Are you coming to Japan via Kansai Airport? Maybe you have a layover, and don’t know what to do while you are at Kansai Airport. Luckily for you, this guide will guide you through a layover at Kansai Airport with information on food, sightseeing and more! It does not matter if your layover is short or long, we are here to help.
Before we talk about tours and sightseeing for your layover, it is important for you to be aware of applicable visa restrictions. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are strict Covid-19 restrictions in Japan. This applies to inbound tourism as well. Currently, there are visa restrictions for all foreign nationals. This means that even if you hold citizenship from a previously visa-free country you will have to apply for a special travel visa to enter Japan. The Japanese government has implemented both entry restrictions and quarantine measures. Please confirm with the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country before making travel plans.
Kansai Airport layover shorter than six hours
Do not worry if you have a shorter layover at Kansai Airport. There is still a myriad of ways to make the best of your short time in Osaka! Kansai Airport. Whether you are interested in trying some Japanese cuisine, want to engage in some retail therapy, or take a look at some beautiful sights, there is something for everyone. Here are some of our short layover suggestions at Kansai Airport:
Izumisano is the city in which Kansai airport is located. Izumisano is right beside the ocean, so you can enjoy fresh seafood. From Kansai Airport, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes by train to get to the main tourist attractions of the city. Here are some things you can do to enjoy a short layover at Kansai Airport in Izumisano:
- Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market: A market specializing in fresh fish for your foodie dreams! Inside you will find a number of shops and restaurants. Try some fresh seafood to fill your stomach before your next flight. Located on-site at Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market is the Kaisenyaki-Ichiba. Here you can grill seafood to perfection in this outdoor barbeque area. If you are in search of some authentic sushi, we suggest you try Yutaro Sushi inside the market. Their rice bowls are filled to the brim with fresh raw fish, a foodies dream! Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market is about 25 minutes away from Kansai Airport by train. If you are extra tired you can also take the taxi, which would take about 15 minutes from Kansai Airport.
Address: 2 Chome-5187-101 Shinmachi, Izumisano, Osaka (Map)Tel: 072-469-2340Hours: 10 AM ～ 5 PM (stores start to close at 4:30 PM)
- Rinku Town: Rinku Town is a commercial district in Izumisano city. Rinku Town is 15 minutes away from Kansai Airport by train. If you need a change of scenery, why not take a walk around Sennan Marble Beach? The “beach” is filled with small white rocks that look like white marbles. There is also a ferris wheel called Rinku-no Hoshi. If you have extra time, take a dip in a real Japanese hot spring bath at AQUAIGNIS. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the ocean from the hot spring baths. Please click here to view a map of Rinku Town and all that it has to offer. To get to Rinku Town, take the JR Rapid train to Rinku-Town station. The station is just across the bridge from the airport. There are also shuttle buses that run between Kansai Airport and Rinku Town every 30 minutes (currently suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic).
Address: Rinkuoraikita, Izumisano, Osaka (Map)
- Rinku Premium Outlets: Rinku Premium Outlets is a huge outlet mall in Izumisano. There are 243 shops in the mall, making it the second largest outlet mall in western Japan. With everything from branded goods to makeup to kitchenware, you are bound to find what you are looking for – and more! If you are in search of some good deals, Rinku Premium Outlets is the place to go. Inside the mall, you will find two food courts with a variety of delicious foods. Why not treat yourself to a bowl of world-famous Ippodo Ramen? Alternatively, try some rice dishes at Komeraku or Panda Express. Rinku Premium Outlets can be reached in 15 minutes by train from Kansai Airport. Rinku-Town station is the closest station to Rinku Premium Outlets.
Address: 3-28 Rinkuoraiminami, Izumisano, Osaka (Map)Tel: 072-458-4600Hours: 10 AM ～ 8 PM
If your layover is in the morning, a trip to Aozora-Ichiba is a great option. The morning is the perfect time to taste the catch of the day! Alternatively, we recommend walking around Rinku town or shopping at Rinku Outlets if your layover is in the afternoon.
A longer layover at Kansai Airport means more options for sightseeing! With a longer layover, you can hop on a train to central Osaka. You may have heard of some of the famous spots, but read on for our suggestions. All of our recommended sightseeing spots are super easy to access from Kansai Airport. So, there is no need to worry about annoying train transfers or confusing bus rides. Here are our top spots for those with longer layovers at Kansai Airport:
- Tennoji Park: Refresh your eyes and your mind with a visit to Tennoji Park. The park has huge lawns, perfect for relaxing. Keitakuen Garden, a traditional Japanese garden, is another beautiful part of the park. If you are hungry for some entertainment, why not visit the Osaka Tennoji Zoo located in the park? There are many different kinds of animals at the zoo such as giraffes and lions. Tennoji Park and the Osaka Tennoji Zoo are 45 minutes away from Kansai Airport.
Address: 5-55 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka (Map)Tel: 06-6773-0860Park hours: 7 AM ～ 10 PM
Zoo hours: 9:30 AM ~ 5 PM
- Shitenno-ji Temple: Shitenno-ji Temple is one of the oldest temples in Japan. For all those interested in Japanese history, this temple is a must-visit. On the temple grounds, you can take a relaxing stroll through Gokurakujodo Garden. To get to Shitenno-ji Temple hop on the Haruka limited express and ride for 45 minutes.
Address: 1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji Ward, Osaka (Map)Tel: 06-6771-0066Park hours: 8 AM ～ 4 PM
- Osaka Castle: If you know only one sightseeing in Osaka, it is probably Osaka Castle. Osaka Castle was the biggest castle in Japan when it was built almost 500 years ago. Although the structure now was built after bombings destroyed it in World War 2, it is still an amazing sight to see. Contrary to the old, historic atmosphere of the castle grounds, the castle park is surrounded by skyscrapers. The contrast between old and new is super interesting! Osaka Castle is easily reached by train from Kansai Airport in about 1 hour.
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka (Map)Tel: 06-6771-0066Park hours: 9 AM ～ 5 PM
- Dotonbori: Dotonbori is one of Osaka’s most famous tourist spots. You might recognize Dotonbori from pictures of the famous neon-lit Glico running man. Around Dotonbori there are lots of shops and restaurants. Osaka is famous for street food, and there is no shortage of it here in Dotonbori. You can try authentic takoyaki (grilled octopus balls), okonomiyaki (cabbage pancakes), or kushi-katsu (deep-fried skewers), all super famous Japanese street foods. Dotonbori is about 1 hour away from Kansai Airport by train.
Address: Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka (Map)
- Shinsaibashi: Shinsaibashi shopping street is a covered arcade in central Osaka. So, you can enjoy shopping without worrying about the weather! You will feel like a local as you stroll the streets which are popular with both tourists and local residents. There are a number of stores ranging from small shops to high-end department stores. There is also food and drink you can enjoy like fresh crepes and matcha green tea! From Kansai Airport Shinsaibashi is about 1 hour by train.
Address: Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka (Map)
- Abeno Harukas: Abeno Harukas is the tallest skyscraper in Japan! Standing at 300 metres tall, Abeno Harukas offers amazing views of the city from the observation deck. There is also an art museum called the Abeno Harukas Art Museum on the 16th floor with exhibits that regularly change. If you are hungry, stop at one of the 44 restaurants in the tower. Abeno Harukas is about 45 minutes away from Kansai Airport via the Haruka express train.
Address: 1-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka (Map)Tel: 06-6621-0300Park hours: 9 AM ～ 10 PM
- Shinsekai: Shinsekai is a district in Osaka. The area was neglected for years after World War 2. So, many of the developments in the area are quite old. Walking through the area you will feel the nostalgia of post-war Japan. Super bright storefronts line the streets and are perfect for an impromptu photoshoot! You should also visit Tsutenkaku, a tower in the middle of Shinsekai. Or, you can try some street food like kushi-katsu (deep-fried skewers). From Kansai Airport, Shinsekai is about 1 hour away by train. Both the JR and Nankai lines will take you directly to the Shinsekai area.
Address: 2 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka (Map)
Transportation around Kansai Airport
Here we will explain the main methods of transportation to and from Kansai Airport. Hopefully, this will help you navigate your way through the airport and Osaka!
- Kansai-Airport Rapid Service: This train is run by Japan Railways (JR). From Kansai Airport the train goes all the way to Osaka station via Tennoji station and then back to Tennoji on the other side of central Osaka. The trains run very frequently as they are not limited express trains.
- Kansai Airport Express “Haruka”: The Haruka limited express trains run the same route as the Kansai Airport Rapid Service trains until Tennoji station. From Osaka station, these trains take you all the way to Shin-Osaka station and even Kyoto without any transfers.
- Nankai Airport Line: Nankai runs the Nankai Airport Line and Rapi:t, a limited express train that runs on the Nankai Airport Line route. If you are heading to or from Namba, this train is super convenient. The Nankai line or Rapi:t will take you directly to Namba from Kansai Airport without any transfers.
- Limousine bus: Limousine buses are convenient rapid buses that run to and from the airport directly to a number of areas in the Osaka area. Oftentimes, limousine buses can be more convenient than the train because you do not need to transfer at any station en route to your destination. From Kansai Airport, there are many limousine bus routes that run to areas of Osaka that would require multiple train transfers. Also, many limousine buses stop directly in front of a number of hotels in Osaka. If you are staying overnight for your layover or want to go somewhere that is a little difficult by train, consider the limousine bus. Please note that some limousine bus lines are suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kansai Airport layover tour
Are you are interested in seeing what Osaka has to offer during your layover at Kansai Airport? If so, you should get in touch with the team at Tokyo Travel Assist. We offer an amazing layover tour (under construction).
Baggage delivery and storage
Travelling into the city with your suitcase would be a big hassle. Luckily, Kansai Airport has baggage storage in the airport. On the first and fourth floors of Terminal 1, there are baggage storage counters. For one day of storage, it costs 640 yen for a suitcase, 360 yen for one Boston bag, and 1,050 yen to leave a coat for 4 days or less. For larger items like surfboards or other irregularly shaped goods, you can store them for 1,050 yen a day.
Website : Kansai Airport – Baggage Storage
For small items, a coin locker may be the better choice. There are coin lockers on all floors of Terminal 1 and then also in Terminal 2. You can store items for a whole day, or pay for just a few hours. The daily coin lockers cost 400 to 800 yen depending on the size of the items. For the hourly coin lockers, the rate per every 3 hours ranges from 100 yen to 300 yen depending on the size.
By the way, if you want to deliver your baggage to your hotel, Kansai airport offers baggage delivery services too. This is a great option if you want to make the most of your short time in Osaka. The baggage delivery service counters will arrange to have your bagge quickly delivered to your accommodation! Instead of lugging your big bags around, you can enjoy sightseeing without anything weighing you down. The baggage delivery counters are located in Terminal 1, so if you arrive in Terminal 2 please make your way to Terminal 1 to find the counters. Details and contact information for the baggage delivery services can be found from the link below.
Spending a layover inside Kansai airport
If your layover is short or at an awkward time of day, you might choose to spend your layover at Kansai Airport. There are a number of amenities and entertainment to make your layover as pleasant as possible.
There are many different shops in Kansai Airport. On the second floor, you will find a few souvenir shops. Even if Japan is not your intended destination, surely your friends back home would appreciate some Japanese snacks! Alternatively, browse the selection of duty-free goods in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Cosmetics, high-end brands, and electronics can be purchased here tax-free! Please note that some stores are closed right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You can check out the full list of stores and hours from the link below.
Website : Kansai Airport – Shop
Sky View Observation Hall
A layover at the airport is the perfect opportunity to do some plane spotting! Any aviation enthusiasts should definitely make a stop at the Observation Hall. At Kansai Airport, head to take the shuttle bus from bus stop 1 outside of the Passenger Terminal Building to get to the Observation Hall.
At the Sky View Observation Hall, there is a large outdoor deck right in front of the runways. You can enjoy unobstructed panoramic views from the deck. The deck at Sky View Observation Hall is even considered one of the best places for plane spotting in Japan! If you happen to have a camera on you, why not take a few shots of the planes?
Another place to check out at the Sky View Observation Hall is the Sky Museum on the third floor. At the museum, there are various different displays and exhibits. You can learn about the history of planes and airports, or try some interactive simulators! By the way, there is a really cool area with aircrafts built at a scale of 1:72.
After a long (or even short) flight, you might feel like you need to freshen up. Luckily, Kansai Airport has showers that you can use during your layover. In Terminal 1 near the International gates, there are coin-operated showers. It costs 600 yen to use the shower for 15 minutes. If you want a longer shower, head to KIX Airport Café Lounge NODOKA. If you pay 660 yen, you can use the shower for 40 minutes. By the way, shampoo, conditioner and body soap are provided at both shower areas – no need to buy them! More information about the shower rooms can be found from the link below.
Website : Kansai Airport – Shower room
Travelling internationally with your little ones can be super stressful. It is even more stressful when you add a layover to the mix! Luckily, Kansai Airport has a number of amenities that can put parents’ minds at ease. There is a kid’s corner with a small play area in both Terminals 1 and 2.
Website : Kansai Airport – Kids Playing Area
Also, there a many baby rooms throughout the airport. Parents can take advantage of these rooms for nursing (women only), diaper changing areas, and hot water for making bottles. For getting around the airport, visit the Information Counter in Terminal 2 or on the 2nd floor of Terminal 1 to borrow a stroller. Details on the baby rooms can be found the link below.
Website : Kansai Airport – Baby Rooms
For further rest and relaxation during your layover, we suggest heading to KIX Airport Café Lounge NODOKA. NODOKA is a lounge that is open 24 hours a day. You can enter the lounge if you hold a participating credit card. If you do not have a valid credit card, you can pay 550 yen per 30 minutes to use the lounge. Once you get into the lounge, you can enjoy soft drinks and coffee, and read some magazines and newspapers. Or, lounge on the artificial turf area. Nodoka is located on the second floor of the Aeroplaza building connected directly to Kansai Airport station. From Terminal 1 of the airport you can walk to Nodoka via the walkways. For more information about the lounges please click the link below.
Website : Kansai Airport – Airline Lounges
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport is conveniently connected to Kansai Airport station via the walkway to Aeroplaza. Upon exiting the airport, you can just walk for a few minutes to reach the hotel. Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport is part of the chain of Nikko hotels, which is famous for its good service. The rooms are larger than the average Japanese business hotel, which is super important if you have a giant suitcase with you! For those who want a relaxing place to rest but do not need an entire overnight stay, Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport also offers day-use plans.
First Cabin is another hotel that is also connected to Kansai Airport by the Aeroplaza walkway. This hotel is super unique – it is a capsule hotel! Capsule hotels are super popular in Japan. First Cabin is made up of tiny bed-sized rooms which can fit 1 person and maybe a few personal items. It’s almost like sleeping in your own personal bunk. If you want a slightly more spacious capsule experience, First Cabin also offers First Class rooms with a small table in addition to a king-size bed. You can book the rooms for a whole night, or by the hour for a refreshing nap. As for amenities for your layover, First Cabin has a large communal bath as well as a small lounge.
You now have all of the information you need to make the most of your layover at Kansai Airport. Whether you only have a few hours or maybe a day, there are so many things to see and do in Osaka. If you really want to take advantage of your layover, why not have a local guide show you the best spots? Either way, let us know how you plan to spend your layover at Kansai Airport!