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Japan (2013) Day 1: From Kansai International Airport (KIX) to Central Osaka

When majority keep sharing and posting "I Want To Travel Around The World With My Other Half!", but how come no one actually share that "I Want To Travel With My Parents!"?

When I found out there was direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to Osaka (Kansai International Airport) via Malaysia Airlines, without second thought instantly I bought not only one but two tickets specially for my mom as her birthday present last two years. Not only for its hassle-free from transit in Kuala Lumpur but the airfare was pretty affordable and reasonable - only RM797 for return, including 30kg luggage allowance, complimentary meals and beverages and in-flight entertainments.

My initial plan was to do the same route like I did previously for my maiden trip to Japan; Osaka, Kyoto & Tokyo but in the midst of planning, I decided to change the plan which was just solely focus on Kansai region.

Japan - Osaka 01
#1: Ready for boarding MH54!

Japan - Osaka 01-2
#2: In-flight meals and beverages. Somehow, international flight served a decent and scrumptious instead than the local flight. 

Japan - Osaka 01-1
#3: After 3 years, I never thought I will seeing this signboard again. [Check my old post]

Interesting Fact of Kansai International Airport:
Kansai International Airport is an airport that's said to have never lost a piece of luggage since it opened 22 years agp and being the second biggest hub airport in Japan after Tokyo Narita International Airport. 

Why I choose to focus on Kansai region instead
Kansai Region Map
  • In Kansai region alone, there are 10 prefectures - Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo (Kobe), Wakayama, Fukui, Mie, Shiga, Tottori and Tokushima.
  • Travel around Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo within 8 days is indeed cram and rush based on my past travel experience. Plus like I mentioned earlier, I was travelling with my mom and therefore, I prefer this trip to be relax and easy.
  • Cost saving from buying 7 days Japan Rail Pass that cost 29,110 yen (approx. to RM930) and focusing on buying Kansai Pass instead. 
I glad I made a wise choice cause right after two years from this Kansai trip, I went Tokyo last July with my family, including my two brothers who went Japan for the very first time. *peace*

Travel Between Kansai International Airport and Central Osaka
Upon arriving at Kansai International Airport (KIX), both mommy and I bought our quick lunch from Lawson, a 24 hours convenience store once we done with the immigration and customs clearance. Right after that, we went to JR Ticket Office located on second floor (just follow the sign) to query which most preferable and economical pass to choose from.

JR Ticket Office Kansai International Airport
#4: JR Ticket Office located on second floor of KIX for purchase or exchange JR Pass

Talking about Japan railway and public transportation network, I have to admit that they are the most convenient, efficient, safe and comfort one but then seriously looking into their railway line, they are utterly complex and complicated at the same time. Three times I went Japan, and still I could board on the wrong train somehow. 


To buy which pass is depends on your desired destination. For our case, our hotel situated in Shin-Osaka and hence we were advised by JR officer to opt for ICOCA & Haruka for Haruka Limited Express. This option is hassle-free without having to change trains and the quickest one (it took 49 minutes only) but the expensive one. Haruka Limited Express departs KIX twice an hour.

"ICOCA is an IC card convenient for JR, subway, private railway, buses and shopping in the Kansai Area and other places worth 2,000 yen (500 yen refundable deposit plus 1,500 yen worth in train and bus fares) wheres as Haruka is a discounted ticket for Kansai-Airport Express to access from KIX to Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe area (either a round-trip of a one way ticket)."

Price for ICOCA & Haruka:
Round-trip type = 4,060 yen
One-way type = 3,030 yen

Japan Osaka 01-03
#3: Two designs for ICOCA card and the green tickets are the Haruka return tickets. 

I think it is worth to buy these ICOCA & Haruka pass cause one way conventional ticket from KIX to Shin-Osaka can cost 2,470 yen. However if your arrival station is Namba, then opt for cheaper but slower Nankai Airport Express for 920 yen. (Reminder: There is a difference between "Rapi:t Limited Express Train" and "Express Train" and the fare are also vary. Now you know why I boarded on the wrong train).

If you want to know more about money-saving transportation tickets within Kansai region, here are the reference:
1) Kansai International Airport JR-West
2) Japan Guide for Kansai International Airport 
3) Japan Rail Pass and rail travel in Japan complete guide - JPRail.com
4) Osaka: Arriving & Departing by Tripadvisor

Unlike JR Railway Pass, all of these JR-West Rail Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Kansai Wide Area Pass, Kansai Thru Pass, Kitentsu Rail Pass and etc. can be bought directly within Japan.

In case you like to know the exact train timetable, route and fare from starting point to the end, refer to Hyperdia. I'm frequent user for this whenever I was in Japan. 

JR Ticket Office Kansai International Airport 02
#5: Nankai Railway information (Bear in mind this trip was 2013 and the fares are different now)

JR Ticket Office Kansai International Airport 03
#6: KIX train station is just nearby the JR ticket office 

Japan Osaka 01-4
#7: Haruka Limited Express - It's expensive but took only 30 minutes from KIX to Shin-Osaka

Japan - Osaka 02
#8: Hotel Consort in Shin-Osaka (Will blog about this in upcoming post)

On the very first night for my repeated Osaka trip, we went for shopping spree in Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and night strolling in bustle and lively Dontobori in Minami (Namba) area. As I went and blog about these two tourist spots previously, hence I don't think it's necessary for me to repeat from doing the same things but please, do enjoy the photos.

My Old Posts:
Japan Osaka 01-8
#9: Shinsaibashi Shopping Center, the largest shopping area in Osaka which houses more than 180 shops

Japan Osaka 01-5
#10: Drug and beauty stores are the popular one in Shinsaibashi Shopping Center

Japan - Osaka 04
#11: Glico Running Man, the famous and colourful signboard in Dontobori

Japan Osaka 01-6
#12: My mom took this one - not bad!

Japan - Osaka 05
#13: Lit by hundreds of neon lights and merchandise signboards 

Japan Osaka 01-7
#14: Dontobori canal packed with abundant of restaurants on left and right

Japan - Osaka 06
#15: Another famous sign of Dontobori - Giant Crawling Crab

How To Get Shinsaibashi and Dontobori
From Shin-Osaka station, we took Osaka City Subway Midosuji Line to Shinsaibashi Station by using the ICOCA card we bought earlier. The fare is 240 yen.

Example of search result by Hyperdia



  1. Is the bear comes with the in flight meal?? ;D

  2. If travel with family or parents, I prefer make the trip free and easy.
    Thanks for sharing the link regarding money saving transportation, definitely will come back to this post when plan to Kansai, Japan.

  3. Aaaaaaaa really miss Kansai :(

  4. LOL...true what you have mentioned...not many travel with parents, unless it is a family tour.

    have heard from friends who have been there that I must get JR coz it leads to a more easy and convenient way of travel

    Hope your mom enjoyed herself there

  5. I learnt something today from this post and you are a good planner!
    I agree that Tokyo and Osaka should never be crammed together as there are too many interesting places to cover. Many people made this mistake and regretted as they could hardly breathe & relax.
    I prefer to travel with my wife only and it was the best as we always found time to have picnic in the parks during their cold season. So much happy memories!!


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