Kansai airport is the international airport for the Kansai Region. Cities like Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Kobe are all located within Kansai. Kansai Airport also is a closer airport for travelers wishing the visit Hiroshima, Kyushu and the south of Japan.
Arrival at Kansai Airport is straightforward, there are two terminals. Terminal 1 is for all international flights, while Terminal 2 services for low-cost airlines. Immigration is fast most of the year but can take more than an hour during the busy periods of the year. It’s recommended to start moving right away after landing at Kansai Airport because the difference can easily be 20 minutes if you have a whole plane of people in front of you who need to go through immigration.
Activating the JR Pass.
Finding the rail station is easy, just follow the signs at Kansai Airport with Railways and you’ll get to the station. There are two companies who service Kansai Airport station, Nankai and JR. It’s the JR Office that you’ll want to enter. Here the JR Pass can be exchanged and rail tickets can be booked right away.The JR Pass can be exchanged at Kansai Airport between 5:30-23:00.
The office at Kansai Airport can be busy, especially if a lot of travelers arrive at the same time. If you do not have to start using the JR Pass right away, it’s recommended to activate the JR Pass elsewhere, such as Kyoto or Osaka.
Pocket WiFi Pick-up
In case you ordered a Pocket WiFi go to the first floor after arrivals and pick-up your WiFi at the Global WiFi counter. Find out how to rent pocket wifi in Japan here.
Travel from Kansai Airport into the major cities
Travel from Kansai Airport to Kyoto:
The JR Haruka Ltd. express train travels directly from Kansai Airport to Kyoto and is the fastest and most convenient way to travel to Kyoto. Good thing it is covered by the JR Pass!
Travel from Kansai Airport into Osaka:
The JR Rapid airport service travels from Kansai Airport into Osaka, stopping at major stations on the way, such as Tennoji, Shin-Imamiya, Osaka (Umeda) and Shin-Osaka stations.
For those going to Namba using the JR, use the JR Rapid airport service to Shin-Imamiya and transfer there to a local train bound for Namba. The Nankai Railway also travels directly from Kansai Airport to Namba but is not included in the JR Pass.
Travel from Kansai Airport to Tokyo and elsewhere:
Expert tips for Kansai airport
-There are many small restaurants at Kansai Airport if you can’t wait for a good Japanese meal, head to floor 2 for a good variety.
-The Airport remains open during the night and sleeping in one of the waiting areas is a free alternative to a hotel.
-There is free Wifi available.
-There’s a PokeStore, selling all kinds of things Pokemon on Kansai Airport.
There is no Shinkansen stop at Kansai Airport, the fastest way to access the Shinkansen is to take the Haruka Express to Shin-Osaka station. From Shin-Osaka, Shinkansen offer access to Tokyo, Hiroshima and anywhere else in Japan.