There are two modes of transportation from the Kansai International Airport into Osaka city center: airport shuttle (called airport limousine bus) or the train. There are signs on the ceiling at the airport that direct you to the train station when you come out of customs. The airport shuttle bus from KIX takes about 50-70 minutes depending on traffic and the one-way ticket costs 1,550 yen. Click here for information on KIX airport shuttle bus fare and timetables. I inquired about transportation into the city at the information desk, and given all the luggage and traveling with the in-laws, we decided upon using the airport shuttle instead of the train. The travel time was similar, and whereas the bus ticket cost a few hundred yens more, there was a bus stop right in front of our hotel where we would be dropped off. If we had taken the train, it might have saved us a couple of bucks, but we would have had to walk about 10-15 minutes with our luggage in the rain.
The information desk staff directed us to bus stop number 5, which is where the bus for our hotel as well as New Hankyu Hotel, Herbis Osaka, and Hilton Osaka. Our stop was the last stop. Tickets could be purchased outside of the airport either at the machines (cash only) or at the counter with a live person. As we wanted to use credit cards whenever they were accepted to save cash for more dire situations (most eateries in Japan are cash only), we bought our tickets from the staff at the counter. Service at the counter was great, and staff gave us a time table for our bus, showing us that we are to take the 16:25 bus. We were unaware that the line that was forming was for the 16:05 bus that did not stop at our hotel and there was a bit of confusion with the bus staff who handled the luggage, but we eventually got things squared away and waited for the next bus. We stood in a double file line as instructed by the luggage staff and told them which hotel was our destination. They mark the hotel of your destination on the luggage tag and give you the stub, which you must surrender at your destination to retrieve your bag.
Our bus arrived about 10 minutes prior to departure time and we boarded the bus, which was very full. It had started to rain, so there was a bit of traffic, but the ride took about 70 minutes. It was air-conditioned and the seats were on the narrower side than we Americans were used to, although we are not big by any means. Most of the passengers got off at New Hankyu Hotel and it turned out that we were the only passengers being dropped off at our hotel, which was the last stop. The overall ride was smooth and the driver was very courteous.
Click below to see pictures of the bus stop, timetable, the bus, and more!