For my trip back from Osaka to Singapore, I took Haruka Express from Shin-Osaka to KIX (Osaka International Airport). As I was staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka, it was relatively easy for me to take the Haruka Express Shin-Ōsaka JR station (where you can take the Haruka Express) is literally a 2 minutes walk from the hotel to the train station.
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What is the Haruka Express
The Kansai-Airport Express “HARUKA” is a convenient and comfortable limited express train which directly links Kansai Airport with stations in the major cities in Kansai such as Tennoji, Shin-Osaka and Kyoto. It is one of the two express trains (the other being the Nankai limited Express Train). It all depends on where you are going.
For my case, I was going FROM Shin-Osaka and the Haruka Express is the best bet for me (The Blue Line in the map below).
Why I did not buy the Haruka Express Round Trip
When I landed in KIX I took a Klook airport limo service from KIX to Holiday Inn Shin-Osaka. I did this because I took SQ622 from Singapore to Osaka and landed at 21:10.
I was not comfortable with how much time it will take to clear the immigration due to the new post Covid opening measures and whether my QR Codes generated from the “Visit Japan Web” were going to give me an advantage in clearing the immigration (It did. Our family of four were able to breeze through immigration and customs with the QR codes. One for each member. Each with his/her mobile flashing QR codes like a mad man/woman. We were literally out of the airport within 30 mins of the plane).
Nevertheless, I did not know that and the “typical Singaporean” me decided that I might not be able to catch the last train and hence on the safer side, with 1.5 hours of FREE waiting time, I decided to book the Klook. And also the idea of pulling luggages into trains and then to the Holiday Inn Shin-Osaka hotel which is 10 mins walk from Shin-Osaka train station at 10pm or 11pm was not very attractive to me. I also have a whining kid to worry about :).
Hence I booked a limo from Klook and at the end of the day, it was a good decision (it cost 149.94 SGD and again it might not be financially wise when you know you can have a great round trip offer…) but hey.. a man got to do what a man got to do…
Hence I did not purchase the Haruka Express Round Trip offer from KIX to Shin-Osaka which many would do so.
You would do so when you land at KIX and see this train office.
Haruka Express from Shin-Osaka to KIX Ticket
I purchased the Haruka Express from Shin-Osaka JR station. I just go to the ticket machine and somehow I managed to get the ticket. With the Japan Travel app by Navitime, it helps a lot as I can see what time I need to buy the tickets, the train number (in my car, Haruka 7) and the platform. The ticket machine even allow you to choose your seats if you bought the reserved seats tickets.
Haruka Express Hello Kitty Train
On the day itself, we checked out from the excellent Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka and walked to the Sin-Osaka JR station Platform 3. We can see our train (will always come on time) and is going to Kansai-Airport and our car number is 4 (which is a reserved car).
And to the delight of the kids, it happens to be the Hello Kitty Haruka train. I mean, I was like.. “er.. so what.. let’s get to the airport”..
Inside the Haruka Express from Shin-Osaka to KIX
It was a relatively quiet and empty Haruka Express from Shin-Osaka to KIX at 7:47am. Pretty easy to find our seats too.
And you don’t need to reminded this is the KAWAII Hello Kitty Train.. the cat without a mouth is everywhere…
There is wifi (pretty spotty to me..) and toilets on the train too.. I did not go inside to see if there are yet another “cat without the mouth” looking at me when I pee..
Luggage Racks on Haruka Express
If you are pulling four or five luggages (as we are, due to SHOPPING !), there are luggage racks on the train.
Also there are some seats which the train station staff would recommend you to take if you have luggages. Because there are SPACE behind the seats for your luggages. Of course, it only make sense if you have RESERVED the seats…
Seats Leg Room on Haruka Express
Nice comfortable seats. We slept all the way from Shin-Osaka to KIX :). There is enough space for my long legs…
Five long fingers…
Cross Leg also can.. you like my ankle socks ? 🙂
Haruka Express from Shin-Osaka to Kansai Airport Conclusion
Obviously from a financial point of view, my separate trips TO and FROM Kansai Airport (KIX) involving a Klook Limo ride (at 10pm to 11pm) and then a Haruka Express from Shin-Osaka train station to the airport is not too wise. Even if it fits my needs very well.
You would be better off (depending on the time your flight arrives) in the ROUND TRIP offer from the JR Line.
Nevertheless the smooth comfortable ride from Shin-Osaka to the airport (on a hello kitty train, no less) was worth the price for the quick, easy and hassle-free ride.
The cat without the mouth is just a bonus.