Osaka is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and is the second-largest metro area in Japan. Considered the first capital city ever established in the Japanese Empire, Osaka is home to some of the oldest temple complexes in the country, including Shitennoji and Sumiyoshi Taisha.
The city is fondly called “nation’s kitchen” not only because of its current reputation as a foodie destination but also for its historical role as a merchant city that linked ancient Japan to Korea and China via trade. Today, Osaka is one of the most industrialized cities in the world. Here are the things you need to know before you travel to Osaka.
What Is Osaka Famous For?
- Osaka Castle. This five-storey feudal castle is the most iconic landmarks of Japan and the subject of many postcard and Instagram-worthy pictures.
- Food. Osaka has taken its traditional nickname “nation’s kitchen” right to the next level. Whether it’s street food or haute cuisine, Osaka is worth visiting for the food alone.
- Baseball. If Tokyoites are baseball-crazy, Osakaites are just as extreme. In fact, Osaka’s Hanshin Tigers have a national rivalry with Tokyo’s Yomiuri Giants. The games between these two teams can spark brawls and other rowdy behaviour among the fans.
- Den Den Town. If Tokyo has Akihabara, Osaka has Den Den Town, a paradise on earth for electronics geeks. You can find almost any gadget there, and the deals you can score there can make your jaw drop.
Osaka weather: Osaka has a humid subtropical climate. Though it boasts of four seasons, winters there are generally mild and with rare snowfalls. The weather only becomes extreme in late spring and throughout summer. Late spring and early summer are Osaka’s rainy season. The rest of the summer can be intolerably hot and humid.
Osaka time zone: Just like the rest of Japan, Osaka follows the Japan Standard Time, which is in UTC/GMT+9.
Currency: Osaka uses Japanese yen. Coin denominations are available at 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100. However, banknote denominations are available at 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000.
Osaka is served by two airports: Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka International Airport (ITM). Located on an artificial island off Osaka Bay, KIX handles international traffic in and out of Osaka. It’s also the international hub for Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, as well as low-cost flier Peach. ITM, on the other hand, handles only domestic flights and international cargo. ITM is located in Itami, which is why its colloquial name is Itami Airport.
Transportation in Osaka
Another thing you need to know before you travel to Osaka is their public transport. To get around Osaka, the city is divided into two major areas: Kita and Minami. Kita on the south is the business and shopping centre, while Minami is the entertainment centre. However, these two areas are, in turn, served by two train stations each – Umeda/Osaka Station and Shin-Osaka Station for Kita, and Namba Station and Tennoji Station for Minami. In addition, the convenient way to get from place to place in Osaka is via subway.
However, if you anticipate being on the road most of the day, you will save a lot if you purchase an Osaka Amazing Pass ticket. Available as a one-day and two-day pass, the Osaka Amazing Pass ticket will cover your fare for subways and buses. But, for a one-of-a-kind, Osaka experience, try travelling through the city using the ferry.
Emergency Contacts in Osaka: If you happen to need help in Osaka, help is often just a Koban (police box) away. But, you can also call 110 for the Osaka Police and 119 for the fire and ambulance services. This is the most important things need to know before you travel to Osaka.
Check out more amazing things about Osaka here. Book your trip today and enjoy Osaka your way.