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Kansai International Airport is an international airport 38 km southwest of Osaka Station. Located on an man-made island in Osaka Bay, off the Honshu shore, it lies within the three municipalities of Izumisano, Sennan, and Tajiri, in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
Picking Up Your Car
The car rental counters at Kansai Airport are located a three-minute walk from the passenger terminal building via the second floor connection corridor.
Japan's unit of currency is the yen. These come in bills of 10,000 yen, 5,000 yen, 2,000 yen, and 1,000 yen, and in six kinds of coin - from 1 yen to 500 yen. Bureaux de change are widely available for the exchange of foreign currency, although most big hotels and duty-free shops accept traveller's cheques and some foreign currencies (dollars, euros). Most other businesses do not accept foreign currency, however.
Located in the humid subtropical climate zone, Osaka has four distinct seasons. Winters are usually mild, with temperatures averaging 9.3 °C (49 °F) in January and snowfall a rare occurrence. Spring is mild to start, but it soon turns hot, humid, and wet. The rainy season (Tsuyu) occurs between late May and early July. Summers are extremely hot and humid.
Osaka is unique fusion of the modern and the ancient, and you can see how successfully today's Osakans celebrate their history in their wonderful parades and festivals.
Continuing a grand tradition that began during Osaka's commercial heyday, in the Edo Period (17th to19th Century), Toka Ebisu brings together thousands of people to pray for happiness and business success. The highlight of the festival is the glittering Good Luck Palanquin parade on January 10th, when some 600 celebrities, geisha, and fuku-musume (good luck girls) distribute lucky charms to visitors.
Tenma Tenjin Plum Festival
Plum festivals are a big thing in Japan, and Osaka celebrates its own renowned plum trees between February and May. See the ancient, sacred plum tree at Osaka's Temmangu Shrine and sample plum wine.
Otaue Rice Planting Festival
Events associated with rice planting are celebrated across Japan, but the festival at the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine stands out for the way it recreates the grand ceremonial rituals according to ancient procedures. Held on June 14th, it features spectacular dances and songs, including the Sumiyoshi Odori, an energetic performance by 150 young girls.
Dating back more than a millennium, the Tenjin Matsuri is one of Japan's greatest festivals and the world's most outstanding boat festival. The July festival is held at the Tenman Shrine and celebrates traditional Japanese performing arts including kagura music and bunraku theatrical performances. A highlight is the land procession, featuring some 3,000 people in period costume parading beside portable shrines.