka does not stop at Osaka station. It stop at Tennoji and Shin-Osaka. If you want to go to Osaka station, you have to transfer to the local train at Shin-Osaka. This express train has 30 round trips a day and are operated mostly every 30 minutes.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

After you arrive Kansai airport, you can exchange your Japan Rail Pass and take this train to Osaka. Japan Rail Pass cover fully this train. Haruka takes you to Shin-Osaka station for about 1 hour. It is fast and convenient. But this train does not take you to Osaka station and does not drop you off at the door of Hotel either. We have an Airport limousine bus to many place in Greater Osaka and Hi-speed ferry service to Kobe. So if you go to Greater Osaka area, I recommend you to take other transportation.

And also if you stay several days in downtown Osaka, please think about saving your rail pass days. Please refer this tips.

Route and stations

Kansai Airport(関西空港) x
Hineno(日根野) *
Izumi-Fuchu(和泉府中) *
Tennoji(天王寺) x
Shin-Osaka(新大阪) x
Kyoto(京都) x
Yamashina(山科) x
Otsu(大津) x
Ishiyama(石山) x
Kusatsu(草津) x
Moriyama(守山) x
Yasu(野洲) x
Oumi-Hachiman(近江八幡) x
Hikone(彦根) x
Maibara(米原) x

x:All train stop *:some train stop

If you are looking for the timetable of Haruka, you can find it at the bottom of JR West website.

View Haruka (Kansai Airport Express) in a larger map

Special tickets and passes for Haruka

Japan Rail Pass cover this train. But if you think about purchasing single ticket, think about “JR West Kansai Area Pass” or “ICOCA and Haruka”.

JR West Kansai Area Pass

This pass is originally designed for unlimited ride in Kansai area. But you can use one day pass to get on Haruka only. The price of one day pass is 2,000 yen. You can purchase at Kansai airport station on the spot. This is cheaper than single ticket (basic fare + limited express surcharge = 2,470 yen) from Kansai airport to Shin-Osaka. If you go to Shin-Osaka and beyond, you will get much greater deal. Please see JR West site to get the details.

ICOCA and Haruka

If you take some local trains after arrival by Haruka, this special combination ticket gives you the best deal. Especially round trip type is cheaper than round trip by Haruka between Kansai airport and Shin-Osaka. Please see the post, ICOCA and Haruka ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai to get the details.


JR West 281 series is used for Haruka. This train was introduced at the same time of Kansai airport opened in 1994.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Green seat

The seat configuration is 2+1. It is a big seat, but the head rest is so small.
Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka

Ordinary seat

The seat configuration is 2+2. The table is so small. It cannot be used for eating, drinking and using a laptop.
Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka

Washroom and other facilities

Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka
Haruka has some luggage storage. But it does not have any lock and security.
Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka Ltd Exp Haruka

Haruka train information

1 2 3 4 5 6

Some trains are operated by 9 cars formation.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat

244 thoughts on “Direct access to Shin Osaka, Kyoto from Kansai airport, Kansai Airport Limited Express “Haruka””

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I am arriving in KIX on 7th Dec, going to Takayama & Kanazawa from 8th to 11th Dec. If I purchase the Takayama-Hokuriku Pass, will it be worth for me to activate it upon arrival in KIX on 7th Dec? My itinerary as below;

    07th Dec – KIX > Osaka
    08th Dec – Osaka > Kanazawa > Takayama
    09th Dec – Takayama
    10th Dec – Takayama > Shirakawa-go > Kanazawa
    11th Dec – Kanazawa > Kyoto
    11th to 13th Dec – Kyoto
    13th to 18th Dec – Osaka

    On 07th Dec, I am staying nearby to Matsuyamachi Station, should I get off at Tennoji Station or Shin-Osaka Station? I am arriving in KIX at 8.30am and wont be able to check in until 3pm. I might need to leave my luggage at Namba Station’s locker.

    I am also planning to get a ICOCA card for Kyoto & Osaka from 11th to 18th Dec, roughly how much I should have in my card for a start? I can reload later when the funds isn’t sufficient.

    Kindly help me. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Jyess,

      Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass will work for your trip. I’m sure that it’s the best choice.
      Tennoji is closer to Matsuyamachi than Shin-Osaka. You can take subway from Tennoji to Matsuyamachi. Please find the map at the link below:

      Most of hotels in Japan can receive the luggage before check in time. I always go to the hotel even before check in time and leave the luggage. Ask your hotel to do it or not. I believe they can do it.

      You can use ICOCA but I have no idea how much you spend at all. It depends on how many trips you make. When you purchase it, 1500 yen is in the card. You can add as much as you want later.


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi,

        Thank you for your reply and the pdf map. It certainly helps. I also read from your blog that the TH Pass will not be available for sale in Japan. Thus, I need to purchase it from the local agent?

        Ohh, upon arrival in Kanazawa, I will need to take the Nohi Bus to Takayama. Any idea on seat reservation online? I only notice that I can purchase the ticket online and make a reservation during purchase. However, I am holding the TH Pass, I wont be doing any purchase online.


        1. Hi Jyess,

          Actually JR does not give us any list of venders. I have no idea which agent sell this deal. As you think, this is not sold in Japan and you have to buy it before you leave.
          Try to contact JR pass agent. They may sell this deal. You can find JR pass agent list at the link below:

          I think you have to make a call if you want to book Nohi bus in advance. As far as I know, phone call is only way to book for this deal.


          Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi

    I’m flying to Kansai Airport and want to take the Hakura train to Shin-Osaka to catch a Shinkansen to Kyoto. Is this the fastest way to get to Kyoto? and how much would this cost?

    1. Hi Netr,

      Don’t take Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Kyoto. Shinkansen is 10 minutes faster than Haruka. But you will spend at least 10 minutes to transfer at Shin-Osaka.

      Just keep taking Haruka to Kyoto. This is faster and you can use Haruka direct ticket.


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I need to get from Kyoto station to Kansai Airport. Is the best option the Kansai Area Pass taking the Kansai-airport Express HARUKA?


  4. Hi. My senior parents and I are going to Osaka on November for 9 days. What is the most convenient way to reach Shin-Osaka St.? I dont want them jumping off from station to station. What kind of discount card can I get? And when going back on our departure day from Shin-osaka to KIX airport, what is more ideal? Any suggestions? Thanks!

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Just finished studying and doing my itinerary.
            I am emphasizing that I am traveling with seniors so.. Anyway, I want to ask what passes I have to use in my travels that can cut my budget a little. Can you try to itemise so that I won’t be confused? Thanks.

            Day 01: Arrival
            *KIX-shin osaka (probably rest this day)

            Day 02: Kyoto tour
            *Kiyomizudera Temple, Higashiyama district, Yasaka Shrine, Hanami Koji St, Heian Shrine, Eikando and Nanzenji Temple, Philosopher’s Path
            ( was thinking of hopping on and off buses and walking in Kyoto. Will go back to Osaka for rest)

            Day 03: Kyoto Tour
            *Nijo Castle, Kitano Shrine, Kinkakuji, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Stroll at Termachi-dori and Shinkyogoku-dori (will be using hop on hop off buses again and going back to Osaka for rest)

            Day 04: Arashiyama, Kyoto
            *Sagano Senic Railway
            *back to Arashiyama via JR Sagano
            *walk tour around Arishayama ( they are feasible to do on foot right? Guessing this place is not so huge?)
            *back to Osaka again

            Day 05: Kobe
            *Will be using the Kobe City Loop 1 day pass to stroll around Kobe (back to Osaka)

            Day 06: Osaka Tour
            *Osaka Castle, Expo Memorial Park,Umeda Sky Bldg, Umeda Stroll (back to Shin Osaka)

            Day 07: Osaka Tour
            * Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, Dotonbori-Namba area stroll

            Day 08: Osaka Tour
            * Minoo Park

            Day 09: Osaka Tour
            * Tenmangu Shrine, Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, Tenjinbashi-suji Street, Nagai Park

            Day 10: Shin Osaka to KIX

            Any thoughts?

            Btw, Japan train operates from 5 am to midnight?


            If using the ICOCA can you also estimate how much I would load up for each card? Thank you so much. 🙂

          2. Hi Pau,

            Don’t rely on ICOCA to much. You cannot save your cost.
            Use Kansai thru pass 2 days for day 2 and 3.

            You may consider using 3 days Kansai thru pass to use day 5 too.

            This pass does not cover JR so you cannot take JR train from Shin-Osaka. But it covers subways, city bus and non JR trains, such as Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan. These trains are much more convenient in these cities. And also you can take subway in Osaka to explore night in Osaka after these trips. Please see the link below to find some more info about building trip staying in Osaka.

            You may use ICOCA and Haruka for arrival day and departure day.

            You may use ICOCA for taking train only on day 4 and 8. I don’t think you need to add. Just add a few hundred yen as single fare because you have to add minimum 1000 yen when you add more fund into ICOCA.

            For exploring in Osaka, just use subway deals as I mentioned in the link about building itinerary.


            Takeshi /

          3. Hi. We will be going to the expo memorial park. Is it worth visiting? I was wondering when riding a monorail is icoca accepted? Thanks in advance!

          4. Hi Pau,

            Actually I haven’t been there for the last 10 year. At that time, there was amusement park too. But now it has only memorial park. If you are interested in the history of this even, you may be interested in that. I’m not sure you like it or not actually.

            You can use ICOCA to take monorail.


            Takeshi /

  5. Dear Takeshi san

    May I know how do we get to Wakayama station from Kansai airport? Can we use Haruka Express.

    Thank you

  6. Hi, I have a question on the Kansai Wide Pass for Haruka. The pass covers ‘Ordinary Car, Non-reserved Seating’, right? So we sit where there are seat available for ‘Non reserved seat’ but what if there are no more seat available after we enter the coach? Do we sit somewhere else? And how do we reserve seat and what is the extra cost? Sorry if the question sounded silly but I’m rather confused with the whole extra ticketing required and reserve/non reserve system. Appreciate if you would be able to help to explain the system! 🙂

    1. Hi Soo,

      If all seats in non reserved cars are occupied, you have to stand up on the isle or passengers deck. But it’s very very rare.
      If you want to reserve your seat, you have to pay full amount of seat fare and it doesn’t make any sense to use this pass. And also you have to go to the ticket window to book. You cannot do it on board.

      If it’s full and you really want to get a seat, wait for next train to get a seat. That’s better way than reserving seat.


      Takeshi /

  7. hi Takeshi,

    i will attend a confrence in Miyakomesse, Kyoto for 5 days.
    what is the cheaper way to get there form Kansai airport?

  8. Hi Takeshi,
    i am arriving at KIX with Osaka locals and they are organising our transport into Osaka (Yao).
    But i need to travel back to KIX by myself. I will catch local train to Tennoji and then take Haruka to KIX. What is the best option to purchase a one-way Haruka ticket from Tennoji to KIX? Can i buy a ticket at Tennoji?
    I do not need a general rail pass while i am in Osaka, but will buy one if i must

    1. Hi bushouhige,

      Yes. You can take local train to Tennoji by single fare around 200 yen. And then take Haruka from Tennoji to Kansai airport by discount ticket at 1100 yen. But you need to exit at Tennoji station and purchase this ticket. You cannot purchase it at Yao.
      If you don’t want to exit, just change to rapid train at Tennoji. In this case, you can purchase one single fare ticket to Kansai airport at Yao. It costs around 1200 yen in total.


  9. I bought Haruka tickets from Shin-Osaka to Kansai airport and I received two tickets. One says Fair Ticket for 1,360 yen and second one says Non-reserved for 970 yen. Why am I getting two tickets and the person that works at the station said that I just need two tickets and I am to insert two tickets at the stall when I enter. This is very confusing to me. Why not just one ticket and why can’t anyone explain why I need two tickets and if I need two tickets why isn’t there any explanation on how to use two tickets. Very confused.

    1. Hi Wesley,

      Those are base fare ticket and limited express ticket. When you take limited express (Haruka, etc), you need to have two ticket. You don’t need to insert limited express ticket when you enter the station.


      Takeshi /

  10. Dear Takeshi
    After reading the articles about transportation and some of the comments on your site, I had summarised my itinerary as follows:
    Day 1 KIX to Kyoto (using Haruka/Icoca card) one way
    My ETA is at 8.30am. So after reaching Kyoto, I will exploring southern and central part of Kyoto using Kyoto day pass.

    Day 2 Going to Arashiyama (using Randen Day Pass) will use this pass to visit Kinkakuji and surrounding area.

    Day 3 Exploring Eastern Kyoto using Kyoto Day Pass

    Day 4 Going to Nara using Icoca

    Day 5 Kyoto to Osaka using Icoca, staying near Shinsaibashi
    Will be using Amazing Osaka for transportation and sightseeing.

    Day 6 Travelling to Himeiji and Kobe using Kansai Area Pass

    Day 7 Universal Studio (using Icoca)

    Day 8 use Icoca to go to Tennoji station, then buy one way haruka ticket to KIX.

    Would you comment on my itinerary?


    1. Hi Ng,

      Your itinerary is very good and I only have a few things to mention to you.

      When you go to Nara by ICOCA, you may use Kintetsu railway. Single fare by Kintetsu is 620 yen but JR is 710 en. You will save 180 yen for round trip. But if you don’t stay near Kyoto station, you need to take subway or bus to get Kyoto. You will spend a few more hundred yen. So your ICOCA may be almost empty after trip to Nara. Because you have only 1500 yen in ICOCA. Of course you can add some more fund into ICOCA. But you can add minimum 1000 yen.

      If you don’t want to add into ICOCA, just use single fare after finish ICOCA.

      Or you may think about using Kansai thru pass. Kansai area pass is much better than Kansai area pass.

      But Kansai thru pass can be used on unconsecutive days, day 4 and 6.

      This pass covers Kintetsu, Hanshi, any subway trains in both Kyoto and Osaka. You can take subway from Shinsaibashi to Namba and transfer to Hanshi-Sanyo to get Himeji. Trip time is much longer than JR but you can save the cost. You can use this pass to get Nara too. You may visit some places in Kyoto after trip to Nara if you have time.


      Takeshi /

  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded and nothing happens. But your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *