Whether you’re in town to snap some pictures of the blooming cherry blossoms or braving the cold for some New Year’s festivities in the city streets, there’s no wrong time to book your flight to Osaka.
Flights to Osaka fill up fast during the spring (March – May), which is one of the more popular times of year to visit Japan’s major destinations. Cherry blossoms, or hanami in Japanese, bloom in the last weeks of April and have visitors in droves to see the breathtaking displays of natural beauty on Osaka’s branches. Golden Week, which consists of several national holidays the first week in May, is also a busy time for visiting the city.
Cheap flights to Osaka may be plentiful during the winter (December – February) due to the chilly weather, but don’t fear that the city will keep you out in the cold in the months of January and February. Osaka hosts a plethora of activities to distract locals and visitors alike from the not-so-pleasant conditions outdoors: 15 January is when girls in their kimonos can be spotted in the street for Seijin-no-hi, which is the day when young ladies participate in a coming of age ceremony. For three days in mid-January every year just over a million people pass through the sixth century Imamiya Ebisu Shrine to pray to Ebisu, who is the god of business and wealth. This traditional and magical festival sees crowds appreciate local celebrities and colourful palanquins bear geishas pass through the lantern-lit streets. Don’t be surprised if you see an airborne bean or two on 3 February: Setsubun is a national holiday, and throwing dried beans is a way to chase away bad luck.
When it comes to the cutting edge in style, cultural attractions and mind-blowing technological wonders, Osaka is one of the premier destinations in the country, second only to the powerhouse capital city of Tokyo.
Osaka, the capital city of the Kansai region, is a necessary addition to any Japan trip: the city is, historically, the commercial capital of Japan and its economic might is apparent in the impressive office buildings and high rises sprouting up throughout the city. Though the grey, concrete appearance of the city leaves the eye a little sore, the pulsing nightlife of Osaka more than makes up for it and has locals and visitors alike mingling in the streets of Dotombori for late night karaoke sessions. Choruses of “Kampai!” (cheers) ring out into the streets until the wee hours of the morning and have visitors exhausted and fulfilled.
What makes Osaka an ideal holiday destination is its ability to satisfy the five senses: whether you’re admiring the soft feel of the fine silk kimonos for sale in Namba, enjoying the fragrant aroma wafting from the hanami trees during cherry blossom season, savouring every last bite of your takoyaki (octopus dumpling) dinner, ogling over the colourful creatures on display at the Aquarium or listening to the lively sidewalk chatter of Osaka after dark, your visit to Osaka is guaranteed to transport you to an unforgettable destination that’ll have you scrambling to extend your stay.
The variation in Osaka’s weather falls under four distinct seasons that differ drastically when it comes to temperature and precipitation. Winters in Osaka are fiercely cold, especially during the months of January and February, while summers experience a six-week rainy period, known as the “tsuyu”, over the course of June and July. When it’s not raining in Osaka during the summertime, the stifling humidity and 26 degrees average temperatures keep visitors and locals alike reaching for paper fans to keep cool in the August heat. Those booking flights to Osaka for a spring or autumn holiday will find themselves in the thick of Osaka’s most pleasant weather, with little rain and temperatures on average resting near 18 degrees on average.
From Kansai International Airport (KIX), you have several options when it comes to reaching the centre of the city. Taxis in Japan are extremely expensive so only snag one from the arrivals gate if you’re looking to splurge the cash. The most cost-effective ways of reaching the city of Osaka are by way of train or bus: Trains leave from the airport and will take you to the city centre in less than an hour, while coach buses depart regularly from various points throughout the airport.