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Osaka Kansai Spotting Guide

by Matt Falcus
Osaka Kansai Spotting
Osaka Kansai

By Tdk (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Osaka is Japan’s second largest city and Kansai Airport is its newer main airport, having replaced Itami in 1994. Itami remains open as a domestic airport, however Kansai is now the larger and busier gateway. It was constructed on a man-made island in Osaka Bay and later expanded with a second runway. A large area has also been set aside for an additional terminal, which will commence construction over the next few years, and it is anticipated that a third runway will also be built.

All major Japanese and Asian airlines fly to Kansai, as well as a number of low-cost carriers and airlines from North America and the Middle East.


Airlines and Aircraft

By J o (Photo taken by J o.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By J o (Photo taken by J o.) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Osaka Kansai is a hub for ANA All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan and Peach. It is also a cargo hub for FedEx Express and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

The airport is served by most Asian regional airlines and worldwide long-haul carriers, making the mix of traffic very interesting for spotters. Despire Osaka Itami Airport still being in operation, Kansai also serves numerous domestic destinations.

Interesting airlines serving Kansai include:

  • Air Busan
  • Aircalin
  • Cebu Pacific
  • Eastar Jet
  • Far Eastern Air Transport
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Myanmar Airways International
  • S7 Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • T’way Airlines
  • Yakutia Airlines


Osaka Kansai Spotting Locations

Osaka Kansai Spotting

By lasta29 [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

(click on the map to zoom in and navigate)


The official spotting location at Kansai is an elevated platform at the eastern end of the airport, close to the threshold of runway 24L. It has excellent views over this runway and the terminal gates, so you won’t miss any aircraft or registrations.

Photography is also good, with the classic view of aircraft passing over the road bridge possible.

The Observation Hall is free and open 8am-10pm (10pm at weekends).


Spotting Hotel

Hotel Nikko Kansai

Hotel Nikko Kansai

Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
Kansai Airport, Osaka 549-0001 | +81 455 1111 | www.nikkokix.com
Rooms on the top floor facing the airport have views of the taxiway, runways and part of the terminal.




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5 Essential Airports to Visit in Japan - Airport Spotting Blog October 8, 2017 - 8:23 am

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