the "West" region of Japan known as Kansai is the alta-ego of its Eastern counterpart : Tokyo .
and a Japan being an isLand w/ Limited LandMass
they have conjured the technology 2 build artificiaL islands off-shore .
(now it is found 2 sink a centimeter a year but hey, that's another story)
3 of these distinct "isLands" exist now in the sea-bed of Osaka
extending further West 2 the ancient docks of Kobe :
connected 2 Rokko via monoRaiL is a huge domestic apartment compLex,
connected 2 Kobe is the Portopia Convention district,
and on the outer Limits of Osaka, the Kansai Airport,
here 3 large buildings form the Airport IsLand :
the Airport itself,
the AeroPlaza which contains HoteL Nikko,
and the train station which links the 2 above,
detaiLed map of facilities :
as U travel from the isLand onto the mainLand
U can pass by THE OutLet MaLL
then over onto Osaka in abt.an hour either by Limousine Bus(1 hour)
or by Express Train(40 minutes) .
both operate'tiL abt.10~11pm .
Kansai airport is the main airport for the Kansai region. Built on an artificial island, it is said to be one of the most advanced airports in the world and came 5th in the 'Airport of the Year 2005' rankings.
The airport has one, very long terminal split in to North and South sides. You need to check on the boards in the airport which side you flight leaves from.
Don't worry, there are plenty of these boards and they are in English. Infact, all staff are helpful and speak reasonable English. Everything in the airport has an English translation.
The airport is very quiet so is ideal entry point (ratherr than the busier Narita Airport in Tokyo)
It is also very big and airy with lots of empty space. The departures area have several computers with free internet access or you can conect using your own laptop (power points are also available).
There is an internation ATM in the arrivals area and a good tourist information area. Look out also for the lady bowing at the bottom of the escalator!
Immigration is reasonably quick and staff are very polite. Be warned though, you will probably have to open you luggage for them to take a quick peek inside. You will probably also have to complete a form which has to be handed in to passport control (you will usually be given this form on the plane before landing)
All this is very useful but the airport lacks one very important thing.....shops!!
My flight was due to leave at 11.15pm but the two duty free shops, the noodle bar and the cafe all closed around 8pm!!
The only place open was the Starbucks.
Lucky for me there were vending machines at the gates which had a range of drinks.
The best way to reach the airport is by train. More info in another of my tips
This man-made island airport is an amazing feat of architecture & contstruction.
It was designed to be earthquake-proof, as Japan is prone to quakes.
And although it has sunk into the sea a lot further than planned, it's provided a badly-needed alternate to the Tokyo/Yokohama travel routes.
The Kansai International Airport is situated on artificial island that was build on the sea especially for this airport. The connection to/from the airport are easy with a train to Osaka city and to Kyoto which is just about 90 minutes away. However, from such big city international airport I was expecting much more. The airport itself is rather boring and very limited with facilities, stores etc which we are used to have here in Europe.
Kansai International Airport was built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay to serve as a replacement for Itami Airport in the northern suburbs of the city. International fligthts were transferred to Kansai but Itami is still used for domestic flights. The airport opened in 1994 and now handles more than 17 million passengers a year. There is a hotel at the airport, and there are excellent bus, train and ferry connections to Osaka and Kyoto and other towns in the Kansai area. If you are flying to Japan, Kansai provides a more passenger-friendly service than Tokyo's Narita airport.
The easiest way of getting to and from the airport is by train.
All trains leave from the station a short walk from arrivals which is clearly signed in English.
There are a few options.
JR run the Haruka limited express to Tennoji (1,760 Yen about 30 minutes), Shin Osaka (2500 Yen, 45 min) and arriving at Kyoto (3000 Yen) about an hour and a quater later.
Trains run every half hour
The JR Rapid service also stops at Tennoji (slightly cheaper than the Haruka train) then on to Osaka station on the Osaka loop line.
You can use your JR pass on either of these lines (see other tip in general Japan section for JR Pass info)
Nankai is another rail company and they also offer two options of getting to and from the airport.
The rapi:t train runs to Namba in Osaka for about 1,500 Yen
The Rapid Service runs the same route but stops at more stations. It takes longer to reach Namba but costs less than 900 Yen
If you don't want to take the train, Airport Limosine bues leave from the 1st floor outside arrivals to various locations in Kansai. Some hotels even run their own bus service.
The cost is slightly higer than the train.
Unless you have someone elses credit card, dont even consider taking the taxi. A trip to Osaka will be at least 15,000 Yen (about £75)
This is the main international gateway to the Kansai region: Osaka and Kyoto. It is linked by several railway lines, eg. JR West Japan (Haruka Express) and Nankai private lines. It is built on a man-made island in the heart of Osaka Bay.
To get to Osaka we flew from Amsterdam to Tokyo (Narita) and from there took a connecting flight to Osaka (Haneda).
Osaka also has a brandnew international airport, it is called Kansai.
JAL planes are fine because everyone has its own screen in the seat in front of him. On this screen you can watch one of the seven or eight movies they are showing, or play a game.
See the JAL website for more detailed information on flights and online booking.
Kansai International Airport, 50km away to the south of downtown Osaka, is connected with major cities by railway. Rapid service and express trains bring you to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe with convenience and comfort.
Kansai International Airport was open in Sept 1994. It is a relatively new airport but has had many problems as it is sinking into the sea! The foundation is built into a soft seabed. There have been a few solutions to try to curtail this but they have not been working unfortunately.
The airport is a nice one though. LOTS of open space so you aren't bumping into other people. FREE use of luggage carts. Lots of natural light coming in from the floor to ceiling glass windows. There are a few baggage delivery services if you don't want to lug your suitcases around with you to your hotel/accomodation (about US$15/suitcase, next morning delivery). Baggage storage (not sure about rates-sorry). Currency exchange. Free internet access for those in transit. The minimum layover time is 1 1/2hrs so you will never have to sleepover in the airport here. But if you have to in an emergency, the waiting areas are clean & very roomy!!
KIX is the airport you would go to if you are coming from an international destination & want to go to Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Himeji, Nara, etc.
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