Osaka Airports & Transportation FAQ

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In the Japan Forum we get a lot of questions about the "best" way from the main airports in the Kansai area (Itami, Kobe and Kansai) to Osaka, Kyoto and the rest of Japan. We also get questions on using the Kansai region's extensive public transportation network.

This page is a wiki for forum regulars to assemble our best advice in one place. While we will make an effort to keep the information current, always double-check fares and schedules against the official websites of the airports and transit authorities. We will provide links to make that as easy as possible.

Please note that the official airport pages contain a wealth of information about ground transportation options. This page is not designed to rehash that information, but to provide further background on the pros/cons of the various ways.

Some general links:

What are Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto's airports?

The cities of Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto (an area also known in different contexts as Kansai, Kinki, or Keihanshin) is served by three commercial airports – Kansai International (KIX), Osaka International (ITM), and Kobe (UKB).

Previously ITM handled all air traffic into the Kansai area. However, KIX was built to take over the international flights while Itami handles the domestic side. The waters were further muddle when short-haul international flights were reinstated at ITM and later on when UKB was built.

Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Kansai International Airport (Japanese: 関西国際空港 Kansai Kokusai Kūkō, or nicknamed 関空 Kanku) (IATA: KIX, ICAO: RJBB) is located on a sinking (albeit slowly) man-made island built in Osaka Bay just south of Osaka city. The land is half in Sennan and half in .

Kansai airport is located in the southern edge of the Kansai's urban area (known as Keihanshin from the abbreviation of the names of Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe). This makes it a long journey from the farther sections of the urban area, namely the outer sections of Kyoto city and western Kobe and Kobe's western suburbs. There is no direct services from western Kobe to the airport; this would culminate as one of the reasons for opening Kobe Airport.

A little planning can make your arrival / transit / layover more comfortable...

-Kansai Airport Official Website: Japanese: http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/, English: http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/

-Travel related information for Kansai International Airport (from Wikitravel): http://

General Information about the airport

-Wikipedia's General Information: http://

-Phone Rental at KIX: http://

-Car Service/ Baggage Storage: http://

Osaka International Airport (ITM)

Osaka International Airport (Japanese: 大阪国際空港 Ōsaka Kokusai Kūkō) (IATA: ITM, ICAO: RJOO) is often called Itami airport due to its location and is used for domestic and short-haul international flights.

Itami airport used to be an air force base located in Itami city that was turned into a commercial airport (it's still surrounded by several Self-Defense bases and depots). Due to urban sprawl, it is now impossible to expand the airport any further. Along with the inherent complaints from the local neighborhood and in an effort to create a regional hub for East Asia, it was decided to build Kansai International Airport.

A little planning can make your arrival / transit / layover more comfortable...

-Itami airport's Official Website: Japanese: http://osaka-airport.co.jp/, English: http://osaka-airport.co.jp/en/

-Travel related information for Osaka International Airport (from Wikitravel): http://

General Information about the airport

-Wikipedia's General Information: http://

-Phone Rental at KIX: http://

-Car Service/ Baggage Storage: http://

Kobe Airport (UKB)

Kobe Airport (Japanese: 神戸空港, Kōbe Kūkō) (IATA: UKB, ICAO: RJBE) is a domestic airport recently built and opened on a man-made island in Osaka Bay found off the eastern coast of Kobe city.

Kobe Airport was conceived to give people in the western part of Kansai easier access to an airport than what was previously offered with Itami and Kansai airports. Unfortunately, the airport is little served by the airlines and most users tend to be Japanese flying domestic. It is noted by the locals for cheap and easy parking.

A little planning can make your arrival / transit / layover more comfortable...

-Kobe Airport Official Website: Japanese: http://www.kairport.co.jp/, English: http://www.kairport.co.jp/eng/

-Travel related information for Kobe Airport (from Wikitravel): http://

General Information about the airport

-Wikipedia's General Information: http://

-Phone Rental at KIX: http://

-Car Service/ Baggage Storage: http://

KIX Layover

What to do around KIX guide:

Please could someone list the relevant threads here?

KIX Hotels:

The on-site hotel is the Nikko Hotel Kansai.

Other choices include the just-across-the-bridge Gate Hotel.

Airport Transfers and Local Transportation Options

a.k.a "Best way from KIX to my hotel?" and "Can I visit Kyoto during my KIX layover?"

The first piece oft repeated advice is "Don't take a taxi"

Beyond that there are several choices - What works for you will depend on where you want to go in Kansai area. (and how much money, what arrival time, how important punctuality and comfort, how much luggage, etc.)

Informative discussions on Flyertalk:

KIX - Namba (Southern part of Osaka city)

http://


Limousine Buses:

http://

JR West

http://

Nankai Railways -

http://

Travel between KIX and other parts of Japan:

Informative discussions on Flyertalk:

==

http://

What Is The Most Convenient Way To Travel From KIX?

Ouch - How do we even begin to broach the pros and cons of various methods, which greatly depend on where you are going, how much luggage you have, what time you arrive and whether you prefer sitting in trains or buses?

Limo Bus

Train

Taxi

Rented Car

How much does a taxi cost?

There are some threads that we have already - I'd like to link here

What about car services?

There are some threads that we have already - I'd like to link here

Fastest at Rush Hour:

At

How much does XYZ cost?

Please add to the knowledge base in this way

Getting Around Osaka - Transportation Within The City

Osaka has many private railways as well as JR trains (mostly above ground), subways and buses. Information available on Wikipedia about this:

http://

Subways =

There are

http://

Overland (mostly) trains

JR Lines:

Rail and Bus Passes for Metropolitan Osaka

Can someone populate this section with information on Icoca and other passes we should know about? There are some threads on the main Japan forum I think. The information will need updating based on the launch of cards which can be used in both Kansai area and Kanto area public transit networks. (And prolly Nagoya too for all I know)

Buses

Buses are not so easy to understand for the casual visitor