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Osaka - Things to See and Do

The great castle in Osaka, Japan.

Japan’s third largest city, Osaka is a command centre for the Japanese economy. As the country’s leading commercial hub, the metropolis is alive with industry and trade, and experiences an influx of more than one million business travellers every day.

Owing to its status as an economic powerhouse, Osaka hosts an incredible array of things to see and do. Ancient structures like the majestic Osaka Castle are proudly juxtaposed against exciting contemporary developments like Universal Studios Japan. Bustling commercial districts vie for attention with historic parks and shrines. While locals go about their day at a fast and feverish pace, but with friendly charm.

Information

Population: Approx 2.9 million (metropolitan area)
Area (city): 223.00 km2
Time Zone: GMT +9
Languages: Japanese (official)
Currency: Yen (JPY)
Electricity: 100v 60Hz

Climate

Osaka has a humid subtropical climate, and as a result experiences four distinct seasons. Winter is mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below 2°C and low snowfall. Early April is celebrated as the best time to visit the city, as Japan’s famous cherry blossoms burst into full bloom, signifying the arrival of spring with cascading hues of crimson. Summer is hot and humid, with daytime temperatures peaking in the mid-30s (°C), and cooling slightly in the evenings to around 25°C.

Airport

Name: Kansai International Airport
Address: Senshūkūkōkita , Izumisano-shi, Ōsaka-fu, Japan
Website: http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/index.asp

Airport Transport

Hire Cars: Rentals are available with our suppliers at mate's rates. Book your car hire and save.
Taxi: Taxi stands are located outside the international arrivals area on level one. Standard taxi fare from Kansai International Airport (KIX) to central Osaka is around 14,000 JPY and the trip takes approx. one hour.
Bus Transfers: Tickets for buses departing KIX can be purchased from the vending machines, located outside the Passenger Terminal Building on the first floor.
Train: Rail travel is an easy and efficient way to get to and from the airport, with JR West’s Airport Express HARUKA line and Kansai Airport Rapid Service.
High Speed Ferry: This service runs between KIX and Kobe Airport at a cost of 1,800 JPY. The trip takes approx. 30 minutes and a free shuttle bus runs passengers between Kansai airport and the ferry terminal.

Swissotel Nankai Osaka

5 Star Property

Located on the prominent shopping boulevard of Mido-suji, and ideally situated above Namba Train Station, the Swissotel Nankai provides easy access to some of Osaka’s most talked-about attractions. The hotel has more than 500 spacious rooms and suites and six onsite restaurants – including one that offers a 360-degree view of the city.

Ritz Carlton Hotel Osaka

5 Star Property

The Ritz Carlton Hotel is located in Nishi-Umeda, one of Osaka’s premier business and shopping districts, and close to Umeda Station, providing easy access to many of Osaka’s highlights. The hotel particularly caters for corporate travellers with facilities like faxing services, conference rooms and a business centre.

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Osaka

4 Star Property

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel is located on Yodoyabashi Street, amid one of Osaka's most vibrant business districts, and close by the famous Kitashinchi dining and entertainment district. A hotspot for leisure and business travellers alike, the hotel is within easy reach of some of the city’s most celebrated drawcards.

Chisun Hotel Shinsaibashi Osaka

3 Star Property

The Chisun Hotel Shinsaibashi is perfect for travellers looking to experience the best Osaka has to offer, without blowing the budget on a bed for the night. Ideally located within walking distance to popular shopping areas such as Shinsaibashi and Dōtombori, the hotel is also just five minutes by train to picturesque Osaka Castle.

Dining

Osaka’s reputation as a food capital has attracted many top international chefs to set up shop in the city. Embracing cuisines from all over the world – covering everything from French and Italian, to Turkish, Peruvian, and Nepalese – options to suit every diner abound.

Dotombori is Osaka’s gastronomic Mecca. A single street decorated with giant cows, crabs and blowfish, and bright neon signs, Dotombori truly highlights Osaka’s local food culture. Opportunities exist to explore local delicacies such as takoyaki (small octopus dumplings), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), and kitsune udon (noodles with fried tofu). Those feeling adventurous can even tempt fate with a serving of fugu (poisonous blowfish) – a dish that is prepared with extreme caution or it will prove fatal.

Major transit centre, Namba is also a great place to sample Osaka’s unique cuisine. An abundance of cafes and restaurants dot the area; a number of which are within the train station itself. When the food has served its purpose the district offers up a fantastic environment in which to experience local lifestyle – featuring an array of karaoke bars, arcades and pachinko parlours.

Shopping

As is common in most Japanese cities, shopping is a popular pastime in Osaka – so much so that department stores can even be found within train stations throughout the city. Most shopping areas are located within easy walking distance of each other, making Osaka a hazardous holiday destination for those with a habit to spend big.

Everything from small boutiques to high-end couture and department stores can be found on Shinsaibashi-suji – located within Osaka’s most vibrant shopping and entertainment district, Shinsaibashi. Nearby, Amerikamura or “American Village” is the city’s youth culture hub, brimming with westernised fashion outlets, bars, and nightclubs. While just a short walk away, Ebisubashi-suji features a myriad of unique souvenir stores and hidden culinary gems.

Sennichimae Doguya-suji is where Osaka’s reputation as “kitchen of the world” comes together. A masterchef’s dream, the street is lined with speciality stores filled with every cooking utensil and kitchen item imaginable.

Just a quick jaunt down the road, Mido-suji Brand Street is a hive for fashion devotees, featuring high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Further south, Nipponbashi Denden Town is packed with electronic equipment discount stores, overflowing with the latest and greatest technological gadgets.

Boasting more than 600 stores, Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai is Osaka’s most prominent and Japan’s longest shopping street. Spanning for over 2.6km, the sheltered arcade showcases everything from unique treasures to traditional souvenirs, such as chinaware, ancient knives and kimonos.

Osaka’s most modern shopping experience, Rinku Premium Outlets can be found just one stop before the Kansai Airport – making it a perfect last minute option for a retail fix.