How to access to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe from late arrival flight at Kansai Airport-KIX

Kansai airport is a manmade island.  Ltd/©JNTO
Kansai airport is a manmade island. Ltd/©JNTO

I have received many inquiries about access to Osaka from the flight that arrive after 21:00 at Kansai airport (KIX). Some of you cannot have any idea how long you will spend after arrival to get the station. And you may not know what time the last train departs from Kansai airport.

You must know these information before you touch down at Kansai airport. In this post, I will tell you about it.

Immigration, baggage pick up and custom

Shuttle train connects the gates and terminal building. (C)Kansai International Airport (KIX/RJBB) / Hyougushi
Shuttle train connects the gates and terminal building. (C)Kansai International Airport (KIX/RJBB) / Hyougushi

Before we talk about train schedule and route, we have to make sure how long to get the station from the flight arrival. It is very hard to say how long it will take from flight arrival to get train. Because it depends on how busy immigration and custom are. My estimation is the following:

5 minutes – getting off the airplane
10 minutes – from the gate to immigration
20 minutes – clear immigration
20 minutes – baggage pick up and clear custom
5 minutes – arrival lobby to the station

So total estimated time is one hour. However if you have a plan to purchase the pass or deal, such as ICOCA and Haruka, Kansai Thru Pass, Kanku Chikatoku ticket, you will spend another 5 to 10 minutes at the station.

*If you have a plan to purchase ICOCA and Haruka, the last Haruka express departs from KIX at 22:16. If you intend to take Nankai Railway’s express “Rapi:t”, the last Rapi:t departs from KIX at 22:35. So it may not be a good idea to purchase the deals for these express trains on arrival day.

If you purchase a single ticket, it takes a couple of minutes. But be prepare to pay by Japanese yen. You may not have a time to exchange the money at the airport. I recommend you to have some cash by Japanese yen. The vending machine can accept even 10,000 yen bill. As long as you have cash, it will be fine. Mostly the vending machine does not accept credit care. You must prepare some cash.

Access to Namba

Nankai Railway's rapid service is a sort of commute train.
Nankai Railway’s rapid service is a sort of commute train.

You can use both Nankai and JR. But there is no direct JR train from KIX to Namba, but Nankai has. So let’s see the timetable of Nankai Railway. Please see the following link:
http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/access/train/index.html
You can find “Nankai timetable” at the menu on the left side of this page. Click it and you will find the updated departure time of Nankai’s trains.

As of March 2015, the last Nankai’s train to Namba departs at 23:29. JR has a train at 23:32 to Tennoji. You can find JR timetable at the menu on the above link too. If you take 23:32 train, you can transfer to the train to JR-Namba at Tennoji. JR has a train at 23:42 too. But this train goes to Hineno where is located between KIX and Tennoji. This train does not work for you.

Anyway you have to be the station by 23:32 if you want to get Namba by train.

If you miss both trains, you still have one more option. Night bus to Nankai Namba station departs at 00:15 and 01:15. Please see the following link:
http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/e_time_table/e_namba.html

If you miss this bus as well, you have no direct transfer to Namba. You can go to Umeda by midnight bus and take taxi to get Namba from Umeda. Taxi fare is around 2500 yen and takes 15 minutes. Please see next chapter about bus to Umeda.

Access to Umeda/JR Osaka

Typical Rapid Service trains (JR West 223 and 225 series)
Kansai Airport Rapid Service trains (JR West 223 and 225 series)

If you want to take trains, you can use both JR and Nankai.

JR has a direct train, Kansai Airport Rapid Service to Osaka station from Kansai Airport. However the last rapid train is 22:31 departure. You have to transfer the trains at Tennoji if you use JR. As of December 2013, the last train route is the following:

Kansai Airport 23:32 – 00:16 Tennoji
Tennoji 00:19 – 00:40 Osaka

You can’t find the above route at Hyperdia because there is only 3 minutes connection time at Tennoji station. Is it feasible? You have to move from track #5 to #11. It’s not impossible. But you may have a big luggage. It will be stressful for you on arrival day.

On the other hand, you can take Nankai Railway’s train to Namba and transfer to subway Midousuji line to Umeda. However the last train of Nankai Railway (23:29 departure) does not connect to any subway trains on arrival day. So if you want to take a train, only JR trains will be your choice.

If you are okay with limousine bus, it will be much easier. Please see the following link:
http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/e_time_table/e_osaka_sta_tt.html

Midnight bus runs almost 24 hours. If you stay in Umeda, you can get there anytime.

Access to Kyoto

If you can take the last departure of express “Haruka”, it will be easy. This is the last direct train. The last train connection is the following:

Kansai Airport 23:09 -(Kansai Airport Rapid Service)- 23:53 Tennoji (track #6)
Tennoji (track #11) 23:58 -(Osaka loop local)- 00:19 Osaka (track #1)
Osaka (track #9) 00:25 -(Special Rapid Service)- 00:55 Kyoto

After this train departs, there is still one more direct bus service to Kyoto. It departs at 23:40 and arrive Kyoto station at 01:20.

Limousine bus site for KIX to Kyoto station

If you will not stay in the hotel within walking distance from Kyoto station, you have to take a taxi. Either way can take you to Kyoto station only. There is no train and bus service after midnight in Kyoto. If you have not decided your hotel, try to get a room around Kyoto station.

If you intend to use Kansai Thru Pass, JR trains are not covered. But I don’t recommend you to take other than JR trains. If you use Kansai Thru Pass on arrival day, you have to take Nankai Railways, Osaka subways and Hankyu Railways. Even if you take JR trains, you have to transfer twice at Tennoji and Osaka. But it will be in same station. But if you transfer from Nankai to Subway, you have to exit and enter the stations. It may be complicated and stressful.

In case that you will go to Kyoto on arrival day, the bus service is easier for you. Please see the following link:
http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/e_time_table/e_kyoto_tt.html
You found 23:40 departure to Kyoto from KIX. This departure time is much easier than above JR trains connection.

Even this bus service may be tight for your arrival time. Especially if you arrive at KIX by Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur at 22:25 or Seoul at 22:30, it may be tight. Actually there are five flights arrive between 22:00 and 22:30. Immigration may be busy. If you arrive after 22:00, I don’t recommend to go to Kyoto on arrival day because it is risky.

Access to Kobe (Sannomiya)

There is no direct train service from KIX to Sannomiya in even daytime. The last train connection is almost same as Kyoto.

If you can take the last departure of express “Haruka”, it will be easy. This is the last direct train. The last train connection is the following:

Kansai Airport 23:09 -(Kansai Airport Rapid Service)- 23:53 Tennoji (track #6)
Tennoji (track #11) 23:59 -(Osaka loop local)- 00:20 Osaka (track #1)
Osaka (track #4) 00:25 -(Special Rapid Service)- 00:46 Sannomiya

There is High Speed Ferry service between Kansai Airport and Kobe Airport. Please see the following link:
http://www.kobe-access.jp/en/timetable.html

The last ferry service departs at 23:50. (But it is limited time operation as of December 2014.) And also free shuttle is available between Kobe Airport and Sannomiya. This is much faster than train and late departure. This is the best route to get Kobe from KIX.

256 thoughts on “How to access to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe from late arrival flight at Kansai Airport-KIX”

  1. Hi,

    Our plane will land at Kansai Airport at around 715pm, assuming there are no flight delays we will be trying to catch the limousine bus to USJ at 9PM (last bus scheduled to USJ) ?

    Is taking the Kansai airport rapid train a good Plan B if we miss the bus?
    Where can we buy the ticket for the Kansai airport rapid train? Is it in the JR booth?
    Can we use a Suica/ICOCA card to board the Kansai airport rapid train?

    Thanks

    1. Hi H Medina,

      You will be able to take a bus as long as the flight arrives on time. As you think, you can take a rapid train in case that you miss the bus. You can purchase a ticket at the vending machine. You can use Suica or ICOCA too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi San,
    I have one issue upon arrival at KIX. I am traveling with my husband and 2 daughters age 6 and 8. I am planning to buy Yokoso Osaka ticket for me and husband. But since Yokoso Osaka Ticket doesnt offer price for children, I am planning to buy Kanku Webtoku ticket for my daughters.

    My question is, are we allowed to board the same train with our different tickets? Because as far as i understand, Yokoso and Kanku offer Limited Express Rapi:t regular seat ticket. But I want to reconfirm with you because it might be chaos and waste of money if we are not allowed to board the same train.

  3. Hi!

    I just wanted to know if I get a JR Pass, what is the best route to Osaka? Also, is it still advisable to get the Rap;it when I have the JR Pass already?

    Also, what can avail with the JR Pass? Can I get free passes to attractions too?

    Many thanks..
    Beverly

    1. Hi Beverly,

      JR pass covers only JR train. Rapi:t is Nankai railway train which is not covered by JR pass.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html#JR_trains

      You can take Limited Express Haruka or Kansai airport rapid train by JR pass.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/kansai-airport-limited-express-haruka.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/how-to-get-kansai-airport-and-wakayama-kansai-airport-rapid-service-and-kishuji-rapid-service.html

      If you stay near subway station in Osaka, you have to pay for subway ride. Subway is not covered by JR pass too. You may get the detailed coverage map by JR pass in Osaka in the following link:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      I think you meant Osaka amazing pass.
      https://www.osp.osaka-info.jp/en/

      If you visit more than 3 attractions, you may use this pass even if you have JR Pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi!

        Last question, what pass do you recommend? when travelling in Osaka-Nara-Kyoto-Osaka?
        What is worthwhile, JR West Kansai Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, or Kintetsu Rail Pass?

        Sorry I am so confused.

        1. Hi Beverly,

          I have to see much more detailed your trip plan, such as location to stay, visiting places. Can you show me your trip plan day by day? Otherwise I cannot day which pass the right one is for your trip.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi!
            This is in reference to this question earlier:

            [Hi! Last question, what pass do you recommend? when travelling in Osaka-Nara-Kyoto-Osaka? What is worthwhile, JR West Kansai Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, or Kintetsu Rail Pass? Sorry I am so confused.]

            [Hi Beverly,

            I have to see much more detailed your trip plan, such as location to stay, visiting places. Can you show me your trip plan day by day? Otherwise I cannot day which pass the right one is for your trip.]

            This is my detailed trip:
            Hi Takeshi,

            My ETA at KIX is at 20:05, My itinerary planned as below:-

            Day 1 – arrival, taking nankai train to namba, to check in at my hotel at Ashihara, Naniwa-ku, Osaka
            (do you have any idea if this really near the station?)

            Day 2 – Nara Tour (but no tour package, we are planning to have a Do-It-Yourself trip. (what is the best way to travel?) (will be back at Osaka after the trip.)

            Day 3 – explore Osaka (osaka castle, tsutenkaku, dotonbori) (I already purchased Osaka Amazing Pass)

            Day 4 – Universal Studio Japan (I still can’t decide what pass is good but I’m thinking of the USJ Express Pass 4. Do I still need to buy the 1 day E-ticket? Or do I have to buy a separate tickets for the entrance ticket?)

            Day 5 – Head to Kyoto (and will stay and check in at Tatsumicho, Shimogyoku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8307, how do I get there?) Also, will visit the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Ninen-zaka and Sannen-Zaka, lastly, Fushimi-Inari Shrine on this day.)

            Day 6 – Explore Arashiyama and Nijo Castle (What way is best to take?)

            Day 7 – Kyoto Tower (I purchased express pass already for this) and free time (which I haven’t decided yet what to do)

            Day 8 – Travel to Osaka early morning and explore Dotonbori (what is best line to take?) my flight from KIX is at 20:00 back to the Philippines.

            Please please give me some advise on what Pass I should take as my friends told me that JR is better and I read some blogs that Kansai Thru Pass is better too.

            Thank you so much!

            1. Hi Beverly,

              I don’t think either Kansai area pass or Kansai thru pass is required. You cannot get the worth of it. I recommend you to use Kansai one pass and Haruka, Tennoji version.
              https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/icoca-and-haruka-ticket-very-flexible-and-good-deal-for-tourist-who-stay-in-kansai.html

              You can take limited express Haruka from Kansai airport to Tennoji, and then take a local train to Ashiharabashi. Both train trips are covered by Haruka portion of Kansai one pass and Haruka. I think your accommodation is near JR Ashiharabashi station. But you should ask your accommodation which station the nearest one is. Actually this is a key to choose the pass. I think you JR Ashiharabashi station is the nearest. That’s why I recommend you to use Kansai one pass and Haruka. If not, you may think about using different deal for arrival day.

              You can use Kansai one pass for day 2, 4, 5, and may be 7. You can take any trains, subways and city buses by Kansai one pass. But Kansai one pass does not offer unlimited travel. You will have 2500 yen preloaded e-money in the card. This may be enough to cover the trip in these 5 days but if not enough, you can add some more fund at the vending machine in any JR stations. You also can get discount offer at many attractions.

              When you use Osaka amazing pass, you cannot start using this pass at JR Ashiharabashi because this pass covers non JR line, such as subway. You have to walk to the nearest subway station which is Daikokucho.
              https://goo.gl/maps/Jvorr4mjhuG2

              I think your accommodation in Kyoto is near JR Kyoto station. Probably it is 10-15 minutes away from Kyoto station but you should ask your accommodation again. They should know that. You can get Kyoto station by JR local train from Ashiharabashi to Osaka and special rapid train from Osaka to Kyoto.

              At the end, you can add Haruka discount ticket for Kyoto to KIX. You can find the info at Kansai one pass and Haruka link too.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

              1. Hi Takeshi!

                Thank you so much for your recommendation!
                But where do I buy the Kansai One Pass? Is it sold only at the Kansai airport?

                The reason I am in difficulty on what deal to purchase (JR Pass or Kansai Thru Pass) id because I wanted to avoid the long queues(lines) in the stations. I have an option here to buy online the JR West Kansai Pass (thru Klook – https://www.klook.com/activity/3276-4-day-jr-west-kansai-rail-pass-jr-pass/ ) and it will be mailed to me to be claimed at the airport and I don’t have to worry for the transportation. But yes, I am only limited to JR lines, right?

                Also, I already bought the Nankai Line Airport Express – Kansai Airport to Namba Station (Japan Pick Up) ( https://www.klook.com/activity/599-kansai-airport-namba-train-ticket-osaka/?krt=s22&krid=3c2361d6-9505-418b-4ba2-fd5ffc5ff949 ) so I don’t have to use any lines except this one.

                In finality, I still prefer the most convenient one. So what to choose from these options? Thank you so much!

                1. Hi Beverly,

                  Please see the link below to find info about Kansai one pass:
                  https://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

                  Even if you buy Kansai area pass online, you still need to exchange the pass at Kansai airport. You have to wait anyway. It’s same as purchasing at JR West online which I gave you previously.

                  Most convenient choice is purchasing a regular ticket for arrival day to Ashiharabashi. You can purchase it at the vending machine. And you may purchase Kansai one pass somewhere in Osaka, such as Nankai railway Namba.

                  You cannot get any actual tickets or passes online. Even if you purchase some tickets, you still need to exchange it after you arrive in Japan.

                  Cheers,

                  Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi, We’ll be arriving at KIX 8:10pm. our accommodation would be at Hotel WBF Kitasemba west. May we know what train we need to take & what statuo we will get off. We’re from Manila btw.

    Thanks so much!

    Maylyn

      1. According to the property’s profile, it’s 600m from Yodoyabashi train station. also, do i still have enough time if i will book pass here & pick it up at the airport upon arrival?

        Thanks so much for your assistance. I’m quite worried.

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Wow! This is great! thank you for accommodating my inquiry..This really helps us a lot! and btw, i still have time to pick up pocket wifi, and will still catch the train to Namba.

            Another inquiry please.what do you suggest for a pocket wifi to be rented upon arrival in KIX?

  5. Hi Takeshi,
    I’m Coreen. Would like to hear from your recommendation the type of pass we should get. Travelling in a family of 3.

    My trip: 8 days itinerary
    Staying at Namba area
    Day 1: KIX Airport at 9.35pm
    Day 2: Osaka sightseeing & shopping
    Day 3: Continue at Osaka
    Day 4: Kyoto sightseeing (day trip)
    Day 5: Back to Kyoto to continue sightseeing (day trip)
    Day 6: Nara (day trip)
    Day 7: Kobe (day trip)
    Day 8: Osaka, KIX Airport for flight back
    Above itinerary is it OK in your opinion?

    Thanks
    Coreen

    1. Hi Coreen,

      Please see the link below for KIX-Namba.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      For sightseeing in Osaka, please refer the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Kansai thru pass is recommended for Kyoto and Nara.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      Hanshin tourist pass is most affordable for trip to Kobe.
      http://www.hanshin.co.jp/global/en/tourist/

      By the way, when are you going to travel? Kansai airport is now closed due to flooded by tropical cyclone. Kansai airport authority is now investigating and trying to find how long it will take to fix it. It may take a long time to recover.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        Thanks for your reply. We will be traveling on 17 Oct. Hopefully by then, airport is operating as per normal.

        Best regards
        Coreen

  6. Hi Takeshi-san,

    What kind of transport should I take to Hotel Sunroute Osaka Namba ?
    Cause my flight arrival time is 9.20pm.
    Which transport method would more convenience ?

    Rgds,
    Wong-san

  7. Hello Takeshi

    happy to read your information on this site. it is very useful
    btw, i will be arriving at kansai airport on 10.00 Pm
    and my destination will be the daikokucho station

    as i read your post here. all the nankai trains to nankai namba will be stop on 11.30pm? maybe i still have enough time for settle imiggration, baggage and customs also buying ticket.
    but from nankai namba, walks to namba station then to daikokucho station, are the subway still running on this time?
    or do you have better idea for us how to reach daikokucho station at this late time?

    thanks for your reply
    Vendy

    1. Hi Vendy,

      You have to take 23:18 departure at Kansai airport. If you take this train, you can get Namba at 0:02. But the last subway departs at 0:17. You cannot make this train after 23:18 at Kansai.
      If you miss this, you need take a taxi from Namba to Daikokucho. There is no other choices than walk. It takes 15 to 20 minutes if you walk. It’s not impossible. Please use google map to check the exact time and route.
      https://goo.gl/maps/dqWosGHYEq72

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi,

    We arrive late at Kansai airport at 9.30pm, end of October 2018, with a toddler. We are looking for airbnb in Osaka. What locations should we be looking for, and how can we get to Osaka from the airport?

    1. Hi Gaithri,

      Namba, Shin-Imamiya and Tennoji are recommended. You can get Namba by Nankai railway. Shin-Imamiya is connected with Kansai airport by both Nankai railway and JR. You can get Tennoji by JR.

      These three places are most accessible places from Kansai airport.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Hi Takeshi,
    Thank you very much for answering my questions!
    Sorry for asking again…

    As we change our plan of going to Kyoto instead of Osaka after arrival time 935pm, which transport is best for us to take? Are we in time to take Haruka and what is the last timing of the train service( i saw 2 last timing in your article, 1 is 2216 another 1 is 2309, i am confused)? If not, what other line choices we have beside taking limousine? What time the ticket office close? Can the ticket be purchased from vending machine?

    Must i get all the Kansai 1 pass, Osaka amazing pass, Kansai thru pass and Kyoto buss pass at the airport? Is there anywhere else i can the above passes? If get from airport can all be purchased from 1 counter as we have limited time?

    Thank you!

    Best regards,
    Iris

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