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Osaka

Travel Guide Asia Japan Honshu Kansai Osaka

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Introduction

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Osaka has long been a hub of Japanese economic activity, and at one stage was briefly the nation's capital. Tokyo may have taken this honour, but Osaka remains a key city, forming the heart of the huge metropolitan area of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, home to over 19 million people. Osaka itself is Japan's third largest city and is the capital of the Osaka Prefecture. It is also considered the nation's gourmet food capital.

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Weather

Osaka has a subtropical humid climate with warm, wet summers and drier but mild winters. Summers last from June to September when average highs are mostly between 28 and 34 °C and nights are between 20 and 25 °C. Winters from December to February see highs of 9-13 °C and lows of 2-5 °C. Almost all of the annual rain falls between March and October, while winters are relatively dry and chances of snow are almost zero (unlike Tokyo for example).

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max9.5 °C10.2 °C13.7 °C19.9 °C24.5 °C27.8 °C31.6 °C33.4 °C29.3 °C23.3 °C17.6 °C12.3 °C
Avg Min2.8 °C2.9 °C5.6 °C10.7 °C15.6 °C20 °C24.3 °C25.4 °C21.7 °C15.5 °C9.9 °C5.1 °C
Rainfall45.4 mm61.7 mm104.2 mm103.8 mm145.5 mm184.5 mm157 mm90.9 mm160.7 mm112.3 mm69.3 mm43.8 mm
Rain Days5.66.39.99.31011.29.96.99.47.96.25.5

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Getting There

By Plane

1. International flights in Osaka arrive at the Kansai International Airport (KIX), about 38 kilometres from Osaka. After Narita Airport it's the busiest airport in Japan regarding international passengers. Airlines flying from Europe to Osaka include KLM (Amsterdam) and Finnair (Helsinki).

To/from Osaka-Kansai Airport

  • Rail: The lower railroad level of the Sky Gate Bridge R leading to Osaka is used by two railroad operators: West Japan Railway (JR West) and Nankai Electric Railway. JR West operates Haruka, the limited express train services for Kansai Airport Station from Tennōji, Shin-Ōsaka and Kyoto Station. JR West also offers "Kansai Airport Rapid" services for Kansai Airport Station from Ōsaka and Kyōbashi Station, as well as several stations on the way. Nankai operates a limited express train service to Namba Station on the southern edge of downtown Osaka.
  • Bus: Kansai Airport Transportation Enterprise and other bus operators offer scheduled express bus services, called "Airport Limousines", for Kansai International Airport.
  • Car: The airport is only accessible from the Sky Gate Bridge R, a part of Kansai Airport Expressway. The expressway immediately connects to Hanshin Expressways Route 5, "Wangan Route", and Hanwa Expressway. Taxis and rental cars are available at the airport and there are thousands of parking places as well.
  • Ferry: A high-speed ferry service operates between Kobe Airport and KIX. The journey takes about thirty minutes.

2. Despite it's name, Osaka International Airport (ITM) serves only domestic destinations, but in total does handle more passengers than Osaka-Kansai!

To/from Osaka International Airport

  • Rail: The only direct rail connection to the airport is the Osaka Monorail, which stops in the northern suburbs of Osaka.
  • Bus: A number of scheduled buses run to and from the airport daily, forming connections to Osaka and Kyoto.

By Train

Osaka can be reached by train from a number of cities, including Tokyo, Kobe, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. Check Hyperdia for schedules and prices.

By Boat

China:
There are weekly ferries crossing the sea between Shanghai and Kobe and Osaka in Japan. The ferry's destination alternates each week between Osaka and Kobe and the journey takes two days. Another line travels weekly as well between Shanghai and Osaka only.
Russia:
FESCO runs a service from Vostochny Port/Nakhodka in Far Eastern Russia to Osaka.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hotel Chuo Selene1-1-11 Taishi, Nishinari-KuHostel85
Capsule Hotel Asahi Plaza Shinsaibashi2-12-22,Nishihinsaibashi,Chuouku,OsakashiHostel76
Flexstay Shinsaibashi Inn1-9-30 Nishi Shinsaibashi Chuo-kuHotel74
For Leaves Inn2-6-21 Nishitanabe-cho Abeno-kuGuesthouse-
Fushio-kaku at Fushio Onsen128-1 Fushio-Cho Ikeda OsakaHostel-
Hotel Chuo1-1-12 Taishi Nishinari-ku Osaka-shiHostel80
Hotel CHUO OASIS9-15, 1-Chome, Taishi Nishinari-kuHostel86
Hotel Mikado1-2-11, Taishi Nishinari-kuHostel81
Hotel Raizan South3-3-1 Taishi Nisinari kuHostel80
Hotel Sun Plaza1-2-22 Haginochaya NishinarikuHostel75
Hotel Sunrise Inn925 Naka Pref 597-0003 KaizukaHotel82
Hotel Sun`Plaza 21-2-20, Taishi, Nishinari-kuHostel-
Hotel Taiyo1-2-23, TaishiHostel78
Backpackers Hotel Toyo Osaka1-3-5, Taishi, NishinariHOSTEL83
J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse4-22, Fukushima 7-chome, Fukushima-ku, Osaka-CityHOSTEL89
Kaneyoshi Ryokan, Namba Dotombori3-12, Soemoncho Chuo-kuHostel82
Hotel MyStays Sakaisuji-Honmachi1- 4-8, Awaji-machi Chuo-kuHOTEL85
Osaka GuestHouse KOMA2-3-12 Saiwai-Cho Naniwa-kuHostel74
Osaka International Youth HostelHagoromokoen-Cho Takaishi-City, OsakaHostel-
Osaka Municipal Nagai Youth Hostel1-1 Nagai Koen Higashisumisyoshi-kuHostel82
Peace House Showa2-8-4 Sanno Nishinari-kuHostel77
The LEE Osaka downtown2-5-11, Kita-Ku TenjinbashiGUESTHOUSE-
Hostel Raizan Kita, Nishinari Shin-imamiya1-1-3 Taishi, Nishinari-kuHostel80
Shin-Osaka Youth Hostel1-13-13 KOKO Plaza10F Higashi-Nakajima Higashi-yodogawa-kuHostel78
Sumo Backpackers1-11-28, Nakatsu Kita-kuHostel-
Sunplay Inn Nagahori1-10-3,Higashishinsaibashi Chuou-kuHostel80
Hotel MyStays Otemae1-3-2 Tokui-cho Chuo-kuHOTEL86
Yamatoya Honten, Namba Dotombori2-17-4, Shimanouchi Chuo-kuHostel84
Family Inn Fifty's Osaka2-6-18, Edobori Nishu-kuHostel-
Ryokan IshihashiSimanouchi 2-17-22 Chuo-ku Osaka JapanHostel-
Hotel Green Plaza Osaka2-5-12 Nakazakinishi Kita-KuHotel-
Hostel 64 Osaka3-11-20 Shinmachi Nishi-kuHostel86
Guesthouse U-en1-5-8 Uemachi Chuo-kuGuesthouse-
Osaka Mayflower House2-1-15 Izumimachi, Chuo-KUGuesthouse79
Awaza Houseosaka nishi-ku enokojima 1-5- 12-202 (大阪市西区江之子島 1-5-12-202)Guesthouse86
Garden House2-8-18 Shimanouchi Chuo-kuGuesthouse-
Tsurumibashi Downtown Hostel3-8-16 Tsurumibashi Nishnari-Ku Osaka CityHostel-
Naniwa Minami Downtown HostelTengachayakita2-2-17 Nishinari-ku Osaka CityHostel-
Bainan Downtown hostelBainan3-8-1 Nishinari-Ku Osaka CityHostel-
Hanazono downtown HostelTsurumibashi 3-8-16 Nishnari-Ku Osaka CityHostel-
Namba Plaza Hotel1-20 Namba Sennichimae Chuo-kuHotel82
Umeda Dormitory531-0076 Aoyagi building, 1-6-13 OyodonakaHostel-
Bonsai Guest House1-4-13 Momodani Ikuno-kuHostel83
Takeyaso Ryokan2-85, Miyauchi-cho amagasaki city HyogoHOSTEL-
Namba Weekly2-3-1 Namba Chuoku 5F Azami Namba buildingApartment-
UK OSAKAKitahorie 1-12-9, Nishi-kuHostel-
Guesthouse Caminoro2F 3F 2-6-7 Nishimikuni,Yodogawa-kuHostel89
Osaka Namba Guest HouseNaniwa-ku Motomachi 2-9-1-101Guesthouse84
TEN Backpackers Osaka4-5 kobaicho Kita KuHostel-
Imazato Guest House1-11-15 Ohimazatonishi HigashinarikuHostel82
Guest House la Kongo1 Higashi - 5-11 Doutonbori Chuuou kuHOSTEL-
Apollo Weekly/Monthly Apt. at Namba Sta.Osaka Shi Naniwa Ku Namba Naka 3-18-1 AP bld. 1st floorApartment87
Osaka English House11-4 Okayamate-cho Hirakata CityHostel-
Momodani House2-7-2 Kiatsuyama-kita IkunokuGuesthouse-
Guesthouse TennojiAdress9-18,kitakawahorimachi, Tennoji-kuHOSTEL82
IM Guest House2-7-2 Katsuyamakita, Ikuno-kuHostel80
Casa Bianca1-17-8 Tsurumibashi Nishinari-ku, Osaka cityGuesthouse-
Osaka Castle Guesthousejapan osaka chuo-ku uchihonmachi 2-2-14-1208 Chuo WardGuesthouse-
Guest House ODORI3-6-6bisyoen, abeno-ku, osaka-shi,HOSTEL82
Sakai GH1-3-3,Sumiyoshibashicho, Sakai-ku, Sakai-shiHOSTEL-
Osaka Hana Hostel1-8-4, Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-kuHOSTEL91
Hostel Base Point Osaka2-11-17 Sennichimae Chuo kuHOSTEL79
Hotel Wing International Shin-Osaka2-32-9 Higashi-Mikuni Yodogawa-KuHOTEL-
A La Maisonuchikyuhoji 4-3-10 chuo kuHostel-
Hotel Kaga1-12-21 Haginochaya, Nishinari WardHOTEL-
Peace House Sachi1-3-2 Taishi Nishinari-kuGuesthouse82
Boarding House Osaka10-16 Minamikawahori TennnoujiHOSTEL81
B&S Eco Cube Shinsaibashi9-4.2-Chome, Nishi ShinsaibashiHOSTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Manga cafes are dotted along the streets of almost every city in Japan. For a very reasonable price (about ¥100 per 15 minutes), you receive a private cubicle with a PC with internet access at blistering Japanese internet speeds. The chairs are incredibly comfortable (making them an excellent place to sleep for the cash-deprived), and you can even order snacks and drinks from the staff.

A number of business hotels have Internet access available if you have your own device, sometimes for free. It is also possible to find Wi-Fi "hot spots" around many large cities in Japan, especially near tech-related businesses and large corporate buildings with unsecured wireless networks. 3G Wireless Data and Pocket Wifi are other options.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Payphones (公衆電話 kōshū denwa) are easily found, particularly near train stations, although with the popularity of mobile phones, public pay phones are not quite as numerous as they once were. Gray and green pay phones accept ¥10 and ¥100 coins and prepaid cards. Be aware that not all places with public telephones have phones that accept coins, so it may be worthwhile to buy a phone card for emergency use. Some of the gray phones, as indicated on the display, can make international calls. Pre-paid cards can be purchased at convenience stores, train station kiosk stores and sometimes in vending machines next to the phone.

Modern Japanese mobile phones (携帯電話 keitai denwa or just keitai) tend to operate on unique cellular standards not always compatible with the rest of the world. 3G phones using the UMTS/WCDMA2100 standard and equipped with a 3G SIM card will most likely work. If your phone is up to spec, double-check with your carrier if they have a roaming agreement with either SoftBank or NTT DoCoMo. Coverage is generally excellent, unless you are heading to some remote mountainous areas. If you have no 3G phone but still have a 3G-compatible SIM card, you can rent a 3G phone in Japan and slot in your card, allowing you to keep your home phone number in Japan. For a longer trip, you can also purchase a phone, but doing this legally requires an Alien Registration Card (or an obliging Japanese friend willing to front for you).

The easier way is to get a prepaid phone. Prepaid phones are sold in most SoftBank and AU stores. If you already have a 3G phone, go with Softbank as it can sell SIMs as opposed to au whose prepaid service is phone-based like most CDMA carriers. Prepaid phones use a "card" with a pass key to "charge" a phone with minutes. These prepaid calling cards, unlike the phone itself, can be found in most convenience stores. A prepaid cell phone is available for as little as ¥5000 plus ¥3000 for a 60-90 day call time package, which will get drained at a rate of ¥100 per minute (¥10 per 6 seconds for AU's prepaid service). Both SoftBank and AU offer prepaid phones.

Post

The Japanese postal service is excellent! Domestic and international mail service is very quick and reliable. The prices for sending letters, postcards and parcels vary depending on where you send if from and to which country you send it too, and of course depends on weight as well, so check this calculation page of Japan Post for more details. Post offices generally are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays, closing at weekends and also on national holidays, though a few open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Central post offices are sometimes open until 7:00pm, open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Sundays and holidays from 9:00am to 12:30pm. There are post offices in every major city and minor town. Another thing to remember is that the post office is one of the few places in Japan that is guaranteed to have ATMs that take international cards.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 34.677471
  • Longitude: 135.50325

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This is version 24. Last edited at 12:10 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 84 articles link to this page.

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