While Itami International Airport is a hub for domestic flights to Osaka, Japan, the Kansai International Airport, 31 miles southwest of the city in the Osaka Bay, is its main arrival point for international Osaka flights. Both airports offer comprehensive passenger services and amenities, including banks, ATMs, Wi-Fi Internet access, tourist/travel information counters, restaurants, shopping, and car rental companies. Several cheap flights to Osaka touch down at Itami Airport, which offers connecting flights to more than 30 other Japanese cities.
Osaka is Japan's third largest city, and the public transportation is extremely convenient and efficient. Itami Airport and downtown Osaka are linked by a below-ground tunnel, and Kansai Airport is accessible by sea ferry. Public transport options within the city include airport and intra-city buses and taxis, car rental services, the Osaka Metro and monorail services, and the extensive JR (Japanese Railway) network. The JR includes the famous Tokyo-Osaka "Shinkansen" (Bullet Train). Rental cars and taxis can be expensive, so the cheapest and fastest way to move around is by railroad or bus. When you're in downtown Osaka, it's easy to travel to tourist destinations on foot.
Osaka, Japan is indeed an ultra-modern and vibrant city, yet one that still retains much of its oriental charm and heritage. With budget airlines offering cheap airfare to Osaka, many of the city's must-see attractions are now within easy reach. Some of the best places to visit are the Osaka Castle (discovered in 1563) and the 252-meter high Cosmo Tower Observatory at the World Trade Center, which offers 360° panoramic views. Tourists also enjoy Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan with more than 580 species of marine life, Spa World with its variety of baths, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine (Japan's oldest), and the Osaka City Museum.
In its world-renowned shopping districts (Namba and Umeda) and Rinku Town, Osaka offers virtually miles of shopping. Shop at impressive malls like Aeon or HEP 5, department stores such as Takashimaya, or the Tenjinbashi Suji shopping arcade. For fine food and entertainment, top dining and nightlife areas to visit are Namba and Dotonbori. Some popular restaurants include Akachochin (authentic Japanese fare), Bombay Kitchen (Indian), Ali Baba (Middle Eastern), Krungtep (Thai), and Pig & Whistle (English). Top night spots to visit include Club Azure, Murphy's (Irish pub), Kamasutra (Karaoke bar), Rock Rock Bar, and the all-female staffed Rose Bar.
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