How to get there
Trains connecting KIX with the mainland are fully operational.
Starting from the 18th, railways connecting KIX with the mainland through the connecting bridge (SkyGate Bridge R) are fully functional, and all trains are operating as scheduled. As the highway going through the connecting bridge is still half closed due to the tanker collision and only buses and some taxis can go through it, it is most sure for you to use trains to come to Awaji-Yumebutai from KIX. As instructed below, the easiest and most comfortable way is to use JR Airport Express Haruka from KIX to Shin-Osaka and then switch to Shinkansen to Shin-Kobe. From Shin-Kobe, you can take a highway bus to Yumebutai.
Awaji Yumebutai is not affected by Typhoon Jebi
The category 5 Typhoon Jebi (Typhoon No. 21 as Japan Meteorological Agency named) hit Japan and landed onto Osaka area on the 4th of September, 2018. Although significant damages were caused mainly in the Southern part of Osaka Prefecture and Kansai International Airport (KIX) was partly flooded and the connecting bridge between the artificial island and the mainland was damaged, these would not affect the Retropath2018 meeting. The meeting venue, Awaji Yumebutai, and Westin Awaji hotel are intact and fully operational. KIX has already been partly operational using the intact Runway B and Terminal 2, and main Runway A has been drained off and dry now. They have announced that 60% of the main Terminal 1 will be operational within this week.
As the connecting bridge was damaged by the tanker collision, only half of the traffic lanes can be used for buses now and railways are still not operational. However, Kansai Airports Company is expecting to restart full railway services within this month.
Thus, as long as you use JR train services as we have recommended, there will be no inexpediency to come to Awaji Yumebutai from KIX. However, due to the possible reduction in landing capacities, your flight might be arriving at a different airport, including Osaka-Itami (ITM) or Kobe, or might be delayed or canceled. Please let the Secretariat know if you are expecting to change arriving airport and need information about ground transportation to Awaji Yumebutai.
Awaji station is NOT in Awaji island.
The RetroPath 2018 will take place in Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center in Awaji-shima island that is across the bridge from Akashi city near Kobe.
There is NO railroad in Awaji island.
There is a station named Awaji within Osaka city, but this station is NOT in Awaji island and is very far from the Conference Center.
When you make your travel plans, DO NOT search Awaji station, as it is different from Awaji island.
You can use only highway buses to come to and leave from Awaji Yumebutai.
The nearest train station is JR Maiko, but it takes 15 min between Awaji Yumebutai and Maiko bus stops, and buses come every 20 min.
Only local trains stop at Maiko station, and you have to go to Nishi-Akashi station to take Shinkansen bullet trains.
Be aware that Nishi-Akashi is a small station and only Kodama sub-express stops there every 60 min.
You have to change trains at Shin-Kobe or Himeji to take Nozomi super-express.
Inquire the secretariat or local host when you make travel plans before and after the meeting.
Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center is located on Awaji Island, the largest island within Japan's Inland Sea. The island is connected with Honshu, the main island, through the Akashi Strait Suspended Bridge, the world's longest suspended bridge.
The international airport nearest to Awaji Yumebutai is Kansai International Airport (KIX) built on the artificial island located in Osaka Bay. There are several different ways to go to Awaji Yumebutai from KIX and you can get basic ideas through the guide below with a wonderful video clip: HOW TO Kansai Airport to Osaka & Kyoto
The easiest way is to take the airport express train Haruka from JR Kansai Airport Station to Shin-Osaka, and change trains there to Shinkansen bullet train for Shin-Kobe. Once you exit the immigration area, take the elevator or escalator to 2F of the airport building and go out to the wide pedestrian bridge. You can see the railway station in front. Walk for 3-4 minutes towards the station. This station is shared by JR and Nankai Railway, and thus you have to make sure to buy tickets for JR. You can buy tickets all the way to Shin-Kobe including the Haruka and Shinkansen limited express tickets.
Changing trains at Shin-Osaka is not difficult.
Follow the instructions found here. The platform where Haruka is arriving is located on the ground floor, and Shinkansen gates are on the 2nd floor. After getting off Haruka, take the escalator or elevator to 2F and follow blue Shinkansen signs shown below. You have to go through the gate by inserting your tickets and take the up escalator again to 3F. Please be aware that there are several Shinkansen platforms in Shin-Osaka station, and you have to chose the right one. Shinkansen trains heading for Shin-Kobe usually leave from platform 20, 21, or 22. There are large LCD displays showing train numbers (ex. Nozomi 123) and destination.
Shinkansen trains comes and leaves every 5 min, and you have to make sure that you are getting into the one you have reserved your seats.
JR ticket office at Kansai Apirport Station
JR Airport Express Haruka
Follow this sign to take Shinkansen
Images courtesy of OsakaStation.com
Shinkansen super express Nozomi
At Shin-Kobe station, you take the highway bus for Awaji-Yumebutai. Shin-Kobe is a small station, and bus stops are located in front of the station. Please take the bus headed for Higashiura, and buy tickets for Yumebutai. If you are arriving in Tokyo International Airport (Narita), you should also come to Shin-Kobe from Tokyo station. Chose the fastest super express Nozomi, and it takes only less than 3 hours from Tokyo to Shin-Kobe. All Nozomi trains stop at Shin-Kobe. As described above, it is the easiest way to get into the highway bus for Awaji. Although you have to pay for JR express and Shinkansen tickets and you ride the bullet train for only 15 min between Shin-Osaka and Shin-Kobe, this route is worth taking as Haruka and Shinkansen are comfortable and there are minimum difficulties in carrying your baggage: all you have to do is take escalators and walk for a few minutes in total. However, if you wish to take highway buses all the way from the airport to Awaji Yumebutai, you can definitely do so.
To do that, you have to change buses at Sannomiya station in Kobe. First, after getting out of the immigration area walk straight ahead to exit the building and go to the bus stops area. Buy ticket for Sannomiya at Counter C and take the bus from the stop No. 6. If you are arriving in Terminal 2, similarly leave the immigration area and walk straight ahead to the bus stops area. Buy tickets for Sannomiya at Counter A, and take the bus from stop No. 4.
- Locations of Terminal 1 bus stops
- Locations of Terminal 2 bus stops
When your bus arrives at JR Sannomiya station, follow the instructions below to get into the other bus that goes to Awaji Yumebutai. You have to cross the street and walk to a tall building named M-INT Kobe. The bus stop for Awaji is No. 4. Changing buses at Sannomiya is the most difficult part and you have to carry your baggage. However, this is faster than taking JR Haruka and Shinkansen and much cheaper.
We will set a few guide persons at the exit area of immigration with RetroPath sign board to help you on the 7th and 8th. Depending on the number of attendants who arrives in KIX, we may plan to arrange direct transportation between KIX and Yumebutai. If we arrange direct transportation, we will announce it in this web site.