Review: Lounge KANSAI at Osaka Kansai Airport

As part of Osaka Kansai airport terminal 1’s renovation which is expected to last until 2025, a new lounge was opened in the domestic departures area. The lounge replaced an ANA Lounge and a JAL Sakura Lounge that previously used to serve domestic passengers traveling on Japan’s two major airlines.

I had a chance to visit the lounge while on an ANA mileage run last November. This was less than a month after its October 26, 2022, opening date. Continue reading this review to see what the lounge is like.

Lounge KANSAI at Kansai Airport Review
Lounge KANSAI at Osaka Kansai airport.

Entry Requirements

As mentioned above, Lounge KANSAI replaced the airport’s ANA and JAL lounges. That means eligible ANA and JAL passengers can use the lounge.

In line with ANA’s lounge access policy, the following passengers traveling on a domestic ANA flight can enter the lounge free of charge unless noted otherwise:

  • Premium Class passengers
  • ANA Platinum, Diamond, and Super Flyers status holders including one companion (additional companions can be brought in for 2,000 miles or 2 upgrade points per companion)
  • ANA Million Miler Lounge Access Card holders including one companion (additional companions can be brought in for 2,000 miles per companion)
  • ANA Bronze members (1,000 miles or 2 upgrade points with additional 2 upgrade points required per companion)
  • Star Alliance Gold members including one companion

The following passengers traveling on JAL can enter the lounge free of charge:

  • Domestic first class passengers including one companion
  • Domestic passengers connecting to international first or business class by 6AM the next day including one companion
  • JAL Diamond, Premier, Sapphire, and Global Club status holders including one companion (additional companions can be brought in using lounge vouchers)
  • JAL Crystal status holders (status holder only, need to use a lounge voucher)
  • Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members including one companion

Unlike some other ANA and JAL lounges, otherwise ineligible passengers cannot pay to enter the lounge. The lounge cannot be entered using credit cards that allow access to Japanese domestic card lounges either.

Opening Hours & Location

Lounge KANSAI is open every day from 5:30AM until the departure of the last ANA/JAL flight.

The lounge is located airside in the domestic part of Kansai airport’s terminal 1, one floor above the main departures level. It can be accessed through a well-signposted escalator in the recently renovated shopping/restaurant area.

More specifically, the escalator can be found behind Japan Travelling Restaurant By BOTEJYU, a restaurant that belongs to the Priority Pass network. With Lounge KANSAI being the only public facility at the top of the escalator, it’s impossible to miss once upstairs.

Lounge KANSAI
Recently refurbished restaurant area.
Lounge KANSAI Directions
Heading to the lounge.

Lounge Tour

Once inside the lounge, I scanned my boarding pass at the reception which was right past the entrance. With this being a lounge used by both ANA and JAL, there were two separate boarding pass readers, one for each of the companies.

Across from the reception desk, there was also a shelf with cookies, chocolates, etc. that were for sale. While I am not sure how many people end up buying their gifts in the lounge, I guess it’s a nice option for those that remember last minute that they forgot to buy something to bring home with them.

Lounge KANSAI Entrance
Entrance.
Lounge KANSAI Shop
Items for sale.

Continuing past the reception, there was the lounge’s main area. While this was essentially one large room, it had two distinct parts.

The first part was what the lounge map called “flexible area.” The seating here consisted of tables with chairs, light sofa chairs separated by coffee tables, and some high-back sofa chairs lined along the windows. On that note, the lounge offers some but very limited apron views.

As the name of the section suggests, it was designed in a way that allowed the seating configuration to be changed easily. The downside of that was that none of the seats in this section offered power outlets or USB charging ports.

Lounge KANSAI Seating
Seating in the corner of the lounge.
Lounge KANSAI Seating
Chairs with no access to power.
Lounge KANSAI Seating
Tables.

Further down was an area that was closer in appearance to what most domestic lounges in Japan look like.

It featured pairs of sofa chairs arranged in a few rows. Each of the pairs was separated by a coffee table that was equipped with a pair of power outlets and a pair of USB ports.

Along the windows in this area was a counter lined with chairs. Each spot here had access to a power outlet and a USB port too.

Lounge KANSAI Seating
Sofa chairs.
Lounge KANSAI Seating
Overview of the lounge.
Lounge KANSAI Power Outlets
Power outlets and USB charging ports.

Further down, there was an area with a couple of communal tables, each fitting ten people. There was also some more counter seating along the wall/windows at the very back of the lounge. Neither of those seating options appeared to offer power outlets or USB charging ports.

Lounge KANSAI Seating
Communal tables in the back of the lounge.

In addition to the seating detailed above, there were also a business corner, a self-serve drink station, and the restrooms along the wall running the length of the lounge.

The business corner included a copier/printer and three phone booths. These, as I mentioned in probably all my other Japanese domestic lounge reviews are a favorite feature of mine as they allow people to take care of any phone calls without disturbing other passengers.

One of the phone booths was marked as accessible by wheelchairs – something I haven’t seen in other Japanese domestic lounges before.

Lounge KANSAI Drink Counter
Drink counter.
Lounge KANSAI Business Area
Printer/copier and phone booths.

Food and Drinks

Shockingly, there was nothing to eat in the lounge when I visited – not even light snacks like is the norm in other domestic lounges in Japan. That said, some quick searches on Twitter revealed that the lounge now appears to offer at least small packs of rice crackers – more in line with what one could expect in an ANA or a JAL domestic lounge.

As for drinks, there was a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine allowing one to not only get drinks like Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Calpis, and ginger ale, but also these drinks mixed with some additional flavors.

I enjoyed peach-flavored Coca-Cola Zero – a combination I haven’t seen in such machines elsewhere.

Lounge KANSAI Business Area
Coca-Cola Freestyle machine.
Lounge KANSAI Soft Drinks
Coca-Cola Zero selection.

There was also a coffee machine offering regular coffee, American coffee, cafe latte, and cocoa – both hot and ice.

Additionally, there were black and green tea bags.

Lounge KANSAI Hot Drinks
Coffee machine.
Lounge KANSAI Tea
Tea.

Alcoholic drinks included Johny Walker Red Label whisky and beer from automatic dispensers.

Interestingly (as the giant Heineken ad in front of the lounge hinted, I guess), the two beers on tap were Kirin and Heineken. With that, Lounge KANSAI became the first lounge in Japan where I’ve seen Heineken (or non-Japanese beer in general) available.

Lounge KANSAI Beer
Beer.
Lounge KANSAI Whisky
Whisky.

Lounge KANSAI Osaka Kansai Summary

Other than the missing snacks (a problem that seems to have been fixed since my visit), Lounge KANSAI was in line with what one can expect from a domestic lounge in Japan.

It provided plenty of seating or at least so it seemed during the time I visited which definitely was not the busiest time of the day. It also provided a decent selection of soft drinks and some alcoholic drinks including Heineken which I haven’t seen in other Japanese domestic lounges.

That said, considering that the lounge is very new, it would have been nice if all of the seats offered a way to charge ones devices, be it a power outlet or a USB port.

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