Kansai airport is a man made island offshore in the middle of Osaka Bay. Built over the course of 7 years at an enormous cost of 1 billion dollars it was opened in 1994.
The airport resembles a whale from the inside, but you would never know that from the outside. The building is one long sleek undulating silver roof and on the inside there are lots of mobiles and sailsthat turn due to the circulating air.
Highlights of Kansai Airport
- The airport code for Kansai is KIX.
- American Airlines, Northwest, and United have direct flights to KIX from the US.
- Kansai airport is the longest terminal in the world.
- Kansai aiport withstood the effects of the 1995 Kobe earthquake
Transportation to Kansai Airport
*If you want to goto downtown Osaka, known as Umeda, from KIX, the best way would be to take the Airport Express “HARUKA” to Shin-Osaka and take either a rapid or local train to Osaka (Umeda train station). The difference between Osaka and Shin-Osaka is that Shin-Osaka is a little further out from the city center and it can accomodate the Shinkansen trains which are also known as Bullet Trains. Shin-Osaka and Osaka are 1 stop apart.
*If you want to transfer to Kyoto from KIX, the best way would be to take the Airport Express “HARUKA” to Kyoto direct. They have direct and non-direct lines so pay attention.
*If you want to transfer to Tokyo via rail, the best way would be to take “HARUKA” direct to Shin-Osaka, then get tickets on the Shinkansen Lines to Tokyo.
The history of Osaka and Osaka’s Airport
On a trip to Japan, the land of the rising sun, one city which you cannot miss is Osaka. After Tokyo, which is the first in terms of importance, Osaka is the second most important city in japan. On a visit to Japan, people usually visit Tokyo first and then take a train, bus or plane to Osaka. The travel route between Tokyo and Osaka is one of the busiest in the entire world. There are a number of ways to get there – bullet train, highway buses and special flights between the two great cities of Japan.
The Osaka airport is one which is always bustling with travellers travelling in and out of Japan. For Japan’s entire Kansai region, the Osaka airport is the primary domestic airport. The history of Osaka airports is one which is very interesting to look into. Besides this, the city itself has a history of ancient monuments and heritage. The Osaka, first class, airport is the main airport for Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Although this airport schedules mainly domestic passenger traffic, it is an international airport.
Before the Osaka airport was opened, this place was mainly served by seaplanes. The seaplanes used to use the airport from the mouth of the Kizu River prior to 1993. Since there were concerns regarding the fog on that area, the Japanese government built a second airport for land based aircrafts. This “No. 2” airport is Osaka international airport. It is also commonly referred to as Itami airbase. The construction of the airbase started in the year 1936. In the early years after the airport was built, it was used primarily for the Japanese army. In the year 1945, after the end of the Second World War, the U.S forces took over the Osaka airport. They expanded the 53 HA site to 221 HA; it was them who then renamed the Osaka airport. They named it Itami airport.
During the years of the Korean War the Osaka airport, then known as the Itami airport was used extensively by the U.S occupation forces. There are two marks for which this airport was known in those days. The first the year 1954; this was the year in which Marilyn Monroe and her then husband Joe DiMaggio stopped at this airport while they were on their honeymoon. The second mark was made in the year 1956 when the Osaka airport, then known as ‘Itami airport’, was where a part of the movie ‘Sayonara’ was filmed.
In the year 1959, in the month of March, the Japanese gained back control of the Itami airport and renamed it. Once again the airport was called ‘Osaka airport.’ Once the Japanese gained control of the Osaka airport, they expanded the airbase so that it would be big enough for jet aircraft. The history of its airport and the city itself has attracted the attention of tourists from around the world.