This post was written very late due to the chaos of life that surrounded us after returning home. As such, it is much lighter on details than many others. Still, I hope our readers may gather some interesting bits of info.
The Night Before…
As I had mentioned in a previous post, our hotel, Dormy Inn PREMIUM Nagoya Sakae, offered a free ramen dinner after 10 pm. Useful if you end up having an early dinner and want to spend the evening in your hotel without stressing about where to go for dinner.
Back to Kansai Airport by way of Kyoto
Our departing flight, which would take us back to Seattle (after a layover in Taiwan), was leaving from Kanasi airport. To save time on the morning of our last day, we had purchased Shinkansen tickets a couple of days before.
We checked out of the hotel and took the subway back to Nagoya station. We grabbed some pastries and Starbucks coffee from the station for a quick breakfast. Then it was a matter of finding the train.
Nagoya and Kyoto are both major destinations, and trains leave every 5 to 10 minutes. This makes it doubly important to ensure you are boarding the correct one.
Since our departing flight was not until the late afternoon, we could afford to spend a little bit of time in Kyoto. If you find yourself in the same situation, Kyoto provides an excellent opportunity for some quick shopping. We were heading for the Porta underground mall, located directly outside of the station.
We intended to place our bags in a coin locker within Kyoto station, but they were thoroughly occupied when we arrived. Luckily we were able to locate some lockers just outside the entrance to Porta. We got the last unoccupied locker.
Porta has a large selection of stores with a focus on women’s fashion. Near one end, there is a number of stores selling gifts, so you may want to consider picking up something here for your friends and family at home.
Porta also offers an extensive food court, so you can grab something here for lunch as well.
Limited Express to Kansai
From Kyoto station, you can take directly the limited express train to Kansai Airport and skip a hectic transfer in Osaka. Purchase the tickets here the same as any others.
Note that in addition to the basic fare, you also need a seat ticket (reserved or unreserved). We took this opportunity to purchase a seat in the Green Car (first class), as the tickets were only about 20 USD more expensive. This train will take you all the way to the airport terminal.
Since we had learned a lot about train travel over this trip, I thought it is worth circling back to our first day in Japan and the mistake we made when purchasing tickets.
Most likely, if you fly into Kansai, you will want to take the Airport Express into Osaka rather than the standard JR train. To do so, you need a seat ticket in addition to the basic fare. See the image below.
The machines on the left issue basic JR tickets that only cover the fare. This is the part where I ended up confused, because there was no option to purchase a reserved or unreserved seat. If you intend to take an Airport Express train, use the machines on the right, with the green backdrop. These will walk you through purchasing both the basic fare and the seat tickets you need for your journey.