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Osaka is a prime destination for many foreigners as it offers many unique experiences, breathtaking architecture, mouthwatering authentic Japanese food, and fun tours. Osaka Kansai International Airport, located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, is a great hub for you to fly into!
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If you are planning to visit Japan very soon, you must have included Osaka in your travel destinations. And why not? Osaka is one of the largest cities in Japan and it can offer a complete travel experience for you. If you’re looking for a historical and cultural experience, amazing food and delicacies, and entertainment destinations, Osaka has everything.
Millions of millions of tourists from different parts of the world come and visit Osaka, Japan every year. And if you are going to be one of these tourists very soon, you have the option of entering Osaka through the magnificent and one-of-a-kind international airport in Japan, the Kansai International Airport. To give you a sneak peek of what to expect and what you can do in the airport, continue reading as this article provides you basic yet important information about the airport, its facilities and accessibility, and much more.
Kansai International Airport opened and started its service in September 1994 and continues to expand and improve its operations and services up to this day. It is located off the coast of the Senshu area in Osaka Bay. Kansai International Airport has made a lot of firsts in Japan’s tourism industry. It was the first airport in Japan to have a 24-hour operation and the first airport in the world built on a manmade island. Since 1994, Kansai International Airport has served its purpose to accommodate international tourists and the demand for air transport in the Kansai region.
※ Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, "Kansai International Airport"
Kansai International Airports is composed of two airport islands. There are two airport terminals and multiple runways that measure 3,500 to 4,000 meters long each. It also has an international cargo area. Inside the terminals, the airport provides numerous elevators and escalators to guarantee convenience to all travelers. There are other facilities and services at the airport as well that passengers can utilize to have an amazing travel experience while using the airport, so keep reading!
There are two terminals in Kansai International Airport. Terminal 1 serves as the main terminal and consists of a four-story building. It caters both domestic and international flights via regular airlines. The first floor of the terminal building serves as the lobby for international arrivals, the second floor is for domestic departures and arrivals, while the fourth floor is intended for the international departures. Terminal 1 has an adjacent railway station for getting in and out of the airport.
Terminal 2, on the other hand, is established for Low-Cost Carriers (LCC) and is considered as the first LCC terminal in Japan. Compared to Terminal 1, Terminal 2 has no train service and limited bus connections. However, you can transfer from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 using the free shuttle service.
Kansai International Airport has numerous Japanese and overseas airlines operating domestically and internationally. The airport connects Osaka, Japan via air travel to around 25 countries and 66 cities from around the globe, including 11 domestic cities in Japan. As of 2019, Kansai International Airport recorded more than 196,000 domestic and international flights and around 30 million passengers annually. For a list of airlines operating in Kansai International Airport, check the official website.
※ Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, "Kansai International Airport" ※ Kansai Airports, "Kansai International Airport"
Kansai International Airport offers convenient access in and out of the airport. You can access the airport via train, bus, taxi, car, high-speed ferry.
There is a railway station located adjacent to the airport’s Terminal 1. The railway station uses the Kansai railways (Nankai Airport Line, JR Haruka Limited Express and JR Airport Rapid) and connects the airport to other major train stations like Osaka Station and Namba Station. If you are arriving at Terminal 2, you can just ride a free shuttle bus towards Terminal 1 to catch a ride at the railway station.
As another option, there are normal buses and limousine buses that can transport you directly to tourist destinations, and even to your hotel accommodation - a great idea if you have a lot of luggage. Most of the bus stops and stations are located in Terminal 1 but there are a few as well located in Terminal 2. More details and instructions about where and how to catch a bus ride at the airport are available here:
You may also ride a taxi from the airport to central Osaka city and vice versa but this mode of transportation is a little bit expensive. Lastly, there is a high-speed ferry shuttle that connects Kansai and Kobe Airport. You may also try this to experience sea travel before or after your air travel, especially if you’re staying in the Kobe area or taking a domestic flight out of Kobe.
Kansai International Airport is packed with different facilities and offers various services for the convenience of passengers. Most of them are located in Terminal 1.
Some of the services provided:
Information desks, tourist centers, and Koban Police that are ready to provide passengers with guide and assistance
Banks, currency exchange centers, and ATMs for your financial transactions
Airport lounges and relaxation services like shower rooms and refreshment facilities where you can freshen up and pamper yourself while waiting or after your flight
Luggage services and special services dedicated to passengers with disabilities and special concerns.
If you are traveling with your kids, there are facilities specially designed for them like a kid’s playing area, baby rooms, and many more. There are rental kiosks and centers as well for your Wi-Fi, SIM card, phone, and car rental needs. In case of emergencies, the airport has a doctor and a dental clinic.
And for your shopping needs, both for yourself and last minute souvenirs, there are shops like Kyoto Craft Market and Kyoto Tachikichi with more traditional gifts while AAS Hobby Shop and Character Shop MM have more modern Japanese character-themed toys for you to take home.
And of course if you’re hungry, there’s plenty of food to be had, from fast food with traditional Japanese cuisine for your first or perhaps last meal in Japan.
Aside from these, there are more facilities and services the airport has in store for you.
Are you itching to go shopping? Head to Rinku Town where you can find numerous hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers like Rinku Premium Outlets. This entertainment area is perfect to unwind after a long travel or spend time while waiting for your flight. It even has a beach where you can go swimming during the summer!
Are you looking for a place for sight-seeing before or right after your flight? Located near the Ferry Terminal is the airport’s Sky View Observation Hall. This is such a great spot to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire airport including the magnificent runways and the aircrafts lined up. It is also a romantic place to relax in while looking at the planes hovering overhead.
Aside from these two, there are countless other tourist destinations in the town like the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, or Osaka Castle Park, where you can pass the time on your trip. There’s plenty of local food to try as well, so make the most of it!
Osaka is one of the leading tourist destinations in Japan. The city is waiting to provide you a complete travel experience. However, before you explore the entire city, why don’t you check out the airport first? Kansai International Airport is a world-class airport in Japan that is worth your time.
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