The Journey Home : Kyoto to KIX

Osaka 大阪 - Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港

20th July 2010. Written by Xin Li.
Kyoto - Osaka KIX. Kansai. Japan
As the clock ticks closer to midnight, I know my time in Kyoto was running out, so is my time for dinner running out. Thanks to the huge food market at the basement of the enormous Isetan Department Store at Kyoto Station, I managed to grab something for dinner.

Kyoto 京都 - RF1 Bento Set

During evening time, it is only common to see the prices getting slashed drastically to clear the remaining food items at the Isetan, although the more popular ones have already cleared their stock by then. Nonetheless, the many remaining options would still give one a headache. You have tonkatsu, grilled unagi, sushi, Chinese food, western twists, salads, wagashi, cakes, parfaits, bread and many more.

Kyoto 京都 - Haruka Express 特急はるか

In the end, I decided to go for a Western-style bento set for about 700-800 yen from RF1, a Western delicatessen under Rock Field Ltd. It has grilled egg plant (you just can’t get away from it in Kyoto), ham with lemon, western style sushi roll, calamari, potato salad and rice with two kinds of vegetable toppings. Overall, it was a really nice bento!

Kyoto 京都 - Haruka Express 特急はるか

If you are visiting Kyoto from Osaka, you must know this train, it is called the Haruka Express Limited Express and it is one of the best means of transport between Kyoto and Osaka as well as the Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港(KIX). It takes about 70 minutes for a journey from KIX to Kyoto and vice versa. For this convenience you would have to fork out 2000 yen (with a One-Day JR West Kansai Pass) or about 4000-6000 yen for a one-way train ticket.

As I waited to board the train, I can’t help feeling amused by how the cleaners would wait for their train and did a swift job of tidying and cleaning the train before its ready to go again, it repeats like clockwork.

Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港

Midnight flight means almost no shopping and dining at the airport. Most of the shops except for one Duty-Free Shop were open when I was at the airport. On top of that, the airport was very quiet and empty.

Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港 - Gate 9

It was only later that I realized that this airport was designed by Renzo Piano (who is an Italian, not Japanese). The airport, built entirely on reclaimed land was to later influence other airports that followed suit such as Nagoya Chubu Central International Airport as well as the Lantau International Airport in Hong Kong. It has a problem though, during the early years of its operations, the airport actually sunk quite a bit until it started to stabilize recently.

Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港 - KIX Refresh Cabin

Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港 - KIX Refresh Cabin

If you have 500 yen to spare, I recommend refreshing yourself at the KIX Refresh Cabin (Kanku Lounge) located at the International Gate Area Center, I was perspiring all over after visiting Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji, the weather can be extremely warm in July (summer season).

Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港 - KIX Refresh Cabin

Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港 - KIX Refresh Cabin

For that money, you have access to showers (with shampoos, towels provided), massage chairs, access to internet and free drinks. The catch is that you only have 30 minutes to enjoy that. For 1500 yen, you would have 120 minutes and it is only opened from 7:00 to 24:00. Another alternative is the coin-operated showers that are open 24 hours a day.


  1. Hello,
    Is the Kanku Lounge located on the airside or landside? Thanks :)

    1. Hi Felicia, the lounge I used is located on the airside located opposite Pronto but I think they also have one at the landside.

      this was the one I visited :



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