questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

train between osaka (kansai) airport and kyoto

Train between Osaka (Kansai) airport and Kyoto

I am flying into Osaka on Sat the 21 Dec arriving at about 6.30pm. I intend buying a Japan Rail Pass in advance & would like to get a train from the airport directly to Kyoto on Saturday night rather than spending a night in Osaka - I am wondering if this is going to be possible before I book accommodation.

  1. Is there an office at Osaka (Kansai) airport where I can activate my rail pass & will it be open - I expect I would not get to it before say 7.30-8.00pm by the time I clear arrivals & find it.

  2. Do you know what time trains run between Kansai & Kyoto on a Saturday evening - I expect it may be after 9.00pm by the time I have sorted out my rail pass (If of course I am able to do this on a Saturday evening at the airport).

Your advice would be much appreciated.




Hi Brett,

It is absolutely possible to travel to Kyoto without having to stay the night in Osaka. The last train connection to Kyoto leaves Kansai Airport at 23:09 and runs everyday (including the weekend), so there's more than enough time to get trough customs and activate your JR pass.

I would try to aim for the Haruka Express that leaves Kansai Airport at 22:16 as this is the last direct express train going to Kyoto, the train connections after that all involve one or more transfers.

As for your accommodation, try to find something near Kyoto station as travel to the main city center can take some time if you are yet unfamiliar with the city.

Enjoy Japan!

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