Flights to Osaka (KIX)

Flights to Osaka will keep the most restless travellers entertained, with luxury hotels, restaurants and countless attractions to choose from.

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Flights to Osaka

Historically, Osaka was the capital of Japan. Today that title belongs to Tokyo – but Osaka remains the third largest Japanese city. When you’re not marvelling at the cherry blossoms surrounding Osaka Castle, or wandering the gardens of the centuries-old Sumiyoshi taisha, it’s easy to lose yourself in more modern pursuits, from shopping in Shinsaibashi to clubbing in Namba.

And that’s not forgetting Dotonbori, the heart of Osaka, which has enough flashing neon signs to rival Times Square or Piccadilly Circus.

Yet perhaps more than any other city in Japan, Osaka is a destination for food lovers. It’s called the kitchen of the nation, where the local attitude to dining is summed up by the concept of kuidaore which means 'to eat oneself bankrupt'.

Needless to say, people in Osaka appreciate a good meal and you’ll be spoilt for choice. Hole-in-the-wall street joints in particular are an essential part of the Osaka experience. You shouldn’t leave without trying the takoyaki (balls of flour filled with octopus) or okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake filled with veggies and meat) from one of the many street stalls.

Even more warm and inviting than its restaurants, though, are Osaka’s people. The city’s residents are famously hospitable, and even with a population of nearly three million, Osaka maintains the air of a friendly, small-town community. You’ll probably find the locals are happy to chat or offer travel tips.

Watch Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium

If you want to see what true fandom looks like, take a trip to Koshien Stadium, where Osaka’s beloved baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers, play their home games. The roaring crowd, fast food and brightly coloured balloons create more of a party atmosphere than a sporty one. It’s a great family day out.

1-82 Koshiencho
Hyogo Prefecture
663 8152
+81 7 9847 1041

Relax in Mino Park

If the urge takes you to get out of the city centre, Mino Park is a great green space to unwind. Located half an hour’s drive away from the city, it’s the perfect spot for hiking and walking, with winding trails and a waterfall to explore. It’s best enjoyed if you visit in autumn.

1-18 Minokoen
+81 72 721 3014

Unwind at Spa World

Japanese onsen (hot spring) resorts are famous around the world, and they’re just as popular with visitors as they are with locals. Spa World is Osaka’s largest hot spring resort, and it’s particularly tourist-friendly. There are signs explaining onsen etiquette, if you aren’t familiar with it. Spa World is also notable for being open on a 24-hour basis.

‪3-4-24 Ebisu-higashi
556 0002
+81 6 6631 0001

Take the children to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Of all the family-friendly attractions in Osaka, this aquarium is one of the most popular. Covering eight floors, there are dolphins, seals, penguins and even whale sharks. You can also check out the Tempozan Ferris Wheel nearby, which lights up in a different colour depending on the weather forecast for the next day.

1-1-10 Kaigandori
552 0022
+81 6 6576 5501

Visit Osaka Castle

Even though this building is actually a reconstruction of the 16th century castle, it’s still a stunning piece of Japanese architecture. You can learn about the city’s history, take a ride in the Hep Five Ferris Wheel, or picnic in Osaka Castle Park (a popular option during the cherry blossom season).

1-1 Osakajo
540 0002
+81 6 6941 3044

See Sumiyoshi taisha shrine

A visit to this ancient shrine will leave you with a true sense of Japanese history. Sumiyoshi taisha dates back to the year 211, making it one of the oldest shrines in Japan. It is believed the kami (Shinto gods) in the shrine protect travellers, sailors and fishermen.

2-9-89 Sumiyoshi
558 0045
+81 6 6672 0753

Zuboraya (Japanese)

Every adventurous foodie’s bucket list should include fugu, or puffer fish. It was made famous by an episode of The Simpsons and can be deadly if prepared incorrectly. Visit the Dotonbori branch of Zuboraya to splash out on some of the best fugu sashimi in the city. This is a real delicacy.

‪1-6-10 Dotombori
+81 6 6211 0181 (Japanese language website)‬‬

Mizuno (Japanese)

One of the top culinary experiences in Osaka is sampling its famous local dish okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake that’s a real crowd pleaser. The best place to go is Mizuno, which is an Osaka institution. The menu has a variety of pancakes and fillings, but regular customers go straight for the one made with yam (sweet potato) flour.

1-4-15 Dotonbori
Chuo Ward
542 0071
+81 6 6212 6360

Kuma Kafe (International)

When only a big, hearty lunch will do, this Aussie-run cafe will hit the spot. Located near the Osaka Aquarium, the atmosphere is warm and cosy, and the portions are generous. Plus, the Kuma Kafe burger is something of a legend in Osaka.

‪4-4-15 Chikko
552 0021
+81 6 6572 2450

Hajime (French-Japanese fusion)

This seriously impressive restaurant made Michelin history when it was awarded three stars within a year-and-a-half of its opening. Helmed by chef and owner Hajime Yoneda, the menu is French but the taste is Japanese. Perfect for a special occasion.

‪1-9-11-1F Edobori
550 0002
+81 6 6447 6688

Tenshige (Japanese)

Don’t be fooled by the size of this tiny tempura joint – Tenshige is actually a Michelin-starred restaurant. There’s room for about a dozen diners, so the atmosphere is friendly and intimate, and you can see the chef preparing your meal in the open kitchen. The tempura is fantastic.

1-22-12 Shimanouchi
+81 6 6245 9009

Kuromon Ichiba (Street food)

A foodie find, this popular market is one of the best places in Osaka to try out some of the city's famous street food. Here you can test your adventurous palate to the max, from glazed baby octopus to giant snails. The market also boasts some of the cheapest, freshest sushi you'll ever eat.

2-4-1 Nippombashi
542 0073

The St. Regis Osaka

When it comes to luxury hotels in Osaka, the St. Regis is hard to beat. Located in glamorous Midosuji, which is home to some of the best designer boutiques in the city, it’s a playground for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Highlights include the Iridium Spa and the French bistro Rue d’Or.

3-6-12 Honmachi
541 0053
+81 6 6258 3333

Hotel Monterey Osaka

This luxury hotel in Osaka has an old-fashioned European grandeur that separates it from other establishments in the city. Inspired by the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, the rooms are spacious and luxurious. It’s in a great location, just a 15-minute walk from some of Osaka’s best attractions, including Osaka Castle.

3-3-45 Umeda
530 0001
+81 6 6458 7111

Cross Hotel

One of the best things about this mid-range hotel is its central location close to JR Namba Station, near the buzzing neighbourhood of Dotonbori. Rooms are spacious and modern, with private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi throughout.

‪2-5-15 Shinsaibashisuji
542 0085
+81 6 6213 8281

Carpe Diem

For a unique stay in Japan, check out Carpe Diem, a traditional Japanese guesthouse close to Osaka Castle and Osaka Business Park with sliding paper doors, tatami mats and a peaceful garden. You can learn about Japanese traditions with courses in calligraphy and pottery, and a tea ceremony.

‪3-1-14 Nakahama
536 0024
+81 6 6241 6010‬‬‬‬‬

Swissotel Nankai Osaka

This mid-range hotel is in a great location for hitting the shops, with Doguyasuji Shopping Street just a short walk away. The rooms are smart and comfortable with great views, and as an added bonus there’s a direct train link to the airport from JR Namba Station, which is just below the hotel.

‪5-1-60 Namba
542 0076
+81 6 6646 1111

Osaka Hana Hostel

If you’re in Osaka on a budget, you can’t go wrong with a stay in the Osaka Hana Hostel. It is centrally located close to both Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi subway stations. The staff are friendly and helpful, and happy to advise you on the best dining and nightlife options nearby.

1-8-4 Nishishinsaibashi
542 0086
+81 6 6281 8786

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