Osaka Airport - Guide, Terminal map, lounges, bars & restaurants

Osaka Airport Guide
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Airport Code: KIX
Elevation: 26 ft (8 m)
Runways: 2
Latitude: 34.427306
Longitude: 135.244072
Timezone: UTC+9
Rating for Osaka
5 out of 10
by loungeindex with 13 photos

Osaka Airport Guide

Kansai International Airport is brand new, enormous airport, serving southern Japan. It is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, 38 km (24 miles) southwest of Osaka City.

The main Osaka passenger terminal is a single four-storey building designed by Renzo Piano and is the longest airport terminal in the world, at 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from end to end. It has a sophisticated people mover system called the Wing Shuttle, which moves passengers from one end of the pier to the other.

Osaka Airport International Terminal

The terminal's roof is shaped like an airfoil. This shape is used to promote air circulation through the building: giant air conditioning ducts blow air upwards at one side of the terminal, circulate the air across the curvature of the ceiling, and collect the air through intakes at the other side. Mobiles are suspended in the ticketing hall to take advantage of the flowing air.

The ticketing hall overlooks the international departures concourse, although the two are separated by a glass partition.

Note that KIX, while in reality is 1 long terminal, is accessible in three separate sections. Domestic, North International, and South International. You can't wander between them.

Kansai opened in 1994, and immediately became a vast cathedral to aviation. The 3rd floor boarding lobby is famous as the longest un-partitioned airport concourse in the world. The airport was at the time the most expensive civil works project in modern history, and it took over a decade for the sea wall to be completed. A major problem was the island sunk by 8 meters more than predicted. The airport has withstood a number of serious earthquakes, and 200km/h winds in typhoons.

Lately, the airport has seen a slump in traffic, down by 25% over the past few years, as more airlines route only to Tokyo Narita (BA, for example, used to have direct flights to Osaka: now it flies to both of Tokyo's airports). Despite this, it has opened a second runway, even though this is rarely used.

Incidentally, don't mistake Kansai International Airport (KIX) which is in Osaka, for Osaka-Itami Airport (ITM) which is a purely domestic airport for the Kansai region of Japan. Curiously, ITM airport maintains the name International, even though it is not. KIX is the main airport for Osaka, even though it does not have the Osaka in the name.

First & Business Class lounges at Osaka Airport

Osaka Airport Terminal Map
Osaka Airport Terminal Map

Osaka Airport transportation

Osaka Airport train

There are two fast and efficient trains linking the airport with the mainland, although neither are particularly cheap.

JR West runs the Kansai Airport Rapid train from Kansai Airport Station to Central Osaka and Kyobashi Station. Note that the Rapid Service does not go to any Shinkansen stations. It takes 63 minutes, and costs 1,160. It also runs a semi-fast service from the airport to Tennoji, Shin-Osaka (2,470) and Kyoto Station. Trains run every 30-60 minutes.

Nankai operates rapi:t, a limited express train service to Namba Station on the southern edge of downtown Osaka, however this may be more useful for many travellers, as there are subway connections at both Namba and Tengachaya Stations. It costs 1,390, including a 500 reservation surcharge, and runs every 30 minutes.

Certainly, for most travellers, the most practical means of getting to Osaka and Kyoto is by train. All trains leave from the Kansai Airport station across the road from the arrivals hall; there is a clearly marked walkway on the 2nd floor. ICOCA/PiTaPa smart cards are valid for travel to/from the airport, and can be purchased from and returned to its ticket office.

Osaka Airport bus services

There is a scheduled express bus services, called Airport Limousines from Kansai International Airport into Osaka. It takes 60 minutes, and costs 1,800.

Osaka Airport taxi services

Getting a taxi to and from Osaka Airport is very expensive, and not recommended. Going to Osaka will cost you a minimum of 18,000. The trains, bus, and even ferry service is cheaper.

Osaka Airport Ferry

There is a high-speed ferry service between Kobe Airport and Osaka Airport. The journey takes about thirty minutes, ferries run every 45 minutes and it costs 1500.

Car Hire at Osaka Airport

Major car hire operators are located in the Arrivals Halls. To save time and ensure you get the car you want, book your rental in advance. Rental car operators from Osaka Airport include: Europcar, Thrifty, Avis and Budget.

If you arrive without a car hire booking, it may be cheaper to go to the Aeroplaza, on the west side of Kansai Airport railway Station, to hire a car.

The airport is only accessible from the Sky Gate Bridge R, a part of Kansai Airport Expressway. The expressway immediately connects to Hanshin Expressways Route 5, "Wangan Route", and Hanwa Expressway.

Incidentally, the Airport access bridge, The Sky Gate Bridge R, is the longest truss bridge in the world at 3,750 metres (12,303 feet). The double-decker bridge consists of a lower deck devoted to rail, with the upper for road.

Airport Taxes

Departure taxes now form part of your ticket price.

Osaka Airport Arrivals

Arrivals are on the 1st floor, while departures are from the 4th floor. On arrival, note that not all ATMs accept foreign cards, but the Citibank and post office ATMs do.

Osaka Airport Bars and Restaurants

An area called the Aeroplaza is to the west side of Kansai Airport railway Station. It includes a hotel, restaurants, rental car counters, and other businesses.

The Sky View is open year round. Shuttle buses run from the passenger terminal building, and take about 6 minutes (100 adults, 50 children). There is an observation deck (8am - 10pm), an amusement floor (weekdays 10am - 6pm, weekends 10am - 8pm), a restaurant floor (11am - 10pm, last call 8pm), and a shopping floor (10am - 8pm).

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