Airports around Kansai
There are 3 major airports that serve as the gateway to the Kansai, the western region of Japan, including Kansai International Airport, Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport), and Kobe Airport. As of October 2022, regular international flight routes are serviced through Kansai International Airport, but visitors can soon expect Kobe Airport to answer to growing demand with its goal to service regular international routes by 2030, starting with its charter international flight slated for 2025. Below is an overview of the collective “3 Kansai Airports” providing major air travel to the Kansai region via Kansai International, Osaka International (Itami) and Kobe Airports.
Kansai International Airport
Seated as the gateway to Japan’s western region, this 24-hour, international airport offers a network of all-day access to domestic and worldwide destinations. The airport debuted in 1994 as the world’s first ever airport to be built on a completely man-made island. Today you can access the airport by train, bus, taxi, car/rental car, as well as high-speed boat.Official site
Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport)
This airport, located at the near center of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, is a mainstay for domestic flights across Japan. It services a full roster of domestic flight routes and access to Japan’s major airports. Access to the airport is primarily available by train (monorail), bus, taxi as well as car or rental car.Official site
This sea-bound airport offers prime access to the heart of downtown Kobe. Currently, it only services domestic flights but is slated to charter its first international flight in 2025, with plans to open to regular international travel by 2030. For access to the airport, train (Port Liner), bus, taxi, car/rental car and high-speed boat (Bay Shuttle) is available to use.Official site
◎Main Direct Flights from Kansai International Airport
- 1 Paris (France): approx. 14hr 55m
- 2 Amsterdam (the Netherlands): approx. 17hr 45m
- 3 Dubai (U.A.E.): approx. 11hr 15m
- 4 Shanghai/Pudong (China): approx. 2hr 35m
- 5 Seoul/Incheon (S. Korea): approx. 2hr
- 6 Hong Kong: approx. 4hr 30m
- 7 Taipei/Taoyuan (Taiwan): approx. 3hr 10m
- 8 Singapore: approx. 6hr 55m
- 9 Manilla (Philippines): approx. 4hr 35m
- 10 Bangkok (Thailand): approx. 6hr 20m
- 11 Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam): approx. 5hr 35m
- 12 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): approx. 7hr
- 13 Los Angeles (U.S.A.): approx. 10hr
- 14 Cairns (Australia): approx. 7hr 10m
- 15 Honolulu (U.S.A.): approx. 7hr 20m
- 16 Guam (U.S.A.): approx. 3hr 45m
※Only major country cities listed. This list does not include all flights available.
※Flight details are subject to change. Please check with the official airline flight status for the most recent information.
approx. 1hr 20min
approx. 12hr 15m
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approx. 2hr 30m
approx. 10hr 20 min.
(Express)approx. 2hr 30m
approx. 5hr 40m
approx. 1hr 25m
approx. 6hr 40m
approx. 1hr 20m
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approx. 9hr 45m
approx. 2hr 30m
JR is a railway that connects each region in Japan with Tokyo as the central station.
Shinkansen is a bullet train with maximum speed of 320 km per hour and connects Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Hokkaido.
It takes only one to two hours between cities in the Kansai area.
Names of train types are “Jyunkyu,””Tokubetsu-kaisoku,””Tsukin-kaisoku,””Kaisoku” and ”Futsu” depending on the numbers of stations they stop. Please be aware that names and definition of type vary by railway company.
As for JR, “super express fare” in case of bullet or express trains and “seat assignment fare” for reserved seats are additionally charged.
As for railway companies other than JR, you can take “Super Express” or “Express” trains only with a regular ticket in general.
In addition, subway is convenient for inter-city transportation in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Minimum subway fare is about 180 to 210 yen.
You can catch a taxi at stations in the urban area, hotels and taxi stands at the airport in Japan.
In case of small and medium size taxi, which is a typical case, you tell the driver your destination and the taxi will hit the road.
Another type is a large size sightseeing taxi with a flat rate either by hours or driving course.
You can stop any running taxi if it shows “空車” sign in red letter, which means “vacant,” by raising your hand. Recently, you can call a taxi by telephone or smart phone application software.
Large size sightseeing taxi equipped with luggage space is suitable for a lengthy ride. The fare is charged by time in general.
The driving course will be determined by the discussion with driver in consideration of traffic condition.
In Japan, there are route buses, which are operated mainly in urban area, sightseeing buses for tourists and highway buses, which are operated between major cities.
Route bus is operated municipally or by a bus company. It runs on a scheduled route with bus stops, according to a time table. The passengers typically use it for commuting, hospital visits and shopping. If you use it for sightseeing, please be aware that the fare varies by the numbered ticket issued upon your boarding and that luggage space is limited.
◎Sightseeing bus (Tour bus)
Sightseeing bus (tour bus) runs around famous sightseeing spots from terminal stations in the urban area or airport.
This is a kind of route bus but it comes with tour escorts. It is very convenient for foreigners because of multilingual arrangement.
One type of sightseeing bus is to tour with a flat rate. There is another type that will take you from the airport to another airport or a train station by way of hotels and sightseeing spots.
In some cases light or full meals are served on the way with additional cost. Some buses accept last minute boarding and other buses may be operated even with fewer tourists.
◎KANSAI ONE PASS
You can travel around “Kansai” with just one IC card. The pass is available only for foreign visitors. With this pass, you can smoothly make connections at any major transportation companies in the Kansai region without buying tickets each time, and some discounts for museum and other facilities are available.see details
◎JR-WEST RAIL PASS
You can purchase convenient and inexpensive unlimited ride ticket according to your travelling days and area.see details
◎JAPAN RAIL PASS
This pass is jointly provided by six companies of the JR group. It is the most economical pass if you travel around Japan by train. (Please note certain limitation is applied. For example you cannot use it for “Nozomi” and “Mizuho” on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen Line.)see details