Have you booked yet?

As the counter on the home page indicates, it’s now less than 300 days until the start of the 2018 event. Add to that the short amount of time it will take for the fast, the very skillful or outright lucky crews to get to Osaka and you’ll see that there’s now just on 10 months before many of you will be waiting in Osaka for the first boats to arrive. And if you’re going – you’ll need somewhere to stay. We thought we’d outline a few points here that you should think about right now regarding your trip and accommodation in and around Osaka.

Following the Race-start in March, it’s expected that the first boats will start to arrive in Osaka around the 25th of April and they’ll continue to do so up until about the 1st of May. The presentation ceremony at Tenmanngu Shrine has been set for the 5th of May which is the last day of a week of holidays in Japan called Golden Week. Holidays in Japan are precious and especially the Golden Week holidays, where much of the country stops for a well earned break. It’s similar to Australia’s Christmas New Year holiday and like what happens here at such times, hotels are booked well in advance. So making sure you get your reservation in now is essential if you want to stay in a hotel.

Osaka Hokko Yacht club is located in a park and recreation area at the end of a long finger of land where the Yodo and Shorenji Rivers meet and like so many clubs and marinas in Japan it’s set amongst an industrial part of the Osaka port. This means that shops are few and access to public transport is limited. It also means that there are only a few hotels close to the club. Universal Studios is located not too far away and so a number of hotels are positioned there but they tend to be a little more expensive and will be certainly booked well in advance.

Here’s a sample of some of the pricing a few hotels that currently have rooms available. As it’s the holiday period, prices are slightly more expensive than the normal rates.

Working out when you’ll need to be in Osaka can be one of the biggest challenges and so you’ll need to get together with your crew and work out the best approach for you. Once you’ve done that you’ll need to find the type of hotel that suits you and your budget and taking a closer look, there are quite a range. We’ve had a travel agent make some enquiries in the past week and bookings for hotels in all price ranges are very heavy. In some cases they are already booked out.

To assist you in getting started, here’s a reference from Google Maps for hotels located within 10 kilometers from Hokko Club and along with that Trip Advisor’s list of hotels in the area.

Getting to Osaka from Australia is very easy and you can either fly into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport or into Narita near Tokyo and then make your way down to Osaka. While we could outline some of the rail and bus services for this part of the journey, details can easily be found on the internet.

As a visitor, getting around Osaka will most probably come down to using Public Transport. Renting a car is also a good option however navigation around the city could present a bit of a challenge here. The rail and bus networks are good and the frequency of services means that it doesn’t take long to get from your hotel to the club. Here’s a quick guide as to how long it might take.

Apart from joining in the activities at the Hokko Yacht Club – and there will be many – there are lots of things to see in Osaka. Whether it’s your first visit or you’ve been before, we know you’ll have plenty to do. Once again we’ve gone to the internet to get a list of 10 places of interest around Osaka.

While it may seem that you still have plenty of time to plan and book your trip, the 10 months remaining will soon fly past, especially for many of you who have preparation of the boat for the race still to complete. Therefore planning and making bookings are essential in the next couple of weeks and we hope that you’ll fine some of the information here useful. While the internet these days can help us all make bookings off shore, unfamiliar customs and the language barrier can often make it hard. A Melbourne based travel agent Yoshiki Yamaguchi from ACT Japan Travel has helped us put this article together and so if you’d like some assistance in booking all or part of your trip, you can contact him on 0414 805 095   Emailyoshiki.yamaguchi@actjapantravel.com.au


Melbourne House at Hokko Yacht Club