So you’ve successfully survived the flight to Japan, Congrats! For the lucky few of you, it was a quick flight but now you need to get to Hirakata. For some of you, catching the Kansai Gaidai shuttle bus from KIX during arrival week may not be an option. Some people choose to arrive early, some late, or couldn’t get a flight in during the shuttle times. No worries, there’s a few options available I’ll point out to help get you where you need to be.
I’ll obviously recommend taking the shuttle limousine bus provided by KGU as your first option, you’re tired, inexperienced with Japan’s public transportation system, and probably have at least 2 pieces of luggage or more. For only ¥2000 ($20), KGU will arrange your pick up from KIX and drop you off directly at Seminar House 4 in Hirakata. However, as mentioned, for some this won’t be a possibility.
The easiest way to Hirakata will be via a limousine bus from KIX to Hirakata. This service is offered by Kansai Airport Transportation Enterprise (KATE). As international arrivals are on Terminal 1, to get to the bus stop you will need to go to the main floor. There will be a ticket vending machine outside the doors where you can purchase a ticket for a bus bound for Neyagawa/Hirakata/Kuzuha, it will cost you ¥2050 (approx. $20). The pick up location for the bus should be listed on the ticket (Bus Depot 10). It’s important to note that the latest departure from KIX is at 22:45 (10:45 p.m.), arriving in Hirakata at 24:09 (12 a.m.). Just a heads up, you will need to contact Kansai Gaidai to inform them if you will be arriving late as they have a cut off time. They may need to arrange for someone to receive you at the seminar house or else you might end up spending the night at the station which is where this bus will drop you off. From Hirakata station, depending on what time you arrive, you can either catch a local Keihan bus or take a taxi direct to your seminar house/residence.
Your second option is to take the train to Hirakata from KIX. This option can be a little difficult for first time transit riders, especially with all your luggage as well, however, it costs about $5-$6 less with about the same transit time. Upon your arrival, you will want to walk to the 2nd floor and catch the JR Line “Kansai Airport Rapid Service” to Kyobashi station. This ride will take about 78 minutes and with a fare of ¥1190 ($12). Once you’ve arrived at Kyobashi station, you will then need to transfer to the Keihan line and catch any train bound for Demachiyanagi and get off at Hirakata station. You should avoid taking the Rapid Limited Express as it does not always stop at Hirakata Station. You should take the Limited Express train if it is available. This ride will take you 15 minutes, you’re fare should be ¥330 ($3), with your total trip from the airport costing about$15. However, you still need to get from Hirakata station to your dorm, either via bus or taxi.