Osaka Itami Airport Spotting Guide

Next to Kansai, our member Maximilian visited Itami as well during his trip through Japan and presents you a total number of three spots. Osaka Airport (RJOO / ITM), was Osaka’s main airport until Kansai International Airport was opened in 1994. Nowadays ITM only handles domestic services. Traffic is restricted due to its location within a highly populated neighbourhood in Hyogo prefecture next to the city of Itami. Nevertheless, ITM’s traffic figures are comparable to Kansai as some 17 million passengers are handled every year. The airport is accessible from Osaka either by bus or by train (Hankyu railway Takarazuka line from Umeda station, change to Osaka monorail at Hotarugaike station).

This airport has only poor airline variety. Most operations are served by ANA, JAL and their subsidiaries. Ibex Airlines also offers a couple of flights.

Good weather is common at this airport, but during the hot summer months you sometimes have to face misty conditions or heat distortion.

Written by Maximilian Ono (visited April 2014)

Rating Movements
Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runways 14R/32L 14L/32R
3.000 m 1.828 m
Terminals North Terminal South Terminal
JAL ANA, Ibex Airlines
Spotting Information Ladder Not required
Car Not required
Restrooms Inside terminal buildings
Drinks/Food Inside terminal buildings
Hotels Not known, but Osaka city centre is easily accessible
Season Spotting is possible all year long
Runway Usage  32L departures & arrivals of larger aircraft (usually 737/A320 upwards)
32R departures & arrivals of smaller aircraft (usually Embraer 170 downwards)
Due to mountains north of the airport, almost every arrival approaches from the south.

Spot #1 – “La Sora” observation deck – departures and arrivals, movements on the apron
WHERE Rooftop of both terminal buildings
WHAT You can see and spot movements on the apron as well as arrivals and departures on both runways. 
TIME Best light conditions are in the early morning. Later, movements on the runway are in backlight.
MISCELLANEOUS Shops and restrooms inside the terminal, possibly also on the terrace itself.
FOCAL LENGTH Approx. 50-100mm for planes on the apron. Longer lenses are required for planes on taxiways and on the runway.
Spot # 2 – Itami Sky View Park – arrivals and departures on both runways
WHERE Located on the other side of the runway system. I haven’t visited this spot yet, but I heard there is a bus available from the terminal building.
WHAT You can see and spot all movements on both runways.
TIME Best light conditions are in the afternoon. In the morning, movements on the runway are in backlight. The spot becomes useful by around 11 o’clock.
MISCELLANEOUS Not sure if there are any food/drink/restroom facilities around.
FOCAL LENGTH Below 100mm for planes on runway 32L, longer lenses required for planes on runway 32R.
Spot # 3 – Harada – RWY 32L and 32R arrivals, RWY 32L lineup
WHERE Starting at Osaka (Umeda) Station, take Hankyu Railway Takarazuka Line and leave the train at Sone Station. Note you can only take the “Local” train service as Express trains don’t stop at Sone. Leaving the station to the south, take the first major street to the right as it is drawn on the map. The walk will lead you below a highway and takes approx. 20 minutes. Just follow the approaching planes above your head. After crossing a bridge above a small river, turn right into the small sand path.
WHAT You can see and spot mainly approaches to Runways 32L and 32R. Besides, ground shots can be made for Runway 32L lineups.
TIME Best light conditions are in the afternoon. In the morning, you have to go on walking along the sand path to the other side of the approach glidepath.
MISCELLANEOUS There are no shops or restrooms at the spot, so buy what you need in the shops on the way or at Osaka (Umeda) station.
FOCAL LENGTH Max. 50mm for 777-300 on final to Runway 32L. If you walk back to the street, you’ll make it with a 55mm lens (see picture attached). Min. 200mm for Dash 8 Q400 approaching Runway 32R.


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2 thoughts on “Osaka Itami Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Brian

    Hi. Some comments on spot #2. As mentioned, it is a great place even though the variety is very limited. There are some busses, but I rent a bike from Sone station to get there.

    As for food, drink, etc. there is a gift shop with food, washrooms, and vending machines at the park.

    1. MarlinMarlin

      Hi Brian.

      Thank you for you detailed info about Spot 2, we will add that in a few moments. If you have more you want to share, feel free to let us know.
      We’d be very happy to extend the guide by any detail

      Marlin

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