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.

how to use JR Kansai Area Pass. Compare this pass and regular fare

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 below to find more information:

ICOCA and Haruka and Haruka discount ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai

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

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

  1. Hi Takeshi,
    Can you please advise the best train pass for us. I am travelling with my 12 year old daughter and this is our itinerary:
    Day 1: Arrive Kansai International airport, train to Kyoto
    Days 2-4: Sightseeing in Kyoto and Nara
    Day 5: Kyoto to Osaka, one night Osaka
    Day 6: Train Osaka to Hakone
    Day 7: Hakone to Tokyo
    Days 8-9: Sightsee in Tokyo
    Day 10: Sightsee in Tokyo and train to Narita airport

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Nikki,

      For day 1 to 5, please use the sample itinerary below:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7to9-days/visit-kyoto-osaka-nara-and-kobe-for-5-to-7-days-sample-itinerary.html

      There is no deals for Osaka to Hakone, Hakone to Tokyo and Tokyo to Narita. You have to use normal fare ticket.

      You may use Hakone Free Pass after you arrive in Odawara from Osaka.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1to3-days/how-to-build-the-trip-plan-to-hakone-various-sample-itineraries-of-hakone.html

      In Tokyo, you may use Tokyo subway ticket or other local deal:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,
    If I buy ICOCA+Haruka card from KIX to Kyoto, can I stop at Shin-Osaka Station and board the train again later??

    Thank you

  3. Hi. We have already our Ordinary JR Pass voucher and we’ll be arriving at KIX this April. Our hotel is in Namba and I was thinking that we take the JR Kansai Airport rapid since we can’t use it in the Nankai Line. But I have read here that we can also use it in the KIX Ltd Express Haruka or the JR Ltd Express Haruka. Are there limitations if we use the Ordinary JR pass in the Haruka?
    What will be the better route from KIX to Namba thru Haruka? Is it the Tennoji Station or the Shin-Osaka Station?

  4. Hi Takeshi San,

    I will arrive at KIX at 1530 and will be heading to Kyoto where we will be staying near Gojo station in Kyoto and Namba in Osaka.

    My itinerary is as follows:
    Day 1 (friday): KIX > Kyoto
    Day 2 (saturday): Explore Kyoto
    Day 3 (sunday): Kyoto > Uji > Nara > Kyoto
    Day 4 (monday): Kyoto > Osaka
    Day 5 (tuesday): explore Namba (i.e dotonbori, etc)
    Day 6 (wednesday): USJ
    Day 7 (thursday): USJ
    Day 8 (friday): Explore osaka (2 day osaka amazing pass)
    Day 9 (saturday): explore osaka
    Day 10 (sunday): 1300 flight home from KIX

    May I ask,
    1. Would you recommend us to buy the Kansai Thru pass for Days 1 to 4? Does the Kansai Thru pass allow us to travel from KIX to Kyoto?

    2. Which pass would you recommend us to take the train from Namba to KIX?

    3. Is buying Kansai thru pass for this trip more worth it than buying single passes using the ICOCA?

    Thank you Takeshi san!

    1. Hi JS san,

      I don’t recommend using Kansai thru pass. You can use it for KIX to Kyoto. But you need to change trains at least twice. And trains are mostly commute trains. It’s very inconvenient to take this route for the travelers with luggage. I recommend to use ICOCA and Haruka and other local deals, such as subway / bus pass. Please see the link below to find more info:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7to9-days/visit-kyoto-osaka-nara-and-kobe-for-5-to-7-days-sample-itinerary.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi…
    Can i use haruka trains from kansai airport direct to Kyoto
    My pass is takayama Hokuriku tourist pass
    Thanks for the answer

  6. Dear Takeshi-san,

    I am planning to visit Kyoto on 10 Feb 2018 with my flight arrived at KIX on 15:30 and I will be leaving on 14 Feb early morning with 9:50 flight. After one night stay in Kyoto, I will go to Nagoya on 11 Feb evening for Shirakawa-go tour and will back to Kyoto again on 13 Feb early morning. Is there any pass that I can use for my itinerary especially for traveling to Nagoya? Because all I can think of is only Keihan Kyoto-Osaka 2 days sight seeing pass. Please advise. Thanks.

    Regards,
    Daniel

    1. Hi Daniel san,

      You have two choices, Kintetsu Rail Pass or 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
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/kintetsu-rail-pass-most-affordable-deal-for-osakakyoto-nagoya-and-access-to-ise.html

      Platt Kodama is not cheap but you can get Nagoya directly and fast.

      Kintetsu Rail Pass is cheap. But you cannot get Nagoya directly even if you add limited express fee. You must change trains at once. It’s much slower than Platt Kodama.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. hi takeshi,

    right now I stayed at kusatsu, shiga-ken. can I buy haruka ticket to kansai airport at kusatsu station?

    thx

      1. glad to hear it Takeshi-sama

        will take the first train thia morning to KIX

        thx for the info. appreciate it so much

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