Kansai airport transportation guide. Find info about station, ticket, airport bus and high speed ferry

Kansai Airport station ticket gates, JR (blue/left) and Nankai Railway (red/left)
Kansai Airport station ticket gates, JR (blue/left) and Nankai Railway (red/left)

Airport is tourist friendly spot. But you may be hurry when you arrive in Japan, especially if you arrive in late night. As I wrote about late night arrival, trains do not run 24 hours. After midnight, the transportation to Osaka is very limited. Some of you want to know exact location of station, bus stop, ticket office.

In this post, I would like to show you these following topics:

  • Overview of Kansai airport arrival level
  • JR and Nankai Railway’s Kansai airport station
  • Limousine bus stops and ticket counter
  • High speed ferry service counter

Overview of Kansai airport arrival level

Kansai Airport terminal building is large atrium style.
Kansai Airport terminal building is large atrium style.

Before reading my post, please refer the map of Kansai Airport terminal building, arrival level (PDF file).

Arrival level is located at the ground floor of the terminal building. At this floor, there are Tourist Information Center, Travel Desk, Limousine bus ticket counter and High speed ferry service counter.

In the middle of this floor, there are Kansai Tourist Information Center and Travel Desk.

Information center
Information center
Travel Desk
Travel Desk

Information Center is for general inquiries. Travel Desk sells many passes and deals for sightseeing in Kansai Area. If you need to purchase or exchange the following passes, drop by Travel Desk and get your ticket. It is open from 7:00 to 22:00.

  • Kansai Thru Pass
  • Kintetsu Rail Pass
  • Hankyu Tourist Pass
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass
  • Kyoto City Bus Pass
  • Osaka Amazing Pass

The sign says Travel Desk sells JR Kansai Area Pass, JR Kansai Wide Area Pass and Limousine bus ticket.

2015 spring Japan trip 815

2015 spring Japan trip 816

But if you have an exchange order or book online for Kansai Area Pass or Kansai Wide Area Pass, you have to proceed JR ticket office. It is located at the station. I will tell you later.

Limousine bus ticket can be purchased at the counter or vending machine. I think it is not a good idea to purchase a bus ticket at Travel Desk because it seems to be busy most of time.

You can get more information about Travel Desk at Kansai Airport Agency official site.

JR and Nankai Railway’s Kansai airport station

Escalator to second level. You will see the sign easily.
Escalator to second level. You will see the sign easily.

If you take a train, proceed to second level and exit the terminal building. You will see Kansai airport station.

Kansai Airport station can be seen from the entrance of terminal building.
Kansai Airport station can be seen from the entrance of terminal building.
Entrance of Kansai Airport station
Entrance of Kansai Airport station

It is located just in front of airport terminal building. Overpass connects the terminal building and the station.

The view from the station to the terminal building
The view from the station to the terminal building

There are two railways, JR and Nankai Railway. These two railways have Kansai Airport station at exactly same location. Both ticket offices are located side by side.

If you intend to purchase or exchange JR deals, such as Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass), ICOCA and Haruka, Kansai Area Pass, Kansai Wide Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Pass, Takayama-Hokuriku Tourist Pass, Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass or other JR West deals, you can purchase or exchange it at JR’s ticket office. It is open from 5:30 to 23:00.

Kansai Airport station map (JR West official site)

JR ticket office is located beside vending machines.
JR ticket office is located beside vending machines.

If you would like to purchase Nankai Railway’s deal, such as Kanku Chikatoku Ticket, Kanku Tokuwari Rapi:t Ticket or other Nankai Railway’s deals, you may purchase it at Nankai Railway’s ticket counter. It is open from 5:00 to 23:00. (first train to last train)

Please find more information about discount tickets and deals at the following post.

How to choose the deals for access to/from Kansai Airport

Kansai airport station ticket counter. Left side (Orange) is Nankai Railway's counter and other side is JR.
Kansai airport station ticket counter. Left side (Orange) is Nankai Railway’s counter and other side is JR.
Nankai Railway's ticket counter and vending machines.
Nankai Railway’s ticket counter and vending machines.
Instruction to purchase Kansai Chikatoku Ticket at the vending machine.
Instruction to purchase Kansai Chikatoku Ticket at the vending machine.
Kanku Tokuwari Rapi:t Ticket can be purchased at the ticket counter.
Kanku Tokuwari Rapi:t Ticket can be purchased at the ticket counter.

Ticket gates are located side by side as you saw the photo at the top of the post. And the platforms are located side by side too. But those two stations are not connected inside ticket gates.

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.
JR's platform
JR’s platform
Nankai Railway's platform
Nankai Railway’s platform

Both railways has one platform each. It is very simple and find the track where you need to go easily.

Airport limousine bus stop and ticket counter

All bus services depart from ground level.
All bus services depart from ground level.

Limousine bus may be the best way for you. Especially if you go to Nara or Kobe, there is no direct train access. High Speed Ferry service is available to Kobe. But you have to take a train to get downtown Kobe after ferry arrive in the port.

All bus stops are located at same level, ground floor. You can simply exit the terminal building and find the bus stop. You can purchase a ticket at the counter in the terminal building or purchase it at the vending machine or ticket window outside building. There are lots of signage. You can find the bus stop, map, timetable and fare easily.

Ticket counter and vending machine.
Ticket counter and vending machine.
Vending machine
Vending machine
Bus stops map
Bus stops map
Limousine bus route map
Limousine bus route map

You can find the detail information about limousine bus at Kansai Airport official site.

High speed ferry service counter

High Speed Ferry ticket counter
High Speed Ferry ticket counter

This is the fastest way to get Kobe. Trip time is 30 minutes from Kansai airport to Kobe port. Even though you have to take Kobe Portliner to get Sannomiya and spend 20 minutes, it is still faster than trip time by limousine bus, 1 hour 15 minutes.

Ferry service ticket counter is located at north end of the terminal building. When you exit from custom, turn right and walk to the end of the building.

Please find more information about ferry service at Kobe Bay Shuttle official site.

Other services

At arrival level, you can pick up or rental WI-FI mobile router. There are some counters.

Lots of dealer to rent WI-FI mobile route and SIM card.
Lots of dealer to rent WI-FI mobile route and SIM card.

In Japan, luggage delivery service is very popular. When you take a train from airport, train has luggage space. But most of trains do not have luggage space. Luggage might be issue for your trip.

Luggage delivery service counter
Luggage delivery service counter

Managing luggage. How to carry your baggage on board and how to store your baggage at the station.

Usually it take one day to deliver and delivery fee is around 2,000 yen per luggage. When I ship full size suitcase (about 20kg) from Narita to Osaka, I paid 1870 yen. For example, if you travel Osaka and then Tokyo, you can divide into two luggage. And you can ship one of those luggage. You can ship it to your hotel too.

Luggage deliver service counters are located at both end of the terminal building.

I hope this guide make you be comfortable before you leave.

86 thoughts on “Kansai airport transportation guide. Find info about station, ticket, airport bus and high speed ferry”

  1. Hi Takeshi

    I’m wondering if we have bought an online voucher train ticket for KIX to Namba using Nankai Railway, do you think we have enough time to get exchange the real ticket from the counter right from arrival? Our flight arrival is at 2125

    1. Hi Theresa,

      I don’t recommend it. Because the last Rapi:t is 23:00 departure. You have 1.5 hours. If your flight is late even 10 – 15 minutes. It will be impossible. You have to take a risk and it’s gamble. Regular train (airport rapid) still runs after 23:00 departure. You can take this this train by regular ticket. You can buy it at the vending machine.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Mr Takeshi,

    My friend and I are reaching KIX eta 9.20pm on 13th of April and plans to head off to Dotonburi and staying around that area. May I know

    1. Will we be able to collect our icoca cards and express passes at that time after passing through customs and such

    2. In your opinion what would be the easiest route to Dotonburi around our arrival time

    1. Hi Jason,

      1. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-access-to-osaka-kyoto-and-kobe-from-late-arrival-flight-at-kansai-airport-kix.html

      2. The easiest way is taking Nankai Railway to get Namba. Dotonbori is located within walking distance. Regular ticket is most affordable way.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. I will be arriving KIX at 9pm later March. I would like to go to Nagano or even Ueno.

    What would be the easiest and fastest way by direct train or trains with the fewest stops from KIX?

    Not a problem for me to spend night in KIX and take train the next morning.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Randy,

      The arrival time is too late to get Nagano. You have to stay in KIX or Osaka anyway. You can take the following route:
      Kansai airport (limited express Haruka) Shin-Osaka (Shinkansen) Nagoya (limited express Shinano) Nagano

      You can find the timetable at hyperdia:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hello Takeshi-San
    My husband and I arrive into Kyoto on 12/4. We are booked on The Kurobe Alpine tour on 20/4 leaving from Nagoya. We plan to travel to Nagoya the day before on 19/4. The tour is for 2days and ends 22/4, After the tour we will return to Osaka on 23/4. Could you please advise if the 5 day Kintetsu Rail Pass is suitable?
    Thank you
    Regards
    May

    1. Hi May san,

      Kintetsu rail pass is okay. But even if you pay limited express surcharge on top of Kintetsu rail pass to take Kintetsu limited express, you need to change trains once. Trip time is 2.5 hours.

      If you use Platt Kodama to take Shinkansen, trip time is about one hour and it’s direct. Please see the link below to find the info about Platt Kodama:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/platt-kodama-one-way-deal-among-tokyo-nagoya-kyoto-and-shin-osaka-by-shinkansen.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi,
    My friend and I are arriving in Kansai next Mon and using Osaka as a base for 7 days but taking day trips to Kobe, Hijmei, Kinosaki and Kyoto. Can you please advise:
    (1) Should we get a Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Wide Pass?
    (2) For the journey from Kansai Airport to Nippombashi Station, should we use the Pass or buy a one-way ticket?
    (3) Do we need to get a JR pass too for our 7-day stay?
    Thank you for your help.

    Regards,
    Veron

    1. Hi Veron,

      1. You need Kansai wide area pass because only this pass covers Kinosaki. If you don’t go to Kinosaki, Kansai thru pass is much more convenient because Kansai thru pass covers subway and non JR, such as Nankai railway. But Kansai wide area pass covers only JR. There is no JR station in Nippombashi. The nearest JR station is JR-Namba.
      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
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/namba-stations-guide-how-to-change-the-trains-among-nankai-kintetsu-hanshin-subway-and-jr.html

      2. As I mentioned above, you cannot reach Nippombashi by JR trains. Nankai railway and subway combo deal is recommended.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/chikatoku.html

      3. No. You may use Kansai wide area pass as much as you can for outside Osaka. You can add other deal for sightseeing in Osaka. Please see 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

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    1. Hi Regina,

      Yes, you can. Shin-Imamiya is JR station. If you arrive in KIX and go to Shin-Imamiya, you can take Haruka from there to Tennoji and local train from Tennoji to Shin-Imamiya.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/kansai-airport-limited-express-haruka.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/tennoji-station-guide-how-to-transfer-jr-kintetsu-railway-and-subway-lines.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/shin-imamiya-station-guide-how-to-trasnsfer-jr-nankai-railway-and-subway-line.html

      You may take rapid train from KIX to Shin-Imamiya directly.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/how-to-get-kansai-airport-and-wakayama-kansai-airport-rapid-service-and-kishuji-rapid-service.html

      Nankai railway also connects KIX and Shin-Imamiya but Nankai railway is not covered by JR pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. Hi, i would like to ask for your opinion as me and my friend will be travelling to tokyo-kyoto-osaka for 7 days. we already bought JR pass (valid for 7 days). Do we need to buy extra kansai pass or osaka pass to round the places in osaka and kyoto?

  6. Dear Takeshi; my name is Roxana and we are travelling to Japan next October with 7 people. We already have the JR pass. We are using it during our stay in Tokio and Kyoto. On the 8th day we will be in Kyoto but without the JR pass. And on the 9th day we have to go to Kansai to take a flight to Vietnam. We woul like to know which is the best way to get to Kansai airport from Sanjo Station (our hotel will be in this área). Would you recommend us the JR West Kansai Past for this day to use the Haruka Express to go to Kansai? In affirmative case, where shoul we buy it and when? Shoul we need to reserve seats? Thank you very much for your help. Roxana

    1. Hi Roxana,

      First of all, you have to get JR Kyoto station. You can take a bus to get there.
      http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/koho/eng/access/img/pdf/ENG160319(map).pdf

      But if you have a big luggage, it may be hard to get on city bus. You may need to take a taxi. I don’t have fare table for taxi but I expect the fare is more than 2,000 yen per taxi.

      You can take Haruka from Kyoto station to KIX. You can use Haruka discount ticket.
      http://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/icoca-haruka/

      You cannot reserve your seat if you use this deal. Only non reserved seat is covered. Usually it’s not hard to find a seat in non reserved car.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi, Thank you very much for your reply. I am sorry but I have some questions, because I can’t find answers on the web. Where can I buy the Haruka discount ticket one way (from Kyoto to KIX).? In Kyoto Station?
        And second, to get Kyoto Station from Sanjo Station with a big luggage, can I try with any metro or train?
        Thank you very much in advance
        Regards
        Roxana

        1. Hi Roxana,

          You can purchase it at Kyoto station on the spot. Please refer the link which I gave you in previous reply. And you will find “How to purchase” in the link. It says you can purchase it Kyoto station.

          You can take subway but you have to change subway trains at Karasuma-Oike. You cannot get Kyoto station directly. It may be more challenging because you need to move in Karasuma-Oike station with luggage. Anyway the choice is yours.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi Tekashi San
    In June my husband and i will bring my children 15 and 13 yrs old to visit Osaka. We will be staying 5 nights in osaka and 3 nights in kyoto. Arriving kansai airport 9.05am so will be using JR kansai 1 day pass to shin-osaka hotel. since i have JR kansai pass for a day, where can i go using this pass?
    The other days we plan to go USJ, Kaiyukan aquarium, ramen museum, shitennoji temple, dotonbori, osaka castle, Hozenji, Umeda sky building, which ticket should i buy?
    From shin-osaka i need to go kyoto, which transportation should i take? is it worthwhile to take shinkansen? (we never take bullet train before?
    In kyoto where is the place that we can visit and transportation to use.
    Thank you in advance for your reply.
    Regards
    Phyllis

    1. Hi Phyllis san,

      You can visit Himeji, Kobe or Nara by Kanasi area pass. You also can get some places in Osaka by this pass, such as Umeda, Osaka castle. But basically subway is better way to go around Osaka but Kansai area pass covers only JR, not subway.
      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

      For sightseeing in Osaka, there are lots of deals available. Please see 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

      For access to Kyoto, you may take Shinkansen if you are interested in. There is no deals available for this short Shinkansen ride. Single ticket is around 1,500 yen (base fare + non reserved seat fee). If you want to reserve your seat, you need to pay around 3,000 yen. 12 years old and up is applied to adult fare. There is no discount for youth.

      Kyoto station is most convenient place to visit all tourist spots in Kyoto. Please see the links below to find more info:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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