Kansai Airport Access Guide

Kansai Airport Access Guide

By Odigo Travel | 2017-06-28 | 3.8k views

Access to Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport (KIA) is located in Izumisano City in Osaka, and acts as a main hub linking Kansai cities such as Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe to other parts of the world. There are two common modes of transportation from KIA to Osaka downtown areas: train and taxi. 

1. Train

The JR West Japan Railway Company and Naikai Railway are the two train service providers you can choose from. JR railway lines start from KIA and go through Kyoto, Osaka, Shin-Osaka, Osaka-Kyōbashi, Tennoji and Wakayama, and the entire journey can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Naikai lines mainly travel to Osaka Namba areas, and KIA to Osaka’s urban areas take about 40 minutes.

2. Bus

The Airport Bus is recommended for travelers with heavy luggage. It stops at Osaka Station, Osaka-Numba, USJ Universal Studios, Nara, Kyoto and several other popular tourist destinations that are near hotels. 

Introduction to Kansai transportation 

When it comes to traveling in Kansai, people usually prefer to take the train. JR railways and private subways are the inter-city modes of transportation connecting Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe together. 

This intra-city transportation, however, vary across different cities. Osaka, for example, mainly relies on Osaka Municipal subways and JR lines. In Kyoto, the bus plays a primary role, then followed by the train. In Kobe, the bus and Municipal subways are common choices.

Three main modes of transportation

Kansai’s transportation network is as complex as that of Tokyo’s. The three main public transportation options are JR West Japan Railways, Municipal Subways, and Private Subways. They are operated independently and have separate ticketing systems. Note, however, that each company offers discounted combo tickets. JR and Private Subways are primarily used for inter-city transportation, while Municipal Subways are used for intra-city transportation.


Similar to Tokyo’s Suica Card, the ICOCA Card is the most commonly used prepaid transportation IC card in Kansai. Sold by JR West Japan Railways, this prepaid card can be used for several modes of transportation, including JR lines, Municipal Subways, Private Subways, and buses. One can easily purchase an ICOCA Card at ticket vending machines or ticket offices located at JR West Japan Railways main stations. Charging and refund services are also available.

Kansai inter-city transportation

Osaka is regarded as the center of Kansai, with Kyoto and Nara nearby—while Kobe is located on the other side. Traveling to and from these four places is easy and quick!

From Osaka to Kyoto

There are two lines commonly used from Osaka to Kyoto’s urban area and to Arashiyama.

1. To Kyoto Station
From Osaka Station or Shin-Osaka Station, take Sanyo Main Line of JR Central Japan Railway (Tokaido Honsen). The express train takes around half an hour to Kyoto Station and costs about 560 yen. The Kansai JR PASS is accepted.

2. To Kawaramachi Station in Kyoto
Take Hankyu Main Line from Umeda Station in Osaka. The express train takes around 40 minutes to Kawaramachi Station in Kyoto and costs 400 yen.

3. To Arashiyama Station
Take Hankyu Main Line from Umeda Station in Osaka and transfer to Hankyu Arashiyama Line at Katsura Station, then to Arashiyama Station. The express train takes around 40 minutes and costs 400 yen.

From Osaka or Kyoto to Nara

There are two main stations in Nara, namely Kintetsu Nara Station and JR Nara Station. There are two lines linking Osaka or Kyoto to Nara. Though the Kintetsu Station is closer to tourist spots, it is best to choose a line based on your schedule. 

1. From Osaka to Nara
- To JR Nara Station: 
From Osaka Station, take Yamatoji Rapid Service of JR Kansai Main Line. It takes around an hour and costs 800 yen. The Kansai JR PASS is accepted.

- To Kintetsu Nara Station:
From Osaka Numba Station, take Kintetsu Nara Line. The express train takes around 30 minutes and costs 560 yen.

2. From Kyoto to Nara
- To JR Nara Station: 
From Kyoto Station, take JR Miyako Line-Kintetsu Nara Limited Express. It takes around 40 minutes and costs 710 yen. The Kansai JR PASS is accepted.

- To Kintetsu Nara Station: 
From Kyoto Station, take Kintetsu Nara Limited Express. The express train takes around 30 minutes and costs 1130 yen.
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    Pear C
    2016-12-21 16:29:07

    Super useful information, if only I had seen this before I flew to Japan.

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    2016-12-27 08:37:50

    Hi, this is the purpose of ODIGO to share useful information with all of tourists. Japan is a good country, but not yet matured in terms of infrastructure for tourists traveling here. We will beef up a more variety of travel info. please check them out!

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    Ty-My Tran
    2018-03-30 15:06:16

    Wow ! So useful informations! These will help me so much for my upcoming this summer trip in Japan ! Thank you!

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