Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Where is Osaka?


Where is Osaka?  How can I go to the city of Osaka from Kansai International Airport?

Small Bridge in Osaka Near the Castle

These are the two questions that I will answer momentarily. But first, I want to tell you that the city of Osaka is a city that is full of life.  I find it modern and business-like.  Subway stations are almost always crowded especially Umeda Station which is at the centre of many businesses and tour establishments.  There are so much to see in Osaka.  That must be the reason why you are directed here to my blog.

To make your entry to Japan convenient and your stay comfortable, I am giving you ideas on how to go around Osaka.

The city is situated in the Kansai region of Japan’s main island of Honshu.  The third largest city by population after Tokyo and Yokohama.  Come to Osaka through the Kansai International Airport which is about 50 kilometres away from the city centre. Upon arrival, you will be on the 2nd floor for Immigration Formalities. Then you will have to go down to the 1st floor for Baggage Claim, Customs Inspection, and Arrivals Lobby.  The International Arrivals Gates are both the north and south ends of the terminal. These are convenient places to arrange to meet friends and family.

You can take a bus, ferry, or taxi from the airport to the city centre but the most practical means of getting to Osaka is by train.  All trains leave from the Kansai Airport across the road from the arrivals hall.   

Take the Japan Railways (JR) or the Nankai Railways.  

By Japan Railways (JR)

"Haruka" limited express trains (tokkyu) connect Kansai Airport with Tennoji Station (30 minutes), 1760 yen by unreserved seat, about 2100 yen by reserved seat) and Shin-Osaka Station (50 minutes, 2470 yen unreserved, about 2800 yen reserved).
Rapid trains kaisoku connect the airport with Tennoji Station (50 minutes, 1030 yen) and Osaka Station (70 minutes, 1160 yen). The ticket prices here are good at the time of writing.  

The cost of Japan Railway Pass has been changed and will be effective March 8, 2017. If you are headed to Japan during this period, click all the new information in the link
For more news on Japan Rail Pass, click here. This update was made by this blog today, January 9, 2017.

By Nankai Railways:
"Rap:t" limited express trains (tokkyu) take 30 minutes and cost 1390 yen (all reserved) from Kansai Airport to Namba Station, while express trains (kyuko) do the same trip in 45 minutes and for 890 yen.  For more information on Nankai Railways, click here.

By Bus
Airport Limousine buses leave for various destinations throughout Kansai from the 1st floor directly outside the arrivals hall. The cost is slightly higher than the train, but the buses go directly to some major hotels and can be faster than the train for some destinations (eg. Kobe) in good traffic.

The bus is also the only practical option for connecting to domestic flights from Osaka's Itami Airport.

By Ferry

Kaijo Access run directly to Kobe's airport. Ferries run roughly every 45 minutes and take 29 minutes one way (¥1500). Via the ferry, shuttle bus and the Port Liner AGT line, Sannomiya (central Kobe) can be reached in one hour.

By Taxi
Taxis are very expensive. Going to Osaka will cost you a minimum of ¥16,000, while reaching Kyoto will rack up closer to ¥32,000.

If you are in the country for the first time, my advice to you is to take a taxi going to your hotel.  You don’t want to be waiting for long hours for the next bus or train for your connecting trip, right?  There is a challenge that you as a traveller will face ~ the language barrier.  Communication is a bit of a problem although you will see the effort of the locals in trying to help you.  Most of the time, I cannot see and feel this as a problem at all because of the gesture and expression of local's genuine hospitality.  So, I want you not to worry about the money, you only do this on your arrival.  Once you are used to the roads, you may start using all their transport facilities available throughout the city.

Now that I have given you the way to Osaka, I would advice that you arrange with your hotel for your next day sightseeing tour of the city. Familiarize yourself immediately and upon arrival.  Feel free to visit my blog again about the city.  Next series, I will be giving you all the information based on my tour, thereby giving you the  “must see places in Osaka.”