The Haruka train is a high-speed train service operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West), connecting Kansai International Airport (KIX) to major cities in the Kansai region of Japan, including Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe.
It is usually the best option to travel from the Airport to Kyoto directly along with the Nankai Rapi:t Airport Express an option to travel between Kansai Airport and Osaka.
The train’s name is derived from the Japanese word “haruka,” meaning “faraway” or “distant,” and it’s known for its sleek design, fast speeds, and convenient connections to popular tourist destinations.
Haruka Express Rout
Here’s the route for the Haruka Express in Blue. Note that it doesn’t stop at Osaka Station unlike the Kansai Airport Rapid.
Catching The Haruka Between Kansai Airport And Kyoto
This is usually the best way to travel to Kyoto from Kansai Airport and Vice versa. The Haruka train is an express train that runs on JR West’s Kansai Airport Line and offers direct service between Kansai Airport and Kyoto Station.
Kansai Airport is located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, and the Haruka train is a convenient and fast way to travel from the airport to Kyoto. The train makes limited stops along the way, which means you can reach Kyoto in about 75 minutes.
To catch the Haruka train from Kansai Airport, head to the Kansai Airport Station located on the second floor of the airport terminal building. The station is well-signposted, and you can easily find your way to the ticket vending machines.
You can purchase your ticket for the Haruka train from the ticket vending machines located in the station. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can use it to board the Haruka train without purchasing an additional ticket.
Once you have your ticket, proceed to the platform indicated on the departure board and board the train. The Haruka train is a reserved seating-only train, so make sure you have your assigned seat number and car number before boarding.
The Haruka train offers both standard and Green Car seating options, so be sure to board the correct car if you have a Green Car ticket. Once you’re settled in your seat, sit back and enjoy the ride.
How Much Is The Haruka Express ticket?
The cost of a Haruka Express ticket from Kansai Airport to Osaka or Kyoto depends on several factors, including the destination station, the type of ticket, and the travel class.
As of 2023, the standard one-way fare for a non-reserved seat on the Haruka Express from Kansai Airport to Shin-Osaka is 2,850 yen, while the fare to Osaka or Tennoji is 3,030 yen. If you prefer a reserved seat, the fare increases to 3,230 yen to Shin-Osaka and 3,410 yen to Osaka or Tennoji.
Is Haruka covered by JR Pass?
Yes. With a valid Japan Rail Pass, you can board the Haruka Express without purchasing an additional ticket. However, please note that seat reservations on the Haruka Express are not included in the Japan Rail Pass and must be made separately.
The Japan Rail Pass is a discounted train pass that allows foreign tourists to travel on almost all JR (Japan Railways) trains throughout the country.
Read More: The Japan Rail Pass: The Ultimate Ticket to Unrestricted Adventure in Japan
The Hello Kitty Themed Haruka Train
The Hello Kitty Haruka train is a special themed train that runs on the Haruka Express line in Japan. The train is operated by JR West in collaboration with Sanrio, the company behind the popular Hello Kitty character.
The Hello Kitty Haruka train is decorated with Hello Kitty motifs throughout the interior and exterior of the train, including cute Hello Kitty seats, Hello Kitty-themed carpeting, and special Hello Kitty luggage racks. The train also features a special Hello Kitty souvenir shop where passengers can purchase limited-edition Hello Kitty merchandise.
The train runs between Kansai Airport and Kyoto and Osaka, making stops at Shin-Osaka, Tennoji, and other stations along the way. The Hello Kitty Haruka train operates on a limited schedule, typically running once or twice a day, so it’s important to check the JR West website or inquire at the ticket counter for the latest schedule information.
Please note that the Hello Kitty Haruka train is a limited-time offering and may not be available at all times of the year.
History of The Haruka
The Haruka train service was first introduced in 1994 in preparation for the opening of Kansai International Airport. The train was designed to provide a fast and convenient connection between the airport and major cities in the Kansai region, with the goal of making travel easier for both tourists and locals.
Over the years, the Haruka train has undergone several upgrades and improvements, including the introduction of newer and faster trains, improved onboard amenities, and enhanced accessibility for passengers with disabilities. Today, the Haruka train is one of the most popular and convenient ways to travel between Kansai International Airport and other destinations in the region.
The Haruka train features a sleek and modern design, with a distinctive blue and green color scheme that’s easy to spot from a distance. The train’s exterior is designed to be both stylish and functional, with a streamlined shape that allows for faster speeds and improved aerodynamics.
Inside, the Haruka train is designed for comfort and convenience, with spacious seating, ample luggage storage, and a range of onboard amenities. The train’s seats are arranged in a 2+2 configuration, with plenty of legroom and adjustable headrests for added comfort. There are also power outlets and free Wi-Fi available onboard, allowing passengers to stay connected and productive during their journey.
One of the most unique features of the Haruka train is its “Green Car” seating option, which offers even more space and comfort than standard seating. Green Car seats are located at the front of the train and feature wider seats, more legroom, and enhanced privacy. Passengers who opt for Green Car seating also receive complimentary snacks and drinks, as well as access to a dedicated attendant who can assist with any needs or questions.
Another unique feature of the Haruka train is its convenient connections to other transportation options, including local trains and buses. For example, passengers arriving at Kansai International Airport can easily transfer to the Haruka train and then connect to local trains or buses to reach their final destination. This makes it easy for travelers to explore the Kansai region and beyond, without the hassle of navigating multiple modes of transportation.
Overall, the Haruka train is a fast, comfortable, and convenient way to travel between Kansai International Airport and other destinations in the Kansai region. With its sleek design, onboard amenities, and unique features, the Haruka train is a popular choice for both tourists and locals.