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Kyoto Airport Information – Guide to Flying into Kansai International Airport

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Travelers looking for Kyoto airport information may be surprised to find out that they cannot fly directly into the city. International visitors to the region will most likely fly into Kansai International Airport in Osaka. Travelers flying from other destinations inside Japan, however, could end up at Osaka International Airport, also known as Itami Airport, or Kobe Airport, which both handle domestic flights to the area. Osaka International Airport is about an hour’s drive from Kyoto, and the journey takes about an hour and thirty minutes from Kobe Airport. Since a majority of travelers arrive at Kansai International Airport, tips on navigating one of Japan’s busiest airports can come in handy.

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Kyoto Airport Information | About Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport was the world’s first ocean airport, meaning it was built on a manmade island in Osaka Bay in 1994. Terminal 1 at Kansai International Airport is the longest airport terminal in the world, measuring 1.7 kilometers. The airport serves as a hub for major airlines including All Nippon Airways, Nippon Cargo Airlines, and Japan Airlines and is the international flight gateway for the Kansai region. Kansai International Airport has two terminals in use and sees nearly 28 million international passenger movements per year with over 185,000 aircraft movements. The airport also sees international freight traffic, and the international freight volume in tons per year is over 824,000. This airport is the third busiest in Japan and is the point of entry for many tourists to the area.

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How to Get from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto

Travelers flying into Kansai International Airport have plenty of options for transportation to Kyoto. Most travelers will probably find that they arrive at the airport in Terminal 1, which is more convenient as there is direct access to the train from this terminal, as well as extensive bus services. If travelers are flying on a low-cost domestic airline, they may arrive at Terminal 2, which does have some bus services, but not as many. Fortunately, travelers can move between the two terminals via shuttle bus, and this will open up the transportation options.

  • There are plenty of train choices from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto, so visitors only need to choose the option that works best for their time constraints and budgets. One of the fastest options is to take the JR Haruka Limited Express train to Kyoto, which takes about an hour and 10 minutes to complete, with departures from the airport every 30 minutes. This ticket is covered by the Japan Rail Pass (a joint railway pass that offers access to select lines and multiple fares throughout the country), but otherwise, it will cost around 3000 yen for a one-way ticket on non-reserved seats.
  • Another quick option is to take the JR Airport Rapid train to Osaka Station, and then transfer from that station to a Special Rapid train on the JR Kyoto line that will take visitors the rest of the way to Kyoto. If visitors have a JR Pass, then the train tickets will be covered; otherwise, it should cost less than 2000 yen for a one-way ticket, and takes about an hour and 40 minutes to complete the journey.
  • There are other railway options available for travelers who don’t have a Japan Rail Pass. Tourists can elect to take the Nankai Express train from the airport to Tengachaya Station, and from there they can take the Hankyu Kyoto line and Sakaisuji Subway line to central Kyoto. The whole trip should take about an hour and 40 minutes and should cost around 1600 yen for tickets.
  • Visitors can also elect to catch a limousine bus from the bus stop in both terminals which will take them to Kyoto in an air-conditioned bus. This bus will cost approximately 2,600 yen one-way and takes about an hour and a half to get from the airport to the city. Travelers who know their travel dates can purchase tickets for the limousine bus up to one month before departure (final ticket sales are up to one hour before departure). This bus may make multiple stops along the route, so it’s best if travelers plan their journey ahead of time to ensure that they get off at a stop that will work best for their needs.
  • While taxis are an option for travel between the airport and Kyoto, it can be a very expensive choice. Visitors who are looking to save some money will probably want to utilize other mass-transit services. If travelers still wish to take a taxi from the airport, the total time for the trip to Kyoto is about two and a half hours, depending on where in Kyoto they are staying and the time of day they take the trip. Taxi rates increase at night, so visitors should take that into consideration when choosing what kind of transportation they’d like to take to the city.

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Kyoto Airport Information | Shopping & Things to Do at Kansai International Airport

Whether visitors are waiting for their flight to board, or they have a layover in the airport, there is plenty to see, do, and eat at Kansai International Airport. With delicious foods, great lounges, duty-free shops, massages, and more, visitors won’t be bored. Here are just some of the great things to do at Kansai International Airport.

  • Duty-Free Shopping at Kansai International Airport: With KIX Duty-Free shops located across Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, there are ample opportunities for travelers to grab last-minute gifts at duty-free prices, including alcohol, tobacco products, perfumes, cosmetics, and more.
  • Showers in Terminal 1: Travelers who have a short layover or who are looking for a way to refresh, can visit one of the airport’s showers in Terminal 1. These coin-operated showers let visitors freshen up after a long flight, or prior to continuing on their journey to Kyoto. Shampoo, conditioner, and body soap are provided at the showers. There are several shower rooms located around Terminal 1 including facilities on the third floor near the KIX Airport Lounge, as well as in the International Gate area. There are also showers available in the Aeroplaza, on the second floor.
  • Visit Raffine for a Massage: After a long flight, or before one, there’s no better way to relax than with a massage. Raffine KIX offers great massages in the airport and a selection of services that target trouble areas. Raffine is located in Terminal 1 on the third floor, before security.

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Kyoto Airport Information | Best Places to Eat at Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport has a great reputation for food and offers an assortment of over 50 dining options for visitors to choose from. With choices ranging from Japanese cuisine to Chinese, French, Italian, as well as more western chains, the airport has plenty of delicious foods to eat. Here are just some great restaurant and dining facilities available at Kansai International Airport.

  • Osaka Gochi Shokudou: Offering local favorites including okonomiyaki and takoyaki, Osaka Gochi Shokudo is a fantastic choice for travelers looking to get a drink before their flight, or those who wish to eat some great regional Kansai dishes. Located in Terminal 2, after security in the international departures area.
  • The Brasserie: Offering spectacular meals all throughout the day, this restaurant seamlessly blends Japanese and Western cooking sensibilities to create delicious fusion dishes that are sure to please. With an extensive buffet and a relaxed atmosphere, this is a great choice for travelers who value options and quality. Located in Aero Plaza Hotel Nikko on the second floor, before security.
  • 551Horai: Serving up delicious, individually wrapped pork buns and other tasty Chinese dishes, this restaurant also features seafood yakisoba, steamed dumplings, and more. Located in Terminal 1 on the second floor, before security.
  • Saint Marc Café: With fresh ground coffee, amazing pastries, sandwiches, and famous for its bitter chocolate that’s wrapped in a beautiful, crispy croissant, this café is a wonderful choice for travelers who need a coffee or a nice snack. Located in Terminal 1 on the third floor, before security.

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Kyoto Airport Information | Bars & Lounges

Kansai International Airport offers a great assortment of bars and lounges for travelers to enjoy. Here are just some great options that are available within and near the airport.

  • Pronto Airside Shop: Offering tasty meals in a bar-like setting, as well as delicious coffee, tea, and sweets, Proto Airside Shop is great for travelers who are looking for quick, delicious dishes. This restaurant also offers a range of alcoholic drinks and snacks to go with, in addition to a relaxing ambiance that is perfect for travelers who are looking to unwind. Located in Terminal 1 on the third floor, after security in international departures.
  • World Wine Bar by Pieroth: A wine bar that features Pieroth wines, visitors can choose from a handpicked selection of wines, with prices and tastes that are sure to cater to a variety of palates. This wine bar also offers seasonal pasta dishes, a variety of cheeses from around the world to sample, and other meal options. For a sophisticated dining experience at the airport, World Wine Bar by Pieroth is a great fit. Located in Terminal 1 on the second floor before security.
  • Il Bar: Known for being simple, tasty Italian food that is served in a mature setting, Il Bar is a great choice for people who want a quick pick-me-up while in the airport. Featuring handcrafted coffee beverages, pasta dishes, and more, Il Bar is a great choice at any time of the day. Located in Terminal 1 on the third floor, after security in international departures.

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Kyoto Airport Information | Best Hotels Near Kansai International Airport

Visitors who are looking to stay near the airport before traveling to Kyoto, or for those who have an early flight and are looking for a convenient location to spend the night, will find that there are many hotels in the area to choose from. Here are just a few of the top hotel locations nearby Kansai International Airport.

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Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport

This highly rated hotel is within walking distance of public transportation options, offers free Wi-Fi in every room, buffet breakfast, and is directly connected with Terminal 1 via a pedestrian walkway. For visitors who have an early flight or who are short on time, this is a great location to stay at.

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First Cabin Kansai Airport

Travelers who are looking to have a unique hotel experience should consider a stay at First Cabin Kansai Airport. Offering cabin-style rooms, guests can enjoy a clean, compact space that is perfect for spending the night prior to an early flight, or where they can get some rest after a long trip before heading out to enjoy the rest of their vacation. Featuring free Wi-Fi, an onsen (Japanese style hot spring), laundry services, and more. This is a great, no-fuss option for visitors to the area.

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Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport

Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas, an indoor pool, fitness center, and massage services, giving guests everything they need to reinvigorate themselves after a long flight or to relax before needing to get to the airport. Offering airport transfer services, shuttle services, and more, guests can count on this hotel to meet their travel needs.

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Kansai Airport Washington Hotel

Travelers can rest easy at Kansai Airport Washington Hotel as, with free airport shuttle services, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, air conditioning, and public transportation within walking distance, they should have everything they need for a great stay. For visitors who want to get a little last-minute shopping done, there are fantastic retailers within walking distance, and with onsite massage services, dining, and more, this hotel is a fantastic choice whether guests are on their way to Kyoto or on their way home.

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Oriental Suites Airport Osaka Rinku

This exceptionally rated hotel is a top choice for travelers coming in from or leaving to the airport. With amenities including free Wi-Fi, bottled water, and toiletries, there is a lot to enjoy at this hotel. Oriental Suites Airport Osaka Rinku is also ideally located and offers access to some great sites in Osaka, making it a fantastic choice for individuals who want to get some sightseeing done in the area while on their way to or from Kyoto.

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