Three Nearest Airports To Kyoto (The Best Way To Get To Each)

The three closest airports to Kyoto, Japan, are Centrair Airport (NGO), Kansai Airport (KIX), and Itami Airport (ITM). Itami and Kansai are both located in Osaka, whereas, Centrair is located in Nagoya.

Continue reading to find more about KIX, ITM, NGO, and the easiest ways of transportation to these airports.

What Are the Three Nearest Airports to Kyoto?

The three closest airports to Kyoto, are Itami Airport (ITM), Kansai Airport (KIX), and Centrair Airport (NGO). Both located in Osaka, Kansai and Itami are considered the closest airports to Kyoto. Centrair, however, is in Nagoya. 

Itami Airport will most likely be your destination if you have a connecting flight. Itami Airport happens to be the closest and most convenient option as well. With Itami being a 50-minute drive away, one must consider the transfer time.

Kyoto City Skyline

Travelers can also depart from Kansai Airport. However, Kansai is not a hop, skip, and jump away from Kyoto. A 70-minute train ride is required between airports. 

Centrair Airport is another close airport to Kyoto. It’s the furthest away from Kyoto than Kansai and Itami. However, Centrair is still accessible by trains within 90 minutes.

Itami Airport: Osaka (ITM)

The main regional airport for the Kansai area of Japan, which includes the major cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, is Osaka International Airport, also known as Itami Airport. It is the nearest airport to Kyoto, located 22 miles southwest of Kyoto Station and classified as a first-class airport.

Itami Airport Official Website

Itami International Airport in Osaka

Despite having international status, the airport is primarily for domestic flights. Kansai International Airport, which competes with Itami for domestic traffic, took over the region’s global traffic in 1994.

A section of the airport’s land is also in Osaka Prefecture’s Toyonaka and Ikeda cities. The terminal complex is in all three cities, and the only way to get there from Itami is by a long tunnel that runs beneath the runway.

The Best Ways of Transportation to Itami Airport (ITM)

You may take a luxury bus or a shared taxi bus from Itami Airport to Kyoto. The limousine bus is the quickest and most convenient choice, taking around an hour to get you to the city.

The direct airport buses run between Itami Airport and Kyoto Station and several other locations across the city. The one-way trip costs 1,310 JPY ($12) and takes roughly an hour.

Kyoto Station

There is no need to prepurchase tickets as tickets may be purchased at the arrivals hall. The bus leaves Itami Airport every 20-minutes.

At Itami Airport, a low-cost shared taxi van is also available. It’s handy because the service will drop you off directly at your hotel, but travel time may be longer because it makes many stops.

A taxi shuttle journey will cost 2,300 JPY ($22) per person when shared among many people.

Kansai International Airport: Osaka (KIX)

Located in the Greater Osaka Area within Japan, Kansai is the leading international airport serving Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. Opening Kansai International Airport in 1994 relieved the pressure of overcrowding and flight counts at the original Osaka International Airport.

Kansai Airport is split into two terminals. 1.06 miles in length, Terminal 1, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, is the most extended airport terminal globally.

Kansai International Airport Official Website

Kansai International Airport Osaka (KIX)

Kansai International serves as the main hub for All Japan Airlines and Nippon Airways.

The airport handled 25.2 million passengers in 2016, making it the 30th busiest airport in Asia and the 3rd busiest in Japan. 

As of June 2014, Kansai Airport has become an Asian hub, with 780 weekly flights to Asia and Australia, 59 weekly flights to Europe and the Middle East, and 80 weekly flights to North America.

The Best Ways of Transportation to Kansai International Airport (KIX) Airport.

From Kansai Airport, you can transfer to Kyoto via train, limousine bus, or taxi. The JR Haruka Limited Express train arrives in the city in approximately 70-minutes.

The JR Haruka Limited Express train leaves Kansai Airport every 30 minutes and arrives at Kyoto Station in about 70-minutes. You can buy reserved or unreserved seats on the train or use a local prepaid card to enjoy a discount solely available to foreign tourists.

Another alternative is to take a direct airport bus, transporting you from airport to airport in around 100-minutes. A ride costs 2,550 JPY ($24), and there are 1-2 buses every hour.

 Kansai international airport bus terminal

No reservations are required. Obtain a ticket from the transportation desk and proceed to the boarding point.

A standard taxi ride to town will take between 90 and 150 minutes, depending on your destination. It ranges in price from 20,000 JPY ($188) to 25,000 JPY ($235).

Centrair Airport: Nagoya (NGO)

Located 22 miles south of Nagoya, Japan, on an artificial island in Ise Bay, Centrair International Airport is considered the third closest airport to the city of Kyoto. Centrair is a first-class airport that serves as the principal international gateway for Japan’s central region.

Central Japan International Airport Co., Ltd.’s English name is Central Japan International Airport Co., Ltd., and the moniker “Centrair” is an acronym of Central Japan International Airport.

In 2015, 10.2 million passengers used the airport, making it the eighth busiest country, and 208,000 tonnes of cargo were transported.

Centrair Airport Official Website

Domestic flights utilize the northern half of the terminal, while international flights use the southern side. Both sides include specialized ticket counters, security checks, luggage carousels, and immigration and customs facilities for foreign flights. 

Arrivals and departures are handled on the second and third floors, respectively. The lower level is utilized for maintenance, catering, other ground activities, and passenger transportation to the airport ramp’s hardstands. 

For domestic flights, there are thirteen gates, while for foreign flights, there are fourteen. With 11 gates for international flights and nine gates for domestic flights, Terminal 2 is a domestic and international terminal for budget carriers.

The Best Ways of Transportation to Centrair Airport (NGO) Airport.

You can transfer to Kyoto by rail or bus from Centrair Airport. The best option is to take a Meitetsu line train followed by a Shinkansen train, which takes about an hour.

Since Centrair does not have JR rail connections to Kyoto, you must first take the Meitetsu line train. This can be taken from the airport to Nagoya Station, which takes around half an hour. From there, it’s a quick 36-minute Shinkansen ride to Kyoto.

JR Central Towers at Nagoya station

If you’re on a tight budget, taking the bus to Kyoto can be an excellent alternative. To go from Centrair Airport to Kyoto, you’ll have to take a combination of two buses, much like the trains, and the journey will take roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Are There Any Other Airports Close to Kyoto?

Kobe Airport

Kobe Airport is located 4.97 miles south of Sannomiya Station, Japan, on an artificial island immediately off the coast of Kobe. The fourth closest to Kyoto, this airport generally serves domestic aircraft but may also accommodate foreign charter flights. 

Kobe Airport Official Website

The airport handled 2,697,000 passengers in its first year of operation, with a load rate of 61.1 percent. It carried 3,071,974 passengers in 2017, with an average load rate of 79.4%.

How to get to Kobe Airport from Osaka Airport

Kobe is around 18.6 miles west of Osaka and 39.7 miles west of Kyoto, and it is easily accessible from both cities through various train lines.

The railway is the most convenient mode of transportation between other airports and Kobe.

The bullet train on the Tokaido-Sanyo line is the quickest method to get from Shin-Osaka to Shin-Kobe Station.

Shinkansen

It takes less than 15 minutes to get there. Shin-Osaka and Shin-Kobe Stations, on the other hand, are not in the heart of their respective cities.

An alternative option is a 20-minute journey from JR Osaka Station to JR Sannomiya Station on the JR lines.

The Hankyu Kobe Line is another option for getting to Kobe. Take the 25-minute travel to Kobe-Sannomiya Station from Osaka-Umeda Station, situated close to JR Osaka Station. 

How to get to Kobe Airport from Kyoto City

The bullet train on the Tokaido-Sanyo line is the quickest method to get from Kyoto Station to Shin-Kobe Station. Trains arrive and depart regularly. It takes 30 minutes to get there. The Hikari train travel is almost free if you have a Japan Rail Pass.

Japan Rail Pass

Another alternative is to take the JR Tokaido Line’s special quick train from Kyoto Station to Sannomiya Station. It takes 50 minutes to get there.

Japan Rail Pass Guide

Alternatively, you can take the Hankyu Railway from Kyoto’s central station. From Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station, take the limited express train to Kobe-Sannomiya Station. The travel will take around an hour, and you will need to change trains at the Station.

Kansai International Airport

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.