Before our trip, we had extensively researched the Haruka Express and read numerous guides on purchasing tickets online. With this information in mind, we anticipated a relatively smooth experience when buying our tickets and traveling directly from Kansai Airport to Kyoto.
Upon arriving at Kansai Airport JR Station, we were immediately faced with a bustling scene. The sheer number of people trying to redeem and purchase tickets from the green 5489 machines left us feeling a bit overwhelmed. Even the agent counters had long queues, adding to the challenge of obtaining our tickets efficiently.
Thankfully, it did not take us a long time to figure this out and we were able to get the train ticket at the timing planned.
Stay calm, we keep on telling ourselves. :)
There were a few options to purchase the train ticket from Kansai airport station to Kyoto station using the same machine. You can buy the normal commuter train as well as the express train.
We initially bought the commuter train ticket from Kansai to Kyoto station, we found this out when we asked an attendant to verify if we’ve got the correct ticket.
She told us that this train will take 2 hours from here to Kyoto and helped us to get full refund via the machine. We were so grateful that we were about to get 100% money refunded. Lesson learned.
So, if you bought the wrong yellow coloured tickets like us, keep calm, you can have it fully refunded.
How to buy Haruka Express
Since the green JR 5489 machine’s queue were going really quick, we decided to buy our Haruka Express tickets via Klook app on the spot. The process took only 3 minutes and we got instant confirmation via email.
Klook’s ticket is open date, therefore you can book any train that suits your timing via the machine. Next we queue up at the green 5489 machine to:
1. Redeem our Klook tickets
It was less intimidating than we thought. First we switched the machine to English and selected ticket redemption.
Pick a date and time. The machine scanned our QR code and passport. Finally, it printed our tickets out.
2. Reserve a seat
Since we gained confidence in redeeming the tickets, we decided to stay on the green 5489 machine to choose our seats. Once we’ve chosen our seats, we have our tickets printed out with seat number.
There is an option to print the receipt of your transaction, we always print it just in case we need it.
Boarding the train
This is the easiest part. Go through JR line Gate B opposite ticket counter.
Each person should have 2 paper tickets, slot both into the ticket gantry at the same time.
The departure board showed all incoming and outgoing trains schedule, lookout for your train number. Our Haruka Express was the one in red.
When our train arrived, we waited for all passengers to get off before we board. There were quite a few passengers but not too crowded. We were able to secure our suitcase at the luggage storage compartment. This allows us to enjoy our ride better.
Haruka Express seat configuration is 2-2. Choose the front row to have extra leg room. Storage compartment is available on top of your seat like on an airplane.
Arriving in Kyoto as scheduled, our experience on the Haruka Express was nothing short of delightful. The train provided a serene and peaceful ride, allowing us to unwind while enjoying the picturesque views along the journey. For those seeking a convenient and direct transportation option from Kansai Airport to Kyoto, we highly recommend the Haruka Express.