Osaka is one of Japan’s major cities located in the Kansai region. With a population of over 19 million inhabitants, Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest cities in the world. The city is about 223 square kilometre, and the metropolitan is among the world’s most sought cities by tourists worldwide as it is known for its modern architecture, buzzing nightlife as well as its variety of street food while also surrounded by centuries-old history embedded in its monuments and landmarks that still stand until today.
The best season to plan your travel to Osaka, Japan, would be either in spring or autumn season as its summer and winter would be less desirable or convenient to walk around. Osaka experiences its spring from March to April and during this time, your eyes will be feasted by the sight of blossoming flowers, especially apricot and cherry blossoms or sakura; both of which are famous flowers in Japan. A tip for first-timers wants to visit Japan; tourists should avoid visiting Japan during the Golden Week which is usually around the first week of May in which during this time, numerous public holidays occur. Japanese people would tend to take their time off during this week, and you can expect large crowds are travelling from one destination to another as well as the hike of accommodation and transportation prices to happen drastically.
Autumn arrives in late September and stays until November and during this time, it is great to travel as the sight of the greeneries surrounding Japan would burst in myriads of yellow, rust, green and red colours of the fallen leaves would greet your sight. During this time, locations in the mountains surrounding Osaka would make ideal spots for hiking enthusiasts to experience the fall season.
From Singapore, tourists can depart via Changi International Airport. If you wish to take a direct flight to Osaka, then Kansai International Airport (KIX) would be your only option. The airport is located on a human-made island situated roughly 40km away from south of central Osaka. The airport has two terminals. The main terminal is Terminal 1 which serves domestic and international flights. Located opposite Terminal 1 is the train station that allows travellers to head to the central cities conveniently. From Terminal 1 train station and bus transportation, tourists can reach nearby cities of Osaka, Kyoto as well as Kobe fairly easily. The 2nd terminal, built later in 2012 is a hub to low-cost airlines, and this terminal does not offer travellers much public transportation services.
However, if you wish to stay in the north part of Osaka, then you may opt to take a transit flight to Kansai International Airport before taking another flight to Osaka International Airport in Itami (ITM) or commonly known as Itami Airport. This airport used to be the international hub connecting cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe before Kansai International Airport was built in 1994 and resulted in Itami Airport simply being a domestic hub located north of Osaka. Both airports serve the country’s main airline, Japan Airlines or also known as Nikko. The airline’s main hub sits in Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita International Airports, but its secondary hubs are located in both Kansai and Itami Airports.
Singapore is situated near the equator and hence resulted in a tropical climate all year round. Rainfalls dotted the months throughout the year accompanied by average equal temperature as well as constant high humidity all year-round. In short, Singapore is not a four season country as compared to Japan.
On the other hand, Osaka is located in the humid and subtropical climate zone, resulting in distinct four seasons of weather to occur. Winter occurs from December to February, with January typically being the coldest, although snowfall is a rare occasion in Osaka as the region is located south of Japan, as compared to other regions like Sapporo. Spring comes in March and stays until May, and it is typically humid. Summers are between June until August with hot and humid weather occurring. August is usually Osaka’s hottest month with an average of 33.5 °C, although the nighttime’s temperatures are much lower resulting it to be cold.
Osaka will experience its first rainy season occurring between early June until late July, while its second occurrence is between September to early October. These occurrences happen as the season changes, and typically typhoons and hurricanes from south or southwest of Japan will hit the region. It is advisable that travellers do not choose these times to plan their trip as flight delays and even flight cancellations are common.
1. Shinsekai – A district in Osaka dating back before the first World War and still holds many historical elements until today. Tourists will find this district eye-catching as its architecture in its northern parts resembles Paris while the southern parts imitate Coney Island in New York. Tsutenkaku Tower which stands at the centre of the district was constructed in 1912 to mimic the Eiffel Tower in Paris. On the top of the tower is the main observatory for visitors to feast their eyes upon the vast landscape of the city of Osaka.
2. Osaka Castle – This is one of Japan’s most historical landmark and was built in 1583 on the former site of Ishiyama Honganji Temple which was then demolished by Oda Nobunaga. Hideyoshi wished for the castle to become the centre of the new unified Japan under the Toyotomi reign and it later became the largest castle at the time. This historical landmark even survived several natural disasters and even the air raids during the world war. Now, this castle is a museum placing the history of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, with a park covering two square kilometres of lush greeneries, sports facilities as well as a multipurpose arena and a shrine dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
3. Universal Studio, Japan – Universal Studios Japan was the first theme park belonged to Universal Studios to be built in Asia. Taking up a space totalling 39 hectares and housing various attractions, this theme park has since become the most visited amusement park in Japan after the construction of the Tokyo Disney Resort. This park currently has eight sections; Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Waterworld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Throughout the park, visitors can come across many famous characters in blockbuster movies such as Spiderman, Back to the Future, Terminator, Transformers, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park.