The largest city on the Japanese island of Honshu, Osaka is an important port and business hub. It is one of Japan’s main financial and commercial centers. Many of the travelers who book flights to Osaka, Japan, come to the city for business reasons. The city is home to the Osaka Securities Exchange and to the offices of several large multinational technology companies. Osaka is also the third-largest city in Japan, with a population of nearly 3 million people living in the city of Osaka itself, and an additional 16 million living in its surrounding metropolitan area.
Although Osaka has a history that dates back to 7000 BCE, it is also a very modern and cosmopolitan city known for its multicultural population; skyscrapers, high-rise apartment buildings, and other contemporary architecture; and several modern stadiums and events venues.
Among the business travelers who book flights to Osaka, many work in the electronics and software industries. The city is home to the headquarters of Japanese electronics giants Sharp Corp., Sanyo Electric Co., and Panasonic Holdings Corp. Osaka is also home to a large number of start-up technology companies. Many of these companies are located in the Osaka Business Park, a planned urban area located just outside the main part of the city.
Most visitors who book international flights to Osaka, Japan, arrive at Kansai International Airport (KIX). The city’s second airport, Osaka International Airport (ITM), mainly handles domestic air traffic and cargo. Osaka sees significant airline traffic from America’s West Coast, particularly on flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Osaka and from San Francisco (SFO) to Osaka.
Kansai International Airport also serves as the main international airport for the cities of Kyoto and Kobe. The airport, which opened in 1994, is located on a human-made island in Osaka Bay, just off the coast of Honshu Island. It serves more than 25 million passengers per year and is one of the busiest airports in Japan.
Kansai International Airport is a hub for Japanese carriers Peach airlines, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, and All Nippon Airways.
Passengers who arrive on flights to Osaka will find ground transportation from Kansai International Airport available via the Osaka region’s large railway network, the JR West Urban Railway, which offers service to many cities on the island of Honshu. The Osaka Metro subway system connects the airport with the main city of Osaka and some of its surrounding suburbs. The Osaka metropolitan region is also home to a high-speed bullet train system, the Shinkansen, which specializes in more long-distance ground transportation and offers service to other large Japanese cities including Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, and Kyoto.
Among Osaka’s most popular attractions for leisure travelers are its historical sites, many of which date back hundreds or even thousands of years. Built in the 16th century, the Osaka Castle is one of the most well-known landmarks in Japan. The fortified castle complex is surrounded by two concentric moats and a large wall and is home to 13 historic buildings including a tea house, a gunpowder magazine, and sentry gate buildings. It was also famously used as a location for a monster battle in Godzilla Raids Again. Visitors to the Osaka Castle complex can tour these buildings, relax in one of the castle’s beautiful gardens, and take in the views of the city from the main tower.
Also frequently visited by tourists is the city’s Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, a Shinto shrine built in the 3rd century CE. Today open to the public, the Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is still operating as a religious site. Thousands of Japanese people visit the shrine each year on New Year’s Day and on other significant religious holidays.
Visitors who take flights to Osaka also enjoy shopping in the city’s several high-end malls and shopping districts, each of which is known for a certain variety of goods, such as electronics or luxury clothing.
The city is also known throughout Japan for its local cuisine, which includes many types of seafood and noodle dishes as well as a few regional varieties of sushi.
Although Osaka is considered to be an expensive city in which to live, students from across Japan take advantage of cheap flights to Osaka in order to enroll in one of the city’s excellent universities, which include Osaka Metropolitan University; the Morinomiya University of Medical Sciences; and the Osaka Institute of Technology.