Kansai Airport Layover Guide

Got a layover at Kansai International Airport? Here’s how you can experience what Japan has to offer while waiting for your next flight.
Kansai Airport Layover Guide

If you've got a layover in Osaka, use the time to explore a bit more of Japan. Osaka is the next most-visited city after Tokyo, known for its rich culture, food, and history. If you don't know where to go, here's a guide on what to do while on a layover at Kansai International Airport:

For short layovers (fewer than 8 hours)

Go shopping in Rinku Town

Go shopping in Rinku Town

Across the water from Kansai International Airport sits Rinku Town, a shopping center with resort-like surroundings, built to resemble Charleston in the United States. Travelers looking to shop or dine will have many places to explore as Rinku Town features over two hundred shops, restaurants, and even a hotel.

Nearby, you can take a stroll in Rinku Park to see planes flying in or watch the magnificent hues of the setting sun.

• How to get to Rinku Town: Take the JR or Nankai line and get off at the first stop (Rinku Town Station).

• Address: 3-28, Rinku Ourai Minami, Izumisano-shi, Osaka 598-8508
• Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM (restaurants); 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (shops and cafes)
• Note: Rinku Town closes once a year, on the third Thursday of February.

Experience AQUAIGNIS, a Kansai Airport area hot spring

Experience AQUAIGNIS, a Kansai Airport area hot spring

If you want to relax for a brief time to unwind before your next flight, check out AQUAIGNIS. It features the Senshu Onsen—a natural, weak-alkaline hot spring flowing 800 meters from underground. It is also known as the "Beauty Spring" because the soothing and healthy hot water will leave your skin feeling smooth and fresh.

While you lounge in their indoor or outdoor baths, you can see enchanting views of Osaka Bay and the airplanes as they take off and land at Kansai International Airport. There is also a restaurant where you can taste healthy Japanese dishes made of locally-sourced ingredients from around Osaka.

How to get to AQUAIGNIS Hot Spring: Take the JR or Nankai line and get off at Rinku Town Station. AQUAIGNIS is a 10-minute walk from the station and is located near Henn na Hotel.

• Address: 1-23, Rinkuoraikita, Izumisano-shi, Osaka 598-0048
• Opening Hours: 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Walk along Sen’nan Marble Beach

Walk along Sen’nan Marble Beach

Close to Kansai International Airport and Rinku Town is Sen'nan Marble Beach, an artificial beach made of white marble stones. It travels along the Rinku Town coastline, all the way to Izumisano City, Tajiri Town, and Sen'nan City. With a romantic view of Kansai International Airport, Sen'nan Marble Beach is a popular date spot, especially in the summer. You can't swim, but it is a great place to stretch your legs between flights as you walk along the coastline and admire the stunning views.

How to get to Sen’nan Marble Beach: Take the Nankai-Kuko bus line and get down at Rinku Town Station. From there, it takes approximately 15-20 minutes to walk to the beach.

• Address: Rinkuminamihama, Sennan-shi, Osaka 590-0535
• Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

Buy fresh seafood at the Izumisano Gyokyo Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market

Buy fresh seafood at the Izumisano Gyokyo Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market

With its ideal location next to a fishing port, hundreds of fresh seafood options are always available at Izumisano Gyokyo Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market. After fishermen catch various seafood, including prawns, crabs, sea bream, octopus, and more, they are auctioned—the lively voices bidding for the seafood creating a vibrant, spirited atmosphere worth seeing.

On the second floor of the building are many seafood and barbecue restaurants where you can have freshly-bought fish cooked. You can also try out different kinds of seafood barbecue, seafood donburi, fish tempura, and more.

How to get to Izumisano Gyokyo Aozora Fishery Cooper’s Market: Take the Nankai-Kuko Line to Izumisano Station, then take a taxi or walk about 15 minutes to get to the market.

• Address: 2-5187-101, Shinmachi, Izumisano-shi, Osaka 598-0051
• Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (please note that some stores may close at 4:30 PM); closed on Wednesdays

For long layovers (more than 8 hours)

Learn about Japanese culture at Sakai Traditional Crafts Museum

Learn about Japanese culture at Sakai Traditional Crafts Museum

Once called “Venice of the East,” Sakai continues flourishing as one of Japan’s leading trading cities. It created a saying that "Everything starts from Sakai" because many of Japan's first items and techniques and much of its culture came from Sakai, including the tea ceremony, incense sticks, and Japanese-style sweets.

If you are curious about Sakai's traditional industry background, why not take a trip to see Sakai Traditional Crafts Museum during your layover? You'll see the manufacturing technologies of blades and bicycle parts, kelp products, and other trade skills passed down to the present day.

How to get to Sakai Traditional Crafts Museum: Take the Nankai Line and get off at Sakai Station. Walk about 10-15 minutes to get to the museum.

• Address: 1-1-30, Zaimokucho-nishi, Sakai-ku Sakai, Osaka 590-0941
• Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Closed on year-end, new-year holidays, and the third Tuesday of every month.)

Marvel at Sumiyoshi Taisha's architecture

Marvel at Sumiyoshi Taisha's architecture

Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of Japan’s oldest shrines, founded in the 3rd century before the introduction of Buddhism. It has a unique architecture style called Sumiyoshi-zukuri—one of three other shrine architecture styles considered purely Japanese.

Since its founding, Sumiyoshi Taisha has stood watch over Osaka Bay, offering protection for the port of Osaka. People involved in fishing, shipping, and other maritime industries come to Sumiyoshi Taisha to pray for safe voyages.

How to get to Sumiyoshi Taisha: Take the Nankai Line from Kansai International Airport and get off at Sumiyoshitaisha Station. Walk for about three minutes to get to the shrine.

• Address: Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka 558-0045
• Opening Hours: 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM (open from 6:30 AM from October through March)

See stunning 360° views of Osaka at the Abeno Harukas Observatory

See stunning 360° views of Osaka at the Abeno Harukas Observatory

If you fancy a bird’s eye view of Osaka, check out Abeno Harukas, the tallest skyscraper in Japan. It has an observation deck, called “Harukas 300” which occupies the building’s top three floors. The giant floor-to-ceiling glass windows give you a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city.

Abeno Harukas also contains Kintetsu Department Store's main shop, the largest department store in Japan, carrying many international brands, with several floors dedicated to restaurants. There is also an art museum, a souvenir shop, and a hotel.

How to get to Abeno Harukas Observatory: Take the JR Kansai Airport Line and get off at Tennoji Station. Abeno Harukas is a 3-minute walk from there.

• Address: 1-1-43, Abeno Suji, Abeno Ward, Osaka 545-0052
• Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM


See Tsutenkaku Tower in Shinsekai

See Tsutenkaku Tower in Shinsekai

Shinsekai is a colorful district in Osaka built to model the cities of New York and Paris. It opened in 1912, although it was neglected for decades afterward. Its name means “New World”, and its run-down carnival atmosphere and the rickshaw runners who give tours to the area have made it a popular tourist attraction.

One of the most famous landmarks in the area is the Tsutenkaku Tower, constructed in 1912. Currently, it stands at a 103-meter height. Visitors can check out the main observatory and the open-air deck on top of the main observatory for stunning panoramic views.

How to get to Shinsekai: Take the Nankai-Kuko Line from Kansai International Airport and get down at Shin-Imamiya Station. Shinsekai is a 10-minute walk from there.

• Address: 2 Chome Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka 556-0002
• Opening Hours: 8:30 AM to 9:30 PM (Tsutenkaku Tower)

Go on a food trip at Kuromon Market

Go on a food trip at Kuromon Market

Kuromon Market is a public market that dates back to the Edo Period. It has approximately 150 shops that sell everything from fish and meat to traditional sweets to clothes and homeware. The market is famous for its fresh seafood and is nicknamed “Osaka’s kitchen” because local homeowners and restaurant chefs get their supplies here.

You can buy small portions of food and eat it then and there. Some shops even offer an area for patrons to stand and eat. You can find and eat various grilled seafood, including oysters and crab legs, sea urchins, sushi, eel, yakitori, seasonal fruits, and takoyaki.

How to get to Kuromon Market: Take the Nankai-Kuko Line and get off at Namba Station. From there, you can walk to Kuromon Market.

• Address: 2-4-1 Nippombashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0073
• Opening Hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (may vary from store to store)

Take your best travel photos at Osaka Castle

Take your best travel photos at Osaka Castle

Surrounded by impressive stone walls, moats, and a lawn garden with hundreds of cherry trees is the famous Osaka Castle. You can tour the in-house museum to learn more about the castle’s history.

Outside, Nishinomaru Garden is a lawn garden with over 600 cherry trees, a tea house, and beautiful views of the castle tower from below. The entire Osaka Castle Park spans approximately two square kilometers. It is one of the most popular spots in the spring, especially during cherry blossom season, which usually takes place in early April (if you're looking for a less-crowded place, try Kishiwada Castle and other off-the-beaten-path historical sites).

How to get to Osaka Castle: Take the Nankai-Kuko Line to Shin-Imamiya station. From there, take the Osaka Loop Line to Osakajokoen Station.

• Address: 1-1 Osaka Castle, Chuo-ku, Osaka 540-0002
• Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (with extended hours during various holidays and special events)
• Note: Closed from December 28 to January 1

Spend a day relaxing in Arima Onsen

Spend a day relaxing in Arima Onsen

Arima Onsen is a hot spring town within Kobe. It lies in a natural mountain setting, but its easy access makes it a popular day trip or weekend getaway for many people from Kobe and Osaka.

With a history that spans over a thousand years, Arima Onsen is one of the oldest hot spring resorts in Japan. While Arima Onsen has a modern look today, you can still spot traditional buildings and narrow lanes while walking around the town center. With its compact size, you can easily explore the entire town on foot. There are several hot springs, temples, shrines, and even a hot spring museum that you can tour.

How to get to Arima Onsen: Ride the airport limousine from Kansai International Airport to Sannomiya Station. From there, you can take a bus or train.

• Address: Arimacho, Kita Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 651-1401


Which Osaka Airport is closer to the city?
Osaka International Airport (Itami) is closer to the city center—just 20 kilometers north of Osaka.

What is the nearest airport to Kyoto Japan?
Osaka International Airport (Itami) is the closest airport to Kyoto. It takes approximately 50 minutes by airport limousine bus to the city center.

Which airport is built on water?
Kansai International Airport is situated on a manmade island, purposely built for the airport.

What is there to do at Osaka Airport?
There are various attractions, shops, restaurants, and even tourist spots nearby.

What is special about Kansai International Airport in Osaka?
Kansai International Airport is the world's first off-shore airport built on a man-made island. It has multiple 4,000-meter long runways, meeting the global standard of a 24-hour operational airport.

How many airports are in Osaka?
There are two airports in Osaka: Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka Itami International Airport (ITM).

Is there onsen in Osaka?
There are several onsen around Osaka and Kyoto, for those who want to experience the hot spring baths.

Does Spa World Osaka allow tattoos?
No, Spa World Osaka does not allow people with tattoos to enter the resort and experience the hot springs.

Determine where you want to go and what to do

Even as you plan your flight, plan what to do during your layover at Kansai International Airport. Do you want to get a taste of the different flavors of Japan? Are you hoping to spend some time finding your zen in a relaxing spot? Do you want to shop for souvenirs?

The airport's proximity to various tourist spots provides ample opportunity for diverse experiences, including dining, shopping, and exploring. Decide what kind of experience you want, then choose from the many available options.

Experience what the areas near Kansai have to offer. Explore Japan while on your layover.

Getting There