Osaka Layover Guide (KIX)

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Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Kansai International Airport (KIX) is the major international airport found on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay. It is located 38 km (24 mi) from downtown Osaka. The airport has had commercial flights since it was opened in 1994. Osaka is a modern metropolis and a major financial center of Japan. It is known for its history, religions, architecture, art, festivals, culture, technology and entertainment.

Can you leave Osaka Airport (KIX) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible to visit Osaka during a layover. However, travelers of certain nationalities may require a visa. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Japan Organized Tours

Hiroshima & Miyajima UNESCO Tour

Explore the Peace Memorial City of Hiroshima and visit many magnificent landmarks such as the Itsukushima shrine, Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Itsukushima Shrine with Big Torii Gate and Daisho-in Temple all in a day. Travel on an air-conditioned coach with an English speaking-guide in Hiroshima and there is also a multilingual audio guide available in other languages. This tour includes the Bullet train “Shinkansen” with return tickets from Shin Osaka or Kyoto to Hiroshima. » book this tour

Osaka: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus

Discover the intricacies of Osaka at your own pace with a 1 or 2-day hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus and boat ticket. You can board the open-top bus at any of the 14 stops around the city and hop off to see the sights that interest you most. The ticket also includes a cruise down the Dotonbori River and more. Climb aboard an open-top bus or closed top bus and experience Osaka according to your own interests. » book this tour

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

Be amazed by visiting the former capital cities, Kyoto and Nara. Depart from Osaka or Kyoto, and head to Fushimi Inari Taisha. Designated as an Important Cultural Property with 1000 vermilion gates, the main shrine building contains five shrines together, these five pillars of Fushimi Inari Taisha are named for the great virtues of Inari Okami that they embody. Inari Okami is known as a deity of business prosperity, the prosperity of industries, the safety of households, safety in traffic and improvement in the performing arts. Experience interacting with the deer at Nara Park and Experience 2 UNESCO world heritage sites. Be enchanted by the golden pavilion temple Kinkaku-ji and marvel at the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. » book this tour

Japan Things to do / Sightseeing

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan is also one of Osaka’s busiest sites and it attracts about 10 million visitors every year.of all four Universal theme parks worldwide, the Osaka location offers a number of known pop-culture franchises, along with a few unique to the location. Recently, Hollywood Dream was added: The Ride, a fun rollercoaster that actually travels backward at times; rides that are based on the Spiderman movies; and Universal Wonderland, a lively family-friendly area perfect for those traveling with kids will have the time of their lives here. Uniquely Japanese-themed entertainment and characters are found in rides based on games and TV shows in the Universal Cool Japan area, like Monster Hunter and the famous One Piece Premier Show.

Time required: Half a day.

Airport to here: It takes about 25 minutes to get here by taxi or almost an hour by bus.

The National Museum of Art

The National Museum of Art, Osaka (NMAO) is an underground art museum opened in 1997 and has gallery containing a large collection from some of the famous international artists of the post-war period, of which includes, Picasso and Cézanne and Japanese artists Kuniyoshi and Foujita, alongside important relics and statues. The spectacular steel structure outside the museum, a massive installation designed to look like reeds bending under a breeze is so eye-catchy that you may look at it in awe for a while.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes a little over 20 minutes to get here by taxi or one hour by bus.

Shitennō-ji Temple

Japan’s first Buddhist temple and best-known in Osaka, Shitennō-ji, traces its roots to as far back as AD 59. Although rebuilt many times over the centuries with the most recent reconstruction that took place in 1960, this beautiful temple is the oldest. There are a five-story pagoda and a number of other exquisitely decorated edifices of which includes the Golden Pavilion or Kondō with its fine statues and paintings, the Kōdō (lecture Hall) and a covered corridor linking three of the site’s gates.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes about 25 minutes to get here by taxi or 40 minutes by bus.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle, locally known as Ōsaka-jō, was completed in 1586 and it took three years. The castle was ordered to be built by a Japanese warrior and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi. At the time of its completion, it was the largest castle in Japan. The military commanders then were required to contribute stones for its construction, the largest of these stones was the Higo-ishi stone which is located in the south entrance of the castle, standing approximately six meters high, 14.5 meters long, and it was brought by General Kato Kiyomasa, a celebrated man from the island of Shodo. After Hideyoshi’s defeat in 1615, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt by the Tokugawa shoguns after Hideyoshi’s defeat in 1615 for the purposes of prestige. It was destroyed again after the fall of the Shogunate and was rebuilt in 1931 remaining as it is to this very day.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes about 25 minutes to reach here by bus or 50 minutes by bus.

The Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Tempozan Ferris Wheel is one of the most beautiful and largest attractions in the whole of Asia. Measuring more than 112 meters and with a diameter of over 100 meters, the huge Ferris wheel has been in operation since the year 1997 and offers a thrilling and memorable 17-minute journey that is particularly enjoyable at night when it is lit up in different colors by virtue of the weather status. It turns orange when sunny weather is forecast or green for clouds, and blue for rain. There are also unique “see-through-bottom” cars for an amazing all-round view of the Osaka Bay.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: Get here in 30 minutes by taxi or 1 hour by bus.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is a walk -through Aquarium that gives a worthwhile experience to its guests. Being One of the world’s biggest attractions, visitors get to enjoy a fascinating tour of a variety of marine habitats of which includes the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica, with the Great Barrier Reef and Monterey Bay too. Quite a number of Japanese marine life, including freshwater species, as well as native reptiles and mammals, are found here. With 27 tanks, the biggest being nine meters deep and easily accommodating large marine life including sharks and manta rays.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 30 minutes to reach here by taxi or 1 hour and 10 minutes by train.

Tennōji Park and Zoo

The largest green space in Osaka is Tennōji Park (Tennōji Kōen) and is the best getaway from the busy city. With many fragrant flower beds with blossoming cherries in spring, the park is a delightful place to be due to the presence of many fun sculptures, ponds, and bridges. The Tennōji Zoo found here also, opened in 1915 and is home to a variety of species including lions, elephants, and giraffes in setting that seem as though they are roaming the African savannah.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: You can get here in about 25 minutes by taxi or 35 minutes by bus.

The Umeda Sky Building

The Umeda Sky Building (Umeda Sukai Biru) is an outstanding landmark consisting of two office towers joined at the top by a large platform-like structure. This rooftop structure is the main attraction to visitors. This structure places Osaka on the map when modern architecture is the topic for discussion. The network of bridges and escalators, which join the two towers, provides plunging views of the 170-plus meters that send shivers down the spines of visitors who are scared of heights.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It takes just 20 minutes to get here by taxi or 50 minutes by bus.

Things to Do in Osaka Airport (KIX)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are numerous lounges in each terminal Airport » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are many hotel options near the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are designated rest areas within the airport close to the 2nd Floor of the Aeroplaza restaurant.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available, connect to one of the “FreeWiFi@KIX” networks.

SIM Card: Several shops within the airport sell SIM cards. » buy a global sim card for Japan, Osaka that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Taxi stands can be found outside at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Taxis carry passengers from the airport to central Osaka and other destinations.

Train: The West Japan Railway Company and Kansai Electric Railway operate railway lines that connect to the Kansai Airport Station. (more info).

Bus: Local bus lines serve the airport bus zones outside the terminals (more info).

Shuttle: There are several shuttle bus options available.

Car rentals: Car rentals such as Nippon Rent-A-Car, Toyota Rent-A-Car, and Times Car Rental are available onsite from desks found at each terminal in the airport. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: The parking lots are found close to each terminal.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Terminal 1 has on-site luggage storage. Self-service coin-operated lockers are also available in Terminal 1 and 2. » book a luggage storage or locker at Osaka Airport (KIX) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Osaka Airport (KIX) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks