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Japan, Osaka, Lufthansa, Travel Guide

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Weather & best time to visit

Sunday, 29.03.2015

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Good to know

City map Osaka

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    Osaka - a brief overview

    Neon-lit streets, an idiosyncratic food culture and plenty of ancient culture behind the glass facades of skyscrapers. Osaka is one of Japan’s hottest cities. Root around and you’ll find a town that’s a far cry from Tokyo, with a more laid-back vibe despite its reputation as a business capital.

    Whether you’re touring around its hulking castle or guzzling a bowl of noodles in one of the tiny restaurants nestled beneath the main train station, Osaka will surprise you at every turn. If you’re a foodie, party lover or museum fiend, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.

    Flight and accommodation


    Top 10 sights in Osaka

    Osaka, Japan, Umeda Sky Building, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Osaka Castle

    1-1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku
    540-0002 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6941 3044
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1630

    A 20th-century rebuild of the 16th-century original, this huge castle was originally built to mark the unification of Japan. Full of fascinating pieces on the history of Osaka and the castle’s own development. The observation deck offers excellent views of the city.

    Spa World

    3-4-24 Ebisu higashi, Naniwa-ku
    556-0002 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6631 0001
    Show on map

    A fancy version of Japan’s fantastic onsen, this spa claims to be the world’s largest. It’s split over two floors, along with a rooftop area where you can channel your inner kid and take to waterslides and other fun-filled attractions.

    Museum of Oriental Ceramics

    1-1-26 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku
    530-0005 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6223 0055
    Show on map

    Opening times
    Tue-Sun 0930-1630

    The exquisite ceramics on show here are sourced mainly from nearby Korea and China. The museum’s collection extends to almost 3,000 pieces, although only around a 10th of them are on show.


    1-9-16 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku
    542-0086 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6245 2512
    Show on map

    The streets of Osaka’s ‘American Village’ are the place to come if you want to see Japanese youth culture in full effect. Think extreme fashion, places to pick up anime and a small replica of the Statue of Liberty, and you get the idea.

    Osaka Aquarium

    1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato-ku
    552-0022 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6576 5501
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1900

    The biggest aquarium in the world has a fascinating array of themed areas, where you can gaze at exotic sea life from around the world. The Deep Sea zone is particularly good. A must if you’re travelling with kids.

    Osaka Museum of History

    1-32 Otemae 4-Chome, Chuo-ku
    540-0008 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6946 5728
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sat-Mon, Wed-Thurs 0900-1700
    Fri 0930-1930

    Detailed exhibits take you through the history of Osaka, from its samurai days up its modern-day position as one of Japan’s, and Asia’s, premier cities. Housed in the same building as the NHK broadcast company.

    Shitennō-ji Temple

    1-11-18 Shitennoji, Tennoji
    543-0051 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6771 0066
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0830-1630

    The original buildings of this Buddhist temple no longer survive, but the stone torii gate, built in 1294, is still standing. One of Japan’s oldest temples, dating back to 593, this temple is a must-visit.

    Umeda Sky Building

    1-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku
    531-6023 Osaka
    Tel: 06 6440 3901
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-2200

    This striking skyscraper is arguably Osaka’s best sight. Wander beneath its soaring arch to get a great perspective on the unique architecture, before zipping to the floating garden observatory for unbeatable views of the city below.

    Universal Studios Japan

    2-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku
    554-0031 Osaka
    Tel: 0570 200 606
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various (check website for details)

    Osaka’s popular Universal Studios theme park, one of only two outside of the USA, includes Harry Potter, Spiderman and Jurassic Park rides, as well as guided tours, themed restaurants and countless shops.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Japan is swathed in natural beauty, from the snow festivals and lavender farms of the northern isle of Hokkaido to the sun-drenched beaches and turquoise waters of the subtropical islands of Okinawa. Whether climbing volcanic Mount Fuji, wandering the pine forests of Mount Koya, taking in

    the springtime beauty of the sakura cherry blossoms or the spectacular maple leaves in the autumn, a journey to Japan is a wealth of unforgettable natural landscapes. In recent years, the powdery snow of Japan’s ski fields has also been attracting international visitors.


    The archipelago of Japan is separated from the Asian mainland by 160km (100 miles) of sea and split into four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. About 70% of the country is covered by hills and mountains, a number of which are active or dormant volcanoes, including Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak, reaching 3,776m (12,388ft). Japan sits on major seismic fault lines and is susceptible to frequent earthquakes.

    A series of mountain ranges runs from northern Hokkaido to southern Kyushu. The Japanese Alps (the most prominent range) run in a north-south direction through central Honshu.

    Lowlands and plains are small and scattered, mostly lying along the coast, and composed of alluvial lowlands and diluvial uplands. The coastline is very long in relation to the land area, and has very varied features, for example, the deeply indented bays with good natural harbours tend to be adjacent to mountainous terrain. Many of Japan’s major cities are located on the coastline, and have extremely high population density.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 127253075

    Population Density (per sq km): 337

    Capital: Tokyo.


    Japanese is the official language. Some English is spoken in Tokyo and other large cities but is less usual in rural areas. There are many regional dialects and there are distinct differences in the intonation and pronunciation between eastern and western Japan.


    Japanese Yen (JPY; symbol ¥). Notes are in denominations of ¥10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of ¥500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1.


    100 volts AC, 60Hz in the west (Osaka); 100 volts AC, 50Hz in eastern Japan and Tokyo. Plugs are flat two-pin plugs.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1700. Some offices are open Sat 0900-1200.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2015-December 2015 period.

    Note: Holidays falling on Sunday are observed the following Monday. When there is a single day between two national holidays, it is also taken as a holiday.

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Coming of Age Day: 12. January 2015
    National Foundation Day: 11. February 2015
    Vernal Equinox: 21. March 2015
    Showa Day: 29. April 2015
    Constitution Memorial Day: 03. May 2015

    Greenery Day: 04. May 2015
    Children’s Day: 05. May 2015
    Marine Day: 20. July 2015
    Respect for the Aged Day: 21. September 2015
    Autumnal Equinox: 22. September 2015
    Health and Sports Day: 12. October 2015
    Culture Day: 03. November 2015
    Labour Thanksgiving Day: 23. November 2015
    Emperor’s Birthday: 23. December 2015

    Flight and accommodation


    Nightlife in Osaka


    Osaka neon-lit streets throb late into the night, its bars and clubs renowned throughout Japan.

    Nightlife centres on the Dotomburi area, although late-night action can be found away from its garish streets.

    Grand Cafe

    B1F Spazio Bldg 2-10-21 Nishishinsaibashi
    Chuo-ku, Osaka
    Show on map

    Achingly hip (and with handy English signage), this is one of Amerika-Mura’s hottest spots.

    Tavola 36

    5-1-60 Namba, Chuo-ku
    542-0076 Osaka
    Show on map

    An upmarket bar on the 36th floor of a downtown skyscraper.

    Tin’s Hall

    10-3 Minamikawahori-machi, Minami-ku
    543-0054 Osaka
    Show on map

    A lengthy happy hour and a huge beer selection keep this place jumping.

    Rock Rock

    Shinsaibashi Atrium Build
    3F 1-8-1 Nishishinsaibashi
    Chuo-Ku, Osaka
    542-0086 Japan
    Show on map

    The name’s a bit of a giveaway. Rock music and a celeb crowd head to this great bar.

    National Bunraku Theatre

    1-12-1 Nipponbashi, Chuo-ku
    542-0073 Osaka
    Show on map

    Don’t fancy drinking and dancing? The traditional puppet show at this theatre is a great alternative.

    Flight and accommodation


    Restaurants in Osaka


    Eating is a way of life in Osaka and no other Japanese city is as obsessed by meal times.

    Okonomiyaki, takoyaki and steaming bowls of udon are all local favourites, with hundreds of places to try these specialities.

    Fujiya 1935

    2-4-14 Yariyamachi, Chuo-ku
    540-0027 Osaka
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    A three-Michelin-star joint serving Italian food using locally sourced ingredients.


    1F, 1-9-11 Edobori, Nishi-ku
    550-0002 Osaka
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Another place graced with Michelin stars, this conceptual restaurant will leave your taste buds buzzing.


    1-4-15 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku
    542-0071 Osaka
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Few places in Japan, let alone Osaka, serve a better okonomiyaki (savoury pancake).

    Usami-Tei Matsubaya

    3-8-1 Minamisenba, Chuo-ku
    539-0000 Osaka
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Head here to taste thick udon noodles and deep-fried tofu.

    Ootako Takoyaki

    1-5-10 Dotonburi
    Chuo-ku, Osaka
    Show on map

    Price: Budget

    Arguably the best takoyaki (fried octopus balls) that Osaka has to offer.

    Flight and accommodation


    Calendar of events

    Shitenno-ji 'Doya Doya' Festival

    14 January 2015

    Venue: Shitenno-ji Temple.

    A festival where two groups of lightly clad (headbands and loincloths only) young men compete for possession of an amulet.

    Osaka Sumo Basho

    8 – 22 March 2015

    Venue: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

    Osaka Sumo Basho is one of the six annual big sumo wrestling tournaments in Japan which attracts huge crowds of sumo fans. Tickets can be purchased on the day if you arrive early in the morning.

    Cherry Blossom Festival

    2 – 27 April 2015

    Venue: Osaka Castle Park.

    The cherry blossom (sakura) season is celebrated throughout Osaka during the colourful month of April. Families gather in parks for picnics or visit the beautiful grounds at Japan Mint Osaka, which opens to the public for a week during the cherry blossom season.

    Shoryo-e Festival

    22 April 2015

    Venue: Shitenno-ji Temple.

    This festival features gagaku court dance and music on a stone stage in the Kame-no-ike pond at Shitenno-ji Temple as a memorial service for Shotoku Taishi, the temple’s founder.

    Aizen Matsuri

    30 June – 2 July 2015

    Venue: Shoman-in Temple, Tennoji area.

    One of Osaka’s bigger festivals, this is a Buddhist memorial service during which young women in yukata (light kimono) ride kago palanquins up the route from the station to the temple, shouting encouragements along the way.

    Tenjin Matsuri

    24 – 25 July 2015

    Venue: Temmangu Shrine to Tenjin Bridge.

    Osaka’s annual Tenjin Festival sees a spectacular procession of thousands of people in traditional costumes carry exquisite portable shrines from Temmangu Shrine to Tenjin Bridge. There they board more than 100 ornamented boats and barges to proceed from the Dojima River to the Okawa River. Nightfall finally brings a dazzling fireworks display. This enormous and dramatic festival dates back to the 10th century and is one of the largest events of its kind in Japan.

    Sumiyoshi Matsuri

    30 July – 1 August 2015

    Venue: Sumiyoshi Taisha Grand Shrine.

    An ancient summer purification festival starting at the Sumiyoshi Taisha Grand Shrine and including a procession all the way to Sakai city.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Flight and accommodation


    Hotels in Osaka


    Business is the order of the day in Osaka and as such, hotels are largely geared up for those visiting town to thrash out deals.

    As with the rest of Japan, budget rooms are not easy to come across in great numbers.

    Inter Continental Osaka

    3-60 Ofuka-cho, Kita-ku
    530-0011 Osaka
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Rooms blend western and Asian style in this large, luxury hotel in the heart of the city.

    The Ritz Carlton

    2-5-25 Umeda, Kita-ku
    530-0001 Osaka
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A blow-the-budget option, with fantastically appointed rooms and great views across Osaka.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Sunday, 29.03.2015 06:00

    light rain




    wind direction

    wind speed

    2.5 mph



    7 days forecast



    21°C / 9°C

    70°F / 48°F



    22°C / 11°C

    72°F / 52°F



    18°C / 10°C

    64°F / 50°F



    19°C / 9°C

    66°F / 48°F



    20°C / 13°C

    68°F / 55°F



    21°C / 14°C

    70°F / 57°F



    20°C / 12°C

    68°F / 54°F

    Climate & best time to visit Japan

    Except for the Hokkaido area and the subtropical Okinawa region, the weather in Japan is mostly temperate, with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool and sunny in the south, cold and sunny around Tokyo (which occasionally has snow), and very cold around Hokkaido, which is covered in snow for up to four months a year. The Japan Sea coastline also often receives heavy snowfall during winter.

    Summer, between June and September, ranges from warm to very hot with high levels of humidity in many areas. Typhoons, or tropical cyclones, with strong winds and torrential rains often hit Japan during August and September, but can occur through May to October. Strong typhoons often affect transport systems, causing rail and air services to be stopped, and there is a danger of landslides in rural areas.

    Spring and autumn are generally mild throughout the country, and offer spectacular views of pretty sakura cherry blossoms and colourful autumnal leaves, respectively. Rain falls all over Japan throughout the year but June and early July is the main rainy season. Umbrellas are a daily essential during this season. Hokkaido, however, is generally much drier than the Tokyo area. For weather updates, including information of when and where cherry blossoms are expected to bloom and typhoon trajectories, check the Japan Meteorological Association website (


    18 °C

    64.4 °F

    -7 °C

    19.4 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    -6 °C

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    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    -5 °C

    23 °F

    29 °C

    84.2 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    31 °C

    87.8 °F

    3 °C

    37.4 °F

    34 °C

    93.2 °F

    8 °C

    46.4 °F

    37 °C

    98.6 °F

    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    38 °C

    100.4 °F

    13 °C

    55.4 °F

    35 °C

    95 °F

    10 °C

    50 °F

    32 °C

    89.6 °F

    3 °C

    37.4 °F

    27 °C

    80.6 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    22 °C

    71.6 °F

    -4 °C

    24.8 °F


    46 mm

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    102 mm

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    139 mm

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    157 mm

    95 mm

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    108 mm

    65 mm

    34 mm


    4 h

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    62 %

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    64 %

    69 %

    71 %

    68 %

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    67 %

    66 %

    63 %


    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    15 °C

    59 °F

    16 °C

    60.8 °F

    19 °C

    66.2 °F

    22 °C

    71.6 °F

    25 °C

    77 °F

    26 °C

    78.8 °F

    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    19 °C

    66.2 °F

    16 °C

    60.8 °F

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan18 °C-7 °C9 °C2 °C62 %46 mm54.5 h
    Feb23 °C-6 °C9 °C2 °C62 %60 mm64.5 h
    Mar24 °C-5 °C12 °C4 °C61 %102 mm95.2 h
    Apr29 °C-2 °C19 °C10 °C62 %134 mm115.9 h
    May31 °C3 °C24 °C14 °C64 %139 mm106.4 h
    Jun34 °C8 °C27 °C19 °C69 %206 mm115.1 h
    Jul37 °C14 °C31 °C23 °C71 %157 mm105.9 h
    Aug38 °C13 °C32 °C24 °C68 %95 mm86.7 h
    Sep35 °C10 °C28 °C20 °C69 %172 mm105.1 h
    Oct32 °C3 °C22 °C14 °C67 %108 mm85.1 h
    Nov27 °C-2 °C17 °C9 °C66 %65 mm74.8 h
    Dec22 °C-4 °C11 °C4 °C63 %34 mm54.6 h
    year38 °C-7 °C20 °C12 °C65 %1318 mm1005.3 h

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +81


    Four companies provide international communications services: KDDI (001), Cable & Wireless IDC (0061) Japan Telecom (0041) and NTT (0033). To call the UK, for example, you would use 001-44. Credit cards can also be used directly in some phone boxes. Public telephone boxes are becoming more difficult to find and are most likely to be located near train stations. They are green and grey, and accept coins and magnetic prepaid cards, available from convenience stories and vending machines.

    Mobile Telephone

    The Japanese mobile network uses PDC (Personal Digital Cellular System) technology, which is not compatible with GSM or other mobile services. Visitors can hire handsets at the airport from companies such as DoCoMo (, and Softbank ( In the UK, phones can be rented in advance of travel from Adam Phones ( Coverage is generally good.


    Internet is widely available; there are many internet cafés in Tokyo and in the main cities in Japan. Most hotels have Wi-Fi internet access.

    Flight and accommodation


    Shopping in Osaka

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Umeda and Namba are the key areas for those looking to spend a day indulging in some retail therapy. Den Den Town is where it’s at for cheap (and expensive) electronics. Amerika-Mura is rammed with alternative clothing and accessories shops.


    Malls and shopping centres are the order of the day in Osaka. But Kuromon Ichiba is great for foodies. This produce market is excellent for people-watching, while its food stalls serve up tasty snacks to keep your energy levels up.

    Shopping Centres

    Shinsaibashi Suji is one of Osaka’s oldest arcades. Its 600m (1,969ft) stretch houses international stores as well as local boutiques for stocking up on clothes you won’t find back home. Amateur chefs should check out Doguya Suji for cool kitchen gadgets. Rinku Town, near Kansai Airport, is a new place dedicated to global brands.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Japanese manners and customs are vastly different from those of Western people. A strict code of behaviour and politeness is recognised and followed by almost everyone. However, Japanese people do not expect visitors to be familiar with all their customs but do expect them to behave formally and politely.

    A straightforward refusal traditionally does not form part of Japanese etiquette, and a vague ‘yes’ does not always mean ‘yes’. (The visitor may be comforted to know that confusion caused by non-committal replies occurs between the Japanese themselves.)

    When entering a Japanese home or restaurant, shoes must be removed.

    Bowing is the customary greeting but handshaking is becoming more common for business meetings with Westerners. The honorific suffix san should be used when addressing all men and women; for instance Mr Yamada would be addressed as Yamada-san.

    Table manners are very important, although the Japanese host will be very tolerant towards a visitor. However, it is best if visitors familiarise themselves with basic table etiquette and use chopsticks. Exchange of gifts is also a common business practice and may take the form of souvenir items such as company pens, ties or high-quality spirits.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 119

    Food & Drink

    If travelling to the area near the Fukushima nuclear accident it is advisable to take supplies of food and water. Produce from the area near the Fukushima nuclear accident, which is still being sold in some supermarkets nationwide, should be avoided due to the lack of a centralized testing system in Japan for radioactive contamination in food, and discrepancies between Japanese and international standards for safe levels of radioactive substances in food. Tap water in Tokyo was declared not safe for consumption after the accident, although the government has since stated otherwise. Nevertheless, if travelling with children it is advisable to take precautions. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website ( has updates on contamination levels in tested food. In other parts of Japan, food and drink are generally considered safe.

    Only eat raw fish, seafood and meat from recognised establishments, and be aware that there is a risk of parasitic infection and toxins if these foods have not been prepared properly. E-coli food poisoning outbreaks tend to occur in Japan during the warmer months (June-September), and it is advisable to take precautions when consuming perishable foods at outdoor summer festivals, where refrigeration may be an issue.

    Other Risks

    You should make sure you are up to date with routine vaccinations. Influenza and measles epidemics have occurred in recent years and precautions should be taken. Tuberculosis and hepatitis B occur and vaccination is sometimes advised. Typhus occurs in some river valleys. Japanese encephalitis may occur. Vaccination is recommended for long-term travel (greater than one month) in rural areas. All normal precautions should also be exercised to avoid exposure to sexually-transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

    If spending prolonged periods outdoors during the summer months when heat and humidity can be extreme, make sure to have plenty of fluids on hand to avoid dehydration and wear hats and other protective clothing to avoid heatstroke.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Sato, Motohiko
    Meisei Hospital
    2-4-8 Higashinodamachi
    5340024 Osaka
    Tel. +81-6-6353-3121

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

    Flight and accommodation

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