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.

Accommodation

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.
Images
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
G R R R NR NR

Some trains are operated by 9 cars formation.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
G R R R NR NR R R R

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

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

  1. 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!

  2. Dear Takeshi san

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

    Thank you
    Yap

  3. 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.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. hi Takeshi,

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

  5. 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.

      Cher

  6. 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.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. 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?

    Ng

    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.
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/how-to-access-to-himeji-and-kobe-from-osaka.html

      But Kansai thru pass can be used on unconsecutive days, day 4 and 6.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      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.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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  • 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

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