Osaka Airport Information
Osaka International Airport is often referred to as Itami Airport as that is the name of the suburb of Osaka in which it is located. Despite being designated an international airport, it currently operates only domestic flights with international traffic to Osaka landing at and departing from the larger Kansai Airport. It is nevertheless a busy airport with millions of passengers passing through each year.
Construction on Osaka Airport began in 1936, and in its early years it was primarily used by the Japanese Army, and taken over by the occupying U.S forces during World War II. Over the years it has been expanded to accommodate jet aircraft, and for many years it offered international flights. Its location in a residential area restricted its growth, and another airport was built on Osaka Bay to handle the international and some domestic flights. As it still has the facilities to handle international flights, there are occasional state visits which make use of the airport, and some international cargo flights land there.
The airport’s three terminal areas are all in one building, and are referred to as North Terminal, Central Block and South Terminal. Besides numerous eateries and shops, the terminal building offers medical facilities, mobile phone charging, coin-operated internet terminals, free WiFi, currency exchange outlets, nurseries, shoe-shining, meeting rooms and plenty of other facilities designed to make travelling better. There is an ANA Lounge for their customers which also offers priority service and an exclusive check-in counter for Premium Class passengers. JAL has a Sakura Lounge in the airport which can be found on the second floor of the North Terminal.
Osaka International Airport mainly has flights by All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to a huge number of destinations in Japan, often operated by another company such as ANA Wings or Ibex Airlines. Amakusa Airlines also offer flights from the airport to Kumamoto.
As it is a domestic airport, there are no customs procedures for passengers arriving at the airport, however departing passengers will need to pass a security check before boarding. The inspection involves a scan of both carry-on luggage and a body check. Anything that could be a potential weapon is not allowed on any flight.
Rental cars and taxis are the most convenient way to get to Osaka from the airport, and there is also an Osaka Monorail station which can take passengers to the city’s northern suburbs as well as buses into many parts of the city. Itami itself has plenty to do for visitors, including the Itami Sky Park, the Aeon Mall, the Museum of Art and the Koya Temple. Central Osaka is 18 kilometres from the terminal building, and the third largest city in Japan is an exciting place to explore, a commercial mega-city with many hidden gems for tourists.