A helicopter tour over Osaka is the best way to see the city’s massive skyscrapers, Osaka Bay’s shimmering waters, and other significant landmarks.

Some of the other must-sees during an ariel tour of the city are Osaka Castle, the Bay Area Course, Kaiyukan, USJ, WTC, and ATC, and Cosmo Tower (tallest building in Western Japan).

If you plan a helicopter tour of Osaka at night, you can see the sparking lights and its fantastic neon signs.

In this article, we share everything you must know before you book your helicopter tour in Osaka.

1. How to reach helipad
2. Flight schedule
3. Passenger limits
4. Kids on helicopter tours
5. Weight restrictions
6. Cost of helicopter tours
7. Cancellation policy
8. Osaka introductory flight
9. Osaka city helicopter tour
10. Osaka bayside helicopter tour
11. Heritage helicopter tour of Osaka
12. Heli tours from Yao airport

From where do helicopters take off?

Helicopter tours in Osaka take off from one of the two heliports – the Osaka heliport or the Yao airport.

Both offer similar experiences, so it is all about what’s convenient for you – its best to book a chopper tour from the heliport closest to you.

Bayside helicopter tour, where you fly over the bay area of Osaka, isn’t available from Yao heliport.

The two heliports are 27 kms (17 miles) apart.

Distance from Osaka heliport to Yao Airport.

Osaka heliport

Address: OGAWA AIR, Osaka Heliport, 2-chōme-1-1 Hokkōryokuchi, Konohana-ku, Osaka, 554-0042, Japan (Google Map)

Osaka Heliport is also known as the Ogawa Air heliport because of the company that operates this heliport.

Locals also refer to it as the Maishima heliport because it is located on the Maishima Sports Island.

Getting to Osaka heliport

A metro is the best way to get to the Osaka heliport.

Once you reach Sakurajima Station (JR Line) or Cosmo Square Station, you can avail of the tour operator’s free shuttle service to get to the heliport for free.

Most of the heli tours from Osaka heliport offer pick up services.

Osaka Heliport is 5.2 kms (3.2 miles) from Sakurajima Station and a taxi can get you there in 10-12 minutes.

Cosmo Square Station is 6.7 kms (4.2 miles) from the Osaka heliport and a taxi can get you to the take-off spot in 12-15 minutes.

Yao Airport

Address: Yao Airport, 2-12 Aiport, Yao-shi, Osaka

It is best to take a metro to reach Yao Airport. Kyuhouji and Yaominami are the closest stations to the airport.

You can board one of the JR Yamatoji Line trains and get to Kyuhouji Station, from where a taxi can help you reach the airport in ten minutes.

Or take the Tanimachi Line to the Yaominami Station, which is less than five minutes from the airport.


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Helicopter tour timings

The flights over Osaka are operational all through the week. 

The helicopters start taking off from both Osaka heliport and Yao Airport from 10 am onwards and continue till 4 pm.

However, the Osaka bayside helicopter tour starts as early as 4 am and goes on till 3.30 pm.

Tourists interested in watching the sunrise along the Osaka bay opt for these early morning timings.

While booking your heli tour, you must select a time slot. 


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How many people in one helicopter?

When you book a helicopter tour over the city of Osaka, you charter the flight. 

Since it is a private tour, only your group of up to three passengers will be onboard.

Even if a single person books a tour, they will end up booking the whole helicopter.

This is why there is no minimum number of passengers required for confirmation of the tour. 


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Kids on helicopter tours

Children under two years of age can join the tour for free, and they must sit on their parents’ lap.

If your kid is three years, they must sit separately as an adult. Infant seats are available in the helicopters. 

All helicopter pads are stroller accessible as well. 

When you head out for the tour, please carry your child’s ID card as proof of age.


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Weight restrictions

All helicopters used for tours over Osaka are 3-seater machines. 

A single passenger may not exceed 130 Kgs (286 lbs) in weight, and the total weight of all the passengers together can’t exceed 240 Kgs (530 lbs). 

If you don’t meet the weight criteria, the pilot can refuse to take off. 

Before take-off, the pilot and the ground staff will make sure the passengers’ weight is distributed evenly in the helicopter. 

This is why the pilot decides where the passengers will sit.


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Cost of Osaka helicopter tours

Aerial view of Osaka city. Image: Govoyagin.com

Helicopter rides over Osaka aren’t cheap but they are a great way to see a city like Osaka.

In Osaka, since you charter the flight, it is the same price if you go up in the air alone or go as a three-member group.

The cheapest Osaka helicopter tour will cost you approximately 21,800 Japanese Yen (205 US Dollars) for up to three people. It gets you four minutes of air time above Osaka.

The 10-minute Osaka city highlights tour is quite popular and costs 46,000 Japanese Yen (430 US Dollars) for up to three people. 

For an additional 5 minutes in the air, you must book the 15-minute helicopter tour which is priced at 74,430 Japanese Yen (700 US Dollars).

The same 15-minute tour is cheaper if you take off from Yao Airport – it costs only 46,000 Japanese Yen (430 US Dollars).

If you are keen on checking out the stunning views of Osaka bay, you must shell out 33,000 Japanese Yen (310 US Dollars) for seven minutes.

All fees and taxes are part of this tour price.


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Cancellation policy

If you cancel at least 24 hours before your helicopter tour is scheduled, you qualify for a 100 percent refund.

Cancellations made within 24 hours of the start date of the tour won’t receive any refund.

When helicopter ride gets canceled

Sometimes because of bad weather or technical issues in the helicopter, a planned trip may not happen.

In such a case, the helicopter tour operator will offer a different date or a full refund. You get to decide. 


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Things to know before booking

Osaka Castle seen from helicopter. Image: Skyview.airos.jp
  • Passengers who have gone scuba diving in the past 24 hours can’t go on a helicopter tour. Find out why scuba diving and helicopter tours don’t go well together
  • Since all the chopper tours in Osaka are private only your group will take off together.
  •  You can bring along your mobile and camera on the helicopter and take as many photos and videos as possible.
  • Reservations can be made from about one month in advance. 
  • All passengers get “third-party passenger comprehensive liability insurance”, the cost of which is included in the flight fee.
  • The heliports and the helicopters are wheelchair accessible. Service animals are also allowed to board the flight.
  • These chopper tours are perfect for proposals, anniversaries, and romantic time together with your loved ones. They are also a perfect gift for couples.

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Osaka introductory helicopter flight

This is a quick 4-minute introductory flight and appeals to passengers of all age groups.

The flight takes place in the Osaka Bay area, and you get to see Universal Studios Japan, Kyosera Dome (Osaka Dome), Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, IKEA Tsuruhama, International Exhibition Center, etc.

This is the route of the cheapest helicopter tour in Osaka. Map Courtesy: Skyview.airos.jp

Departure: OGAWA AIR, Osaka Heliport, 2-chōme-1-1 Hokkōryokuchi, Konohana-ku, Osaka, 554-0042, Japan (Google Map)

Duration in the air: 4 minutes
Narration: Live Commentary
Tour timings: 10 am to 3 pm, every half hour
Pickup: Offered from Sakurajima Station (JR Line) or Cosmo Square Station

Cost of the tour: 21,800 Japanese Yen (205 US Dollars) for up to a group of 3 passengers

See available dates & read reviews


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10-min Osaka city helicopter tour

This is the best and most popular heli tour in Osaka because its just the right length, and the perfect price.

The highlights of this aerial tour of the city are the stunning views of the following landmarks: Universal Studios Japan, Kyosera Dome(Osaka Dome), International Exhibition Center, Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, IKEA Tsuruhama, Cosmo Tower, Tsūtenkaku, Abenobashi Terminal Building, Osaka Castle, Umeda Station, Nakanoshima.

Route of the ten-minute helicopter tour in Osaka. Map Courtesy: Skyview.airos.jp

Departure: OGAWA AIR, Osaka Heliport, 2-chōme-1-1 Hokkōryokuchi, Konohana-ku, Osaka, 554-0042, Japan (Google Map)

Duration in the air: 10 minutes
Narration: Live Commentary
Tour timings: 10 am to 6.30 pm, every half hour
Pickup: Offered from Sakurajima Station (JR Line) or Cosmo Square Station

Cost of the tour: 46,000 Japanese Yen (430 US Dollars) for up to a group of 3 passengers

See available dates & read reviews

For a higher price, a 15-minute sightseeing helicopter tour over Osaka is also available. During this trip the pilot takes the helicopter upto the Osaka Castle (see map above) before turning around.


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Osaka bayside helicopter tour

This is a short chopper tour around the Osaka bayside area.

Interestingly, this tour starts taking off at 4 am so if you are an early bird its the perfect way to see the sunrise in Osaka.

Besides the bay area, you also get to see: Universal Studios Japan, Kyosera Dome (Osaka Dome), International Exhibition Center, Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, IKEA Tsuruhama, Cosmo Tower, etc.

Route of the chopper tour along Osaka’s bay area. Map Courtesy: Skyview.airos.jp

Departure: OGAWA AIR, Osaka Heliport, 2-chōme-1-1 Hokkōryokuchi, Konohana-ku, Osaka, 554-0042, Japan (Google Map)

Duration in the air: 7 minutes
Narration: Live Commentary
Tour timings: 4 am to 3.30 pm, every half hour
Pickup: Offered from Sakurajima Station (JR Line) or Cosmo Square Station

Cost of the tour: 33,000 Japanese Yen (310 US Dollars) for up to a group of 3 passengers

See available dates & read reviews


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Osaka cultural heritage helicopter tour

During this 18-minute flight over Osaka, you will see multiple ancient tombs all over the city.

The chopper flies over burial spots such as the Daisenryo burial mound (also known as Moju tombs) where the Nitoku emperor sleeps, the Kofun tombs, etc.

The Kofun tombs were built between 3-7th century AD and recently listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Besides the cultural spots, you also get to see the other Osaka landmarks such as Minamiko, Cosmo Tower, Abeno Harukas, Osaka port, etc.

Map of cultural helicopter tour over Osaka. Map Courtesy: Skyview.airos.jp

Departure: Yao Airport, Osaka 581-0043, Japan (Google Map)

Duration in the air: 18 minutes
Narration: Live Commentary
Tour timings: 10 am to 3 pm, every half hour

Cost of the tour: 67,500 Japanese Yen (630 US Dollars) for up to a group of 3 passengers

See available dates & read reviews


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Helicopter tours from Yao Airport

Yao airport has the second tourist heliport of Osaka.

Interestingly chopper tours from Yao airport seem to be cheaper than those taking off from Osaka heliport.

We list two of the most popular tours from Yao airport’s helipad.

1. Cheapest Osaka helicopter trip

This 15 minute helicopter tour takes off from Yao Airport, so it is a matter of convenience.

If you are closer to the Yao Airport you don’t need to travel 27 km (17 miles) all the way to Osaka heliport for the tour.

Some of the highlights of this aerial sightseeing are: Tennoji, Nanba, Osaka Castle, Umeda Station, Abenobashi Terminal Building, Yao Airport, etc.

Route of Osaka helicopter trip from Yao Airport. Map Courtesy: Skyview.airos.jp

Departure: Yao Airport, Osaka 581-0043, Japan (Google Map)

Duration in the air: 15 minutes
Narration: Live Commentary
Tour timings: 10 am to 3 pm, every half hour

Cost of the tour: 46,000 Japanese Yen (430 US Dollars) for up to a group of 3 passengers

See available dates & read reviews

2. Chopper tour around Tsutenkaku Tower and Universal Studio

This 18 minute helicopter tour takes place in the downtown area of Osaka.

The helicopter tours around the Tsutenkaku tower (built in the 1910s) and Universal Studio Japan, which is beautiful to watch from the sky.

Aerial tour around Tsutenkaku Tower and Universal Studio, Japan. Courtesy: Skyview.airos.jp

Departure: Yao Airport, Osaka 581-0043, Japan (Google Map)

Duration in the air: 18 minutes
Narration: Live Commentary
Tour timings: 10 am to 3 pm, every half hour

Cost of the tour: 67,500 Japanese Yen (630 US Dollars) for up to a group of 3 passengers

See available dates & read reviews