Kansai Airport Guide: Start Your Japan Journey on the Right Foot

Kansai being a really rich region in terms of culture, architecture and landscape, as well as being home to the most vibrant cities Japan has to offer, it is no wonder a lot of travelers go through its International Airport (KIX), making it one of the top busiest Airport in Japan, and even Asia.

This Article is for whoever going to or interested in Kansai and its main cities (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe…), for the ones who prefer Tokyo you can check out our Complete guide to Narita Airport.

Kansai being more rural than Kanto we bet you are confused and have a lot of questions regarding the area and the best ways to spend a smooth, stress-free time here starting right from Kansai International Airport.

You might be wondering:

  • How can I get around Japan without speaking Japanese?
  • Can I travel solo in Japan?
  • How can I make my short time in Japan amazing?
  • Can I use my phone in Japan? What about internet?

Don’t panic! We have these answers and more to help put your mind at ease. Keep reading to learn what you need to start your journey off on the right foot with this complete guide to Kansai Airport.

 

Available Kansai Airport Services

Skip to what you need to know:

 

Kansai Airport WiFi

Likely, one of the first things you will want to do after landing at Kansai Airport is to let your family and friends know you have arrived safely and post a selfie!

 

How to Connect to Kansai Airport Free WiFi

  1. From your device’s “Settings” menu, set “WiFi” to ON and select “FreeWiFi@KIX” SSID or an SSID that starts with “FreeWiFi@KIX”.
  2. The WiFi connection screen will automatically be displayed and you will be asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use and Security Caution.
  3. Once you agree, you have access to internet — no extra steps required.

If your laptop does not have a wireless LAN card, you may still connect to the Internet using one of the LAN cables installed at the computer desks.

Recharging Spots

Recharging spots for your devices are available in a number of locations throughout the terminals and are free of charge.

 

Location
Terminal 1 1st Floor >Map
2nd Floor >Map
4th Floor >Map
International Gate Area Center: >Map
International Gate Area North Wing: >Map
International Gate Area South Wing: >Map
Domestic Gate Area: >Map
Terminal 2 Public area (International): >Map
International Gate Area: >Map
Domestic Gate Area: >Map

 

Internet Service + Computers

If for some reason you need to get on a computer with internet, Kansai Airport offers access to computers for a fee (100 yen/10 minutes).

Available at various locations, this service operates under business hours from 9:00 – 17:00 in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese.

 

Kansai Computer Location
Terminal 1 1st Floor Business hour: 09:00 – 17:00 >Map
2nd Floor >Map
>Map
Terminal 2 Public area (International) >Map
Public Area (Domestic) >Map
Domestic Gate Area >Map

 

Portable WiFi / Compatible SIM Cards

Various companies offer portable WiFi and SIM card services inside Kansai Airport. Savvy travelers will make sure to rent either of the two before leaving the airport, because staying connected is essential for any visitor to Japan.

 

We cover more on this service later in this guide, but you can jump ahead here.

Information Counters

There are a total of 8 Information Counters at the airport which can be identified by their question mark “?” signs.

The staff generally speak English and will help you with whatever needs you have while letting you experience Japan’s world-famous hospitality.

 

Information counters can provide you with a variety of information, such as:

  • Transport to and from Japan’s main domestic and international airports
  • Trains
  • Subways
  • Taxis
  • Buses
  • Flight arrival and departure
  • Hotels near airports
  • Terminals

 

Transportation Between Kansai Airport Terminals

There are many ways to get from one terminal to another. While you can walk or take a taxi, the most convenient way is to catch a free shuttle bus.

A free shuttle bus is available to travel between Aeroplaza and Terminal 2. (Time required: 7 to 9 minutes)

 

Kansai Shuttle Bus Timetable

Timetable

Important: Be sure to allow plenty of time when using the shuttle service as buses may be delayed or canceled due to traffic congestion. Also, compensation is not available for missed connections to other means of transport (aircraft or rail, etc.) resulting from delayed or canceled bus services.

Bus Stop: Aeroplaza, 1F

Bus Stop: Terminal 2 Building

Train Transportation out of Kansai Airport

If you are leaving Kansai Airport, the line you are going to take will heavily depend on your first destionation, as Kansai is full of very popular cities like Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe, to name a few.

Don’t hesitate to ask Travel desk of Kansai tourist Information Center on the 1st Floor of Terminal 1 about everything related to transportation in and out of the airport, tickets and hotel booking.

Downloadable maps are also available if you do not plan on getting a portable WiFi or SIM right from the airport.

 

Destination Name Time 1 adult (est.)
Osaka

(Shin-Imamiya)

Nankai-Kuko Line 45 mins $9
Kyoto Station Ltd Exp. Haruka 90 mins   $30
Kobe

(Sannomiya)

Bay Shuttle

(Ferry Service)

45 mins $19
Nara Nankai-Kuko Line to Shin-Imamiya

+

Change to Osaka Loop Line to Nara

90 mins $15

 

Get a Rechargeable Train Card (IC Card)

Japan is a country often regarded as the king of convenience, and this is clearly on display with their public transportation system. Have you ever heard of an IC card? If you haven’t, you definitely need get one for your trip as it will save you a lot of time and headaches. IC cards look like a credit card and act as a rechargeable train ticket that can be recharged at any train station in the greater Kansai area. If you plan to travel outside of the main cities, you may need to switch to paper tickets at some point, since both Suica and Icoca cards aren’t always accepted in the countryside.

It doesn’t matter which card you get, because Suica and Icoca can be recharged at each other’s ticket terminals and can be used at any train station in Kansai.

Where can you use an IC card?

 

  • Public transportation
  • Vending machines
  • Some shops and convenience stores
  • Some restaurants

 

The card itself costs around $5 USD, plus the amount you decide to add to it. It’s possible to get back the $5 as well as any remaining credit by returning the card to a train station clerk (go to a JR station for Suica and JR West station for Icoca).

 

Special IC Card and Airport Ticket Bundle Offer

Icoca and Haruka Line teamed up to offer a bundle pack for visitors, If you’re a tourist, the Haruka Pass is the cheapest, most straightforward and fastest way to get from KIX to Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe.

 

ICOCA & HARUKA” is a bundle set containing an Icoca IC card (pre-charged with 1,500 yen) and a discounted ticket for the Kansai-Airport Express “HARUKA.”

The Icoca can be used on JR, subway, private railway and bus transportation and for shopping in the Kansai Area and beyond.

The Kansai-Airport Express “HARUKA” provides direct access from Kansai-airport Station to Tennoji, Shin-Osaka and Kyoto Stations.

If you already have an Icoca card, you can purchase the “HARUKA discount ticket” without buying a new Icoca.

 

Earlier we mentioned Portable WiFi and SIM Card rental services at Kansai Airport. Having internet on the go is not only lifesaving but it can offer you a side of Japan you might never have experienced without it. Let’s dig in a bit more on how internet can make your trip to Japan easy and stress-free.

Free WiFi in Japan

Free WiFi exists in Japan, but its reliability and accessibility for international travelers on a tight schedule is another story. Here is a short list of places that usually offer free WiFi hotspots in Japan (though you may need to buy something to sit down):

 

  • Starbucks
  • Seven Eleven
  • Lawson
  • McDonald’s
  • Some train stations

 

Useful Apps for Navigating Japan

A lot can get lost in translation, but the digital age is making it easy to travel to countries without knowing the language. Here’s our list of apps that can help you communicate, save time, and save money during your travels in Japan.

Kansai Free Wi-Fi

  • List up of recommended spots in Kansai
  • Gives access to free internet spot when possible (mainly in urban areas)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Translate

  • Translate whatever you want to say or understand on the go
  • Take a picture of Japanese words on menus, road signs, hotel documents and Google Translate will tell you what they mean
  • Speak into your smartphone’s microphone for voice translation, especially when typing takes too long

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Maps

  • Get directions from your location to any landmark or address
  • Choose your transportation, from trains to subways, buses, bullet trains, and more
  • Fares and travel time are displayed for easy management of your travel budget (if you aren’t using a JR Pass)

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor

  • Find the nearest restaurants for your favorite food
  • Access thousands of customer reviews
  • Post your reviews for fellow international travelers

 

 

Gurunavi

  • Japan’s answer to Yelp, Gurunavi offers thousands of restaurant options
  • Access to English reservation support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tabimori

  • A great multi-function tool for traveling
  • Currency converter, speech translator, weather forecast, and more
  • Some features are even accessible without internet access

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get a Pocket WiFi / SIM Card at Kansai Airport & Leave Your Stress

Using any or all of our recommended apps will likely make your trip to Japan much more enjoyable and relaxing, but trying to find a free hotspot to use those apps won’t! This is why there are some great deals at Kansai Airport on Pocket WiFi and compatible SIM Cards that international travelers can take advantage right after they land.

 

The easiest way to rent a Pocket WiFi or SIM Card is to order online before traveling to Japan. That way you can easily compare plans from the comfort of your home, fly to Japan with peace of mind knowing that you will be able to get connected once you land, and then head straight to the designated counter at Kansai Airport to pick it up — no contracts, no long lines!

Operating hours: 6:15 – 22:30 (everyday)

Location: Kansai International Airport Arrival Lobby(1F), JALABC Counter

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sakura Mobile Difference

You have places to go and all of Japan to experience! Don’t waste your time getting lost in confusion.

 

At Sakura Mobile, we understand that international travelers and long term residents need to make their stay in Japan stress-free, which is why we have simplified the process of getting a short and long term Pocket WiFi or SIM Card.

 

With our rental devices you can travel across Japan — from Tokyo to Osaka and beyond — without worrying about losing a connection. We’ve made it even simpler for you with our easy Kansai Airport pickup option that gives you both the Freedom and Quality of Service you deserve!

Freedom

  • Online ordering
  • Many types of plans that match your needs
  • Fast pickup at your preferred location
  • Easy returns in any Japanese mailbox with the provided envelope
  • Online top-up
  • SIM compatibility
  • No contract
  • No activation fee

Quality Service

  • Fast LTE data
  • Biggest network in Japan
  • Unlimited data
  • Hotspot/tethering capability
  • Full English support
  • Trusted by thousands of travelers just like you

 

In the meantime, here’s what over 2000 travelers have to say about Sakura Mobile.

CUSTOMER’S VOICE

 

 

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