When I arrive in in Japan at KIX it'll be just after five pm, and I'll be travelling to Kanazawa the following day. Theoretically, I could try to go from KIX to Kanazawa that night, but I'd be arriving fairly late in the night if I did so.

In which city/town/destination should I stay if I want something that has inexpensive accommodation conveniently close to the train station, is pretty nice to spend the night in, and isn't too far away from KIX?

3 Answers 3


The obvious choice is Osaka. You'll almost certainly have to change trains here anyway, so might as well stay the night, and there's plenty of accommodation in all price brackets from capsule hotel to the Ritz-Carlton. It's close to the airport, which is a plus in my book (not much fun to sit on a train for hours at night after a long flight), and there's also more than enough eating and nightlife to keep you entertained for the night.

Note that Osaka is big, so where to stay will depend on how exactly you plan to go to Kanazawa. JR Osaka and Shin-Osaka stations are the most likely candidates though, since I presume you will travel by JR, and all trains heading to Kanazawa should stop at both.


As another answer I would like to say Kyoto. You can just get on the Haruka express at the airport and get of at Kyoto station 1:15h later(Which is just 5 minutes more than it takes the airport express to get to Umeda).

There are also plenty of sights depending on what time you leave in the morning and there are plently of choices for accomodation.

You would also get a 25-30 minutes shorter trip to Kanazawa since your starting location is a bit closer.

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    65 min to Osaka is the worst case though: it's only 30 min to Tennoji, or 35 to Namba. Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 3:16
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    Yeah of course, But then you have more added time the next day to get to Kanazawa. It just depends which day you would rather have the added travel time I suppose. Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 8:48
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    For those who are not going to uses any of the tourist rail pass or do not want to use the pass on the first day (night) of your trip. You might also want to consider the total train fares. KIX to Shin-Osaka is ¥1,300 and KIX to Kyoto is ¥1,600 if you use the ICOCA-HARUKA tourist offer.
    – KH.Lee
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 22:27

First of all, I assume you will be taking the Thunderbird up to Kanazawa. And if that's the case, your options are as follows:

Osaka ( Shin-Osaka or Osaka ) 30-40 minutes away from KIX

It's a big city, but with lots of variety when it comes to accommodation. Umeda is a major shopping district, Shin-Osaka is outside of downtown and mostly for train transfers. Note that you could also take the Namba Express, which gets you to South Osaka, but you'll have to transfer to get to Kanazawa.

Kyoto ( JR Station ) 70 minutes away

If you go here, you'll want to make sure you get the Haruka Express. It's a great walkable city with a beautiful station, though JR's station is away from the typical places you'd visit as a tourist. There's another station that's better situated and cheaper to get to that we usually take, but JR doesn't run to it.

TSURUGA ( On the Japan Sea ) 90 minutes from Osaka.

On the Japan Sea, almost all thunderbird services stop here. You should be able to find reasonable accommodation here and you'll be a short 90 minutes away from Kanazawa. You could probably be here before 8:30PM if your times line up. Trains leave every 30 minutes from Osaka.

FUKUI ( perhaps pushing it ) 2 hours from Osaka Fukui is the last large city after Kyoto before you get to Kanazawa and the prefectural capital. It's arguable that if you're going to go to Fukui then you might as well travel the last 40 minutes to Kanazawa, but I'm including it for the sake of completeness.

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