OWL Magazine Korea

Kansai International Airport to Kyoto Station – “Haruka” Train Journey

Upon arriving at Kansai International Airport, my first priority was to prepare for the journey to Kyoto. As Kyoto was the initial destination of this trip, it was only natural to make arrangements to travel from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto. Among the various transportation options available, I chose to use the “Haruka” train.

The Haruka train is an express train operated by JR (Japan Railways), offering a comfortable journey from Kansai International Airport to Dennoji, Shin-Osaka, and Kyoto. The approximate travel times to each destination are as follows:

  • Dennoji: 35 minutes
  • Shin-Osaka: 50 minutes
  • Kyoto: 80 minutes

“JR Haruka Train”

The Haruka train is operated by JR. For unreserved seats, the regular fare is 3,110 yen, which is approximately 30,000 won. However, purchasing tickets online in advance allows you to acquire them at half price. Even if you’ve purchased tickets online, you still need to exchange them for physical tickets at the ticket booth before boarding.

“The Surprisingly Time-Consuming Ticket Issuance Process of the Haruka Train”

Although my travel companions and I had purchased Haruka train tickets online before our domestic journey, we found ourselves standing in line again at the booth to exchange the online tickets for physical ones. Despite the long wait due to a substantial crowd, the actual ticket issuance process explained why it took so much time.

The booth attendants meticulously checked passports, verified passport information, made necessary document copies, and obtained our signatures. Several additional documents needed processing, and after completing the entire procedure of receiving and signing forms, a considerable amount of time had passed.

“Boarding the Train at JR Track 4”

Once the ticket issuance was complete, it was finally time to board the train. The train boarding area can be found on the opposite side of the ticket issuance counter, marked with “JR.” While both “JR” and “NANKAI” train lines are side by side at the airport, you would head to “NANKAI” for the Rapi:t train and “JR” for the Haruka train. Since we were boarding the Haruka train, we went to the “JR” section.

After passing through the gate and descending, the train boarding platform could be accessed. The Haruka train arrives at Track 4, where passengers wait for its arrival.

“Haruka Train Adorned with Hello Kitty”

One distinctive feature of the Haruka train is its decoration with “Hello Kitty” characters. This design, with a touch of Japanese sensibility rarely seen in Korea, makes the train visually striking. The Hello Kitty-themed exterior of the train caught our attention from the start.

“After 80 Minutes: Arrival at Kyoto Station”

Following boarding, passengers can load their luggage into designated areas and find available seats. The train then proceeds through various stops, ultimately reaching its final destination, Kyoto Station, approximately 80 minutes after departing from Kansai International Airport. The journey offers a chance to enjoy the outside scenery, making it less monotonous than anticipated.

“Haruka Train”

  • Overview: Express train for rapid travel from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto
  • KKDay Reservation Page: Link