Wednesday, July 12, 2017

[Japan 2016] Osaka: Osaka Air Terminal Hotel + Good Bye Japan

Photo By: Elin Chow
Official Website: Osaka Air Terminal Hotel

Leaving Kuromon Ichiba Market, we made our way back to Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT) to collect our luggage from Yamato Transport Service Centre before heading to Itami International Airport (formerly known as Osaka International Airport) for the night.

Osaka is served by two airports - Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport. Itami Airport was the only international airport in Osaka until Kansai International Airport was opened in 1994. Today, the Itami Airport handles mainly domestic flights to more than 30 destinations across Japan, served mainly by Japan Airlines (JAL), ANA and their subsidiaries, Ibex Airlines.

The most convenient way to get from Osaka Namba area to Itami Airport is by the Osaka Airport Limousine bus. We have already bought the bus tickets for the airport limousine bus before we visited Minoo Park earlier that morning.

The bus journey from Osaka-Namba Station to Itami Airport took about 30 minutes, but may be longer during peak hours.

Arriving at Itami Airport, we proceeded to check into our room at Osaka Air Terminal Hotel. We will be spending our last night in Osaka here before we fly back home early the next morning.The Osaka Air Terminal Hotel is the only hotel located right inside Itami Airport. You will find the hotel located on the 3rd floor of Itami Airport, between JAL and ANA Terminals.

Taking the lift up to the 3rd floor, we arrived and was greeted by a lovely young lady at the reception. The process of booking a room at this hotel is not easy. The hotel website is entirely in Japanese, which is not tourist friendly at all. For those who cannot read or understand Japanese like me, booking a room through its website would seem nearly impossible. In the end, I have to use Google translate to translate their website into English in order to book a room. The translation was not perfectly accurate, but it was better than nothing.

Just like many other hotels in Japan, the Osaka Air Terminal Hotel only accept booking up to about 3 months in advance. Once the booking is completed, you should receive a confirmation email of your reservation. Surprisingly, the hotel does not require a deposit or an advance payment of any sort for reservation. You will only make payment when you arrive and check in the hotel, either by cash or credit card.

The hotel offers a range of different rooms - Semi Double Room, Double Room, Twin Room, Barrier Free Twin Room, Deluxe Twin Room and Special Twin Room to suit different needs. Each room has a maximum capacity of 2 persons.

Airport hotels are usually a rip-off, but this hotel is surprisingly affordable, though not cheap. I booked a double room for 11,500 Yen per night, without breakfast. Check in was fast and efficient and after collecting our room key, we walked down a long carpeted corridor to our room. Somewhere along the corridor, you will find vending machines where you can buy some drinks and snacks and a prepaid TV card for pay-TV.

Our double room is spacious by Japanese standard. In fact, the room is bigger than what we expected. and is equipped with everything you will possibly need for a comfortable stay. There are also sufficient space for us to open our luggage, but we could not walk around our room after doing so.

Our double room comes with a queen sized bed, a working desk, individually controlled air conditioning and en-suite bathroom. The room is very clean and quiet even though it is located inside an airport.

There are free Wifi and flat screen TV with limited channels provided in the room. For a charge of 1,000 Yen, you can also buy a prepaid TV card from the vending machine at the corridor, which will give you access to some of the latest English and Japanese films and Adult channels. 

Mini fridge and basic coffee and tea making facilities are provided in the room, as well as complimentary bottled mineral water.

There is also a small storage space for you to store your clothes and belongings.

The en-suite bathroom is equipped with a sink, washlet and a decent sized bathtub.

Complimentary toiletries like disposable body sponge, toothbrush and toothpaste, body soap, shampoo and conditioner are provided in the bathroom for guest use.

All in all, Osaka Air Terminal Hotel offers very basic yet comfortable accommodation right in the terminal building of Itami Airport. This hotel has no amenities and is just perfect for anyone who have an early flight to catch the next morning.

Itami Airport has a single terminal building with 21 gates, divided into a "North Terminal" for JAL and "South Terminal" for ANA and IBEX, which are connected by a "Central Block" containing souvenirs shops, restaurants and the Osaka Air Terminal Hotel.

The souvenirs shops allow you to do last minute shopping before boarding. On the 4th floor of the airport, you will also find a rooftop observation deck where you can watch departing and arriving flights throughout the day.

Feeling hungry, we randomly walked into a Japanese restaurant below the hotel to grab some dinner. The restaurant has a Japanese menu with no English translation and staffs speaks very little English. Since we cannot understand Japanese, we simply ordered our food by pointing to the plastic food display found outside the restaurant.

Cold Tempura Soba Noodles

Price: 1,210 Yen

Udon + Tempura Rice Bowl

Price: 1,100 Yen

My husband had Cold Tempura Soba Noodles while I had Udon + Tempura Rice Bowl. The serving size was quite huge and food was delicious and very filling.

After dinner, we went to Starbucks to grab some drinks. I ordered hot Yuzu citrus and tea, which isa blend of steamed citrus juice and black tea with thinly sliced peel of Yuzu.It was naturally sweet and so delicious. I wish we have this in Malaysia.

We woke up at 6 am the next morning with a heavy heart. It was finally time to say goodbye to Japan - an amazing country that never fails to impress in every way.

After checking out of our room, we made our way to the JAL check-in counter to receive our boarding pass and drop our bags. There was frustrating long queues at the check-in counters, passenger security screening and immigration. I would advise anyone to arrive at least an hour and a half earlier to avoid long queues forming at check in during the rush hours.

The rush hour usually happens in the early mornings and late afternoon. Getting there early allows you to get to the gate with a little time to relax before boarding. We thought we will be too early, but we ended up to be almost late for our flight. Luckily, check in has been quite efficient despite the long queue even though it took almost an hour, or else we would miss our flight.

With a heavy heart, we boarded the plane to fly back home. Deep in our hearts, we knew well that this will not be a goodbye forever. After 7 days, Japan has become our most favorite country to visit. Thank you Japan, for such an amazing trip. I shall see you very soon again, Japan. I promise...

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 7D6N Osaka - Kyoto - Nara - Kobe Trip Itinerary + Overview for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 7 days in Japan. For anyone planning your first trip to Japan but have no idea where to start, you should read my "How To Plan A Trip To Japan" post.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates on my 7 days adventures in Japan! You might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

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