Thursday, April 24, 2008


Umeda, Osaka city

Australians taking advantage of Jetstar’s low fares can choose to fly into or out of Kansai airport, the closest big city to which is Osaka.

The areas I’ve stayed in are Namba and Umeda. Both have lots of shopping and hotels, including a Toyoko Inn, and are close to the very handy Midosuji subway line. (One day subway passes are available, though the individual trips are not expensive. See .)Umeda is closer to the JR loop line around Osaka, which is a little fiddly to reach from JR Namba.
Both have good access options (bus/train) from Kansai airport, -recently we used the Nankai private railway into Nankai Namba station, and on a previous trip, the airport limousine bus to Umeda. If you are going to the sumo, the stadium is about 200 metres from Nankai Namba station in one direction, and 200 metres from the Toyoko Inn in another direction.

The escalators to the Floating Observatory, suspended between the sides of the Umeda Sky Building

Lots of people advise skipping Osaka and staying in Kyoto instead, it’s less than an hour further away from the airport, and definitely has more to offer tourists. If you have the time, Osaka does have its points though :

*Osaka castle - a reproduction, but has an excellent museum inside. At blossom time the grounds are lovely. Easy to reach by subway or the JR loop line.

*Osaka Aquarium -Buy a Kaiyu Kippu (Y2400 from Osaka), which entitles you to entry into the Kaiyukan (Aquarium), free subway and bus rides all day in Osaka city, and discounts for the Ferris Wheel and other attractions. We purchased our ticket from Namba subway station. Entry to the Aquarium only is Y2000, catch the subway Chuo line to Osakako stop, walk 5 minutes in the direction of the Ferris Wheel.

*Floating Garden Observatory Umeda Sky Building.
*Dotombori for night life, shopping and people watching.
*Sumo tournament in March.
*Easy day trips on the Shinkansen to Hiroshima, Himeji, Kyoto, and on local trains to Kobe or Nara, which is about halfway between Kyoto and Osaka.
*Big city experience (if you can’t make it to Tokyo).

Umeda Sky Building

One of the shopping streets at Dotombori - also good for nightlife and people watching (image Albert Turiel)


Zamankhan said...

your blog is nice

blackchecks said...

you mentioned some of the ways to travel to Japan! How about any holiday packages??

Johanes Brian said...

thanks for info

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