Osaka ITM vs KIX (coming from Kyoto) - some advice?

Old Feb 16, 19, 1:46 pm
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Osaka ITM vs KIX (coming from Kyoto) - some advice?

Hi all,

Inexperienced JAL flyer and hoping for some advice.

I'll be in Japan for a holiday in April and it looks sensible to get the plane from Osaka to Tokyo (HND), before staying in the airport hotel for the night and flying home to London the day after.

There are two Osaka airports though. Which is it easiest to reach? I see there's a 70min bus to ITM (9-ish) and a fast train (20-ish) to KIX.

I'm a BA GGL, so have access to JAL lounges (if present?). Would prefer larger, more comfortable planes and a better airport experience overall (ITM is 777, KIX is 737). But it's really the ease of travel that makes most sense. The price of one-way tickets is approximately the same from both airports and the times are only about 1hr apart, so is of little consequence.

Hope this hasn't been asked lots before and someone can help.

Many thanks.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:33 pm
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If you are in Kyoto, I would say the Shinkansen to Shinagawa and then the Keikyu to Haneda is a faster and better option than flying I would never fly going between Tokyo and Kyoto, Osaka is borderline, depending on specific starting and ending point. The Shinkansen is 2h 10m to Shinagawa, plus a change and a 13 minute train ride to Haneda

But if you insist on flying, I would take Itami. There is a Diamond Premier lounge in Itami. Not that the domestic lounges are great, but the Diamond Premier is nicer than the Sakura lounges.
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Last edited by CPH-Flyer; Feb 17, 19 at 12:32 am
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Old Feb 17, 19, 10:14 am
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if you have half a cost concern (ure GGL so i dont THINK paying for thr shinkansen would break your bank), time wastage aside 4500avios for 13000 yen savings is pretty good

you need to be at itm ard 30 mins before flight to be safe and the limo bus ride take 50ish minutes from kyoto station. thats the baseline for time between trains and flights.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:42 pm
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I am not an experienced Japan traveler but I have been through Kyoto a couple of times. I stressed quite a bit my last trip over whether to fly from ITM or KIX to OKA. For me it depended on many factors but ultimately I decided the easiest was to fly from KIX especially since my hotel was in the Kyoto station complex. From Kyoto station you can take the airport express Haruka train direct (a couple of stops) to KIX and since it is specifically an airport train it has plenty of luggage space (luggage racks near the doors plus the overhead) and I was traveling with family and had a lot of luggage.

For me I was worried about uncertainty of getting bus tickets to ITM, finding the right pick-up location for the bus to ITM, and since I was leaving early in the morning if I screwed anything up and missed my bus I would miss my flight. Finding Kyoto station is easy. Any taxi can take you there and once you are there it is easy to get tickets on the Airport Express Haruka direct to KIX and Japan train schedules are like clockwork so I had much higher confidence in not missing my morning flight from KIX. If I had a later flight in the day I could have built in a time buffer and tried for ITM but so long as you do not mind the slightly longer travel time to KIX the stress level is lower taking the Airport Express Haruka.

https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/t...ess/train.html
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/icoca-haruka/
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Old Feb 18, 19, 6:10 am
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I agree with the others. Taking the Shinkansen is a much better alternative. The time from Kyoto Station to Haneda, when you include check-in and security at either of the Osaka terminals, is going to be similar. If you’ve been using the JR Pass to travel, and there’s still time left on it, the Shinkansen will be no charge, so there’s some cost saving there as well.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 6:22 am
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Shinkansen + Ekiben is always a good option for Kansai.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 6:24 am
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaSteve View Post
If you’ve been using the JR Pass to travel, and there’s still time left on it, the Shinkansen will be no charge, so there’s some cost saving there as well.
However, you can't use Nozomi super express with JR pass. So, it takes longer time (and low frequency) to Tokyo from Kyoto.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by Wasabi Tofu View Post
However, you can't use Nozomi super express with JR pass. So, it takes longer time (and low frequency) to Tokyo from Kyoto.
Yeah, my first post was based on jumping on the Nozomi
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Old Feb 18, 19, 8:23 am
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While the Shinkansen is indeed fast and I have used it between Kyoto and Tokyo when I was terminating downtown, there is not a lot of luggage space on the Shinkansen. Also you would need to connect to another train in Tokyo to get to HND (which I have never tried) and I don't know how crowded or how much luggage space on the connecting train to HND. Going to NRT the Narita Express has plenty of luggage space but OP is going to HND.

I would not be concerned about not getting a Nozomi train if taking the Shinkansen because if you download a train schedule you can pick a Hikari train on the JR Pass that uses the same equipment but makes a couple of extra stops so it is still quite fast, just do not pick the slow Kodoma trains as those are much slower. The issue with the Shinkansen that always worried me was the lack of luggage space. I mitigated by traveling in non-peak seasons and hours and taking the Green cars. In Tokyo if going to HND I would worry about how crowded the connecting train would be in addition to how much luggage space there would be to HND, not an issue to NRT with the Narita Express since most folks do not use it for commuting and it has plenty of luggage space.

If luggage is not a consideration then, yes, Shinkansen is great. With check-in sized luggage the calculus becomes more involved.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 9:09 am
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JAL has limited services KIX-HND, so bear that in mind.
JL 220 06:40 - 07:40 (connecting to daytime US flights or pretty much elsewhere, but who will wake up for this?)
JL 224 14:45 - 15:50 (connecting to late afternoon Asia/US flights)
JL 228 21:20 - 22:25 (connecting to the night time Asia/US/Europe flights)

That said, Shinkansen to Shinagawa (next to last station just before Tokyo station), then a swift hop to the Keikyu line train will get you to HND in no time (Shinagawa to Haneda has 10 minutes frequency, journey takes around 25-30 minutes).
For luggage, get the seats at the last row (back end) of any train carriage, and the space behind the seats is ample space even for large suitcases.
Doing air transits from Kyoto will just waste your time and stress you more, and has less flexibility.
Unless, of course, you have Avios/United miles and can do the domestic flights at ridiculously cheap out of pocket costs. Then, I would vote for the Kansai (KIX) flights, with the benefits of a smoother connection out of Kyoto station.
*Note that at HND, you would still need to do the domestic to international connection landside.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by skimthetrees View Post
While the Shinkansen is indeed fast and I have used it between Kyoto and Tokyo when I was terminating downtown, there is not a lot of luggage space on the Shinkansen. Also you would need to connect to another train in Tokyo to get to HND (which I have never tried) and I don't know how crowded or how much luggage space on the connecting train to HND. Going to NRT the Narita Express has plenty of luggage space but OP is going to HND.

I would not be concerned about not getting a Nozomi train if taking the Shinkansen because if you download a train schedule you can pick a Hikari train on the JR Pass that uses the same equipment but makes a couple of extra stops so it is still quite fast, just do not pick the slow Kodoma trains as those are much slower. The issue with the Shinkansen that always worried me was the lack of luggage space. I mitigated by traveling in non-peak seasons and hours and taking the Green cars. In Tokyo if going to HND I would worry about how crowded the connecting train would be in addition to how much luggage space there would be to HND, not an issue to NRT with the Narita Express since most folks do not use it for commuting and it has plenty of luggage space.

If luggage is not a consideration then, yes, Shinkansen is great. With check-in sized luggage the calculus becomes more involved.
Outside of Golden Week, Obon, and New Year's I have never struggled to get luggage space on the Shinkansen, unless you come with two full size suitcases and a carry on per person there is really no issue. I find the NEX more problematic at peak times, more space yes, but far more people with luggage as well.

The change at Shinagawa is really easy, the two stations are connected. If you take the south connection of the Shinkansen platform that is, the North connection is not directly connected.

At Shinagawa, 5 minutes walk, 10 minutes wait max, and 13 minute train ride if you take the express.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 7:45 pm
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If time isn't of the essence and you're really worried about luggage, just take a bus from Kyoto to Itami. It's about 1,000, give or take, although it takes about an hour. You can catch buses from major areas in Kyoto, as well as hotels.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 11:09 pm
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Originally Posted by FireEmblemPride View Post
If time isn't of the essence and you're really worried about luggage, just take a bus from Kyoto to Itami. It's about 1,000, give or take, although it takes about an hour. You can catch buses from major areas in Kyoto, as well as hotels.
i thought the hotel in Tokyo was in the city. but apparently it isnt. As a result, bus+plane would be my recommendation. its much better than Shinkansen train+ commuter train. unless you have a JR Pass then its hard to argue for spending money when it could have been free (you'll have to pay for shinagawa-HND nonetheless... or you'll have to take a local JR train to hammamatsucho to take the tokyo monorail).
Take the bus from Kyoto to ITM, then fly, and arrive at HND.
The busstop at Kyoto? https://www.okkbus.co.jp/en/busstop/521/. It's a bit hard to miss the stop as it is right outside Hotel new Hankyu opposite the futuristic local train exit of Kyoto Station.
You can probably redeem HNDITM using avios too. 1.7p/avios realization. or you can get a few tier points for ur BA Status (many pay 18800 yen for Japan Experience Pass + F surcharge for 60 tier points).
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Old Feb 19, 19, 11:05 am
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I may be crazy, but if I were doing this, I'd fly out of ITM and get there by taking the Keihan train to Kadomashi, then changing to the Osaka Monorail. This is certainly not the fastest or easiest way to do it, but the two train rides are really cool: Keihan literally takes you through people's backyards in the suburbs, then the monorail takes you down an expressway median at altitude past the Osaka Expo Park. Also, if you fly JAL out of ITM, you might have an opportunity to upgrade with cash to domestic F, one of the most opulent hour-long flight experiences you'll ever enjoy...
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