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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.

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

  1. Al says:

    Hi Takeshi -san,

    I will be going to Osaka on 21 Aug 2015.

    Can I buy the 1-Day Kansai Area Pass (JPY2,300), and take the Haruka Express from Kansai Airport to Shin-Osaka, and then Ltd Exp Thunderbird from Shin-Osaka to Tsuruga. Then I purchase the JR Hokuriku Area Pass 4-day (JPY 5,000) for Tsuruga to Kanazawa by Ltd Exp Thunderbird.

    Please advise. Thank you.


    • Hi Al san,

      Unfortunately Kansai Area Pass does not cover Thunderbird. It covers only Haruka and other NON express trains, such as Special Rapid, Rapid and local trains. If you use these passes, you have to take Special Rapid to get Tsuruga instead of Thunderbird. Once you get Tsuruga, you can take Thunderbird.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. sumant says:

    Hello Takeshi-san,

    Me and my wife will be visiting Japan from may 23-26th and covering Tokyo and Osaka.

    I will be landing at Narita from Seoul on 23rd and returning from kansai on 26th.

    My plan is following:
    1. land at Narita and purchase one-way NEX ticket. is there any combination of NEX+SUICA/PASMO available since i need to purchase a prepaid travel card for travelling in Osaka and Tokyo subway. Which prepaid card is the best option to purchase?

    2. Purchase Shinkansen ticket directly at Shinagawa station on 25th to travel to osaka. Is any advance booking required for Shinkansen or we can book on the spot at time of travel?

    3. What is the best way to return from Shin-Osaka to Kansai airport and where to purchase ticket for same?


    • Hi Sumant,

      1. Nex and Suica was available but not any more. Please find available deals from Narita to downtown Tokyo at the link below:

      2. You can purchase it on the spot at Shinagawa. But if you have a time, I recommend you to book it in advance. You can purchase and book at any major JR stations, like Narita airport station.

      3. You can use one base fare ticket from Tokyo to Kansai airport. If you want, you can use one base fare ticket from Narita to Kansai. Of course you can make a stopover at Tokyo, Osaka, and more. Please find more info about single ticket rule at the link below:


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • sumant says:

        Hello Takeshi-san,

        Thank you very much for the prompt and helpful reply but im still left with couple of doubts. It would be very helpful if these were cleared:

        1. The link you sent about Narita-Tokyo deals mentions that the NEX one way is discontinued from march 2015. Does that mean that i cannot travel to Tokyo from Narita on 1500 Yen? What is the price of the Narita express currently since i do not want to use the round trip ticket ( 4000 Yen).
        Also, can the SUICA card be purchased at same location as NEX ticket?

        2. regarding the one way ticket, i am still a bit unclear.

        My schedule is following:
        May 24 : Arrive Narita and travel to JR Shin-Okubo on same NEX ticket. Also, travel around Tokyo

        May 25: Catch Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka. Travel around Osaka/Nara later in day

        May 26: Travel around Osaka/Nara

        May 27: Travel to Kansai from Osaka/Shin-Osaka

        If i do not use single ticket, i would be:
        1. using NEX ticket for Narita-> Tokyo ( 1500 Yen)
        2. using SUICA/PASMO travelling around Tokyo
        3. Buying Nozomi Shinkansen ticket to Shin-Osaka ( 14500 Yen)
        4. using SUICA/PASMO in Osaka/Nara/Kyoto
        5. using SUICA for JR Kansai Airport Rapid from Osaka to Kansai

        How will using single ticket work in this scenario since i have mutiple stops in Tokyo and Osaka?
        What would be the best combination of card/ticket to use for my specific plan?

        Thank you very much for your patience and help.

        • Hi Sumant san,

          As you said, one way N’ex deal is not available any more. That’s why I recommend you to use one base fare ticket from Narita to Kansai. You may use one base fare ticket with separated limited express surcharge ticket, like following:

          1. Narita Express (Narita to Shinagawa)
          2. Nozomi (Shinagawa to Shin-Osaka)

          In above case, you will make a stopover at Shinagawa and Shin-Osaka or Osaka. You need to exit at these stations and purchase single fare ticket or using Suica. I think Suica is better than Pasmo because you can add more fund into Suica at any JR stations in Osaka area.

          This is the most affordable choice for you.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • sumant says:

            Thank you for your invaluable help, Takeshi-san.

            I will report back after trip if the schedule was successful! :)

  3. Emily says:

    Hi Takeshi San
    My family of 5 is arriving Tokyo early April 2015. First time visit Japan. Could you please advise how to travel with JR pass from below:
    – Narita Tobu Hotel to Tokyo station
    – which bullet train to Kyoto
    – Kyoto to Hotel Boston Plaza Kusatsu
    Many thanks!

  4. GREGOR says:

    Dear Takeshi-San,
    We are a group of 3 (2 adults+ child 12 Years) who will travel to Japan on 19 th June to 5th July. Could you please advice us on which will be the best/most economical rail passes to purchase during our stay as tourists. The main question is to buy two week JR pass or to buy one week JR pass +local passes.

    Day 1 – travel from Kansai Airport to Kyoto.
    Day 2 – Kyoto town sightseeing
    Day 3 –Kyoto town sightseeing
    Day 4 – Kyoto town sightseeing
    Day 4 -Kyoto-Nara-Kyoto
    Day 5 –Kyoto- Universsal studio Osaka- Kyoto
    Day 6- Kyoto- Himeji castle-Hiroshima
    Day 7 Hiroshima- Miyajima-Hiroshima
    Day 8 – Hiroshima – M t. Koya
    Day 9 – Mt. Koya- Kyoto
    Day 10- Kyoto-Hakone
    Day 11 -Hakone
    Day 12- Hakone-Tokyo
    Day 13- Tokyo –Nikko-Tokyo
    Day 14- Tokyo- Kamakura-Tokyo
    Day 15- Tokyo
    Day 16- Tokyo
    Day 17 -Flight to Europe

    Thank you very much for your advice.

  5. Jason says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    Need some help on which pass is more suitable for my itinerary as follows:

    Day 1: Reach Kansai Airport around 8.30am, proceed to Namba Station to deposit luggage (Any locker for large suitcase? Please advise, thanks!) After that, go Kobe for a day trip, come back to Namba Station to check-in hotel.

    Day 2: Travel around in Osaka area

    Day 3: Travel to Nara for 1/2 day trip, follow by travel around Osaka area

    Day 4: Check out & travel to Kyoto & travel around Kyoto area

    Day 5: Travel around Kyoto area

    Day 6: Travel to Arashiyama for day trip & head back to Kyoto Station

    Day 7: Travel back from Kyoto to Kansai Airport

    Thank you for your kind assistance. :)


  6. Samantha says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    We are a family of four (children aged 12 and 15) travelling to Japan from Australia June/July 2015. Could you please advise us on which will be the best/most economical rail passes to purchase during our stay as tourists.

    We need to use the rail on the following dates:

    1st July: Tokyo > Iiyama
    6 th July: Iiyama > Hiroshima
    7th July: Hiroshima > Kyoto
    10th July: Kyoto > Kansai airport (Osaka)

    Thank – you, Samantha

  7. Elisabeth Erasmus says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    My husband would like to travel from Kansai International airport in Osaka with Ltd. Express Haruka to Kyoto. From there he is connecting to Tokyo for a couple of days before leaving again from Narita International airport. Is there any train pass you could recommend?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    With kind regards, Elisabeth

  8. Ms Thong says:

    Dear Takeshi-San,

    We are a group of 4 who will travel to Japan on 5th April to 11th April. Given my itinerary below, I would greatly appreciate if you will advise us on which will be the best/most economical passes to purchase during our stay as tourists. We are quite confused because there is so many rail companies plus subway & buses. Ideally there is a single tourist pass that will cover all our trains/bus trips/subways during the entire trip.

    Day 1 – travel from Kansai Airport to hotel ( near Ishida subway station ) in Kyoto. I expect to use JR + subway to & from hotel. And maybe Keihan buses for sightseeing.
    Day 2 – Kyoto town sightseeing. Maybe use buses is the most convenient?
    Day 3 – Arashimaya & Kyoto town sightseeing. I expect to take JR + local buses.
    Day 4 – Travel from Kyoto to Takayama using JR. Sightseeing in Takayama.
    Day 4 – Travel from Takayama to Shiragawa, then use JR to go to Osaka.
    Day 5 – Osaka town sightseeing
    Day 6 – Depart from Osaka town to Kansai airport.

    Thank you very much for your advice.

    Ms Thong

  9. Angel says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    We will travel to Japan from 28 May-4 June. At the first day when we reached KIX we will transfer to Kyoto for 3days2nights and then back to osaka for another 6days 5nights. I just wonder which travel pass is the most suitable for me. Thank you.

  10. Ann Forbes says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    My family and I will travel to Japan for 14 days— June 28-July11. I just want to ask you if buying JR Pass will be worth it if our itinerary is as follows:

    KIX-Hiroshima – 3 days
    Miyajima – 2 days (day trip to Iwakuni and Okunoshima)
    Kyoto – 4 days
    Osaka-Nara-Kobe-Himeji – 5 days

    Thank you so much for your help. :)

    Kind regards,



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

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