Travelers often treat Osaka as a day trip from or on the way to Kyoto. But this city of contrasts is worth more than a glance. Rich history and forward-thinking ingenuity await travelers in this city where old meets new. Take note of these five essential tips as you prepare for your trip to Osaka.
The most economical time to visit Japan is during the off-season. This falls between late autumn and early spring with the exception of New Year’s. That equals five to six months of potential travel dates without the sticker shock.
Add to your savings by searching for discounted airfare. Many airlines offer a cheaper tier of tickets if you’re willing to forgo certain benefits. Also, take advantage of discounted domestic flights. It might be more economical to fly into a nearby airport and take a flight from a domestic carrier into Osaka than to fly there directly. As a rule of thumb, book airline tickets from North America to Japan 160 days in advance for maximum savings.
In Osaka, the wide selection of accommodations can overwhelm you. For peace of mind and exceptional comfort, consider reputable mainstays like the InterContinental Osaka. This luxury hotel watches over the Grand Front Osaka, an impressive complex of shops, restaurants, offices, and event spaces. The InterContinental is sleek and stylish, embodying the contemporary segment of Osaka’s rich narrative.
Here, you can expect modern opulence. Spacious rooms and suites include custom bedding, Bose speakers, and a generous supply of Nespresso. But it doesn’t end there. The hotel also offers babysitting, secretarial, and private limousine services.
The InterContinental is conveniently located near several train stations, allowing you to transit through the city and beyond. It’s ideal for travel-heavy itineraries.
Next to the InterContinental you’ll find Osaka Station. Here, the Shinkansen connects Osaka to Tokyo with many major stops in between. Take advantage of this network of high-speed trains to cover a lot of ground.
When traveling within Osaka, opt to use public transportation instead of relying on rental cars. The city has a complex network of buses and subway lines help you get anywhere. Buy a day pass at an automated ticket machine to get unlimited travel and extra savings on select attractions. If you prefer taxis, you’ll find those in Osaka, too.
Dining options are the least of your worries in Osaka. You’ll find all of the country’s best flavors and dishes in this bustling metropolis. Osaka is home to one of Japan’s largest fish markets, which gives sushi chefs access to fresh, high-quality seafood. One sushi place worth trying is Harukoma Sushi, a small restaurant nestled on a busy shopping street. With so many premium ingredients in Osaka, you can rest assured that any sushi here will be a cut above any prepackaged versions you’ve tried.
Osaka is a city of contrasts, where old meets new. Futuristic structures hang out casually next to majestic castles and shrines. Devote a day to take in the sights. Some points of interest include Osaka Castle Park, Kuchu Teien Observatory, and the National Bunraku Theater, where you can watch the traditional Japanese form of storytelling through puppets.
Without a doubt, Osaka is a dynamic city full of life and culture. With the proper preparations, you’ll discover it’s not just a day trip destination. Instead, it’s a trip worth taking on its own.
Featured photo via Flickr by Thilo Hiberer