These trains connect downtown Osaka (=大阪) with Kansai airport (=関西空港) and Wakayama (=和歌山). Both Kansai Airport and Kishuji Rapid Services are combined to operate between Tennoji (=天王寺) and Hineno (=日根野). Those trains are uncoupled at Hineno, then each trains go to Kansai Airport or Wakayama. If you arrive at Kansai airport, you can take Kansai Airport Rapid Service instead of airport access express “Haruka“. Of course both Limited Express Haruka and this rapid train are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. But if you buy a single ticket, you may consider to take this train.
Route, schedule and trip time
View Kansai Airport Rapid Service / Kishuji Rapid Service in a larger map
Most of Kansai Airport Rapid Service and Kishuji Rapid Service trains are operated between Kyobashi (=京橋) and Kansai Airport or Wakayama. As you mentioned, these trains are combined to operate. But some of these trains are operated as uncombined. These trains depart from Kyobashi station and go through Osaka Kanjo line (=大阪環状線) to Osaka. And then the trains still go on Osaka Kanjo line via Nishikujo (=西九条) and Bentencho (=弁天町) to Tennoji. Some of these trains depart from Tennoji and go through Osaka Kanjo line via Tsuruhashi (=鶴橋) and Kyobashi. thi types of trains stop at Tennoji station twice. After stopping at Tennoji station, these trains head to south on Hanwa line to Hineno. Hineno is the junction of Kansai airport and Wakayama. These two trains are coupled or uncoupled at this station.
Most of Kishuju Rapid ServiceThis train is operated every 15-20 minutes between Kyobashi-Osaka-Tennoji-Hineno-Kansai airport/Wakayama most of time. In peak hours, more trains are operated.
Kansai Airport Rapid Service stop at these following stations:
Tennoji-(stop at all stations in this setion)-Osaka-Nishikujo-bentencho-Taisho-Shinimamiya-Tennoji-Sakaishi-Mikunigaoka-Otori-Izumifuchu-Higashikishiwada-Kumatori-Hineno-Rinku Town-Kansai Airport
Kishuji Rapid Service stop at these following stations:
Tennoji-(same as Kansai Airport Rapid Service)-Hineno-Nagataki-Shinge-Izumisunagawa-Izumitottori-Yamanakadani-Kii-Musota-Kiinakanoshima-Wakayama
*A few trains skip at Nagataki, Shinge, Izumitottori, Yamanakadani and Kiinakanoshima.
Travel time among the major sections are as follows:
Kyobashi – Kansai airport 72-74 minutes
Osaka – Kansai airport 65-67 minutes (*Limited express Haruka 47-50 minutes from Shin-Osaka)
Tennoji – Kansai airport 49-51 minutes (*Limited express Haruka 35 minutes)
Kyobashi – Wakayama 85-92 minutes
Osaka – Wakayama 81-89 minutes (*Limited express Ocean Arrow/Super Kuroshio/Kuroshio 58-62 minutes from Shin-Osaka)
Tennoji – Wakayama 64-70 minutes (*Limited express Ocean Arrow/Super Kuroshio/Kuroshio 42-44 minutes)
Kansai Airport Rapid Service can be used as airport access train instead of Limited Express “Haruka”. The differences between Haruka and Rapid service are cost, speed and route. Japan Rail Pass and JR West pass users do not need to think about the cost. Because the fare and surcharge of Limited express Haruka are included. But if you pay single fare, you need to pay surcharge to take Haruka. It is 1660yen to Shin-Osaka or Kyoto, 1240yen to Tennoji. If you save your budget, Rapid Service may be your choice. Of course Haruka is faster than Rapid Service. I put the time required of Haruka above too. You can find the difference. But Haruka take special route. It does not stop at Osaka. If you go to Osaka by Haruka, change to local train to Osaka at Shin-Osaka. You may spend 5 minutes to change the train and another 5 minutes to get Osaka. So total time is very close in case of going to Osaka station.
If you go to Wakayama, Limited express Ocean Arrow/Kuroshio are much faster. You face same situation about the cost and “Going to Osaka station”. If you want to save your budget, take Rapid Service. If you go to Osaka, Limited express Ocean Arrow/Kuroshio do not stop at Osaka station. You need to expect to spend another 10 minutes to get Osaka from Shin-Osaka.
Both Rapid Services are operated by 223 or 225 series. 225 is newer. But the seat configuration is same and it is not much difference. These Rapid Service trains are operated 8 cars formation. The first 4 cars go to Kansai airport and another 4 cars to Wakayama. The standard seat configuration of Rapid Service trains in Kansai is 2+2. But Kansai Airport and Kishuji Rapid Service give you 2+1. This seat configuration makes the extra space for isle. The passengers who go to Kansai airport can bring the luggage easily.
223 series images by R3’s web site
Logo image by Daigo35 (日本語 / 利用者:Daigo35) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
225 series Interior image1 by w0746203-1 (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
225 series display image by W0746203-1 (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Wheelchair accessible washroom image by 32602Fand3060F (Own work) [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons