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About Osaka

Osaka is a harbour city and the flourishing economy center of the Japanese island of Honshu, home to 2.6 million people. The city holds ancient architecture dating back to the 16th century, thus the city’s main historical landmark. The sweet, delicate fragrances of peach and cherry-blossom trees hovers in the atmosphere, whilst surrounded by a magnificent waterway.

Cheap flights to Osaka are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be captivated by this timeless city. Osaka is home to the Osaka International Airport (ITM), which is approximately a 25-minute drive from the city center. Osaka Airport serves a multitude of airlines - including Cathay Pacific Airlines and Emirates Airlines. Popular international flights to Osaka departure from Cape Town and Johannesburg. Flight duration from Johannesburg is approximately 16 hours and 55 minutes.

Why visit Osaka

Sightseeing Osaka

Sightseeing

Awe-inspiring natural beauty embraces the borders of the city. The sweet fragrances of peach and cherry-blossom trees hovers in the atmosphere, whilst surrounded by a magnificent waterway.

Culture Osaka

Culture

The city holds ancient architecture, coating it as a historical landmark. Unique culture and meticulous crafting has always been at the forefront, together with mastering the art of Japanese combat.

Takoyaki, Octopus Balls, Osaka Food

Cuisine

Hundreds of authentic restaurants can be found serving delicious meals like kushi-yaki, fugu, and the world-renowned sushi – with palatable varieties.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Japan
Currency Japanese yen (JPY)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 8.65 Japanese yen
Language Japanese, English
Hub Airport Osaka International Airport
Airline Cathay Pacific Airlines and Emirates Airlines
Time Zone GMT + 9:00 hours
Travel Adaptor Type A, B

Best time to visit Osaka

Osaka has a fairly mild climate with four distinctive seasons, each of which offer so much to see and do. Spring (March – May) sees the magnificent viewing of unique, sweetly fragrant cherry-blossom trees around the water channel and the Osaka Castle Garden. Light, casual attire will suit you during this season. The spring Higan-e ceremony is celebrated late in March. Summer (June – August) sees the peak hydrangea blossoming period and the rice planting ritual, which brings the city to life. A ceremony selected as in intangible legendary culture. You might want to wear very light clothing during the sweltering summer heat. Winter (December – February) sees the city covered in a subtle dusting of snow, an unusual but lovely sight. Pack at least one heavy overcoat for chilly evenings if you plan on visiting during this season. New Year’s Eve also sees the sacred bell ringing ceremony at the Shitennoji Temple.

Weather & Climate in Osaka

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low (°C) 3°C 3°C 6°C 11°C 16°C 20°C 24°C 25°C 21°C 15°C 10°C 5°C
High (°C) 9°C 9°C 13°C 19°C 24°C 28°C 31°C 33°C 29°C 23°C 17°C 12°C
Rainfall (mm) 50 70 110 130 150 230 140 90 170 110 70 30

Overview

Osaka began its flourishing as an economic and political centre for Japan in the 5th century. The harbour port of Osaka became a gateway for the travellers of neighbouring countries. These visitors brought with them, knowledge and artefacts from advanced cultures and new technologies. They also brought with them a new religion, Buddhism, which is now practised throughout the country.

Despite the fact that Osaka was rebuilt from the ashes of a thriving Civil War, it quickly sprang up to become a major economic hub. Essential staple foods of the east were sent to Osaka to be transported to other major cities within the country, and finally to international destinations as well.

Today, because of economic affluence, Osaka has created its own culture and style. Home to popular performing arts, theatre and the development of world class Japanese education – Osaka is a radiating star in the league.

Visa & Customs

South African Passport holders do require a visa to visit Osaka, Japan. • Make sure you leave enough time for visa processing. • Ensure your passport has a validity period of at least 6 months. • Ensure you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps. The South African Embassy to Japan is located in Tokyo. 4th Floor, Hanzomon First Building, 1-4 Kojimachi - CHIYODA-KU, Tokyo, 102-0083. Phone: + 81 3 3265 3366 / + 81 3 3265 3369.

Health & Safety

All travellers should be up to date with routine vaccinations, as vaccinations are required. Most travellers to Osaka, Japan will need vaccinations as well as medications for travellers’ diarrhoea. • Japanese Encephalitis: You may need this vaccine if your trip will last more than a month, depending on where you are going and what time of year you are travelling. You should also consider this vaccine if you plan to visit rural areas in Japan, or will be spending a lot of time outdoors (even for trips shorter than a month). Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans. • Vaccinations for Hepatitis A & B and typhoid is recommended. • Bring adequate supplies of medication with, in their original containers and clearly marked, if you are sick or have to take chronic medication. • Bring plenty of sunblock of a high sun protection factor, and try not to spend too much time in the sun. • Always be vigilant as crime occurs in any country, and watch your personal belongings. • Make copies of bank and credit cards, and other important documentation in case they are lost or stolen. • Secure valuable, personal belongings within the hotel safe. • Avoid public or local demonstrations. • Remain alert when walking around at night, and abide by the local government laws.

Cost of Living

ITEM CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG OSAKA
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 100.00 R 100.00 R 92.38
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 40.41
Cappuccino (regular) R 22.51 R 22.35 R 39.45
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 76.21
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 38.00 R 38.00 R 54.27

Where to stay?

A lovely 7-minute walk from the city centre, and near popular attractions, you will find this conveniently located guest house. A fitness centre will help you keep up to date with your fitness regime. For a small fee, guests can enjoy a massage at the luxurious spa, and a refreshing swim in the indoor pool. These are just two of a number of facilities offered.

A good 15-minute walk, and reasonably priced is this standard business hotel, and in close proximity to public transportation. With small to medium sized rooms, and efficient service, this comfortable hostel won’t leave a hole in your pocket. Carpeted rooms are draped in modern-day interior design and fitted with a private bathroom with bathtub.

This prestigious hotel is a 20-minute train ride from the airport. Standard rooms with carpeted floors and air-conditioning can be enjoyed here. The hotel rates are fairly moderate, and is the ideal place for those on a budget. This little cosy-cone offers in-room massages (optional extra) at the dial of a button, so relax and allow yourself to be pampered.

Get Around

• Trains and subways: These will take you anywhere you need to go. Just make sure to familiarise yourself with the city train route and map on display at the entrance of each subway. • Bus: Osaka has a massive bus system and buses depart from bus stations. Be sure to wave to the driver as the bus approaches - most drivers stop the bus and allow passengers to board. • Bicycle: You can rent a city bike at several stations around the city.

Main attractions in Osaka

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Osaka History Museum

Osaka History Museum

Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine

Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine

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