Kansai International Airport is one of the highest-ranked airports in the world. Known for its efficiency, this airport handles 590 international flights every week. It has two terminals that serve both international and domestic flights and is equipped with range of facilities ranging from dining, shopping and even prayer rooms.
How to get around
Kansai International Airport is located 50km away from Osaka, the nearest prefecture to the airport. Getting to the city might take at least 50 minutes, depending on your mode of transport.
There are several ways to get from the airport to the city, with trains being the fastest. The Kansai Thru Pass is a two or three day train pass for foreign visitors that allows you unlimited rides on private train lines, subways and busses, with the exception of Japan Railways (JR line). They are available for purchase at the airport. You may also wish to purchase the Japan Rail Pass and board the Limited Express Haruka to the city. For a cheaper option, take the Kansai Airport Rapid Service.
To get to Kinki and Shikoku regions, consider taking the Kansai Airport Limousine Bus. Taxis can bring you to the city centre, but they are extremely costly. Fares depend on the time of the day and the taxi size. Car rentals are also available but you need to have an international driving permit.
Osaka’s extensive subway network makes travelling via trains easy. If you need help, feel free to approach the friendly staff at the train stations. If you are renting a car, the main driving road in Osaka is the Hanshin Expressway. Taxis are another way to get around the city albeit a little on the expensive side.
What to see and do
Osaka offers many historical landmarks and attractions for you to explore. It might be a hassle for those in transit, but if you have a few hours to spare, what this city has to offer will not disappoint you.
Visit the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the largest aquariums in Asia, home to sea creatures from Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea. General admission fees for adults cost NZD26. Other places in the vicinity include the Tempozan marketplace and Ferris wheel. The marketplace is a shopper’s paradise and contains gourmet eateries. Take the Ferris wheel for a bird’s eye view of the Hanshin Expressway.
Drop by at Universal Studios Osaka. This theme park offers coaster-rides, shows and even features a Hello-Kitty Street. A perfect place if you are travelling with children!
To know more about the Japanese culture, explore Osaka Castle, the former residence of the famous feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Marvel at the architecture beauty of the castle and the history behind it. Stroll over to Osaka Castle Park and enjoy the tranquillity. The best times to visit would be during the cherry blossom bloom.
For shopping, head to Minami District. There, you will see the iconic Glico Neon Sign and Takashimaya Departmental store. Make a trip to Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen museum, the first museum in the world dedicated to ramen.
Osaka is a charming city with an amalgamation of its historical landmarks and modern, edge-cutting skyscrapers. Just an hour away from the airport, awaits a unique experience visitors can look forward to.