Many travelers to the Kansai and Hyogo areas come from Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train) or by Kansai airport in Osaka. Did you know there is a nearby alternative that is convenient, easy to navigate, and puts you just 18 minutes from downtown Sannomiya Kobe, a gateway to amazing destinations all around the region?
Give Kobe Airport a try!
Kobe airport is served predominantly by discount domestic carrier, Skymark, who offer flights around Japan servicing the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and even has flights to Okinawa.
Friendly NO Fuss Flying with SKYMARK
Even last minute tickets from Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Skymark can be had for under 8000 yen making Kobe airport a real affordable alternative to the bullet train or the busier more complicated arrivals into Osaka’s Kansai airport.
Skymark’s service is no fuss and not fancy, but fast and friendly. Everyone from the ticket agents to the flight staff were professional and welcoming. At the time of the writing of this piece, Skymark is offering 9 flights throughout the day to the Kansai area. With flight times of only around 75 minutes the travel is not just less expensive than the bullet train but much faster as well since the train times are around 2 ½ hours!
Portliner to Downtobe Kobe
Upon arriving in Kobe Airport you can exit and in minutes be on the Portliner headed into town. Multilingual ticket machines make the process super easy.
And the best part? You will be in the downtown hub of Sannomiya in just under 18 minutes.
Quick easy ticket purchase in just 3 steps!
1.Find the machines and choose your language
2.Choose Sannomiya and insert your cash or IC card
3.Get your ticket, go through the gate and hop on board.
You will be downtown in a flash with no traffic worries. Sannomiya is the heart of Kobe’s restaurant and entertainment area and the station there connects you to trains headed to Osaka, Kyoto, and Himeji, connected to the wider JR train networks giving you access to travel across Japan.
The portliner is one of the world’s first unmanned trains. Comfortable, quick and on the ride you can enjoy lovely views of the Kobe harbor area as you head into town.
Return Trip Kobe Airport
When you are headed back to Tokyo at the end of your kansai explorations departing from the small Kobe airport with only few gates is so easy!
You will find some cute souvenir shops and a few restaurants to have a bit more Kobe beef or other local specialties before you head back to Tokyo or on to your next destination.
I enjoyed a pre-flight lunch set with kobe beef croquettes for just 1000 yen!
Be sure to check out the roof top observation deck. You can stroll the boardwalk-garden, take in views of the runways and air traffic control tower and see ocean and city views. You can also dine in the fancier rooftop restaurant and lounge.
To Reserve on SKYMARK use their homepage http://www.skymark.jp/en/
For info about Kobe Airport go to http://www.kairport.co.jp/eng/
Read more about the Portliner Train here http://www.knt-liner.co.jp/en/index.html
Long term resident of Japan, from the East coast of the USA. I love art, design, books, writing, food, film and I am a bit addicted to stationary! I love telling and hearing great stories. Everyday can be an adventure if you are open minded and curious.
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