Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX)
History, Facts and Overview
Due to expansion problems with the already established Osaka Itami Airport nearby, the city planners discussed the need for a new airport and a site within easy reach of the city of Kobe was chosen in 1987. Within Osaka Bay itself, Kansai Airport was built on an artificial island measuring around 4 km / 2.5 miles in length. The amount of landfill required was enormous and after three years of construction, Kansai Island had been built.
Linked to mainland Honshu by a 3-km / 2-mile bridge, by 1990, the island had started to sink far more than expected and so an expensive engineering project commenced to rectify this problem. Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX) was finally opened for business in 1994 and the terminal actually stands on columns, which can be adjusted if any further subsidence of the island occurs. Overall, this is one of the most expensive airports on the planet, costing literally billions of American dollars to create.
There is a full array of facilities and amenities at Osaka's Kansai International, in line with an international airport of this importance. These include banks, Japanese Yen currency exchange, ATMs, a post office, business centre, wireless Internet connection, the Sky View Observation Hall, and over 110 retail outlets selling a wide variety of goods. Notable airport shops include Ana Festa, the Asian Market, Iris, Kansai Duty Free, Koken, Maruzen, Sky Spot and Tazaki Perl.
There are also plenty of places to eat and drink at the airport, with around 60 different Japanese and international restaurants, bars and coffee shops in total. Serving a range of hot and cold snacks, the Brasserie, Café Kansai, Chapeau Rouge, Starbucks and the North Gate Café are especially popular. For business travellers arriving at Osaka Kansai Airport, there is a conference and business centre, secretarial and translation services, faxes, telephones, computers and innumerable @stations where passengers can access the Internet day and night.