All Things Osaka
QANTAS RELEASE DIRECT FLIGHTS TO OSAKA.
Sydney-siders have had few destination options when flying to Japan for a ski holiday. Things are set to change with the recent announcement that Qantas are now offering direct flights from Sydney to Osaka. Qantas have added the 9-hour direct flight to Osaka, affording travellers more options when planning their ski holiday. To celebrate these flights, Liquid Snow Tours have partnered with Qantas to offer return flights from $698 direct, Sydney to Osaka when packaged with a Japan Ski Holiday valid for bookings to the 04th of August at which time prices increase by approximately $150.
While often under the shadow of it’s larger brother Tokyo, it is often ruminated that Osakans are friendlier than Tokyoites and that their city is bigger and better too. Regardless of opinion, Osaka is a bustling world of sights and sounds that will intrigue even the most intrepid traveller and is a great place to begin your Japanese adventure. From world class shopping and an array of top-notch eateries to a city steeped in history and culture, Osaka has it all. And to top it all off, it’s only a stones throw away from Kyoto and the ever-popular Nara.
ACCESS TO NAGANO RESORTS FROM OSAKA
There are several options to reach Hakuba or other Nagano resorts from Osaka. The most comfortable option is to take the Shinkansen (the famed bullet train), departing Shin-Osaka station for Nagoya and onward from Nagoya to Nagano. From Nagano, the public bus or a private shuttle connects you to Hakuba or other resorts in Nagano in around an hour. The total journey taking about 5-6 hours. If you are on a budget and aren’t bothered by a bus journey, Alpico offer an overnight journey from Osaka direct to Hakuba for approx. ¥8000 and 8 hours travel time. Those choosing to take the bus in Japan for the first time are likely to be impressed with the comfort and spaciousness on board.
With news of this new Qantas leg we thought the time was nigh to delve into some of the top things to do in Japans second largest city, Osaka.
DOTONBURI > SHOPPING + EATING
A visit to Osaka is not complete without a visit to Dotonburi. A symphony of lights and colours, Dotonburi is dotted with amazing eateries and is illuminated by electronic signboards. Osaka is notorious across the country for it’s amazing food so while in Dotonburi make sure you grab a Takoyaki or two. Known as one of the foremost entertainment districts of Osaka, it’s also a great place to revel in the myriad of shopping options, soak up the evening atmosphere or enjoy the thriving nightlife over drink or two.
OSAKA-JO (CASTLE) > HISTORY
A visit to any Japanese city is not complete without the requisite visit to a local castle. This is no truer in Osaka, as a visit to Osaka-Jo is a must. Rising above the surrounding park and moat, the castle is a sight to behold and is a throwback to a different time in Japan’s rich history. The views from the top of the 8th floor observatory over the city will leave you in awe of the size and scope of this wonderful city.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS > FAMILY
For the young, or the young at heart Universal Studios in Osaka is a great way to spend the day. With a wide range of amusement rides, instalments and daily shows based on recent popular culture straight out of Hollywood, there is plenty to do at Universal Studios Japan to keep everyone member of the family occupied. For the kids it’s a great opportunity to get some family photos posing with their favourite characters and mascots that will take place on the mantelpiece for years to come.
OSAKA AQUARIUM > ENTERTAINMENT
As well renowned seafood lovers, most things from the ocean have a habit of winding up on your plate in Japan, however if you are interested in seeing an array of marine life from around the pacific then Osaka Aquarium is your place. The main tank houses an impressive whale shark while other creatures of interest include manta rays, penguins and the ever-curious sea otters.
NARA > CULTURAL
If you are looking to get out of the city and explore a more traditional side of Japan then Nara is your place. Over the years Nara has grown in popularity with travellers for its laid-back attitude and access to Japanese cultural heritage via numerous UNESCO sites. Only a 50-minute train ride from Osaka station, Nara is well worth the trip.
To celebrate these direct flights to Osaka, Liquid Snow Tours have partnered with QANTAS to offer some great Japan Ski Specials, with flights from $698 when packaged with a Ski Holiday.
Do you have any questions on Osaka? Leave a comment below and we will share our knowledge on this great ski holiday stop over destination.