I needed to get from the Osaka City Center to Kansai Airport, and was looking at the best ways to do so. Since I was staying at the St. Regis Osaka, I was located in between 2 main train stations, Osaka Station to the north, and Namba Station to the south. Kansai Airport is south of the city, and after doing research, it made sense to head to Namba Station and take the Nankai Airport Line. You do have a few options, either the Airport Express Commuter Train, which is more like a typical subway, or the cool-looking Limited Express Rapi:t. The first option is the Airport Express Commuter Train. It doesn’t have reserved seating, which could make it harder with luggage at peak hours. The other option is the Rapi:t (which means Rapid) train which has all reserved seats, and makes less stops. The journey from Namba Station to Kansai Airport takes 44 minutes on the commuter train and 37 minutes on the rapid train.
Prices and Buying Tickets
When I took the train in December of 2022, the commuter train ticket prices per person was JPY 930 (about $7 USD), and the Rapi:t train costs a bit more, JPY 1290 (about $9.50 USD).
I decided to take the Rapi:t train! I looked at timetables in advance, and currently there is only 1 Rapid train per hour, but 4 airport express trains per hour. Before COVID, I believe there were 2 Rapid trains per hour. So, you’ll have to do some planning on your end.
I took a short 10 min cab ride from the St. Regis Osaka to Namba Station, and went to purchase tickets at the station for the Rapid train about 40 minutes in advance. There wasn’t a line at the time, but when I got to the ticketing agent, the “Regular Seats” didn’t have any together and my family and I would be split up. The agent recommended upgrading to “Super Seats” as they had plenty of seats left. It ended up being a great option, super seats are in a 1-2 configuration and there were 3 of us, so no one had to sit with a stranger. Also, it was only 210 YEN more per ticket ($1.50 USD)!
We then did a bit of shopping at the department store in the station before heading to the train platform. By the time we went to get on the train 15 minutes early, the ticket line was quite long, so I do recommend arriving early.
Rapi:t Airport Express:
The Rapi:t Train has a total of 6 cars, and cars 1-4 have Regular seats, while cars 5 and 6 have Super seats.
Regular seats have a 2-2 seating configuration, and super seats have a 2-1 seating configuration, making them more comfortable and better when travelling alone, or with odd numbered groups.
We were in Car 6, and I loved the retro design interior. The legroom was very good, and you could put your carry on luggage easily in front of you. Additionally, you could also use the airline-style overhead compartments.
There is free WiFi on the train, and also bathrooms in cars 3 and 5. Also for those with large luggage, at the entrances to each car, they have racks that are also equipped with a lock.
Overall, the Limited Express Rapi:t was a great way to get from the Osaka city center to Kansai Airport! I really liked the “Super Seats” with the 1-2 configuration. If my travels take me back to Kansai Airport, I will definitely consider taking the Limited Express Rapi:t again.
Have you taken the Limited Express Rapi:t train before between Namba Station and Osaka-Kansai (KIX) Airport? How was your experience? Share below!
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