Stuff yourself silly in Japan's foodie capital
As Japan’s third-largest and second-most important city, Osaka has a lot to offer visitors. A former commercial center, the city has ceded prominence to Tokyo in that field, though many major Japanese corporations call the place home. Osaka is considered a major hub for pop culture and shopping. But more than anything, Osaka is known for its food and its residents’ passion for eating, which inspired the term kuidaore, meaning “to eat until you drop”. Thanks to its friendly ambience and culinary bent, you may well find yourself charmed and stuffed in equal measure.
Book a flight to Osaka
When to go
Osaka has a fairly mild climate and the seasons are quite distinct. Temperatures range from about 6˚C in the winter to close to 30˚C in the summer. Snow is rare. Late June to late July is the rainy season, with the typhoon season following soon after.
Given that there are many famous cherry-blossom viewing sites in town and in nearby Kyoto, spring is an excellent time to visit, as is the fall if you prefer autumn leaves.
Osaka hosts a grand sumo tournament in mid-March, late July sees the Tenjin Matsuri Festival - with hundreds of elaborately decked-out boats plying the Okawa River - and for a month starting in mid-October, you can feast your eyes on fields of blooms at the Osaka Castle Chrysanthemum Festival.
Flying with Jetstar
Jetstar flies direct to Osaka from most domestic ports, and is easily accessible from South-East Asia and Australia, with direct international flights from Cairns and Manila.
Find cheap flights to Osaka
Osaka is easily seen via its network of subway lines. Fares are charged by distance traveled, but a one- or two-day Osaka Amazing Pass is a good option for visitors. In addition to unlimited subway and bus rides, you get discount access to 13 sites and free admission to 28 more. You can purchase the pass at the airport travel desk, Umeda Station and Namba Station Tourist Information Offices and at a number of hotels citywide.
There are buses available that make stops at popular spots in Osaka and throughout the Kansai region.
There are now standard taxi fares for trips from Kansai International to addresses in Kita-ku and Chuo-ku. During the day, the fares run from ¥13,000-14,500. Late at night, it’s ¥15,500-17,000. These fares do not include bridge or expressway tolls.
Kansai International Airport offers easy access to downtown Osaka by rail. The Nankai Line will take you to Namba (¥920 and about 35 minutes), while the Japan Rail line will get you to Tennoji (30-40 min and ¥1,060-2,230, depending on which train you take), Osaka’s two public-transportation hubs.