Connecting Kansai International Airport with Osaka and Kyoto is the adorable Hello Kitty HARUKA. Featuring the internationally beloved character Kitty White, this “kawaii” train has garnered attention worldwide!
Read on to discover its full charm and how to get tickets.

What Is the Hello Kitty HARUKA?

HARUKA is a limited express train service run by JR West, connecting Kansai International Airport with Tennoji, Shin-Osaka, and Kyoto. It began running to coincide with the opening of Kansai International Airport in 1994 and is known for its distinctive long, simplistic white body.
As more people began using Kansai International Airport, the number of passengers on the HARUKA train also increased. To welcome visitors from overseas to Japan, JR West decided to decorate this now popular train with Hello Kitty in 2019. Donning a dazzling long-sleeved kimono, many have visited just to snap photos of it.
The first Hello Kitty HARUKA train was just six carriages; however, a surge in popularity led to even more trains being graced by a Hello Kitty design. As of 2021, every HARUKA train is now a Hello Kitty HARUKA. Moreover, there are now four different types to check out!

Where Does the Hello Kitty HARUKA Operate?

The Hello Kitty HARUKA departs from Kansai International Airport and stops at the southern Osaka City terminal station of Tennoji and the bullet train station of Shin-Osaka before heading to Kyoto.
From Kansai International Airport, it takes around 35 minutes to reach Tennoji, 50 minutes to reach Shin-Osaka Station, and 80 minutes to Kyoto. Being the only line from the airport allowing direct access to Kyoto without changing trains, it’s ideal for those who want to start their journeys in Japan’s ancient capital.

How to Ride the Hello Kitty HARUKA

The Hello Kitty HARUKA is a rapid express train, which means it has three different kinds of tickets: unreserved, reserved, and green (first class) seats. When purchasing a passenger ticket for the Hello Kitty HARUKA, you’ll also have to select one of these three options.

While it’s fine to opt for unreserved seats for most of the year, we recommend booking a reserved seat in advance during the busy Japanese holiday periods of Golden Week from late April to early May and Obon during mid-August to guarantee your seat.
The green seats refer to the luxury carriages offering more space and a relaxing atmosphere. If you want to use this space, you’ll need to buy both a passenger ticket and a green seat ticket.
Tickets can be purchased at Kansai International Airport via the “Travel Service Center” ticket co…

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