Did you know that Kansai International Airport was built on a man-made island? Located about 50km to the south of Osaka city, this airport is famous for being an expensive building constructed on artificial land in 1994. Ever since it began its operations, most of the international flights have been transferred from Itami Airport in Osaka to Kansai International Airport. This has made Kansai International Airport one of Japan’s busiest, crucial and leading international airports.
This airport has 2 major terminals. Terminal 1 is the main terminal of the airport, serving international flights as well as domestic flights. Terminal 2 caters more specifically to budget airlines that fly internationally and domestically. Distanced approximately 4km apart from each other, travellers on transit can take the free shuttle bus that connects the Aeroplaza and Terminal 2. Each journey only takes up to 9 minutes.
Travellers will feel comfortable and at ease in Kansai International Airport because of the sheer number of activities and types of entertainment that will keep them endlessly occupied during their trip to Osaka. Relax in the airport lounge or one of the many airline lounges, take a a shower, pamper yourself with some refreshments or treat yourself to a massage or reflexology at the Relaxation Forest or Raffine KIX Branch. There is also a business centre and VIP and Conference rooms for business travellers. Services and facilities for children and babycare are a-plenty with the KIX Kid’s Room, Kid’s Playing Area, Nursing rooms and the loaning of strollers at both terminals. Currency exchange operators and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are scattered around the terminals for some last minute cash exchanges or withdrawals.
Japan is known for its very well-established, developed and extensive transport network. Travelling from Kansai International Airport will boost your impression of Japan’s transport system with the multitude of transport options you can choose from to get to your desired destination. The rail system has approximately 9 different rail lines that bring you to Central Osaka. A variety of trains including JR Limited Express “Haruka”, JR Kansai Airport Rapid, Nankai “Rap:t” and Nankai Airport Express connect you effortlessly to and from Kansai International Airport. Note that certain trains charge less than others, and seats can or must be reserved in some trains. If you would like to get to particular areas and hotels in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, do consider getting on board the Airport Limousine Bus which charges over a thousand yen for different destinations. Taxis are available as well, but are best avoided for those on a tight budget. If you are thinking of getting to Kobe Airport, a ferry service can be accessed via shuttle bus from the airport terminal.
As for getting around in Osaka city, fret not as choices are abundant. More than 7 railway and subway operators help the traveller get to prominent places in Osaka, as well as neighbouring areas. Take note of JR West lines and the subway lines for they are the most utilised by foreign travellers. Consider purchasing special tickets or one-day passes to make your travelling experience a cheaper and more satisfying one.
Osaka city has long been a popular tourist hotspot. It contributes to the economy of the Kansai region, and it was the first capital city of Japan before the Nara period, when it was called Naniwa.
The 100m tall Kyoto Tower is a landmark not to be missed, as it offers a panoramic view of the whole city. Also don’t forget the Sanjusangendo Hall, a must-see attraction which is the longest wooden structure in Japan showcasing a thousand and one Bodhisattva statues from the 13th century. Further down at Osakako Station, you will find one of Japan’s most impressive aquariums. The Osaka Aquarium brings you different life creatures from the Pacific Rim which are presented in a creative and refreshing manner, where spiral downward floors enable the viewer to see the marine creatures in a new perspective. Around the airport you will find multiple temples worth visiting as well, and when you are tired, simply take a short break at one of the local sake bars around.
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