KIX, three letter code for Kansai international airport is the gateway for Kansai region in Japan. Kansai region includes Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Wakayama, Nara and Shiga prefectures. The airport is located on an artificial island in Osaka bay, 5 km offshore of Seshu district of Osaka prefecture.
The airport opened in September 1994 to replace the international flights for Osaka international airport. Due to overcrowded Osaka airport is located in densely populated residential area and has a very strict operating hours, Kansai region needed another international airport to accept the demands of the new international flights. After the opening of KIX, Osaka airport is still called Osaka international airport but there is no regular international flight, concentrating only on domestic flights.
KIX is the first 24 hours operating airport in Japan and it is the first airport in the world to be built only on the artificial island. KIX was opened as the international airport but handles also domestic flights. Kansai area actually has 5 airports which have regular daily flights and three of them are located within 50 km from downtown Osaka.
KIX once lost its value when many international flights between airports in Europe and North America were terminated or suspended, but the airport is getting busier thanks to LCC started to fly into KIX, not only international flights but also Japanese LCC started to use KIX as the hub for Kansai area.
KIX is connected by two railway companies; JR and Nankai. If you are going to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka station, definitely JR is much faster. On the other hand, if you want to go to downtown Osaka, Namba district take Nankai which is cheaper.