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

Kansai Airport Express Haruka

Kansai Airport Express Haruka

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.


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

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

  1. Ai Ling says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    My travel plan is to fly to Osaka on 6th July and stay until 11th.I will be visiting surrounding Osaka. Then I will travel to Tokyo by shinkansen on 11th/7 and stay until 14th/7.From Tokyo I will fly to sapporo for 5days.
    I plan to buy 7days JR PASS for the duration of the trip but I am not sure whether I should start using the pass on the 1st day or when i travel to tokyo by shinkansen.
    Is it possible to travel to Sapporo by shinkansen or should I fly in?2

    • Hi Ai Ling,

      Are you going to use JR pass for Osaka-Tokyo and in Osaka or in Tokyo? What is your plan in Sapporo? If you intend to use Osaka-Tokyo and in Osaka or in Tokyo, JR Pass may be more expensive than single ticket. JR Pass 7 days pass is almost same as return fare and Shinkansen surcharge for Osaka – Tokyo. As long as you have one way trip to Tokyo from Osaka, JR Pass is too much even if you use JR Pass for sightseeing in Osaka, Kyoto or other spots in Kansai area.

      If you have any chances to use JR pass after arriving in Sapporo, that may be considerable. At this point, we have to make sure whole picture of your plan. Otherwise we cannot make a decision.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Deepa says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I would like to know the best travel pass for my visit to Japan (first time)

    14-Feb – 17-Feb Arriving in Sapporo (will take subway for sight seeing)
    17-Feb – Arrive in Kansai at 9pm (by flight). Will take Haruka Express to Kyoto
    18-Feb -19-Feb – Will take subway for sight seeing
    19 Feb – Shinakansen train to Tokyo
    20-Feb – will take subway for sight seeing

    Please let me know which pass is best suited for me .
    For the kyoto sight seeing I have thought to purchase Full day bus pass (500Yen) .
    Seeing the explicit details in your post , i want to buy ICOCA & HARUKA” but would it be worth , please advise .

    Lots of Good wishes and Regards

    • Hi Deepa,

      As you think, ICOCA and Haruka is your choice. You can use ICOCA in not only Kyoto but also Tokyo. If you take subway in Tokyo, you can use ICOCA too if you don’t use subway pass.
      Unfortunately ICOCA cannot be used for long distance transfer. And there is not deal available for Shinkansen to Tokyo. Only single ticket is your choice. You can purchase and book Shinkansen ticket in advance at Kansai airport when you purchase ICOCA and Haruka if you want. It’s not difficult to book Shinkansen. If you don’t want to spend time at Kansai airport, you can book and purchase at Kyoto.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Deepa says:

        Thank you so much Takashi , really grateful to you .

        • Hi Deepa,

          No problem. Enjoy your trip!


          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • Deepa says:

            HI dear Takeshi ,

            Sorry I have got one more question please .

            As mentioned earlier, on 19 Feb (weekday) I will be taking a Shinakansen train from Kyoto to Tokyo. I will be visiting a few tourist destination in Kyoto in the morning before taking the train to Tokyo.
            My problem is I do not know exactly what time I want to take the Shinakansen to Tokyo (may be around 1400 or 1600 hrs)

            So is there a open ticket I could buy in advance OR do you think I can just go to the Kyoto train station and directly buy the tickets to Tokyo . Are there chances that I might not get the ticket for Shinakansen to Tokyo if I directly go there .

            Sorry for asking so many questions !!

            May God bless you for helping others selflessly !

          • Hi Deepa,

            Don’t worry. You can purchase and book it just before taking train to Tokyo. It’s easy to do it in last minutes. There are lots of Shinkansen trains to Tokyo from Kyoto.


            Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Ai Ling says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    I would like to know the best way to reach shinosaka(staying@New osaka hotel) after 2300hr. I would also like to exchange JR pass when I arrive at the airport, is the information counter open?

  4. Steve says:

    Love your site, so much info. Just one question, if you get a Shinkansen Ticket at Kansai International Airport, can you catch the JR Haruka, with not purchasing a Haruka ticket. Like in Tokyo, you can get off a Tokyo Station and travel anywhere in the Tokyo JR network without purchasing a ticket. Thanks in advance.

  5. Shirley Ong says:

    Hi, need help on what is the best way to get from Kansai Airport to Yamashirotaga station or Tamamizu Station. We are family of 5 and arriving from Singapore and will stay a nite at Washington hotel and the rest of the stay at Kyoto Garden Residence at Idechou Taga Hattanda, Kyoto prefecture which is nearer to Yamashirotaga Station than Tamamizu station.

    I would also like to know which pass is better for us. (Icoca+Haruka) or Kyoto city pass? My itinerary is as such-
    19 Nov – arrive at 10pm and check in Washington hotel at rinku town (free airport shuttle)
    20 Nov – go back to Kansai Airport to get pass? And then go to Idechou Taga Hattanda ( which is nearer to Yamashirotaga station than Tamamizu Station. After check in go to Kyoto (kiyomizudera and gion district)
    21 Nov – from Yamashirotaga station to Kyoto (Higashiyama area) then back to Yamashirotaga
    22 Nov – from Yamashirotaga station to Kyoto (Arashiyama area) then back to Yamashirotaga
    23 Nov – from Yamashirotaga station to Kyoto (Southern Kyoto area -fushimiku/tofukuji) then back to Yamashirotaga
    24Nov – from Yamashirotaga station to Nara then back to Yamashirotaga
    25 Nov – from Yamashirotaga station to Kyoto or Osaka then back to Yamashirotaga
    26 Nov – from Yamashirotaga station or Tamamizu station to Kansai Airport departure 11am (setting off early at 6.30am?)). Is it the same way as the arrival?

    Thank you for your help


  6. Chrisvian says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I will arrive at Kansai International Airport at 8am. But from what I read jr pass exchange office open at 10.30am. Is that true?? So i must wait until 10.30am or I can exchange jr pass at other office? Thanks before.


    • Hi Chrisvian,

      Unfortunately you have to wait. The station is open from 5:30 to 23:00. I have never exchanged JR pass at KIX. But I think foreign travellers information counter take care of JR Pass. You will arrive at 8:00 but you will spend 1 hour to go through custom and immigration. So you have to wait for 1.5 hours.

      The nearest station is Osaka station. But you have to pay extra 1190 yen to get there. So your choice is wait for airport or pay 1190 yen to save 1.5 hours.


      Takeshi / JP Rail


  1. Travel around Japan flexibly without a JR Rail Pass | strickenwithwanderlust

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