The Kansai International Airport was built to relieve the overcrowding occurring in the Osaka International Airport which is closer to the city centre and currently handles only domestic flights.
Kansai International Airport is now one of the largest in Japan and serves as an international hub for many Japanese airlines such as All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Peach – the first Japanese International low cost carrier.
There are many things to do at Kansai International Airport, from shopping to eating. All restaurants have multilingual menus, so you won’t have to struggle to overcome the language barrier if you do not speak Japanese.
There is also free WiFi available for those who want to stay connected on the go, and an airport lounge where you can catch a wink before your next flight.
For those of you who want to go shopping at the famous Rinku Town Premium Outlets immediately after landing, there are also shopping center tours available directly from the Kansai International Airport.
How to get around
The airport is about 50km away from the city but is easily accessible through buses, trains and even high-speed ferries.
If your hotel is nearby, you might want to take a taxi and if you’re thinking of driving around Japan during your time there, you could rent a car directly at the Airport.
Getting around Osaka can be somewhat confusing, mostly because not all of the signages are in English. But the first rule of traveling around Osaka is not to panic, always have a map, and don’t be afraid to ask one of the train station staffs or anyone you see along the road for help. They’ll be happy to help, even if they can’t speak fluent English.
The best way to get around Osaka is by taxi, bus or train. Taxis are metered, so you just have to make sure you have the address of where you want to go written down to show to the taxi driver. Osaka has a complex train system made up of public and private railway lines, so be sure to arm yourself with a railway map and plan your trip before hand.
Osaka is also known as an ‘aqua metropolis’ and it is possible to get around parts of Osaka via a water bus or cruise, but always make sure to check the availability before hand!
What to see and do
In Osaka, you get to see the best of modern as well as historical attractions, all interwoven and integral to the fabric of Osaka.
For the finest city views in the whole Osaka, head to the Umeda Sky Building, which includes a water fountain, connecting escalators and a large observation deck. Though a little pricey and out of the way, the stunning views at the top are well worth the effort.
Other modern attractions include the family friendly Universal Studios Japan, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan which is one of the world’s largest aquariums, and the extremely quirky Instant Ramen Museum which gives you a breakdown on the history and production of Instant Ramen or Instant Noodles. For a fee, you could even create your own Instant Ramen flavor to take home!
For a more old-worldly charm, visit the gorgeous Osaka Castle. The castle was torn down during the Meiji Period, but has since been rebuilt to have a modern interior that houses an informative museum. Be sure to take a walk around the expansive, beautifully manicured grounds of the Osaka Castle and bask in the history of Old Japan.
Other historical attractions include the Shitennoji Temple, Sumiyoshi Taisha, and the area of Nakanoshima.
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