British Airways to Launch Direct Flights from London Heathrow to Kansai International Airport in 2019
At long last, travellers will once again be able to fly direct from London to Osaka on British Airways' relaunched route from March 31, 2019.
With now just under a year to go until Japan hosts the 2019 Rugby World Cup, British Airways have announced that after a 21-year hiatus they will be relaunching the direct route between London Heathrow (LHR) and Kansai International Airport (KIX) as of March 31, 2019. Japan's commitment to hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup as well as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is likely to boost inbound tourism from around 29 million visitors in 2017 to an expected 40 million in 2020 and as such, a new direct route from London to another major Japanese city is welcome news.
The newly announced service will bring the number of daily flights operated between British Airways and its joint business partner, Japan Airlines, to 32 per week, making UK-Japan travel both easier, and more reasonable than ever, with return flights from only £599.
Outbound flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing from LHR in the early afternoon and arriving at KIX the following morning, whilst inbound flights will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing from KIX around midday and arriving at LHR later that same afternoon.
Upon arrival at Kansai International, you need not worry about reaching your final destination; rapid and local trains, airport "limousine" buses and even a ferry all provide quick and easy access to a number of Kansai's prime destinations without breaking the bank right at the beginning of your adventure.
Why fly to Kansai International?
Home to a number of Japan's largest cities, namely Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, the Kansai region has a lot to offer visitors keen to experience different flavours of Japan, both atmosphere-wise and in the culinary sense!
Osaka is a thriving city with a strong sense of identity that will without question leave a lasting impression on a first-time visitor, and even a seasoned Osaka veteran - known as the 'food capital of Japan' how could it possibly not? The city's kushikatsu, okonomiyaki and takoyaki are delicious and an absolute must-try; you'll have no issue finding stall after stall preparing them in hotspots such as Namba and Shinsekai, but for the more adventurous traveller, look in the many "izakaya" (居酒屋, Japanese tavern) that line the city's backstreets.
For a calmer urban experience during your stay in Japan head to Kyoto, Japan's former capital city. Kyoto's 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines add a unique and spiritual twist to the city, whilst the traditional tea ceremony and geisha entertainment provide an insight into the Japan of a bygone era and the perfect relief from the usual hustle and bustle associated with city life.
Better yet, head off the beaten track and explore the region's more rural and quaint landscapes. Wakayama, Nara and Mie Prefectures are easily accessible from Kansai International and offer sights and activities to be enjoyed all year round, from surfing and cycling to overnight temple stays and spiritual pilgrimages.